I snapped this photo on the next to last day of our trip. We were in Kerala and took a boat ride to a scenic spot where we ate whole fish steamed in banana leaves at a modest, roadside stand. The proprietor beamed with pride when we praised his cooking as the best of our trip.
While returning, our guide suggested we stop our boat early and walk the rest of the way through a small village. The sun was setting and we spent a good bit of time standing outside a temple where people were singing and praying. By the time we walked back to our waiting van, it was dark. As we passed the open doors of village homes, I couldn’t help but pause and look inside.
I felt nosy looking too long, and a little intrusive taking this photo. Most of all I felt humbled by the life that is mine.
White. American. Educated. Healthy. Prosperous.
Why are these blessings mine and not others?
I’ve long known I’m an incurable existentialist and answering questions such as this can be a fool’s errand. Or naval gazing of a sort that is the purview of a prosperous, white American.
So I did the only thing I knew to do. I quietly whispered “Namaste” to the open door and continued my journey.
Namaste is a traditional Hindu greeting translated as “The God/light in me honors the God/light in you.”