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.