Sunday is a day I look forward to more and more, the one day the office is closed. It’s the day I get to sleep late, the day I get to clean my room and the day I get to take a breath. It’s the day I usually realize just how quickly time is passing by here in Delhi!!
It is so easy to take everything for granted, to miss the beauty and the wonder in each moment. As I sit and the traffic goes (loudly) by, there is also something going on across the street that involves drums, chanting and bells. This I don’t normally get in Cambridgeport and I am really loving it.
This past week I went to Jodhpur, a small city in Rajasthan, as part of a follow-up to a previous fact-finding mission and to help finish and file a public interest petition against the government there. I have been blessed to be able to travel so much in my life and I was blessed again to not only travel and see this community but also sit down with several families and be part of the conversation. Or at least listen in on the conversation. It was truly something I will never forget.
The trip started with an overnight sleeper train out of Old Delhi’s train station. This was new for me and a bit exciting. The train itself was long, each car labeled according to its ‘class’–the local, the sleeper, the AC/1, 2, 3.
As the train pulls in, an attendant walks by and brushes glue to affix a passenger list to the outside of each car. The printout was pixelated, like the printer that would print out the blue-screen reports I wrote in middle school.
The ride was winding and jostly, the bunks were stacked three high. Sheets and blankets were provided–the sheets were stamped with the date, some more recent than others. I did not sleep to well and it showed as I caught myself several times nodding off during the long, conversational meetings of the next few days. In my defense, the days were warm and the talk was mostly in Hindi.
The rural families were just that, rural and families. We met several generations at each home, chai was served and everyone sat in the shade. And I say everyone but I mean the men of the community. The children and women would peer at us visitors from a far and only a few would get close. More on them soon.