Looks Can Be Deceiving

By Lucas Masiello

Our trip in India has been filled with the incredible hospitality of the Indian people. On the ride to Akbar’s house, a rickshaw driver and a good friend of Mr. Alter’s, I got very nervous because the area of Delhi we were going to would be considered by Americans to be slum and I didn’t know how people would receive us, but when we got there, I realized that there was nothing to worry about.

We went into Akbar’s house, and his whole family had prepared tea and food for us. A teenager named Sanji who lived across the street from Akbar came over to meet us, and I spent the rest of the day with him. People from all over the neighborhood came to meet us, they took us to a group of houses across the street and we played cricket with a group of teenagers there and took pictures by the water, and were having a very good time. After that, Sanji took me to meet his friends, and they all took us to their houses to meet their families. One of my most memorable memories from the trip so far was standing on the roof of a five-story apartment complex with Sanji’s friends and a muezzin did a call to prayer. The beautiful singing and the view of the entire neighborhood is a memory I will never forget.

We ended the night at an amazing restaurant and many goodbyes from friends and total strangers, and took tuk-tuks to the metro station. All the tuk-tuk drivers were the teenagers we were hanging out with during the day, and we we raced the tuk-tuks through the neighborhood while listening to their Hindi and our American music with each other. The people we met that day are people I will continue to talk to over social media and are people I hope to see again. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

6 thoughts on “Looks Can Be Deceiving

  1. Wonderful reflection on the real people you spent time with today. Just like us–living life, making connections and relationships, taking care of family, making meaning of our lives. You got it! I had to look up “muezzin”! Thank you, new vocabulary word. You will come across many religions in India; I am sure Mr. Alter can share those.

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  2. Excellent post, Lucas! Indian folks certainly seem to be among the most generous people on earth! They give from their hearts in love rather than their “fortune” which most of them certainly don’t have. What a wonderful way to live!

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  3. Dear Lucas, Thanks for such an amazing post! The detail you include about the entire experience paints a picture that feels so easy to visualize, almost reach out and touch! What you really demonstrate is the power of the human connection, which is universal! I have always suspected that many other cultures practice making such connections countless times in their daily lives in a way that we do not do in the western world. We have become a society that leans more towards being individually insular. We connect more by happenstance, need, or invitation, as opposed to connection/interconnection as a state of being or existing. What you show us through your words is the beauty of relating to others and developing sustaining relationships. It is through efforts like this, by young people like yourselves, that our world will be saved, I believe. Great work!!!

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  4. LUCAS!!! Sounds like you are at the heart of the trip already. Real interactions with real people, not purchased “experiences” designed and marketed by some sort of company trying to figure out what you will most likely enjoy. And Mr. Byers is right: these are the sorts of interactions that are so helpful in connecting with other folks who are, at first glance, so different from us: you feel a little discomfort at first, then you drink chai together, and play cricket, and walk through their houses and hang out on the rooftop and soon all the stereotypes are gone and you’re just hanging out with another person, a new friend, and you can stop listening to all those randos spouting off about what this group of people are like or what the problem is in India today because you’ve been there yourself and spent time with real people. And of course no one person can speak for the entire group, the whole country, but you connect the dots one at a time and soon you’re living in the middle of a new picture that’s emerging for you.
    Also, this is well written, dude. Introduce me to your English teacher one day…

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  5. Thank you for sharing Lucas. I felt like I was right there meeting new friends and those preconceived stereotypes just dissolving into a new beautiful picture of friendship, laughter, and understanding. You see, you will forever take this understanding into the greater good of making this world a better place as you move forward with your life experiences. The language of the heart bridges all barriers and cultures.

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