Looking back on my trip to India, a mere four years ago, I am taken aback, embarrassed even. I can’t believe the person in those photos shares the same body as me, some of her structural make up. That thing that wandered the streets taking photos of lepars, beggars and thinking she was doing something (which to some extent she was, considering that a part of India runs on its tourism industry) was asleep. She was alseep, even though at the time she/I would argue she/I was not. That person, her face fatter, her soul thinner, even though at the time she/I would argue it was not.
This thing inside has shattered that thing in that photo. I can no longer look at those photos and say I didn’t know, even though I now know that I didn’t know.
What did they think of me—my white skin and smiling face, expecting a chai every time I stepped foot into that ashram? I couldn’t do it now, and to be honest with myself, couldn’t do it then. I know that. I remember those voices inside. I felt I had to prove something to someone, but who, I’m still not sure. And what was the cost? I will never know, and how settling is that?