Lost and Found – Realizing the Poverty in India

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In a previous post, I talked about how I am writing my next book, ‘Lost and Found’ as my travel adventure to India in search of my roots. It is a story about persistence, overcoming obstacles and not listening to the noise. I had very little information and a single photograph.

The book is a journey where I want to take you with me. Anyone who is a writer will tell you that it is never easy but it is something you can not avoid. The book will be done; however, it is a challenge because you try to find the inspiration to open up document and start typing. It is not a matter of if I write this book but rather when I will be finished.

The working title of the book is ‘Lost and Found’. I am glad that the journey was not an easy one. If it was as simple as getting off the plane, driving to some far off village and meeting people, this book would be quite short.

As promised, I would like to share snippets of the book with you. In this instance, I am out on my first official day and our first stop is the Jama Masjid in Delhi. This is my first experience of a site and the more difficult part of the poverty I observed. Remember, this is a draft copy so it needs to be revised.

Jama Masjid
When walking around the Mosque, it is not as crowded or as noisy as the outer areas where we just came from. Casually strolling about and exploring areas within the walls, I am drawn to the Moghul architecture and art. It is most impressive and things seem symmetrical and clean. There is an elegance to the scriptures and while I don’t know what the writings say, it seems most beautiful and I can just imagine the poetic beauty locked in the words. The structure is made of red sandstone and has this earthy and dusty tone to it. We remove our shoes and walk on the marble floor. It is cool to the touch and smooth like glass. The marble is worn out but still has that solid feel to it. The air is heavy with the scent of wood burning and cooking stalls just outside. It smells welcoming but we already have lunch plans. Sanjay takes time to show us the different areas and key facts and with that, we are out of there in about 45 minutes and back into the busyness of the street.

Experiencing the Poverty
I have seen poverty in other places around the world and even in my home town of Vancouver but not to this extent. I will take all this in and process it. How can humanity be so cruel and how is it that life has dealt such a challenging hand to some individuals. On this journey, I will see monuments, structures and temples that history now unfolds to me. Things that were built with greatness in mind. But intertwined amidst all this prominence, the culture and every day life I must see. The poverty is something I can not mask or ignore. There must be acceptance on my part or this trip is very quickly going to go down in flames as a bad decision and the search for my village is not going to be the most important aspect of my trip. I take a deep breath and close my eyes. I think about what I have just seen and experienced and tell myself that this is life. It is not my life and I am a bystander to observe and not interfere. I open my eyes and look around. It seems like there is comfort and safety in the car and a bubble that will shield me but I don’t want the car to be my sanctuary. I want to experience this country for all that is good and bad and make a personal statement to myself that what ever I see and encounter, I will accept it. I want this trip to make me a stronger person.

I will share more but for now, I hope you enjoy the excerpts.

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