I did a lot of the usual touristy things today, walked 45 hours (just kidding, i mean 10) took a subway, rode a tram, went to central park. A familiar feeling overcame me when I was at the subway station and in the train - when I saw an old impoverished, beggar in the train everyone was staying away from. America, and the city I live in had sheltered me from this feeling which plagued me in Mumbai - the feeling of helplessness, of wanting to reach out and help someone, and not being in a position to. Texas is a rich state and the homeless probably lead a better life at this point than I do, as a student. However, NY is a reality check, the same ol cutthroat do or die, survival of the fittest, home to the richest and streets to the poorest - just like Mumbai. when I saw this man, knowing I had not the money or the resources to do ANYTHING and my dollar is meaningless - it was a ride back to the familiar feeling in Mumbai when the streets riddled with people who could use my help, and yet I couldnt. I remember spending a substantial part of my pay on beggars, homeless and other such - i even remember my ex boyfriend and I having numerous arguments over my methods of helping and how upset I would get. but. this. feeling. wont. go. i guess in a lot of ways ill have to learn to live with it.
there are so many things similar between these two cities. both throb with the humdrum of daily lives, of rush and haste and no time to waste, both have a life and soul which transcends the concrete jungle they are engulfed in, both make you fall in love with the lights and sounds and hopes and dreams they allow you to dream. Little wonder it is then, that people try SO HARD to make a life happen in these cities- they allow people to dream that dream of a hope ..
friends who moved here from smaller towns in India to big schools like NYU, Columbia, saddled with the expenses of staying here lived 6 people to a 2 bed for 2 years to get a fantastic job to pay it off in a year. surprised?
New york isnt as plastic and sterilized as some other cities in America, it isn't squeaky clean, it isnt free of hand carts and pedestrian painters and homeless people who sing and play for you in the subway, of bands too poor to have an album but talented enough to make you tear up as you wait for your train (true story) - but new york feels real.
I realize its been AGES since ive been on my beloved blog when my fingers flew a the speed of lightning as I wrote this, no time for even spellchecks. I missed this! anyone who i used to read / read me still around? holla! better yet, anyone in NYC?!