INDIA: Me, Myself & Everyone Else / by Nogani Moore

Another morning and another fly lands on my face to let me know its time to get up. Not the nicest alarm to wake to but for the first time in my life I actually get up the first time it goes off. Marley says "They should be called ‘lands’; all they seem to do is land on our faces, always". As if we have a sign that say’s 'land here, we love it'. Reality is I don’t love it but have grown accustom to it, like many other things in India.

I’m now accustom to old ladies handling cow poo mid conversation, having some one watching over my shoulder every time I pull out my phone or the necessity of having 10 people to do one job. I have learnt to accept the craziness, I enjoy that I always have some thing interesting going on around me.

It’s great entertainment but nothing really surprises me here anymore. An afternoon of people watching consists of a guy with a cow that has a half developed leg growing out its back. He claims the cow to be god and seems to truly believe it. A dog that has his balls growing from his abdomen, that I wish I could unsee, and a bunch of man that are homophobic but stand for hours with there fingers interlaced and arms around each other, hands in each others pockets. The things that shocked me in my first few weeks have come apart of the norm. I’ve learnt that with a population of 1.3 billion anything goes and while it seems crazy and out of control, much of the chaos is organised.

The funny thing is that, in this world full of colour and wild antics, I'm apparently the crazy one. Every time I tell some one where I’m from the response is always the same. “Australian? You guys are crazy!” with an expression that suggests they must have seen Australians do some seriously crazy shit! No one seems to get our sarcasm, I’m often left laughing alone at my jokes, which normally makes me laugh even harder or repeating it as if they’ve just missed the punch line.

Some times these interactions lead nowhere but more often they lead too other interesting topics to connect through other then humour. I've shared and heard stories that have highlighted we are all the same. Regardless of culture, we all face the same problems, we all feel the same emotions and we all know pain & love.

It’s like I’ve been sent here to ignore all the backwardness. To find some patience so I can see the magic and feel the love that’s on offer. Time again and again India takes what I need to learn and throws it in my face. I feel I’m here to learn about love, in all forms. Through the madness and the noises, through all the doubt and fear, I’m slowly learning to feel the love around me.

I have a tattoo that’s now faded and shy with regret.
“love is all around you.
People are only human.”

I got it when I was 17, at that time I felt this was a good reminder I could carry with me forever. Over the years, the meaning faded and I find myself wincing with embarrassment when some one asks me what it says. I always respected why I got it and wanted to feel what I once did but the meaning was lost, until recently. Being able to connect with all these wonderful, interesting, imperfect people, seeing their just like me brought back meaning to the words that permeate my skin. 

Love is all around you; I feel connections with strangers and realise that love isn’t only at home, it’s everywhere. With the man from the jewelry store that happily offered me his chia, the stray on the street that almost did a back flip with joy at any human interaction and the French girl that invited me over to eat with her, all the love I need is around me.

People are only human; We are all crazy bundles of energy doing what we think is right, acting on impulses. Making mistakes and get hurt by others mistakes. We are only human and doing the best we can- so not to be so hard on others or ourselves.

I got this tattoo before life got too real, before it felt too heavy. All this times it’s been here and only now I can see the meaning again, almost 10 years on, it stands as a reminder of who I was and want to be.

Full of love for the moment, not always thinking about my past or my future. I found the greatest gift in myself but I have this place to thank for it. India you make me live in the present & have opened my eyes to what’s always been in front of me, you are my greatest love story.