There were a lot of reactions when people heard that I was going to Afghanistan. The most common was “Is Afghanistan safe to travel?” I can understand that reaction because of the security situation. But there was one particular reaction, which I don’t understand and find it a little disturbing. And it is this –
The great Indian dream.I don’t understand when people say, you won’t get US visa if you travel to Afghanistan. I have never understood this obsession we have for the US visa. We treat it like a Holy Grail or a Stairway to Heaven. It’s not a mandatory document like passport or pan card that you need to have. And in future, if US doesn’t grant me visa because I visited Afghanistan, then I think it’s America’s problem, not mine. Because all I wanted was to visit a beautiful place on my planet. I cannot make decisions and live my life as per the visa requirements of a country, which I am not even sure when I will visit. I find it absurd. This shouldn’t be a reason or deterrent for not visiting any place.
Lying to parents –
This was a very tough thing to do but was necessary. I think there is no easier way to tell your parents that you are going to Afghanistan. So, I had to lie to them and I told them I was going to Tibet. And I know that, even if they disagreed or were not happy about me going to Afghanistan, I would still be going. So, I just wanted to avoid all that drama and arguments and wanted to concentrate more on planning this trip. Because this was a trip that would involve loads and loads of planning.