Intense Conversation

So it’s been a while since I’ve written anything. My method up to this point has been to keep daily notes in my notebook (the paper kind) and then to write a blog entry using the notes and date it for the day the events actually happened. But I haven’t written anything at all in my book since coming to Varkala, and there are some things that don’t involve any specific day’s thoughts or actions, so…today is the 12th, and that’ll be the date on the blog entry. We’ve had so many amazing conversations since moving here. One of the things I’d read more than once was that Indian people think nothing of coming up to you and starting up political, religious, and social-issue type conversations. James and I have had a few stunning examples of this, but it’s so incredibly common that I could call it typical of our Indian experience so far. The first question is where are you from, and that one comes in a myriad of formats. After that, all bets are off. Two of the more in-depth conversations we’ve had occurred with small groups of young men. Exactly the people I feel like I have the least in common with, but these guys seem so much more idealistic, idea-oriented, passionate but non-judgemental, etc, etc than the bored kids who make me more uncomfortable than bad neighborhoods. There were the chai boys – students of the Axis College for Economics and Commerce. I’ve mentioned them before. We talked while drinking Hasim’s chai on the corner opposite the small campus. The first day, we just got the basics – where are you from, what’s your name, do you like Bush. Ugh. I’m really tired of that question. But I knew I was in for it when I[…]

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