Tag Archives: travelling to India

Reflections in New Delhi

People work for their money. Some probably harder than others.

My impression of India, based on what I see on the surface in Delhi, is that it doesn’t have the environmental and societal factors conducive for building the kind of life that we have frequently been exposed to as the “ideal”. You study hard, get a degree, find a good job, settle and start a family, and the cycle continues with the next generation. (It’s a preaching I grew up with since I was in primary school, so it was the only path I knew I had to take.) Yet I observed many happy faces and a vibrant community spirit when I took a walk around India Gate.

If what I see is a true reflection of what is, then what should I make of this so-called structure we have here in Singapore then?

We are blessed to have some sort of structure in place, where education, jobs and homes are not unattainable for most. All this supposedly makes it easier to build the “ideal” life, but how many people willingly pursue this path because they are happy and stay happy in the pursuit?

If living this “ideal” life will supposedly make us happy, then what seemed to be unfavorable factors discouraging the lack of an “ideal” life in one place, may not necessarily produce much different end results as favorable factors aiding the pursuit of an “ideal” life in another. It is a matter of perception and the value we place on what is important to us.

In Delhi, toys are uncomplicated. Balloons and toy birds in hand-made cages light up the faces of the children what a PSP would to a young nephew here. Which brings me back to a part of my childhood where we made our own “toys” like five stones and zero point. Such were the games that were fashionable then.

What was most endearing is the people’s curiosity of the world outside of their own. Random adults, young adults and kids would approach me to ask for a picture to be taken, even though it wasn’t always with their own cameras. I think being warm, friendly and unafraid to ask questions to strangers are precious qualities the locals have. Communicating excitedly in their own language with me even though I don’t know what they are talking about and neither do they know what I’m saying, is typically an embarrassing situation, but if they felt awkward, they showed none of it. It was really nice to be able to express and communicate without the inhibitions of perceived social decorum.

I was surprised to see matrimonials in the papers. It suggests that this is a society where people are not just looking for friends but partners for life. People actually want to get married. At least that is my understanding of the word “matrimonial”.

I couldn’t comprehend all of what was written because it wasn’t all in English, but one had a “H’some” as the opening word. As much as we say looks don’t matter in a partner, it is probably still what we base our first impressions on, amongst other things. This man obviously used it to his advantage. Or disadvantage maybe?

I’m curious though. How many people successfully find partners this way? What is like to get a response to your personal ad? Do people actually fear who they are going to meet? Do they start off as friends and see if it progresses to marriage or do parents and relatives all go along on the first date?