It is a country of contrasts. The poor are very poor, and the rich getting very much richer.
Dress varies from state to state, as does dialect and languages. The food is many and varied, from spicy to sweet and sour.
It is my country of birth. Every time I go back for a visit, the smells and sounds accost me, and a feeling of nostalgia fills me. I love visiting, and seeing my late maternal grandmother’s old house, and visiting relatives that I have there.
It is the land of mysteries untold – of the Vedas, and untold numbers of ancient stories.
I feel proud to have such a heritage, even though I don’t fully understand the most of it, not having had the chance to grow up with it – I left with my parents when I was 2 years old.
I still feel that I carry a part of it with me – and always will. I feel that I have the best of both worlds, being an Indian Australian – and an early childhood spent growing up in Kenya, Africa. I feel very lucky indeed.
We were all set for a trip to Rajasthan this time on our trip to India, in Dec 2014/Jan 2015 – but they say, a higher power ‘disposes’ of our proposals.
My husband’s (and some of my) family are in India, and we make a yearly trek there to see them. This time we had planned on a trip to Rajasthan – Jaipur, and other places on a 10-day guided journey by car – not to be. My husband’s father was hospitalised with pneumonia and was still in hospital when we arrived there.
It was a case of rushing around trying to get as much done as possible in the short amount of time we had there (we were there for 3 weeks). I was so thankful that we had our own car and personal driver this time – no rushing around for taxis!
After that, my mother-in-law had a cataract operation on one eye – another ‘invalid’ in the house for a while as she couldn’t do much for a few days – whew!
But I had the FM station on full volume when I had the opportunity, in our room downstairs – it plays all the latest Bengali, Hindi and English music, so saved I was!
Well, and then it was time to come home. I was a bit sad, if truth be told – despite all the hectic running around, I really did have a great time! Well, here’s to the next trip…this time I have an inkling that there’s a trip happening in May to a place nearer to Oz…Bon Voyage alors!