Love & Hate for India



I am two hours away from landing in Budapest, and I am super excited. Six months in India can be life changing, but quite demanding. I am ready for a strong shot of civilization. What exactly does that mean? I want to stand online without someone cutting me off, I want to have fresh salad, I want to go running, I want to walk down the street in privacy, I want to take a hot shower, I want to drink water from the tap, I want my kitchen. I don’t want a bindi on my forehead,  I don’t want to bargain for food, I don’t want to wake up to the smell of burning plastic, I don’t want to hear dogs barking all night, I don’t want to hear Indians forcefully clearing their throat, I don’t want a mouse eating my food, and I certainly don’t want any more ants chewing on my panties.

– India, for now I must leave, but don’t worry in October I plan to come back.

There is something about this place that makes people return, including myself. I traveled to 38 countries, yet India is the one that I gravitate towards the most. This time was my third time and who knows how many more times I will return.

One of my friends, who’s never been to India, can not believe that I would even want to go there in the first place. – The poverty, the people, the smell, the food, the hygiene – he kept the negative list rolling out of all the things he picked up from TV and the net.

Yes, it’s hard to believe, but how can you believe if you’ve never been?

To enjoy India you have to give it a chance, minimum one month or more. If it’s only two weeks you will most likely hate it. If you give yourself a couple of weeks for the hectic to become the norm, only then the inner bliss of India will shine through.

I can’t answer my friend why I keep returning. Amongst all the craze I find peace, a peace which allows me to go deeper in and connect with my being. Somehow India provides a perfect environment to slow down and reconnect with the self. Time is not an issue, daily routines don’t really exist, and the facilities for yoga, meditation and other spiritual activities are simply incomparable to the western money making establishments. Ok, maybe they are not so clean, and not so fancy looking but that’s all part of it, to find peace and depth within, you don’t need to look out.

India has the roads to spiritual awakening. It’s where a new journey for me began, where I realized that I am not my thoughts, I am not my body and not a long list of things I thought I was.. It’s here where God became so clear to me, and now I believe. How can I hate this place? Why wouldn’t I want to come back?

During my second time visiting India, I was walking to Mooji’s satsangs and it became so clear to me why India rocks. A rickshaw driver was driving on the ghats near the river Ganges, mid aged women were doing laundry in the water, visitors were doing a puja in the soapy water, a dog was eating dead goats’ corpses on the banks of the river and little kids were insisting that I buy flowers, all happening in the same time and place. There were no rules, no fines, simply survival and daily chores. It was then that I realized that in India you can be free, there is only one rule, the rule of nature, and no one else is there to tell you how to walk, when to walk and how much you should pay to walk. It’s the subtle freedom in the “unfree” India that makes it one of a kind. But there are many more things that makes India awesome, you simply need to be open and try to see things from a different perspective. Coming from a society with strict rules, where the grass is green and the social order is automatic, one can very easily learn to hate India. This is why you need time.

Aside from spirituality, the colors, the festive mentality and the wobbling head gestures are a must see. India will break you, teach you, scalp you and then most likely fix you. Don’t be afraid, don’t listen to the media, use your instinct and experience it for yourself. It can only be magic if you believe. There will be hate, there will be love but it’s the perfect balance to it all.

As I write this, I recall my first post Holy Cow Wow, when I first arrived to India and wow, there is definitely a change.

Rishikesh, Maharishi Ashram

Rishikesh, Vendangas Teacher Trainning 

Dheradun

Yoganga Yoga center

Mussoori

Varanasi

Varanasi

Rishikesh

On the train to Delhi

Backwaters, Varkala

Varkala

Udaipur

Delhi

Backwaters, Varkala

Chapati

View from Amma’s ashram, Varkala

Varkala

Varanasi

Varanasi

Varanasi

Varkala

Varanasi

Taj Mahal

Udaipur

Udaipur

Udaipur

Udaipur

Near Udaipur

Fabric Ashoka, with Krishna

30 hour train ride to Varkala

Varkala

Varkala

Varkala

Delhi

9 thoughts on “Love & Hate for India

  1. hey…..it was good to read about my own country from a diffrent purspective……whenever you are coming next you are welcome to Silvassa… i hope you must have visited Gujarat if not you must visit.

  2. And the pictures are amazing, makes us want to go to varkala, we haven't been there in the last 1.5 yrs we have been traveling , one of the few very places we missed in india

  3. Very well written post. It always amazes me that people who visit India either love it or hate it. They become either Indophobic or Indophilic!
    Now I'll recommend my foreign friends to stay at least for a month!

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