Some where over the middle of the Indian Ocean, I thought I was going to die. Our plane hit some horrible turbulence, to the point where the Captain asked the flight attendants to stop serving food/drinks for the duration of the flight. Fortunately, I was sufficiently exhausted and doped up on sleeping medication so while I do remember being on a roller coaster of a flight, I also recall thinking, “Well, if I am going to die now, there is not much I can do about it so I may as well go back to sleep.” I also remember the calm of all the other passengers, a similar resignation to our fate. I have been on other flights with less turbulence where passengers were audibly fearful and yet no one uttered a peep on this flight. That having been said, I feel almost fortunate to have been acclimated to India this way, because by the time I got into the taxi for my 4 hour ride to Mysore, I was immune to the multitude of near death experiences we encountered along the way. In fact, I am pretty sure most travelers to India have a “near death” experience at some point during their stay; whether it's a harrowing trip through traffic or the common traveller's diarrhea… somewhere, someway, you will think that the cause of death listed on your death certificate says: India.
And yet, you still love India and all it's sights and sounds for what it is, an experience that makes you appreciate the wonder of the world while at the same time makes you feel fortunate for what you have back home:
1) Clean air, because people are burning garbage or there is a major construction project that just crops up near your house one afternoon.