All is fair in love and war. But in India that expression should also include an extra clause: All is fair in love and war and driving. Seriously though, it is unbelievable how drivers maneuver through traffic here. It would appear that the one rule of driving is that there are no rules. In fact, if someone were to follow designated criteria of how to drive it would probably result in more harm than good. Horns and the car’s brights become tools of warfare, craftily used to let other cars know that you are close, passing by, they need to slow up, or you are angry- all of these meanings are interpreted with context. Anything goes as long as you get from Point A to Point B in the shortest time possible. And this is often done at the expense of our groups comfort. You should have seen everyone’s faces as we traveled down a busy intersection driving on the wrong side of the road through traffic.
A few weeks ago we ventured to Bodh Gaya, the place where Buddha obtained enlightenment. I felt frustrated with our venture because we spent so much time in transit and only had a few hours to explore. But as we started our drive back I realized just how most of our time here has been less about the places and more about the journey.
Our group of 21 has transformed from an collection of unconnected people into a big loving family. I have become so accustomed to this group existence. In Interpersonal Media last semester I learned about Uncertainty Reduction Theory, where the goal of relationships is to combat uncertainty. This theory has been upheld by the bonds and relationships I have formed on this program. Although I am faced with constant uncertainty about what is happening in the world around me, and even uncertainty about what each day will hold, I feel confident in being able to predict the behavior of those around me in this program.
So there I was on the bus ride back from Bodh Gaya, each time we stopped to use the bathroom I knew Caroline was going to need to go, Olivia was going to venture out in search of a Coke, Chiara would want to hold someones hand because our divers would be driving so hecticly (luckily for both of us I needed to hold someones hand too) meanwhile Lexi would be sleeping to avoid car sickness. The list goes on and on. I don’t think there has been an experience in my life where I have felt comfortable enough with so many different people.
Our love has grown so organically, it has never felt pushed or in-genuine. Each and every member of this group is such an individual with our own personal quirks and specialties, but together we have formed a coherent family, of which we all play different roles.
Now, have ended of our journey I look back upon all of the rivers and roads that have brought us through our journeys and how so many miles and months stand between us all being together again. My heart feels so full and so grateful for this wonderful adventure. I could not have made it through without my family.