Leaving Delhi for dosas: a new beginning

Sitting at my home in Palo Alto, listening to swing bands and eating my last American bagel, I consider how nervous I am. New faces, new sights, new home – it’s all a little overwhelming, even though I’ve actually been living in Delhi since October 2011. I’ve learned a lot in the last ten months: that Indian-style Mexican food exists, how to convince the government to give us an internet connection, and the way to bargain down an autorickshaw’s price. I’m under no illusions, however, that I’ve experienced even a fraction of what India has to offer.

In eleven days, I’ll be moving to Bangalore to work for Arghyam. I want to learn to make fresh coconut chutney and eat paper dosas as big as a tractor tire. I want to learn Kannada and find out whether that 11:30pm curfew for bars and clubs is really enforced. Honestly, though? I’m looking forward to my work, of course, which will be focused on water and sanitation, but I’m most excited about getting to know the other fellows. The last ten months in Delhi have been a little isolating, so I’m thrilled to have people my age to learn from and commiserate with. I’m looking forward to our one-week orientation, where I want to share my own experiences and hear about what amazing things everyone else has done – where they’ve lived and worked and played and studied. I want to visit other fellows at their placements and chat with them about successes and challenges.

I’m wrapping up this blog post at the airport in San Francisco, waiting to board my flight to Singapore, then Delhi. I think I hear them calling my row number…


During her time at Pomona College, Ragini created a computer literacy program in a rural Indian village to provide educational and economic opportunities to under-served students at a resource-poor government high school. After graduation, her interest in rural development issues led to ten months of work at the Foundation for Rural Recovery and Development (FORRAD), a Delhi-based non-profit focusing on natural resource management. While there, she documented the state of clean drinking water and comprehensive water conservation projects in rural areas of Rajasthan, Bundelkhand, and Tamil Nadu, with a focus on sustainable development work that created participatory, accountable systems of community involvement. Ragini speaks English, Hindi, and some Spanish.

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One thought on “Leaving Delhi for dosas: a new beginning

  1. Very opportune time to work on Sanitation….. Hopefully the garbage collectors strike is over, and some solution has been found for the issue of dumping waste reckelessly……

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