This is the beginning of the journey, improvement, change and mixture of emotions..
Surat, THE CITY OF DIAMOND, or in my dictionary: THE CITY OF IMPACT. This is the city where we started our journey and the city that I will never forget.
I spent four days in this place and discovered the city while discovering myself. The first moment I arrived in India, I felt something in my heart. My soul was at peace without knowing the reason and that was the moment I started smiling at everyone I could see eye to eye. And once again in my life, I felt so BLESSED..
I went to my host family first and no wonder they offered me traditional food in a very minute. I felt flattered and happy at the same time. I tried it and loved it: well, apart from being too spicy it was really yummy! Those families do things for free, for themselves and to know people from other countries and just because they are HUMAN! They take care of the guests the way they treat their own children; with love and care.
After meeting with other interns, we started exploring the city, trying to understand what real INDIA (apart from Bollywood movies and TV shows) looks like. We were many people from all around the world that gathered for one main reason: WOMEN EMPOWERMENT! Well, I think most of us came to discover this beautiful country from their own perspective, like ME. As always, I’d like to see the things others miss to see, try new things others wouldn’t dare, take snaps with a story behind..
Surat; where kids sell balloon to get small amount of paisa to be able to return to their parents or where they happen to like your lipstick and want to have it. Or moms with kids on their laps asking for food to keep their babies tummy alive.
This country is full of chaos but at the very same time full of peace.. You can see many cows walking on the street slowly and witness cars, tuktuks or bikes respecting them on their way. You’d better not dare to even touch them, not because it is disrespectful or dangerous.. just don’t, haha! Watch them walking in a harmony in a chaotic Indian traffic and feel how sacred they are. And get used to see them everywhere! Literally, EVERYWHERE!
So far I realized, local people are so welcoming and friendly. They even like to see foreigners in their country. They treat those as if they are the famous superstars or worldwide-known-actors/actresses. I can’t imagine how they would react if they really could see real ones! You can’t cross a path where they don’t ask for “selfies” haha. They are so kind when they ask that so you can’t say nothing but SURE!
It was the first time for me entering a temple, seeing how they pray and what a temple looks like. It is extremely colorful inside which I was happy to see! I observed the way they pray one by one, was mesmerizing and way too different than other religions. They respect their GODS and each of them have their own God according to what they believe in.. And you can’t get into a temple with your shoes on! So “Please remove your shoes!“
This is the city where I tried tons of different SPICY foods and figured out getting wet every now and then while walking on the street. This is the city where I felt connected to people without knowing them well. Where it all started either with a random smile, eye contact or a momentarily hug. Those people became later my friends, lover, brothers, sisters and after all my FAMILY!! Where we built this real thing up. Where it made me realize that I am thankful for all those people..
Birthday surprises, getting lost in the city, trying new (local) foods and drinks with the happiness of a kid, dancing to Aiesec-Surat’s roll-call, laughing and sweating and even learning new traditional dance called GARBA.. are all the things that made us become ONE! That made me realize how good life is and how short at the same time to worry about small things that have solutions after all, but only death.. So we should take every single chances in life to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of the world. That’s why we should “live as if we are to die tomorrow and dream as if we are to live forever!”
What got my attention in this city is seeing lots of people (especially women) driving motorbikes. I had a chance to be able to feel how it’s like being on it. I experienced it three times with different people, sometimes with high speed, sometimes with explanations about the area, neighborhood. Each time I felt like flying and was the happiest girl in the entire universe. No exaggeration! And not after so long that I will get the chance to taste the feeling of being a driver on it :).
As I said in the beginning, this is the city where it all began, the city of love, tenderness, waiting, first impacts, sharing and caring! Surat means face in Turkish, so the city itself for me means the faces of millions with their story in their eyes. Because if you want to understand person’s story, you have to look into their eyes first..
to be continued..