Sunday, March 18, 2012


Luis Pereira

      India became familiar to me through a well‐known Bollywood Hindi movie titled “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” which means ‘something happens’. It was one of the few most popular movies in East Timor in 2001 and 2002. It is a typical Indian romance movie which encompasses lots of singing and dancing. Almost in every corner of Dili (capital of East Timor) or in the street you would definitely hear kids and adults vigorously singing “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” without even understanding it.

     During those days I never had a dream that one day I would land up in Gandhi’s land. Today, when I look back at those moments I realize that life does not turn out to be what we expect. India never surfaced in mind, it was never a desired land where I wanted to go, but everything has its time and space. Thus possibly I was destined to be in this spiritual land.

     India is an incredible land where we are able to experience all sort of cultures and religions for it is both rich culturally and spiritually. Additionally it also has various kinds of languages. These have tremendously shaped and formed Indians to be very exceptionally straightforward and cheerful people although culturally they are strangers to one another.

    Further, India is also known for its unity and diversity, where wealth and poverty co‐exist side by side, despite the fact that the gap between the rich and the poor seems to grow day by day. There are people who are well off materially whereas there are people who are extremely poor, to the point which one cannot imagine. The most astonishing thing is that no one seems to be bothered about it. 

    Initially it was odd for me to see cows roam around in busy streets even in a big city like Chennai and other metropolitan cities. This seems alright to everyone. It is also not unusual seeing vehicles giving way to cows and other domestic animals to cross the road during rush hours. Eventually, I learnt that killing a cow is almost a sin to the Hindus, and they do not eat beef.

    Living in Gandhi’s land is an extremely incredible experience and occasionally it seems that it is indeed a remarkable journey. My experience in India was a great teacher to me – teaching me many facets of human existence in a multi‐cultural, multi‐linguistic and multi‐religious society. Being in Gandhi’s land is challenging yet an exciting adventure. In spite of all of the hard moments I encounter from time to time, India presents me one of the greatest exhilarating experiences in life as a student who pursues his dreams in Gandhi’s land. It enables me to look within and completely comprehend that I am emotionally far stronger than I have ever thought.