Tuesday, May 04, 2010

nervous breakdown #29

sometimes india gets to you. it gets to you and you take it with a smile if it's just a rickshaw-walla trying to get some extra rupees from you or with a dumb sad look if it's a couple of 7-8 year olds begging at the stoplight, really high on something, trying to sit on their heads, falling flat on the rough pavement then laughing at you like they can't feel pain and they're having the time of their life. you see those things so often that you start forgetting them easier. but you don't. they build up.

then everyone who has or has not been to india talks and writes about poverty, dirt, dust, garbage, sickness, pollution, child labour, child trafficking, beggars, extreme poverty etc but even that doesn't get to you. it can't get to you till you see it happening under your own eyes. and even then, you can take it. you'd say, in your little western head, "that's india - chaos making sense." and then, like a silly optimistic foreigner, comfort yourself at the thought "they're actually happy living like that."

and this leads you to believe "i'm tough. i've gotten used to all this. i can even eat all their mirchi food. i am strong. india did not defeat me. bla bla bla." and you feel good. for a short while. because you dont really believe that. western society has taught you something you're not ready to let go of so easily.

so then there comes the fall. one day when nothing works out and all those past memories of india that you thought you got over come and slap you over the back of your head. just one crappy day, when you feel like crap, when you think fuck all this, how can they live like this, when crap comes your way from all sides, nothing really makes sense at all in this country, there's crap coming out of the faucets, nothing is proper, there's cold crap in the fridge and all this "india - chaos making sense" seems like the biggest bowl of crap.

and no, it could not happen everywhere. you have to be here to understand the kind of thing i'm talking about. it's an intense short term depression, a heartbreak that only india can give you. unless you're a heartless bastard. in which case, you're lucky.

and after every fall i think: india you broke my heart for the last time. and i'm a tougher cookie now.
but it never is the last time.
and i still find, somewhere in my sick heart, a strange liking for this place that torments me so much.


Christiane said...

I don't know what to say. Nobody ever described this special feeling better that you just did there. It is nice to see, that we are not alone with this and that also other had these moments. And you are right: You described it from a Western perspective. And now I can kind of understand why I felt like/thought this...