The first month back in India has been both marvelous and chaotic, with both elements present and pulling with equal and opposite force. It is difficult to extract what is marvelous from what is absolute chaos. Some experiences are easy to list. Marvelous: friendships, rewarding work, amazing colleagues and fantastic adventures. Chaotic: rows with rickshaws, housing mayhem and the everyday disorder that could drive a tightly-wound westerner mad.
Yet some interactions and experiences are more difficult to define. The marvelous and the chaotic are infinitely entangled.
Either way the presence of these two elements – the marvelous and the chaotic – make this specific stage of the journey unique. It is part of large transitions. Several months down the line I will wake up–like any other day in my own bed–and the tension of those two extremes will have disappeared, melting into the daily routine of buying vegetables, going to the office and commuting from A to B. Life in Delhi for all practical intents and purposes will become—normal.
Last week I spent a day filming in an amazing maternity clinic. The private clinic charges families 4000RS for a delivery, making in-patient care within reach of many families who would otherwise not have the option.
Throughout the day I was continually impressed with the hospital staff, individuals involved and services provided to the women. I cannot say enough to express the level of commitment and dedication provided by the organization. Throughout the day, we ventured into communities to speak with soon-to-be mothers, were welcomed into the maternity ward and witnessed tremendous acts of kindness. It was a great honor to spend time with them.
Leaving the day, I felt elated and invigorated. Yet the very second I stepped away, racing to catch my 8 PM flight back to Delhi, the grit of reality hit. A traffic glut made us late to the airport. The security check in eked by at a snail’s pace. Lines crushed in. The plane was two hours late. The cab stalled on a roadside after midnight. And finally, after all of this I collapsed into bed.
Waking up the next morning in my own bed I thought back on the day: a marvelous, inspiring day followed by the absolutely chaos of navigating life.