Looking at all the photos I have clicked while travelling around India made me somewhat sad about the non eventful holidays I had this time I went back. I have almost always wiggled my way out of Delhi on my previous vacations to make a trip somewhere. Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Rajasthan, Maharashtra. I had hoped to visit Varanasi this time but somehow things didn’t work out.
I always maintain that travelling in India is absolutely fantastic. There is just so much to see, and I don’t mean that just in terms of the diversity in art, culture, clothes, food, religions and what have you but also in terms of just literally seeing and watching people. There are just so many people everywhere that observing them on the sly is so easy. To see them in the midst of their daily routines not really caring about your presence is such joy.
People in processions, in gullis, just sitting around or even children in school.
Then there is India’s spirituality that everyone talks about; everyone from the west comes searching for. Some find the idea itself ridiculous. How can one find spirituality in the midst of dust, dirt and scores of people?? Some can’t see it and come away disappointed, demanding a refund. But there is a spirituality that is inherent in India and her people. You only need to look a bit closely to spot it. In between the hustle and bustle and crowds. A lone man offering his prayers to the Lake Pushkar. A lone Llama boy in a secluded monastery in Ladakh. A woman reading namaz in a corner of the durgah at Ajmer. I haven’t failed to find a oneness with nature, a oneness with ones self.
Of course travelling in India is not easy by any means. The roads aren’t always in the best condition. It’s hot for a large part of the year. It’s crowded with people and cows. And there’s the perpetual possibility of being ripped off. But in spite of all of that the rewards of travelling in India are so rich, that even the worst situation possible becomes bearable. Because there’s hope that there is always something wonderful, something special right around the corner.
Isn’t that how travel should be?
P.S: In a shameless bit of self promotion am linking some of my previous photo posts on travel in Kashmir, Ladakh, Agra. Say nice things, will you?