From the maze-like markets laced with the scent of cardamom and garam masala, heaps of cerulean blue powder, marigold garlands, and traffic-stopping adorned cows, to the stoic marble plateaus and laced jollies of the temples; from the bustling nightlife of Mumbai to the still morning fogs of Sikkim; from the desert dunes of Rajasthan to the mangrove flanked waterways of Kerala, India has famously challenged adventurous spirits to a feast of the senses. Described as a country of dualities time and time again, just beneath the façade are millions of entwined narratives weaving through an ever-shifting web.
On Thursday, September 11, 2014 Absolute Travel’s Absolute Awareness partner American Jewish World Service (AJWS) invites us to think deeply about this “Incredible India.” Ruth W. Messinger, President of AJWS, will interview Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo, at 7pm at Scandinavia House, New York, NY.
Boo, who recently received the National Book Award for Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2003. Her work focuses on issues of poverty, social and economic policy, and education. In her riveting book, she reveals the inner lives and everyday injustices facing India’s slumdwellers—a community struggling for survival amidst the economic boom unfolding around them. The evening in conversation with Messinger and Boo promises to be stimulating, thought provoking, and profound. Attending from Absolute Travel will be Managing Director Leslie Overton, Strategic Alliance Manager Jessica Weeman, and Marketing Intern Meghan Black.
In November, Absolute Travel and AJWS will delve deeper into the issues at hand with an on-the-ground India Study Tour that explores the complex human rights challenges facing India today. The twelve-day journey will lead participants from urban Mumbai, the setting of Boo’s unforgettable novel, to the vibrant streets of Kolkata and on to the rural villages of Pune. Throughout, participants will meet activists working to end violence against women and empower India’s poorest residents to access the land and resources they depend on for survival. They will join in dialogue with local leaders and organizations such as Awaaz-e-Niswaan, a group that works to empower Muslim women to defend their rights, and Sahbhagu Shikshan Kendra, an NGO that fights prejudice against India’s Dalit—“untouchable” lower caste—community.
About AJWS, Leslie Overton, Absolute Travel’s Managing Director, says, “From global poverty to gender issues, AJWS is on the frontlines to create change and make an impact on an international level. What strikes me in particular about their work is AJWS’s dedication to visit their causes on-site to learn about the issues firsthand, in person.” Such opportunities as the September 11th conversation with Messinger and Boo and the November India Study Tour exemplify AJWS’s proactive nature.
RSVP to the event “Katherine Boo in Conversation with Ruth W. Messinger” on September 11, 2014
Learn more about the November India Study Tour with AJWS and Absolute Travel
Learn more about AJWS and Absolute Awareness partnership
Contact Absolute Travel to begin planning your dream journey in India