It’s April. Precisely the season when my personal and India blogs get the highest amount of traffic that I’ll have all year. Back when I lived in India I used to blog all about the India Premier League (IPL) from my outsider perspective. I wrote about cricket matches at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, about the RCB cheerleaders, about friends I made who played for teams in the IPL, and about the AWESOME IPL parties that our group of friends would attend in Bangalore.
With over a billion people in India googling cricket topics during IPL season, normally 1,000s of new people find my blogs for the first time every day, hence the spike in visitors for the next 2 months.
Or will they?
Today I googled “IPL 2020” to see who was on the RCB roster this year, only to (sadly) see that IPL is postponed due to the pandemic, which makes a ton of sense. Although that can’t be sitting well with the fans. Cancelling IPL (or postponing it) is bigger than cancelling the Super Bowl in America. It’s a unifying ritual in India. One that is amazing delightful to behold for any foreigner lucky enough to see it for themselves.
I started browsing my old blog posts and articles and have decided to shoot a vlog this week to share as many fun stories about IPL as I can muster to relive the spirit of it all. I’ve downloaded a ton of pics and started making my notes …
…and that made me nostalgic for India and for my old friends. Flipping through old pics and reading old blog posts tugged at my heart strings.
India: Land Of Contrasts
If you’ve never been to India you won’t fully understand this but anyone who has travelled there or — like me — lived there for a few years will understand this 1,000%. India is a land of contrasts.
For every good / inspiring / wonderful / delightful thing you’ll encounter in India, you’ll also come face-to-face with some sort of counter-balance to it. At least I did. I wholeheartedly believe that Indian women feel the contrasts more than men do if I’m being completely honest. I know that was the general agreement amongst my female friends (both expat and locals).
Today though, I don’t want to focus on the counter-balances.
I’m missing India and I just want to write a bit about the lovely things I’ve been reminiscing about today.
India Teaches You >>>
What Really Matters
India is a colourful and giving nation with gracious hosts who will teach you wonderful life lessons that you didn’t know you needed to learn before arriving at her shores. You’ll learn what really matters in life and how to forgive your past for believing any different.
They’re Loud & Proud
In India you can never forget that you’re part of a community because in every moment of every day you hear it and see it around you. The streets are busy, the sounds are loud and impossible to avoid, and there is no such thing as an orderly queue or only crossing the street at zebra crossings!
For me, I found this to be one of the hardest lessons because I was raised in such a polar opposite environment. In California, I was brought up believing that a quiet neighbour is a good neighbour, that car horns are for emergencies only, and that a single-file-line is the only kind of queue on earth. It’s not like that in India 🙂
Strangers Are Friends
One of the most memorable trips during my time in India was to a remote village about three hours from Bangalore for a big 3-day Indian wedding. My brother happened to be visiting at the time and we both stood out like crazy! It didn’t help that the village was so off-the-map that we were the first foreigners that many of the residents had ever seen in person.
One of the ways Indians show respect is to sit with you in their nicest room and sweetly force-feed yummy treats and drinks to guests. During the above trip, strangers would drag us (kindly) from the street into their homes to spend a few minutes with us. We were taken in and treated like family by literally everyone, and served cold orange soda and sweet deep-fried jalebi in literally every home (yum!).
I’m grateful to India for the lessons, the love, and the opportunities she shared. Aside from the joy I feel for my daughter, exploring new cultures comes in second place as one of the greatest loves of my life. I’m grateful to be able to live in new countries and experience real-life moments every day that as a traveller I would never know. And India was the wildest of wild countries … truly a land of contrasts, colours, sights, and sounds!
Within a few days I’ll upload a nice long vlog full of funny stories from IPL 5 and IPL 6. If you’re interested to watch it, please do subscribe to my YouTube channel WanderwithAngela 🙂