An unbending twig or as flexible as a master yogi?


As I was taking the train back to Delhi about a week ago, the train briefly passed a whole line of people working to make wooden baskets. They were quickly, and methodically bending the branches into the a shape that would eventually form a strong, long-lasting basket.

I came to realize that this was a pretty good metaphore for the way it is to come to India. India is in itself an utterly strong basket, with a woven fabric of society that seems much stronger than many others. As a newcomer, let's say a new twig, that is to be woven into this basket, you'll have to be very flexible. In the beginning you'll feel stiff (often very stiff if you're a twig that has grown in Europe) and unbending, but in the hands of the weaver you'll eventually soften up (if you allow it) and start being woven into the whole. 

If you cannot, or chose not to, be completely flexible, well you just might break and be discarded – something that seems to happen to quite a few foreigners who spend any amount of time here. 

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