India is part of the journeys that change you. It is not easy to love, but when you fall under the spell, India is madly in love!
There are countries that are easy to love. The climate is mild, the food divine and healthy, plains and beaches offer themselves to you without resistance. The sheets are clean, the shower water is hot, the traffic lights regulate the traffic. Everything is simple, easy. India is not one of these destinations, you are warned.
नमस्ते भारत, मेरा नाम क्रिस्टीन है, मैं फ्रांसीसी हूं, आपसे मिलकर अच्छा लगा Namasté India !
Namaste bhaarat, mera naam kristeen hai, main phraanseesee hoon, aapase milakar achchha laga!
India is the country of all extremes
India is a billion little Indians and a thousand gods
Religion is everywhere. In the stone, the clothes, the joined hands, the music. Religion is so complicated that most people don’t always understand it. Many of my interlocutors were unable to answer my questions about this or that statue or tradition.
Gange river is a giant sewer, yet Indians wash there: Incoherent as possible, India is a concentrate of ambivalence
India is confusing, illogical, completely irrational
A hard, violent and conservative country. In India, you have to know the codes, the rules
To discover India in a pullman is to drink water from a champagne glass
Magnetic, surprising, intense: India is luminous, colourful, vibrant and proud of its ancestral culture
This country imposes humility and respect. Do not judge India, it is far too complex for that
India is an earthquake on our western certainties…
Hygiene is poor, families sleep on the pavement and children in rags: India is still smiling
More than once, I was devastated by the sight of people’s misery, especially children’s. Shaggy hair, filthy, barefoot, collecting plastic bottles in the streets, shining shoes. These are images that touch you… like machine gun bullets.
This journey can shake up our certainties. Those poor kids had incredible energy, they were much stronger than the rich kids and so much alive. Their excitement and pleasure in shooting a handmade paperball was sincere and intense. So what do we really need to be confident and happy?
India is a Capital Journey: it changes us deeply
This country can convince you that the world is not so that bad, fill you with hope or strike you with incurable fatalism. India can make you completely paranoid or, on the contrary, incredibly confident.
You have to be solid (or become solid) to be able to stand the constant looks of this male society, to accept a mouldy straw mattress for a bed, the terrible smells, the monkeys shaking the bedroom shutters at dawn.
India brings together all the beauty and ugliness of the world
If you persist, if you get past all this, you’ll discover a beauty like no other. The most beautiful women in the world draped in dazzling saris, the liveliness of the children, the unbroken optimism of the coming day, the deep faith that animates them, the sound of stubborn bells in the descending twilight.
I have walked a lot in these cities, in this countryside. This is all I remember: the bright smile on a face marked by invincible misery and outstretched hands, emaciated by poverty, offering me a hot, smoking chai in the icy morning.
India is life in its raw state.
शुक्रिया, अलविदा, जल्द ही मिलते हैं!
shukriya, alavida, jald hee milate hain!
It should be reimbursed by social insurance: a trip to Nepal, it changes you completely. You could come back fully strong, serene, self-confident, ready to take up any challenge!