I am a world traveler and each place I go to gives me a wealth of experiences that is unique and enriching. But, something about India is totally different than anywhere else. I guess it is because here, I am completely immersed in mundane life, and there’s something beautiful in that. Unlike other areas, it is not transient. Instead, it is still, and quiet. You see the wildlife, cows trudging through the streets. You hear conversations in diverse and copious foreign tongues. You have the time to just lay in bed at night and listen to the change in the rain. The slow drizzle turns into rushing sheets, all the lights, every astir sound seizes. You live in a routine, poles apart from those around you. Six-day work weeks and people commuting on scooters — your job is only to observe. The people here take care of you, they’re your family, whether or not you share the same blood. There is no need to handle rude taxi drivers or an unwelcoming waiter. Rather, a cool carafe of water mystically appears on your bedside each night. Compliment after compliment fills your heart and you learn to tune out any gratuitous comments. They feed you crispy appams with fresh-churned ghee and their eyes light up as you take that first bite.

You are nine and a half hours ahead of home, so in some ways, you are very much part of a future. But, you also look around and realize that in many ways, you are living an entirely separate reality altogether. It smells like India. It looks like India. It sounds like India. Distinct and perplexing and alluring. You see an old woman selling fresh fish caught that morning on the roadside, watch ants crawl up the bathroom walls, spend the day in the car listening to the music of friendly honks. Yes, it is mundane, a routine that can become cyclical when coming from an alien world. But, this country is an art show that I feel privileged to view. Like a sort of secret alliance, I feel special to receive a first-hand account of the exhibits as neither a resident nor a foreigner. It may not be home, and it will surely vary a bit each time. But, when I sit on that plane, I know without fail that when I get off, my art show will be waiting for me with open arms. Through time, through disease, through uncertainty, it will be waiting, just as I am waiting for it.

Hello everyone! I know this is a bit different from my regular posts. There was no life lesson or even major theme, but I thought that I would switch it up and share something a bit more personal. I am a huge fan of creative writing, but also very conscious of everything that I put on paper. Originally, this was written in my journal — just for me. However, after sharing it with my cousin and hearing her positive feedback, I gained the confidence to share it with the rest of the world. Please let me know what you think and if you enjoy this kind of writing! Also, as always, leave me your ideas for what you would like to see and maybe even some creative writing prompts. Keep viewing the world as your art show, and enjoy your weekend. 🙂

Happy Living ❤

“Why then the world’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open.” -William Shakespeare

Published by Ria Pai

Hi let me introduce myself. I was born and have lived my entire life in a beach area as a child of two amazing parents who immigrated to America from India. I love art, music and writing so I try to combine the three. I enjoy deep conversations on a number of topics from politics, to friendships, to fashion. I’m a natural perfectionist, but sometimes find this to be a bit overwhelming. I love mangos, dark chocolate and tea. I make art whenever I get the chance…painting, songwriting, dancing, and writing are all forms of art to me. Since I live in a warm area, I cannot stand any weather that is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and always find a way to swim in anything from pools to the ocean. I have one dog, a Lhasa Apso who I am envious of because he does nothing but eat, sleep, and lay around all day. I experiment with my style. I am horrible at geography and sitting still, and it’s not uncommon to find me with paint all over my hands. I like to wear bold clothing and I always find a way to wear the same white sneakers with any outfit I can. Hi, my name is Ria, nice to meet you.

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