Bratislava, Slovakia, 2014. We had just started walking around in the old town area. The old town area is the main tourist district and is beautifully maintained, attractively decorated and sensibly restored. Tourists are welcome here and most of tourists never see the city beyond the boundaries of this district and thus, don’t really get to meet (or face in certain cases) the local residents. I (we, actually) kept walking and only few streets later I ended up in streets not so touristy. People were not unfriendly but it was evident that I wasn’t welcome there. Received an unpleasant and angry tantrum from a local old lady. Not that it was shocking nor that I blame her. Being an old lady, she must have been disturbed by the fact that her peaceful life in her own small town was being disrupted by herds of tourists.
Similar experience I had in India in the state of Karnataka where we were driving through the Tibetan community establishment in town called Kushalanagar. We were on our way to visit Namdroling Buddhist monastery. Two girls driving on a two wheeler ‘greeted’ us with elaborate finger gesture asking us to F*** Off. Now that was not personal. We were driving without creating any disturbance whatsoever but still they were upset. Again, this must have been only their way of telling us that we were not welcome there in their small world.
And then that small village we stumbled upon few years back (name: Kolrai) along the Konkan Coast in India which was under Portuguese rule for so long that even today people there speak Portuguese mixed with local language (Korlai Indo-Portuguese).
Many more such experiences taught me one thing – It is not a small world. Even in small (and apparently within scope of our understanding) entities like a state in India or City of Bratislava, resides many worlds in parallel. And this is the story behind the title of this blog.
This realization is one of those things which help me look forward to one more morning to get up, one more place to visit, one more photograph to click, one more experience to live, one more thing to try and one more story to be told. Because I know this world will never be short of these things. Because I believe – It is not a small world after all!
Or how I put it in words – “Whoever said it’s a small world, hadn’t seen enough of it, son!”
P.S. : I wanted to write this post first on the blog but couldn’t phrase stuff then. Better later than never! 🙂