How is one even supposed to begin describing an entire life spent in this lush, hot and insanely alive country? Everything here is excessive, the people, the weather, the sounds,the food, the music; it all combines and bursts into a giant shower of rich cultural heritage. Having spent all my life living in this land of contradictions, it is understandably hard for me to talk about it in a detached cohesive manner. That, however, won’t stop me in my attempt to do it due justice.
It is impossible to truly talk, dig deep and shed light on every corner of India. It is too diverse and too vast. So one must be content with stealing little bits of ethnicity from everyday life.
As you walk through any Indian street you will witness various sights to behold. Hawkers will be advertising their ware in hoarse voices, delicious aromas of street food emanating from their stalls, animals lazily chewing the grass or happily stopping traffic, in contrast with the people rushing. Always rushing. Trying to find some meaning and purpose in an incessantly competitive country. India is a country while you can see speed and languor coexisting.
Indians do harbor a certain fascination for foreigners which might sometimes manifest into various negative connotations but more often than not, leads to a charming hospitality that we extend to any guest. Across the diverse landscape, Indians may be loud, reserved, rich, or poverty ridden, but no guest will ever leave without a second helping and a hearty laugh.
Religion and tradition are taken very seriously. There has always been a steady stream of believers coming from far away places of find peace in our country. But how can we preach to seekers when we’re trying to find our own way, floundering in a world where each country is determined to push forward.
So what DOES set us apart? Maybe it’s the old world charm, the larger than life characters, the cinema, the food, the mania. India tells us, that inner peace doesn’t come in a day, that one has to constantly struggle to make a dent in a country too full, that street food and dilapidated buildings persevere on and that beauty is often found in the oddest of places.
Image Courtesy: Flickr Creative Commons: travelmeasia, rolands.lakis