Friends, Food, and Fun

As I sit on the plane to Delhi, the first leg of my trip back to the US, I decided I would think about the friends I’ve made, food I’ve eaten, and the fun I’ve had while on this trip, rather than diving into what my time at Aravind has meant to me. (I’ve already cried once today, so I’ll save the life-changing realizations and passions I discovered for my final blog, which I’ll write later this week once I arrive at home). 

So, I came to India having only met my co-interns once; lucky for me, Nadha, Catherine, and Cherry are three of the kindest, most considerate, and easiest-to-talk-to people I’ve ever met. When we left the office for the last time yesterday (which we’ve probably spent close to 450 hours in this summer), I knew I would always treasure the time we spent in there, despite our daily complaints about the window’s bars and WIFI’s unreliability. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know them and to experience as much of southern India as we could together (i.e. our overnight buses, trains, and cars to Munnar, Pondicherry, Rameswaram, and Kanyakumari – pictures below). 

a pier in Kanyakumari
shortly after sunrise and the arrival of our 4:10 am bus
Rameswaram, sunrise, and a boat
Munnar, my favorite trip and a beautiful place
another beach and another sunrise, this time in Pondicherry

Next, the food. My family and I have a running joke – we’re Indian, and none of us can really handle spicy food. It wasn’t as funny when I realized all the food I would be eating was going to be much, much spicier than I could handle. Not to worry, though, I got used to the sweating and burning, and I can now say that not only to I (probably) have the highest spice tolerance in my family, I tried some incredible food while I was in India. My co-interns can tell you how much I talked about the paneer masala dosa that I loved. The pictures I’m adding don’t really do the food justice – the main focus of the food here was the taste, not the presentation. 

Finally, we had a lot of fun while we were here. From trying gooseberries after lunch in the office (if you haven’t had one, prepare yourself, and if you have, you should know they’re my favorite fruit) to trying literally every flavor of ice cream at our favorite and frequented ice cream joint, to playing UNO and watching movies in our rooms, we made every moment one to remember. 

My time in India has been incredible. I don’t really have the words to share what this opportunity has meant to me, but I hope you’ve been able to get a sense of how full both my heart and stomach are after this summer. 

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About anjalicmahajan

University of Pennsylvania