Yin and Yang in India

Do you know which religion these guys are practicing?

Travelling in India is like taking LSD.  Either you’ll have a really good trip, or a really bad one.”

India attracts three types of travelers: people who are looking for  spirituality, people who want drugs, and people who are insane.”

When travelers leave India and go to nearby countries like Nepal and Thailand, they get bored.  They miss the street chaos and touts that won’t leave them alone.”

These three quotes are from the charismatic, genuine and gregarious owner of the guesthouse where I stayed in Varanasi.  I could speak English with him easily as he spends six months in India and six months in London every year.  When I asked which place he likes best, he said that he prefers his native India over living in England:

People here are friendly and relaxed.  In London they’re distant and rushed.”

This man also likes to remind western tourists that his country is catching up economically, and will surpass our rich lands that won’t be wealthy for too much longer.

I’ve decided to refer to him as anonymous as I didn’t tell him that I’d use his quotes. While hanging out and drinking his surprisingly delicious yet lukewarm Indian whiskey, I wasn’t aware that I’d use his philosophy in a post.  I’ve even forgotten his name, as I didn’t write it down.  It’s an Indian name that I’d never heard before.

A couple of weeks prior to hearing his intensely-hued words, I wrote the following down with a pen and notepad while walking along a McLeod Ganj street:

Similar to what I’m writing now has probably been written a hundred thousand times over.  India will welcome you with open arms.  It’ll shock you.  It’ll beat you to a bloody pulp, while simultaneously opening its wide heart.

India is a melting pot.  India is all things.  It’s also one big phenomenon that crams about one-sixth of the earth’s population into its unique subcontinental geography.

India will cheat and fool you.  At the same time it’ll take you under its wing and do anything for you.

In India, you can pull out your notepad and write amongst the crowds.  No one will care.  You can dress however you want.  No one will care.  Just make sure that you  dress.  Don’t get crazy and go streaking because this is a land of innovative and colorful clothing that will never forgive you for being naked.

–   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –

As mentioned in a previous post, I was scammed.  As also mentioned previously, there were people who treated me like I was their good friend.  There are folks who genuinely want foreigners to have a wonderful experience in their unique land.

Not mentioned before, there was a time in Delhi where I randomly drank Chai with a couple of men at a stand on the side of a road.  One claimed to be a Bollwyood stunt man.  He had a perfect build and shiny white, super straight teeth, just like an actor.  The other, his friend, was a Sikh.  The Sikh told me that he knew I was a spiritual person.  He could see it in my forehead just above my nose.   As they left, and paid for their Chai, they paid for mine too.

I mentioned an engineer named Piyush in a previous post.  He was the one who went out of his way to drive me to a bus station at 4am. 

It’s easy for travelers to become jaded, to get tired of the touts and the sometimes pushy crowds.  The worst is when you arrive at a bus or railway station.   You’re a walking bag of Rupees to the ones who are trying to get a little piece of your pie.  Everyone needs to make a buck or ten or twenty.   You can’t help but let these people get to you. 

In reality, the majority of Indians are genuinely interested in and kind to foreigners.  

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2 responses to this post.

  1. PINKY: A thousand thanks!

    Reply

  2. India is like being on LSD… I can not wait to get back! Great blog dude 🙂

    Reply

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