India has definitely something very very special about its spirit and people, something that makes me visit this magic land every year… There are 1000 things I love about India, but each time I open new petals on its majestic flower.
These are the things which I enjoyed every time and particularly during my last visit to India a week ago.
1. The Indian satisfaction.
Indians seem to be generally very satisfied souls – they themselves may not see it this way, but compared to the stressed and frustrated westerners they are just the embodiment of peace! May be it comes from the belief in Karma – it makes probably a huge difference is one knows there is only one life to accomplish or one knows there have been many and there are many to come – that surely releases from the stress (consciously or unconsciously). Another thing is the heat – when it is too hot, people just can not worry much, I guess – the heat makes one really slower and relaxter (compared to cold which makes one tough).
The satisfaction has also another side of a coin that basically Indians (again compared to the Westerners) do not have much drive to do things, to work on all sorts of projects, to travel, to move around, to get inspired and change their lives easily. At least those who do not immigrate 🙂
2. Going by riksha
Despite polluted air and horrible traffic, going by riksha is a big enjoyment to me and I really miss that comfortably fast mean of transport back in Europe. In fact, I miss it a lot – the possibility to catch a riksha so easily and get inside and drive with the wind blowing around… Unlike the sophisticated taxi.
3. Beauty and colours!!
Sure thing, that is what you can expect from me 🙂 I adore the sense of colours Indians have (which again would be called a kitsch in the “sophisticated” West) – every woman in a sari I saw I wanted to shoot a photo of, every flower was a total delight, in fact every clourful thing made me feel like a child in a magic candy shop….that was very special.
It might be a surprise for some of my readers, but I value a lot a simple village life. When I was a child, I used to spend every summer with my grandparents in a small Russian village. Being a cultivated city girl now, I really miss those days and enjoy every possibility to be back to the roots. Visiting India would have been never complete without visiting its rural part. This time I spent some days in villages and that was the pure joy!
5. Original wear
I LOVE INDIAN DRESS, all these saries, salvar-camies… not only they seem the most natural thing to wear while in India, but also the most beautiful. The western every day wear appears just ugly compared to these peaces of beauty and grace… I believe you can judge from my photos that I felt very comfortable and enjoyed it such a lot!
6. Secret places full fo vibrations
India is probably the only country in the word so rich on sacred places emitting good or even tremendous vibrations, having a kind of healing energy… And these are mostly not the well known temples, but some natural places or swayabhus. Especially state Maharashtra is full of such treasures. My absolute favorite is a small village Brahmapuri by Satara (and the particular place on the photo, just open your hands to feel why):
This time a great discovery for me was the Mulshi Lake (1 hour away from Pune) – the special thing about this lake is that is emits incredible peace and calm… I was about to dissolve myself totally in that place…so powerfully blissful… Interestingly, pretty unknown to the masses and majestically lonely. But I better let my photos speak:
What does the famous ad says? INCREDIBLE INDIA…
yes, 1000% true, it is incredible. With all its beauty and ugliness, may be as any other country… but still differently. The Eternal Magnet.
P.S: more my India photos here.
I really appreciate your passion towards my country. Let me tell you more something about my country’s culture.
India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most astrictive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only
Indian culture is rich and diverse and as a result unique in its very own way. Our manners, way of communicating with one another, etc are one of the important components of our culture. Even though we have accepted modern means of living, improved our lifestyle, our values and beliefs still remain unchanged. A person can change his way of clothing, way of eating and living but the rich values in a person always remains unchanged because they are deeply rooted within our hearts, mind, body and soul which we receive from our culture.
Indian culture treats guests as god and serves them and takes care of them as if they are a part and parcel of the family itself. Even though we don’t have anything to eat, the guests are never left hungry and are always looked after by the members of the family. Elders and the respect for elders is a major component in Indian culture. Elders are the driving force for any family and hence the love and respect for elders comes from within and is not artificial. An individual takes blessings from his elders by touching their feet. Elders drill and pass on the Indian culture within us as we grow.
Indian culture tells us to multiply and distribute joy and happiness and share sadness and pain. It tells us that by all this we can develop co-operation and better living amongst ourselves and subsequently make this world a better place to live in.
Even though India is a country of various religions and caste our culture tells us just one thing ‘phir bhi dil hai hidustani ‘. (“Still our hearts are INDIANS”)
Lovely report, photos and description, Axinia! 🙂
While talking about the heat and cold, maybe the temperature should be taken into account. For instance, winter in Chennai is the only pleasant time of the year (around 18-30 degrees C) and that kind of temperature makes me very lazy and I sleep for longer hours than in the brutally hot summer.
The auto-rickshaws are quite unsafe and uncomfortable vehicles 😦 but they are great fun to drive (especially in congested city traffic).
The imaginary (and stupid) concept of karma is at the root of all backwardness in India. Blind belief in this nasty concept can be said to form the basis of the filthy caste system and its disgusting practices.
And yes, if India wants to become a developed country and eradicate poverty, the imaginary concept of karma must be thrown out. As far as I know, no society in the world hates its own poor people as India does. The kind of hatred that the typical Indian rich or neo-rich person has towards the poor is nauseating, to say the least.
The stupid concept of karma is actually the reason why revolution is a concept that is quite alien to Indian culture. Any society that does not have rebellion in its blood always finds itself in a state of permanent, unstoppable decay like India. Just like individuals, societies which believe that fate is something that cannot be changed have their fates permanently sealed!
hi, a) the second picture of Brhamapuri by Satara could have been taken at the swayambu pool in canajoharie,NY (wikipedia: “the pot that washes itself” referring to a local hole in the Canajoharie Creek bed.)
b)regarding the fast dancing rikshaw, here in hongkong we also have it a very popular one with only 16 sits which i take every morning and evening, it s crazy the way they drive and almost all the times they are fully decorated inside like pieces of museum!
c) mulshi lake must be super!
Die “Secret Places” gefallen mir überaus gut. vor allen Dingen die ersten beiden Bilder. Das ist was für mich.
Jaaa, diese indische Mode steht dir ausgezeichnet Axinia. Hat Ausstrahlung…
Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us. What beautiful photos. I was only in India for a short time (my trip cut short by a very serious illness–spent 2 weeks at Breach Candy), but I look forward to returning. Perhaps I’ll be able to visit that little village that looks so enticing (Brahmapuri)
many thanks for your extended comment. India is indeed a great and special country, although many things change literaly over night. I can really see it since I am visiting the country every year.
@Raj, Rikshaws are indeed a fun to drive 🙂 that was my point.
You can easlily imagine that I myself not only believe in Karma but also sure that the fact that we have many lives is the only possible explanation to so many differences in people , which so science can explain. Even if believing in one life could have been the good motivation for the Western people, it also creates too much tension and materialism…
@radha, thanks dear 🙂
@Wortman and Molly – I am glad you liked the Secret/Sacred places the most! It is really something so much special, the true gem of India and actually the reason why I keep going there….
“like a child in a magic candy shop…”
Yes, to love India one must rise about materialism and towards spiritualism. Although I have lived all my life here, only now I am seeing it beauty, it’s in everything and everywhere.
!ncredible, it is. Axinia, you sum up things very well.
India is such a beautiful and culture-rich country. I hope to visit it someday.
Axinia, i like these places very much. Silence to think and to enjoy the secrets of nature.
lovely pictures and lovely you, dear Axinia!!! I wish i had visited nirmal nagiri this time so that i could have met you. i missed the chance. i went in december for christmas. so better next time when you are going there please inform so that i can plan my trip too to meet you. i love Brahmapuri pictures but till now i did not get an opportunity to visit that sacred place. Too good pictures. each and every picture is a masterpiece by itself!!!
One of the reasons why Indians are happier is because they have a fatalistic attitude to things. Also they have a belief in God. Because of these things they find it easier to handle adversity. I am not being judgmental here, saying whether it is wrong or right, just that it is.
And these are beautiful pictures Axinia. You look like a Hindi film heroine! 🙂
I believe in Karma. But not in the subsequent lives. Everything that we do (cause) has an effect in this life itself. Only, it may take some time in certain situations.
Destiny is another concept which interests me a lot. I am not able to decide either way about this one.
Axinia, the stupid concept of karma cannot really explain anything. It is a concept that is more primitive than the concepts of heaven and hell found in the Abrahamic religions. It is a big fraud that has been deeply embedded in the psyche of Indians and this is responsible for India remaining a backward country. It is a primitive, barbaric idea and if Indians don’t get rid of this stupid concept from their collective psyche, India will remain a Third World country for several centuries to come.
Infact, the reason why some (rich and neo-rich) Indians are offended by the brilliant movie Slumdog Millionaire is NOT because it shows India in a poor light. It shows the harsh reality of life faced by the urban poor. It does not even show the harsher reality of life faced by the rural poor. The REAL reason why some (rich and neo-rich) Indians are offended is because it exposes the pathetic Third World mindset of the typical rich/neo-rich Indian.
As I mentioned earlier, many Indians with wealth and/or power HATE the poor with all their heart. They assume that non-Indians would have the same attitude. They are shocked because non-Indians do not have the same nauseating attitude towards the poor as they do. They are offended that a foreigner portrayed the struggle of India’s urban poor in a brilliant manner and won accolades for it. They are shocked that the pathetic mindset of the rich/neo-rich Indians has been exposed to the world.
Only science can explain the differences in people’s lives and people’s behaviour, Axinia. A person’s behaviour, health, etc. can be explained as a combination of that person’s genetic make-up and his/her upbringing. In other words, the differences in people is a combination of nature and nurture. The imaginary and stupid concept of karma does not explain anything at all.
Thank you Axinia for reminding me of what my soul remembers with great joy and love since 1988 ( the only time I have ever been able to go to India ) For me it was the little villages too ; there I felt 100% happy and didn’t want to go back to the West . Life seemed just right in the little fishing village of Charmala …
Having thought I was travelling to a far away , exotic country , I will never forget the amazement I experienced when the plane landed in Bombay ( now Mumbai ) and I immediately felt a very joyous feeling like I had come home to my own country !
True Axinia….Indians resist change unless its compulsory…..but as u said….its more abt satisfaction….we tend 2 b happpy with what we get….which is ofcourse changing a lotttt now in younger generation!
And u look as gorgeous as ever! like a bollywood heroine 😛
Yes, ‘Indian Satisfaction’….that is some phrase you have coined Axinia! It is something the world needs urgently. Alas, as Sahaja points out, we are losing it ourselves.
“Although I have lived all my life here, only now I am seeing it beauty, it’s in everything and everywhere.” – it is exactly what I feel when in India!! It is amazing how much beauty is treasured there, even in a movement of a wood-carrier…
you definitely should visit India one day, it is the ultimate experience!!!
@Wortman, I am glad to see you are seeking something deeper…
I am thrilled to think of meeting you!! woudl be so great, next time lets coordinate it properly 🙂
@ Nita, you are so right, and that is really not easy to answer what is better…however you know, Russians are great fatalists too (even when they were atheists), but they are mostly unhappy. Probably there is something else what makes Indians happy…
@Raj, you say “As I mentioned earlier, many Indians with wealth and/or power HATE the poor with all their heart. They assume that non-Indians would have the same attitude. They are shocked because non-Indians do not have the same nauseating attitude towards the poor as they do.” You know it is very true…in fact western people seem to have more compassion for the poor of the so called Third World. At least till the moment these poor want to immigrate 🙂
@swaps, thanks, I hope Indians will not loose it so easily…
@Erwin, I wish you could visit India soon. Just start desiring it and see how wonderfully it works out!!
@Sahaja,thanks my sweety!! 🙂
True, Axinia, the difference between the First World and the Third World is that class differences and economic inequality are quite small in the First World while there is a HUGE chasm between the haves and the have-nots in the Third World.
But I would not single out the West for anti-immigrant xenophobia 😐 The way Russia treats poor immigrants from the Central Asian republics or the way India treats poor Bangladeshi immigrants is as bad as, if not worse, than the way poor Mexican immigrants are treated in the United States 😦
True, Rqaj, the poorest immigrants are illtreated everywhere…
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As an Indian myself, this was a very interesting read– seeing all the things we don’t think twice about from your perspective.
My sincere obeisances for your kind words and the warmth and friendliness you feel for my country. Really appreciate. As a matter of fact, India is one of the very few places in the world where you can see absolute poverty alongside electrifying beauty, hunger deaths alongside exuberant late night parties, inferior living conditions alongside lush and luxuriant palaces. And different people (both Indian and foreign) have portrayed the picture country according to their own perceptions. Really appreciate the way you look at my mother land. As a token of suggestion, request you to read Willaim Darlymple’s “Nine Lives – In search of Sacred in the modern India”. You will get to know a lot more about India. Wish you all the very best
Thank you Durga, India is absolutely awesome and there is no word to describe its richness in any sense…I will check the book, thanks.
of course we love our motherland, we proud of it ,we are ready to do everything for the country. but this is depend on your bringing,your concepts, your attitude towards life,in India as it is rightly said you will get everything .heaven is also here and hell is also here. It is depend on how you perceive it. I have seen/experienced all varieties of people and of course natures beauty and silence, since from my childhood . only thing is your all senses should be open (Including your sense of discretion).
I have witnessed suicides,bomb blasts/terrorism,riots,deaths of my friends in military and on roads,fighting and killing people for property/wealth,sex relationship, castism, racism , tremendous corruption, dirty politics and many more stupid reasons ( we can not label all of them as mentally ill ) most of them are psychopathic,with no reason. people are not doing all those thing only for bread they have hold tremendous money, power, and just misguiding the youth, everyone has his own reason to do all those thins and of course no reason as i already said. As I work in hospital settings I have witnesses lot of deaths for many reasons, their own feelings, their attitude and of course their close one and so called relatives and friends also.
My friends easily selected Western jobs and life stile even I see in all students that attitude .Just complete the training go to abroad & earn lot of money .Develop the path and let other to follow same path. In various states in India In family you will get only older and children up to tenth/twelfth ( afterwords they also fly away and not return to home ) and those who are feels sensible to self , cares for money no other relationship. other do not . even husband and wife works in separate country and not meeting to each other for years together.
If you want find India you have to find in them why they are like that ?
As I already said India is beautiful. Specially in Maharashtra Its environment,climate,suits very well and constant . not much not less. ( western zone ) Just keeps your eyes open and enjoy it . shiny days , cool nights, very good mornings and evenings and all the time changing nature In each seasons it has its own beauty.different flowers, Birds,showers,rain you can enjoy everything.
Really India is incredible ?
India has lot of Talent, Lot of good youth, good heritage,culture and much more but now really where it is going? People are trying do business of everything and they are going extremes for that just not bothering emotions , feeling and what happens to other.Just don’t bother and go on doing all those things where really we have to ask ourselves, really there is God who is witnessing everything and not reacting? or all these people are right and we are foolish for not doing all those things?
And still we are loving India, People of India, and keeping hope that ” All is Well” so less adrenaline , less stress,more peacefully life.
When you came to Bramhapuri I was there but we have not met. Hope we will.
I like to share on your blog. Thanks for allowing and tolerating.
many thanks for this profound and sinsere reply.
There is no perfect county (yet!) in this world. Even sucha blissful and beautiful place like Austria is full of dirt and negative things if you like to see and know that ( Chatholic priests having sex with children, children getting drunk and dying at the age of 12, adults don’t want to get married and have children, the rasing criminality, the lost Youth, the stupid politicians, racism, and so on…). I am very much aware of all that, but at the same time I love to see the best of this amazing place. And I belive that from my enlightened sight/ attention things do change and improve!
Thanks for sincere reply. keep on writing and sharing.