Hello! this is only my second blog and I wanted to write about something that, to me, had a purpose to share. In the busy world we live in, its vital we take those moments to stop and think about what surrounds us. This is what I did when my family and I went to India for Christmas.
All it takes is a trip to the other side of the world to put everything in to perspective.
Waking up to the sunrise on the Ganges in Varanasi is not something that can be justified with a word. It is something you have to experience and fully immerse yourself into. This was taken at 6 am one morning in Varanasi, we were watching the bathing rituals the Hindi’s do every morning , offering water to their God. I remember it clearly now, the cold air, the call to prayer that played over the speakers echoing through the town and the pungent smell of the water but all I was thinking about was the raw Indian country side on one side and the holiest city of India; Varanasi on the other. Varanasi, India.
All it took was Seven hours and fifty five minutes of sitting on a plane to be taken from the seemingly mundane world of the UK to a country weaved together by colour, abundant amount of smells and Religion. Around 1.3 billion people live (a rough figure) across the the vast expanse of the country, adding to the undeniably rich culture that they live and breath by.We hadn’t even been in India for 1 hour and yet we hit a traffic jam like I had never seen before, lanes were being created from minuscule gaps causing a massive 7 lane crisis, so after the obligatory beeps from the horn, Babu; our driver, decided to do something quite crazy which could only be described in the UK as verging on psychotic…without even batting a eyelid, Babu reversed and turned the car around and proceeded to bomb down the motorway the wrong way, swerving around on-coming cars, my eyes firmly shut, heart in my mouth, clinging onto my seat. I remember my Grandmother saying after we injured, the nicknamed, ‘death ride’ ; ‘If we can survive that, we will survive India’, meanwhile, the rest of my family still breathing out for 5 and in for 5…
We had decided half way into our trip that India was a complete assault on the senses, with the combination of; noise, smells, colours, tastes and exceedingly bad driving. What I learnt was that India is a country of great contrast with the rich living in palaces and forts and the poor living in squallers. However, everyone seemed so happy and content with what they had. So does this mean a little ignorance is a key to happiness?
India was a country that I would describe as marmite, you either love and embrace it or you reject their way of life but for me, it was fascinating. I have always been a very visual person and the colours drew me into their cavern of textile delights and bespoke designs of fabrics. It is a beautiful country crawling with poverty from every angle, it really was such a culture shock that I soon adjusted to. A catalyst of thought was activated when you witnessed young children playing in the street amongst the stench of the rubbish or stray dogs lying inches away from the road, narrowly being missed by the constant hectic traffic..
The Taj Mahal was breathtaking, it was everything I had read about and more. The pure symmetry of the building was perfection however, architect has purposefully created 2 imperfections on the building. We were there for sunset and sunrise, this photo was taken at 7 am, before the crowds of people got in the way!
I would describe India like marmite; it is either for you or not. As the country’s hectic world mixed with a laid back feel, as it seemed as we wandered through the streets of each different place, we soon realised that if a person didn’t want to do anything that day, they simply didn’t.
As I sit here, looking out my window, I long to be on the boat on the lake around the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur. We travelled around Rajasthan, going to; Jaipur (the pink city), Jodhpur (the blue city) and Udaipur.
What do you think about India? Have you ever been before? would love to know your thoughts!
Thank you for reading!