Such a short-lived emotion. A fleeting rush in amazement. Especially in today’s non-stop digital world. —If there is any place on Earth where that feeling takes on epic proportions, which would redefine the very meaning of the word itself, it is India.
That massive sub-continent is so ancient and so rich in history that one would need many reincarnations (as Hindus would believe) just to see it “all” once and to get an idea of the majesty behind its countless natural wonders, epic ruins, thousands of villages and cities, and more than a billion and a quarter of the most spiritual and fascinating people on the planet. We are talking about a place so complex and so mystical that the only thing that one can always expect with certainty, is in fact, the unexpected.
For starters, when people nod sideways, they are not saying NO, but really mean YES! And traffic —be it a rickshaw, tuk-tuk, car, elephant or train— is an exercise in complete insanity to the extreme! Yet, a natural way of life, which like the congested Ganges, somehow miraculously flows and works itself out. As for food, as tasty as it is, if you stay long enough, local street cuisine and especially spice will almost always knock you out at some point; leaving you to wonder, when Shiva or Kali will appear! So in the face of these issues and frustrations, be patient. Smile! Take solace in the fact that distance is just a relative term. That five minutes never really means five minutes. It can be an hour, a day or more… However, in the end it is almost always worth the wait! You will be amazed by what your senses perceive. Plus, there will always be someone there who will gladly offer to help, with a smile of course, expecting nothing in return. So never lose your patience and above all, never raise your voice! Only fools or mad cows do that. —Speaking of which, cows can get away with anything: block-up entire lanes of traffic, chase you down an alleyway or eat your lunch and then casually go anywhere with the absolute certainty that they will be treated as extra special VIP guests. And let’s not forget about their massive droppings! You are bound to step on them somewhere along the way when you least expect it. It’s a fact of life. But relax, stepping on holy dung is just a natural way for you to connect with your inner karma and be comforted in the fact, that by Vishnu’s doing, your journey will become fertile ground for something magical and grand. Something to leave you wondering…