India

Why We Love It

The pre-departure motivations for travelling to India are at odds with what occurs when you arrive in the sub continent. You never planned on a frontal lobotomy. Nothing prepares you for the sensory assault as a wall of humanity and culture peels back your eyes and overloads your brain. The illogical occurs with every blink. Overburdened rickshaws graze past pink-horned holy cows that ruminate in endless traffic. Pavement dentists operate on open-mouthed patients with pedal-powered drills. Next door a street-seller hawks plastic bags of ‘cure all’ mercury in the doorway of an internet cafĂ©. Amidst all this, it’s not hard to spot India’s new visitors – they’re the ones that are physically stunned into repetitive gawking at the maelstrom that envelopes them. Once the initial culture shock settles to a manageable level, your perception of what lies beneath day-to-day India begins to surface and fires questions into your mind. How do the rural women remain so beautifully groomed in the brightest of coloured saris? Cricket is neither life nor death, it’s more important than that. Who are all these 1.2 billion people? British, Afghan, Persian, Aryans, Hindu, Muslim – all interweave and become Indian as though not one culture can dominate. In a way India makes you her own too – she so absorbs your brain with her wealth of disparities and observations, you can never hope to return to an even keel. A part of you forever remains Indian. These anomalies to our streamlined, rule-bound, have-it-all culture make you question the way the West lives, and you promise to live a more ascetic life upon return. To experience India is to share in the sorrows, dreams, tribulations and almost unbearable joy of a billion fellow human beings. You will always return. Not your normal holiday. Definitely an adventure.