FINALLY, RELAX Everything in this bustling, colourful and completely overwhelming country has its own internal logic. From the airlines that don’t necessarily fly on time to the excessive bureaucratic rigmarole foreigners are subjected to, the seeming disorganisation comes with a country whose population dwarfs ours by over 200 percent. The beauty is that, if you let go of your sense of indignation (‘But I booked the flight and I need to be in Delhi by 6pm to check in!’), it can lead to a strangely liberating brand of acceptance as you appreciate your very tiny place among the millions.
Once you do this – stop rushing, stop insisting, and curb your indignation at the petty – you open yourself to a sort of humble humour and ultimately enjoyment: the ubiquitous head-wiggle (Yes? No? Maybe?) that greets most queries becomes endearing as you relinquish control to the ebb and flow of this huge tide of humanity. And even if you do end up in a cold, misty, mountainous village, with no sight of a sari nor scent of a spice, India will weave her magic on you: humble you and honour you. But as you eat, sleep and volunteer alongside the people of this mystifying land, you soon realise that India is enriching you more than you’re enriching her.