The Sad, Mad, and Beautiful of India

By Emma Clements

Our past two weeks have been filled with incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experiences; it is too hard to just pick one thing to write about. So, instead of writing about WHAT we did, I will tell you the feelings and thoughts of what went into it. It is the sad, mad, and beautiful of India.

We have all seen the madness, especially in Dehli, with all the cars and people trying to go every which way. It is an enchanting madness that we all saw and felt our first days in India. We saw sadness in the kids on the street who we all just wanted to pick up and take home so badly.

The most incredible thing about India, though, isn’t sad or mad—just simply beautiful.

I know we all saw and felt the pure joy of everyone around us. It didn’t mater if they lived in the slums or if they lived in a house bigger than mine, the joy was all the same. It just gives me chills to see so much joy around me. What we hear is mostly madness with horns honking, and cows “mooing” everywhere you walk. What I also hear, though, is the blasting music we have been hearing every day for the past nine days, for the festival that is going on called “Navaratri.”

The next most important sense is smell. There are so many interesting smells here, I don’t even know how to describe it. At one point, you will be smelling incense, and the next cow poop. No matter what smell, you know it is the smell of India, and it is beautiful.

What we taste is so AMAZING! I don’t think any of us have eaten anything we don’t like yet. The last of the senses is touch. We don’t touch that much because we don’t want to get sick. What we have done, though, is go to a printmaking factory and touch the stamps, as we make our own tapestry. We have touched the chalkboard as we taught the all-girls school in Jhadol English. My favorite thing, though, was touching the back of a camel as we went for a ride through the small village in Jhadol.

All of the senses: see, taste, touch, hear, and smell, really capture the sad, mad, and beautiful of India.