Wednesday, July 4, 2007

India

If countries had a gender, India would be a woman. She is sensual, curvaceous, languid, the unattainable seducer. Fragrant and dark, with big, honey colored eyes, lips that taste of cardamom and a crimson dot in the middle of her forehead. She is luminous and terrible and hides awful secrets in the millenary, multicolored folds of her sari. She moves slowly, so slow you may think she's not moving at all. Don't tell her what to do. Don't think you can rescue her. She is her own person, immune to your ego, incomprehensible, exasperating. I, for one, do not understand her at all. But I can't help but stare. She doesn't seem to care you think she's broken beyond repair, because she is beautiful.

And this is why I have missed my "post at least once a week" blog goal - I've been traveling in India.

Working in the tech industry in Silicon Valley and having visited India almost 20 years ago, I was convinced I would find a country on the verge of a transformation of epic proportions. I was wrong. This country is every kind of poor. It's crushing, repellent. Just when it feels too much like you’re enduring your vacation, something impossible will trap you. India is also mesmerizing.

It's been an incredible trip: no flights delayed longer than 40 minutes, no rain at all despite knowingly having come here in the middle of monsoon season, no illness or digestive distress, no accidents – and seeing how people drive and the time we've spent on the road, this last point defies all odds.

We've eaten food so good Europeans navigated across oceans to find these spices. We've been blessed by elephants and seen all the Gods, their incarnations, their wives, their chariots and their temples. We took more than one thousand photographs. And we have learned from India what might be one of the most important lessons of all: divine gratitude of the deepest, purest kind. To know what I mean, you'll just have to come here to see for yourself.

5 comments:

Carol Miller said...

In order to deal with anxiety someone invented psychiatrists and medication. I used to scoff at this. I indulged in my obsessions and savored the product, and convinced myself that this motor was driving a valid vehicle. Until one day...

Carol Miller said...

The text on India is pure poetry. I am absolutely dazzled by the exquisite language and the images evoked. I am also admiring of the route you have chosen, which is by far beyond ordinary comprehension. This is a connoisseur's India, rarely seen. this is not Muslim India or Moghul India, or a Sikh or a British or a Rajput India, but a rarefied Hindu India, realm of Shiva and Parvati and all their transfigurations.
You are blessed.

Micaela said...

Hi Dushka--I don't know if you remember me but I met you many years ago... I find your Blog very interesting! India sounds both wonderful and very surreal. Just finished reading "Eat, Pray and Love", I think you may enjoy it. Micaela

Erendira Rico said...

I'm so in love with the Hindu and their culture like you. When reading your post i can even perceive the scent of saffron and all the exquisite spices that this magical place come from. Congratulations by this post, I couldn't expect less from you. i've been visited every day since that first time that i found you by accident, well, it was a fortunate accident now i can tell.

Dushka said...

Mom, the India we visited was the Tamil Nadu region. It was the right decision, as we avoided the rain during Monsoon season and saw so many wonderful things.

Micaela - tell me more about where we met and I'm sure I'll remember. Regarding the book Eat, Pray, Love, it was the book I read while I was in India. I LOVED it. Thank you for recommending it.

Erendira - thank you for visiting! Lovely to have you.