A group of my friends just got back from India last week and I was super curious to hear about their trip. They are a group of four girls and it was their first trip to India. I have to admit I was a bit nervous when they were leaving, I was sorry I couldn’t go with them as I just got back few weeks before they left. The original plan was to go together but we couldn’t work out the dates. So, feeling a bit like a worried older sister, I told them where to go, gave them some general tips and two Indian sim cards and hoped for the best..They came back all together (I was afraid they’ll lose at least one:) and all in one piece.
We set down for a drink one night in a smoky bar in Zagreb, and they shared their stories. It sounded like they had much fun, many laughs and saw a lot. Altogether it was a great trip with so many great stories to tell. Off course, some bus accidents, near death on the road experiences, motorbike accidents and food poisoning were also a part of those stories, but these are all usual part of any real Indian adventure:).
Ahhh.. India.. There is just something about that place. When somebody asks me to describe it I say it is too crowded, dirty, loud, hectic, and it doesn’t smell very nice most of the time either. You have to be extra careful where and what you eat, what you drink, walk around with hand sanitizer and/or wash your hands all the time. And than there is the begging, the selling and the constant bargaining. And if you suck at the last one you’re in trouble! And than people stare at me puzzled…
I think most of the people either love it (and fall in love with it) or hate it. You can’t really be in between with India. And it figures, it is a land of extremes. I have seen the most beautiful and the ugliest sights in India, met the nicest and the scariest people, felt safe and secure and was afraid for my life more than ones (mostly in traffic). But there is just something about it that makes me want to go back every year since the first time I went. I’ve quickly learned to love the craziness and complete lack of order. I’ve traveled quite a bit and I have to say there is no such place anywhere else in the world. India is in a league of her own.
It's the energy. It is like this crazy subcontinent is on a different frequency than the rest of the world. If you tune in and are receptive enough it will make you feel like you came home. And it is the beauty of it’s nature, old cities, forts, palaces and temples, the smiles of the children, the warmth of the people, the depth of their faith. The tradition that is so sacred to them and still kept in every pore of their society. And it is real. And that is maybe what I love most about it. No pretense, no trying to be something it is not, it just is. Perfect in all it’s imperfection. The land of extremes..