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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My journey to India

For the last 18 days, I have been traveling all over India visiting major cities and sacred burial grounds. I thought of my last Spring Break as an opportunity to travel to a third world country, and help people that will benefit from my efforts. I took a loan out to pay for my traveling expenses because traveling to India comes at a high price. My main goal was to build water filtration systems in villages that do not have clean drinking water or electricity. I traveled to one of the most sacred cities in India located on the Ganges River, called Varanasi. I was amazed to see how poor this community was, yet how happy and sincere the people were to me. The people of this area commit their whole life to their religion, Hinduism. The photo above was taken before sunrise in this holy city. I watched as men, woman, and children prayed, and then bathed their bodies in the cold river. This is a sacred ritual of cleansing the mind, body, and soul despite how dirty the river was. Every morning before the sun rises, a Brahman, which is the highest ranking official in the Hindu religion, sings and dances on a platform overlooking the river. He rings bells and chimes that create a loud noise, which was hard not to witness. He dances around with a gold cup in his hand that has smoke and incense coming out of it. The people of this town walk by the Brahman, not amused by his dance and rhythm. On the other hand, I had to stop and stare at this ritual that was performed in front of me. I was amazed to see this man who has given up his whole life, family, dreams, aspirations, so he can only desire and focus his religion.
Since I have been back in LA, every morning when I wake up to start my day, I think of this Brahman doing his dance and singing his song to welcome the sun and the start of a new day. The simplest things in life that we all take for granted (i.e. the sun rising) has allowed me to look at the every morning with a new light, opportunity, blessing, and the start of a new beginning. 

~Cristina Mollis


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