Half Time in India

In personal emails friends ask me more frequently what I feel, think and if I would like to stay in India. I want to try to put my feelings, thoughts and experiences onto paper.

I am still here! My largest fear was not to be up to this journey. The best is that I am even feeling good here. I am enjoying having left Germany behind and so am free and open for the new and unknown. I am not lacking new impressions and feelings. I am often just amazed about life in India. But I miss "Schnitzel", Italian spices and cheese! It is just as impossible to understand India as to describe it.

When I was reading up on India, one thing a came across many times: Either you love India and always come back or you hate the country. In between there does not seem to be anything. I will come again!

I experience India as country of contrasts. Contrasts in many aspects: Poor and rich close together, in Santiniketan university professors live next to farmers who can neither read or write. In the cities a life like in the west is possible and in the country there is neither power, nor sufficient schools... Perhaps these strong contrasts make India bearable.

In India you can feel and see spirituality, in a way I have not experience it in the west. The devotion of people to their faith has affected me deeply. Buddhist monks in Ladakh, Hindus bathing in the Ganga, and Christian nuns in the mission hospital in Belatanr.

To travel at the side of a man like Elias, with big dreams, it is not always easy. On the one hand I am generaly satisfied with less, on the other hand I cannot share his dream. The reason for this is that I do not see a feasable possibility for me to make it come true. I do not want to live my life in India. That however is my approach.

Elias can dream his dream without knowing how it is to be carried out. It is and remains Elias' dream. This is also the reason why I can be more relaxed. Elias is the driving strength. To let myself be dragged along corresponds more to my mentality and my character.

Conflicts develop when Elias feels slowed down by me. Of course I did not want that, but it is a tight rope walk. Should it seem that I am not motivated, I must say that this is not the case! I stand behind some projects here in Santiniketan and would also like to support them.

Building up a hospital however is a couple of sizes to big for me.

Susanne, Santiniketan, 5th October 2005

Susanne, October 2005