India 2008

The time I had to get an idea of this amazing country was not enough and when I started getting used to the many contradictions this culture encloses I had to leave and go back to my home country. By the time I did this tour among Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and Varanasi, I was coming back from the Himalayan region, where everything was quite, peaceful, mystic and totally natural. The shock I had visiting with Delhi was nothing compared to what I was gonna see in the other cities, since being the capital and the headquarter of the political power everything is relatively in a better condition, more organized, more...similar to a western city. But what totally caught my attention at first sight was the strength of the cultural identity this people have. Any other place on earth, after decades of colonialism (in their case English) would have lost most of their habits, such as the food or the way of dressing...but not the Indians! Walking among them is just like walking in the middle of a storm of colors, smells and noises and by the time you get back to your room you'll have your head blowing up for the huge amount of inputs you received walking around. At the end of the day, beside being physically destroyed, I was above all mentally tested, trying to understand what I saw, trying to find an answer to all the questions I usually don't even ask to myself living in a country such as Italy. My traveling experiences brought close to many realities, I came in contact with lots of moving situations, but this was like way beyond everything I could expect. The beautiful was laying next to the awful, the bright next to the dark, the humble next to the majesty...and all this coexists like nowhere else in the world, making possible to this huge mass of people to live next to each other almost ignoring what is happening to the others, being everyone too busy trying to survive in the temple of life. And I didn't use the word temple by chance, but once you'll be deepen in the everyday life in India, you'll notice how religion is fundamental; all the religions delegate special settings for their holy places...not here in India! You can run into a tiny temple just in the middle of a crowded street (and if you've been to India you now what I mean by crowded), you'll be astonished by a cow crossing a highway and watching the drivers almost killing themselves just to avoid them because they are untouchables.
Too bad I didn't have so many chances to get in touch with the locals and get an explanations of all I was seeing happening around me. Every once in a while I tried to get closer to their reality, talking to people from the street,but once again...their cultural identity was sooo strong that the majority of the people didn't speak English even after being for soo long in contact with the English.
But I'll be back...and I'll do my best to have a clear picture of this fabulous world!!!

2 commenti:

  1. Great trip, want to know more, for example which town did you prefare? Would you go there again?

  2. First of course I'd go there again! In a few weeks I'm going back, but this time to areas I haven't visited yet. India is a place where you wonna go back again and again and again!!! At first it might be very different from what you might expect (even reading everything you can or watching any kind of documentary, it will never be the same as experiencing it on your skin), but once you tune yourself to the many (and strong) differences, you'll be taken away in a sort of a trance and will just love it. Concerning my depends of what your looking for. If you like the mystical aspect I'd totally recommend you Varanasi. Finding yourself on the banks of Ganga is something out of the world! Starting from the gates to being on a boat on the river itself gives you goose bumps, and you will not know where to look. The sunset on the Ganga is probably one of the best experiences of my life.
    If you're looking for history and architectural beauties...then you gotta go to Jaipur. The pink city has an amazing downtown with typical markets, where you can find tremendous crafts, and buildings that let you just guess how that place could have been the center of a marvelous culture. Just outside the town you'll be able to visit to other impressive constructions...the Amer Fort and the Amer Mahal.
    Concerning Agra...go there to visit the world wide famous Taj (which takes your breath away) but then don't waste any other time and run somewhere else. Delhi is the most western city, with some great places to visit (such as the Humayun tumb and the massive Qutub minar and many other) evidence of a great past, and to feel the strength of a growing country.
    But if you have plenty of time, don't ever miss the Himalayan me it was the doubts about it.
    If you have any other question don't hesitate to write please.
    El campesino