A couple of days ago we were in Delhi, walking the dog near the building where Ashray’s Mom lives. As the dog approached a little bushy area near some trash, a massive rat jumped out and then I jumped even higher! I freaked out and cursed the monsoons when rats, same as humans, escape the wet areas and run for shelter.
I was getting too wrapped up in my own bullshit when Ashray pointed out something that was happening next to the same bush where Mr. Rodent was trying out his circus moves.
“Did you notice that lady with a bag?”
I said yes… and then it hit me: while I was doing the gora thing, being scared of a rat, there was this lady in the middle of the night, coming to search the trash. Perhaps for food, maybe scraps to sell for recycling.. anything that could have any residual value at all. I felt like an idiot at that time: while I get scared of rats, some people actually have to search through the same scraps rats live out of to try and make a living.
Today we were walking the dog near the same spot and I saw someone else doing the same. This time it was a little boy, no older than 7, that walked on top of broken tiles and crumbling cement with bare feet, until he found a carton box he proudly carried out of the dump.
India hits you with moments like these all the time. Makes you understand how everything is so relative. And how people still manage to move on even in the most adverse of situations. Whenever things get tough, India teaches you to buck up, to appreciate what you have, because there is always someone else’s reality that will contrast with yours in a way that will make your worries feel smaller and, in the big picture, often insignificant.
There are lessons to be learned everyday, as long as you keep your eyes open and your mind in rec mode. And that takes me to today’s photo of the day and what I see in it: whenever life doesn’t give you a bed.. put two chairs together!