Monday, July 31, 2006

Through the Westerner's eye

I have been reading up on three different westerners' (Two Australian and one British) experiences in India. Three very different people, one works for ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) the other two I am not really sure of.

Three different perspectives, just one view. India is dirty, India amazes them.

The first one is a book titled 'a billion voices' by Phillip Adams who hosts a program on ABC Radio. Writes Phillip in his first chapter about India where he is describing his travel from Mumbai to Delhi by train, "Indians describe India as a land of a billion anarchists. Yet there seems to be an equal number of bureaucrats. The entire nation is locked in an endless conflict between spontaneity and rigidity, between creative chaos and the claustrophobic of regulation. But perhaps the anarchists are winning.", how apt.

Jamie (I hope I got the name right) decided to retire at 35 and travel in India, in his decision to live in India he says: "I’ve never been to any other place that has affected me so deeply. It’s beautiful and horrific, funny and appalling, fragrant and rotten to the core, virtuous in spirit and sick to it’s very soul, sublimely pure and utterly, utterly corrupt. Simultaneously. I love it and hate it. It’s a wonderful, wonderful place." I hope he finds more wonders, unfortunately he does not like Hyderabad(My home town) much.

Tim of the flashpackers blog (at writes this about why travellers get sick so often when in India, "Well in a word, its because India is filthy, and understand me here, I don't mean just your run of the mill filthy, I mean FILTHY. There is more concentrated filth here than in New Scotland Yard. I honestly think it is the most filthy place in the world, if not the entire universe." I am not sure about this though, a billion people don't get sick everyday or every other day even. May be it is just the food that doesn't go well with them.

Good reads all, I would recommend these to any one who, like me, is trying to discover his real identity while outside India.


  1. Yashashwini Y P said...

    How true, all of it. Living amidst all the noise pollution, the filth and treacherousness, most of us (read Indians) have become CRANKY.

    I would really suggest travellers to visit India ONLY if they have friends or family here. Or else one could fall prey to some serious danger. Be sure to have much more than enough dough, cause travelling by rickshaws and other cheaper means of transport would only mean having to view all the unhygenic conditions and filth en route to MOST tourist spots. And please make the trip a short one!

    If no friends and family here, the easist and most convinient way is to take help of the Ministry of Tourism - Government of India, or the Tourism Ministries of each state. This way one would be saved from a lot of fraud, would be spending sensibly and living just about comfortably, even though you might not be allowed to stay at a spot for as long as you wish.

    What would be great is that you'd take home a beautiful, hassle-free, relaxed India.

    India has really 2 distinct faces - dirty and IT! DIRTY gets dirtier and IT gets - well - ITier! Fortunately for Mr. Gates, he toured the IT face. Unfortunately for India, the dirty face contains the bulk of her population. And the saddest part? - I dont see how a change can be brought - not in my lifetime at least.

    Its a pity that MY India which homes such variety, such colour, such heritage and such history has reduced to just Glitter to tourists. Like my mom says, "I love India, but its so difficult to love Indians".

    A lotus blooms pretty, but IN muddy surroundings. I dont want to say that about the Taj Mahal. That's no excuse.

  2. Sandesh said...

    Hey Aravind,
    Nice post. Americans always wonder how can a country like India even function with so many disparities -religious, language, economic etc etc. I strongly feel we have a great future maybe. But things will be slow but it will happen.

  3. Anonymous said...

    Best regards from NY! »

  4. Anonymous said...

    best regards, nice info » »