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Hindi Words of the Week:

चिड़िया Chidiya (ch-ird-iya) – bird

ज़िन्दगी Zindagi (zin-da-gee) – life

A long time ago, I went to France. It was a life-changing experience. I learned many life lessons on that trip. One of the most important things I learned was to appreciate the moment. I want to share with you when that happened for me.

We had almost reached the top of a mountain in the middle of the French Alps. The sun was rising and the birds were playing. As we trudged upwards, I noticed the wheeling birds out of the corner of my eye. Their tweet-tweets and squawks gave voice to their games. Their cries created music to which our feet pounded out the course to the peak. I stopped to watch for a moment as the birds played and sang. I yearned to be with them; dancing amongst the clouds and soaring above the land.

They spun and dived, flipped and turned, taking breaks every now and then to rest. They weaved beautifully resplendent patterns in the sky. There was a main hub of birds and it seemed to me as if the number stayed the same even though I was witness to many a bird joining as well as leaving. We walked, the sun rose higher, and so did we. I continued to watch the birds out of the corner of my eye as we made our steady ascent.

Just before reaching the peak of the mountain, we crossed a road. We decided to take a break, have a snack and a drink of water before making the last leg of our hike. I tore at a hunk of baguette that was passed to me and munched on some Camembert cheese we picked up in town. I washed down the food with some water, clearing the strong cheese flavor from my mouth. The breeze caressed my cheek and tugged at my hair, I looked at the birds again.

Suddenly a van sped past, big and black with a Volkswagen sign on it, shattering that truly beautiful moment. While I watched the fleeing birds, feeling the echoes of those moments, my friends marched on to a silent beat towards the edge of the peak from where we planned to watch the sunset.

I’ll never see those birds again, be on that particular mountain on that particular day, or with those specific people. What I have is that memory and the meaning I take from it. If I want to experience something similar or remember then I have to hold on to that moment. I have to ignore life’s big black vans. I have to always watch the birds in the sky.

I encourage you to travel; this is a reflection of just one moment from a time I went camping in the French Alps. Traveling broadens your world view, forces you to acknowledge other perspectives, and is honestly a great way to try new food. Haha. Montgomery College has international education programs which you can find out about here . There are some prerequisite requirements you must meet which include having a minimum 2.5 GPA and 12 credit hours. You can find more information via this link . You can also find out where Montgomery College students can attend semester abroad programs by visiting this page . See the world, meet new people, try new things. Get out there Raptors!

Om Tiwari

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. I agree travel is the best education and teacher. What I find boring to read about is amazing to see in person. I am surprised at how many countries a lot of young people have been to today; travel abroad was a luxury when I was your age – something to aspire to one day in middle age! Generation before that it was only for the wealthy. Liberal Arts colleges in particular encourage their students to travel. For certain, the most ‘educated’ people are the ones who have seen the world.

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