Monday, February 7, 2011
It all started with a movie; a life changing, fantastic, heart warming Hindi film that impacte my life beyond anything I could have ever imagined. If you know me at all, you wouldn't be surprised that India wasn't even on my radar as far as places to travel to. I only wanted to be in an Arabic speaking country (no matter the dangers), and I was hell bent to not change that plan. I kept trying to make programs fit my needs, even one's that clearly wouldn't give me the type of experience I so desperately desired, just so that I could live in a place where Arabic was spoken. And then I saw My Name Is Khan... life changed... I was suddenly exposed to a vibrant, colorful, musical culture that swept me off my feet. From then on I not only fell madly in love with Shahrukh Khan (the star of the film), but I fell in love with India; the colors, the music, the dancing, the traditions, and so on. I don't know what exactly it was, but I knew from then on that India was the only place that was going to give me the kind of experience I was looking for. I tend to thrive when I am thrown into situations and places that are completely foreign and unfamiliar, and, well, India is just that; completely foreign and totally unfamiliar. My friends all tell me that I have an ethnic soul, so I think that it is marvelously appropriate that in August I will be moving to one of the most ethnic locations in the world.
As silly as it might sound, it is easy to feel far away from God in the good ole' US of A. Though I will be the first one to argue that America is the best place in the world to live (and we as Americans are so incredibly lucky to enjoy the freedoms and luxuries that we have the privilage of enjoying), there always feels like something is missing, like religion just isn't so important on a national scale. After coming back from Israel, a holy land to some of the worlds most prominent religions, I felt so connected to my faith and so close to God. Religious holidays shut the major cities down, celebrations were held in the streets, walking around you would hear the Muslim call to prayer, followed by Hebrew chants coming from the inside of synagogues, while nuns and monks walked around inside the walls of the old city. God and religion were everywhere. This is something that is, for better or worse, foreign to the modern west, and the spirituality of India was just as intoxicating to me as her vibrant culture. I'm goint to India to find myself, rediscover my connection with God, learn about new religions, and, God willing, find my path in life.
Now about this internship. Like I said, it all started with a Hindi film, so it is extremely fitting that I will be spending my time in India interning in the Hindi film industry (a.k.a Bollywood!). I have never been so excited for anything in my life! I will be starting in August and will go for a 6 month internship. The exact details of the internship won't be known for another month, but my goal is to intern for 6 months, and then hopefully get hired so that I can stay abroad for at least a year. I am buying an open ended ticket and seeing where life takes me!
Stay tuned for more internship details, along with stories from my trip to Berkeley, and in a week and a half I will be visiting one of my grandmother's best friends (who is Indian), and we will be eating a home cooked Indian meal along with teaching me how to tie a Sari!