So yesterday one of my flatmates jokingly suggested that I write about her, and how my life has become more beautiful by meeting new people in Geneva (especially her). We easily laughed it off, but then I thought this is actually a good idea. As a person living in an international city, it is no less than a pleasure to try to persuade my readers that being part of different cultures is one of the best things in life.
It’s not that I realised this fact only after moving abroad. Belonging from a country with myriads of cultures and languages has its own perks, and I believe that is what made it easy for me to adjust to a completely new surrounding. Starting from Delhi, where I made my first North Indian friends, through my two years in IIT where I got to know unforgettable people from every part of India, to my present habitat in this wonderful Swiss city where I live with six beautiful souls from unique parts of the world, I am happy how my outlook has evolved from a girl once restricted to her small town.
Before you start thinking that everyone may not have the opportunity to travel as much, let me tell you that understanding different cultures does not always require you to travel. Yes it is the best possible way, without doubt. But in this era of globalisation and technology, looking out of your familiar window is not so difficult anymore.
I do not speak more than three languages (which includes English), and counting French would be quite far-fetched at the moment. But I love to spend time watching Marathi and Telugu movies, I have recently grown fond of Spanish music, and I love to try new exotic cuisines whenever I get chance. All of this is mainly a result of my acquaintance with people from different backgrounds. It is not that I like whatever I try, but every single thing is an experience. And life is nothing but a sum of experiences. I guess it only makes sense to add as much as possible to this sum.
My research requires me to think about what might be happening at very large distances, like millions of light years away. But sometimes I am more in awe of what my own planet has to offer to me. There is so much to learn, so much to explore, it seems somewhat unfair that we don’t get to live for at least a few hundred years. We will not be able to travel all over the world in our lifetime, we won’t have the privilege to learn dozens of languages or taste every delicacy. But while we can, we should try to reach out and grab whatever novelty comes our way. Among infinities, there will be many things that will catch our fancy, many other things that will strike our deepest chords.
To make this more feasible, here’s what we can theorize: The world is not a single place, and is divided into regions and continents, so that each day we might learn something new about people that we didn’t know and places that we haven’t visited, and that is what makes life fun.