2nd year BA Geography, Intrepid Explorers Competition Winner 2013, King's College London.
Whilst Maaria has not yet had much experience in expeditions and fieldwork, she loves exploring and is often fascinated by the details behind the scene that make up the whole picture. Interested in both social and physical geography, specifically with Development geography and natural hazards, her curiosity is widespread. She is also an active Geography Ambassador with the RGS – IBG.
Less than a week after my last exam in June, I set out to Mumbai for two months. My head full of excitement and adventures. I had my internship with an NGO confirmed, plans of places to explore printed out, lists of sights to see written down. But when the plane touched down, I was awakened to reality. I was staying with my grandparents and maternal family; cultural differences and familial expectations made it impossible to stick with the original plan. I had to give up my internship, forget about the sightseeing and day trips to the smog-ridden countryside the Hind would so happily present to me. Instead, I was forced to explore the daily routine of those around me, limited to the small southern little corner of Mumbai called Dongri. But I had the opportunity to find out who I was without the western conceptions of my culture playing a part, without the things that so often defined me here. I was shoved into realms of fascination where I could clearly envision what my life would have been like if I was born on this side of world.
So this isn’t a tale of the awe-inspiring, spiritually fulfilling journey where I would wonder around India to see the jaw-dropping sights and embark upon impossible journeys through the urban wilderness of the Maharashtra. Rather, it’s about the exploration of the everyday things; the trips to the bazaar where goats hunker down eating banana peels beneath a market stall, a lady washing clothes on top of a half built three story building, deep fried sandwiches being sold on the street and all the other small sights that one would normally miss in hurriedly planning their next adventurous outing.
This talk is now in the past