Below are links to the blogs I published this year which I consider my best. Enjoy!
26 May, 2010: Why I’m spending 11 months in India next year
4 July, 2010: Why you don’t need to be sad when I leave
31 July, 2010: On the digestion of Indian culture
20 August, 2010: Tabla, Tirakita, and avoiding the Indian timepass
10 November, 2010: RYLA, Part two
24 November, 2010: South Tour: Ooty
29 November, 2010: South Tour: Alleppy
4 December, 2010: South Tour: Kochi
13 December, 2010: South Tour: Mumbai & Nagpur
25 December, 2010: Christmas in India: Part three
25 December, 2010: Christmas in India: Part eight
29 January, 2011: Something to make you smile
1 February, 2011: Why I woke up at 5:55 on a Sunday
11 February, 2011: “Foreigner!” – The saga of standing out in India, Parts one, two & three
23 February, 2011: Cricket: A new kind of fandom
4 March, 2011: North Tour: Jaisalmer: Once upon a camel
7 March, 2011: North Tour: Dharamsala: An antidote for hubbub
16 March, 2011: North Tour: Varanasi & Bodhgaya: A picture or 1,000 words?
26 March, 2011: North Tour: Kolkata: Something India shouldn’t have
30 March, 2011: Cricket: India versus Pakistan
2 April, 2011: Cricket: India versus Sri Lanka
14 April, 2011: Zindagi achii hai (Life is good)
24 May, 2011: The saga of a Chicago Cubs baseball cap
For the time being, this is the end of my blog.
My exchange technically ended when I met my mom at the O’Hare airport in Chicago on 8 June, but in reality it didn’t end until a month later, at the Central States Rotary Youth Exchange conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan from 7-10 July.
At the conference I met hundreds of other exchange students going to and coming from dozens of countries around the world: France, Poland, Mexico, Taiwan, Peru, Spain, Chile, Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, The Faroe Islands, The Philippines, Brazil, Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria, India… The list of countries goes on and on, and each person I met had at least one interesting story to tell. I met three students about to leave for India, two Indians who had spent the year in America, and four I knew who had just spent the year there. It was the best weekend I’d had since arriving back in America, in spite of the fact the DJ turned down our three requests to play Sheila Ki Jawani at all three evening dances.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of my departure for India. 365 days ago I left America for a country I knew little about, and 42 days ago, I returned an expert – that is, as close to being an expert on India as an American can be.
This isn’t the end of writing for me. Not at all. I’ll probably keep blogging in some capacity, and there’s a chance I could land a job that would publicize my writings. I’ve decided to write a book about my exchange, and much of it will be based on what I’ve written here, on An Indian Year. I don’t know when it will be published, or even how, but when it is, you’ll certainly hear about it.
And I’m certainly not saying goodbye to India. I can never bid farewell to a country I’ve grown to love as much as India. Someday I’ll return. That’s a promise.
Thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to read my blog and learn a bit about India, America, or both. You are my motivators. You are the ones who kept me going this year whenever I started to feel lazy. You are the ones who lit the sparks for the best entries I wrote. I’ll forever be grateful to everyone who contributed to my exchange – my Indian family, my American family, my Indian friends, my American friends, Rotary in India, Rotary in America, and all the exchange students I’ve met, wherever in the world they’re from.
Thanks to all of you, I can deem my exchange – and my writings on it – successful.
All the best.