India. I have been here for only three days and already my world perspective is radically changing. And changing for the better. Changing to see the good in all mankind. To seeing the brighter side to even the most challenging or mundane minor inconveniences. And if you know me you know how bent I can get on things that I cannot control. From large scale to the most ridiculous first world problems you could think of.
Mumbai is a special place. We have been taken around by a hired driver named Mr. Patel. Mr. Patel is our body guard, tour guide, takes us to where locals eat their food, "the best mosques and temples in town". He is compassionate in that he does not judge us on our travel faux pas, our swear words, or the way we eat Indian food wrong. Mr Patel is also a devout Muslim. He has shown us where Hindu temple gates open to the gates of a Muslim mosque which is across the street from a Catholic church. From the kindness and the openness of Mr Patel answering our, often ignorant, questions; my travel companion and I, have both agreed that out views of Muslims has completely changed. In this big city we are looked at with what appears more inquisitive eyes than eyes of distrust or hatred. What if a group of Indian men came to Anytown, USA speaking and laughing in their native tongue... They would be looked upon more with hostility than curiosity.
This beautiful and humongous city encourages and embraces all cultures. You will see groups of men from all faiths, in traditional attire, drinking tea on the street corner, perhaps trying to solve the world's problems, laughing and carrying on about with no cares in the world. The women all shop together. Some covered head to toe, others in tank tops and skinny jeans. But there is no persecution. There is no judgement.