Monday, September 16, 2002

Yesterday, being bored, I went for a walk along the river. Somehow the river takes away the boredom and gets your thoughts running on a variety of issues. I sat there by a bench looking at the tiny waves hitting the dikes and little kids throwing in pebbles and giggling. From a distance I could see an Indian couple walking by the river and from the look of it - cameras hanging around their necks - I could tell they were tourists. A few minutes later they were walking just behind my bench and I could hear them speaking in Kannada, the language that I speak. I was hearing this after a few months gap and naturally my ears all perked up. Instantly I turned around and asked them (in Kannada) where they were from, what they were doing here, how long they were here for and etc...

A few minutes later I bid them farewell after giving them tips about visiting different spots and sat back looking at the river. As I sat there, I asked myself, why is it that in this strange land when I meet someone whom I have never known in my life I take comfort to help them out just because they speak my lingo. But if I was back in Karnataka, if a fellow tourist should ask me to guide him, I would probably have shrugged my shoulders and lied 'sorry, I really don't know much to help you out' and slide away. What is it that transforms me (and probably others too) into a more helpful, thoughtful, humble person when I am separated from all that I took for granted? Why is it that I have unknown + unwanted arrogance and pride when I am back home? Will I continue to be the same person when I eventually return? Well I guess only time will tell.


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