Hindsight at home

It’s now been three weeks since I came back from India, and there are little things that still haven’t left me, like an inclination to drive on the left sided of the road (thankfully I haven’t acted on that impulse!) Coming back to a hometown that was largely composed of white senior citizens was a bit jarring at first, since I was so used to the vibrant chaos of India. This American environment is so different than how I lived in India, which makes it feel like I was there a lifetime ago. I’ve melted back into my everyday routine here in Sarasota, and after all the excitement of the past 10 weeks, it’s somewhat a relief to sink down in my bed and sleep without setting an alarm.

I’m excited to take my memories from India with me to Penn next year, especially all the new clothes and trinkets that I’ve collected. If you’ve read my one of my previous blog posts, you’d have seen that I started a collection of dupattas from every Indian city I visited (which is going to look AMAZING on my apartment wall!!), but I also invested in some postcards to display as well. I love fashion and style and what it says about a society (as evidenced by the aforementioned blog post) and being surrounded by Indian style this summer has shown me that how I choose to express myself doesn’t have to be dictated by Western standards. Although I’ve always loved the loose silhouettes and bold patterns of Indian clothing, these styles were never mainstream in America and I never took the initiative to infuse it in my wardrobe here. I hear so much about European trends, like Scandinavian minimalism and French girl chic style, but there’s a severe lack of influence from the East, and I hope to change that, at least in my personal life. This isn’t just about fashion–there’s so much art and culture from India that the rest of the world misses out on. Despite being one of the oldest civilizations in history, a significant percentage of American art galleries are filled with only European works! And Indian food goes way beyond chicken tikka and butter naan!

10 weeks was a long time, but sometimes it also feels like it wasn’t enough. I know I’ll be back, and I really hope it’s sooner rather than later. Thankfully, however, every time I look at my colorful scarves on the walls of my apartment, I’ll be filled with the memories of an amazing summer.


At Qutb Minar in Delhi! One of the last places Hareena and I visited on the trip. 


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About varshinigali

Penn class of 2020, majoring in Health and Societies, interning at the Public Health Foundation of India.