WOW, it’s finally here. The day I’ve been counting down to is knocking at my door. India is so close to my grasp that I’m almost afraid to reach for it. As I’m opening this door I’m thinking to myself, “I’m either making the biggest mistake in my life or making the most life-changing decision in my life.”
I won’t know the answer until everything’s said and done. But for now, I’d like to think that I’m making the most life-changing decision in my life. I’d like to think that this door of opportunity will lead to me places and heavens I’ve never even dreamed of. I’d to believe that this is the right thing. I’m optimistic.
It all started back in freshmen year at Johnson High School in Mrs. Armstrong’s Pre-AP U.S. Citizen (basically a history intro class). In that small room in the East Side of St. Paul a flame ignited in my young mind. Mrs. Armstrong taped a picture of Gandhi on the ceiling in the center for room. We asked her why and she said, “Because we should all look up to Gandhi.” That simple statement flew right over my head; I didn’t give much thought into what she said or why we should look up to this tiny bald man with circular glasses. Four year letter (freshmen year in college at College of St. Benedict) Mrs. Armstrong’s statement finally makes sense to me. We should all look up to Gandhi. That’s why his picture was taped on the ceiling.
Or did it start back in middle school when I used to dance with my small “Bollywood Dancers” dance group? You know, those years when a lot of Hmong girls were interested in learning how to do bridges, back flips, front flips, and splits, etc. Well, in addition to bending and flexing my vertebrate I learned how to shake my booty, too (in a good way). I learned how to be in control of my waist; to twist, turn, bend, and swerve with it. I fell in love with Bollywood music – the drums, the rhythm, the curl of my index finger, the tap of my toes, the twist of my head and the ambiguous messages in one blink of my eye. I fell in love with Bollywood movies. It was then that I started to take interest in India.