India and I have a history filled with equal parts frustration, amazement, compassion and despair. Hospital visits, mountain views, bumpy bus rides and colourful hues.
Back in 2010 I spent a few months volunteering on environmental and education projects with a local NGO in rural Punjab, in the far north-west of the country. During my stay I was asked to give a presentation on environmental issues to a hall packed with school kids. At the end of the presentation I was both somewhat bemused, yet strangely thrilled when the school principal directed the students to recite an oath swearing to reduce their use of plastic bags and to plant more trees in the school and their villages.
India challenged and confounded me. I had no idea then that I would find myself living here again so soon, but I guess India doesn’t allow you to escape her orbit that easily.