I've been in India for 4 years. I leave India in 4 days, its been a journey, and this is my attempt at a summary of my experience over the course of the last 4 years.
My circumstances for coming to India were less than desirable - my parents got a divorce, and my sister and I were uprooted from our home and the country in which we were raised, Dubai, and were put on a flight to India, to my grandparents' house in the country's capital; New Delhi.
India's been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the last 4 years, and unfortunately, my mother, sister and I've been caught right in the middle. We live in the City of Gurgaon, in the State of Haryana. The self proclaimed "Millenium City". The closest place to our old home in Dubai that we could find.
The fire that was my pre-existing hatred for India was only fueled by all the difficulties that we as a family faced in our day-to-day lives, whether it be being cheated out of money, having something stolen from us, my mother and sister being stared at by men on the streets, or me being bullied, the hatred bubbled inside me and showed no signs of ever subsiding.
This did, however, change as time went on, our third year in India began the chain of events which led to my getting on a flight 4 days from today, my interest in Art and Design began to blossom and eventually got me admission into the most prestigious design university in the United States; the Rhode Island School of Design. This finally showed me light, a goal, something that I could look forward to and work for.
My constant irritation, and bad mouthing India did not, however, end when this happened, from constantly being harassed by people for no fault of mine, being cheated out of money, suffering the (I don't even know how they call them roads!) roads of gurgaon, the constant hospitalisation because of the disease infested, polluted air that was shoved into my lungs - all of these and more was everything I could see, and blinded me from what India had done for me.
I was always a quiet child, no-one who knew me could ever call me outgoing, or talkative, that too changed when I came to India, with all the bad, there were morsels of good here and there during my stay here. I managed to crawl out of my shell, I made friends, started going out, started driving, discovered my passion for photography, started earning, and much much more.
To be honest, the loud "Pills and Potions by Nicki Minaj" is just too loud as I type this for me to really know what I'm spilling out onto this page, but I do know one thing, and that is that even with all the bad, all the challenges I've had to face here, and all the challenges (and that isn't an understatement, there will be many) I'm to face in the next 4 days, all have something good hidden inside them, every challenge I've had to face has taught me something invaluable. Thats coming from me, the gadget engulfed, 'spoilt', materialistic child of the 'hollow' city of Dubai.
For all the good and the bad, for all the Delicious and Disgusting, for all the Beauty and all the Boring, for all the Difficult and all the Easy, for all the Great and all the, well, not so great, I thank you India, you showed me one thing that no-where else could; how fortunate I really am, and how thankful I need to be for it, and for that I wish you well, you're a beautiful nation with challenges, but hidden in those challenges, India, are lessons that as a nation, you're yet to learn, and when you do, and you will, you will emerge victorious.
I bid you Adieu.