Should you go to India…? Can you accept her?
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An essay about my love and hate for India
India… There’s something unequivocally special about this country. Nobody would be able to put a finger on just one thing. It would be many bright, busy, bold and beautiful little things that make India what she is. Everybody will say it; that there’s just something about her.
Will you accept or reject her?
Everybody that has travelled India has felt her overwhelming power. And they will either embrace her, or reject her.
Some days you may not be able to stand the systems of her complicated people.
Other days you’ll forget about time to admire her intricate details.
When you do go to India; you will either love her with a fierce passion, or you’ll want to leave her… As quickly as possible.
India is a country that needs time. Time for you to love her.
You will hate her at first, I can guarantee.
But the longer you keep trying, understanding, accepting, the more India’s shell peels back.
And after time, a deep love will grow that neither of you will be able to fully let go of. Ever.
India will have a hold over you for the rest of your life. Once you’ve left her, you’ll dream of the time you can be together again.
With time, your love of India will never weaken. Only grow stronger.
Loving India will be hard work. Like a high-maintenance partner.
You will do everything possible to gain her love; desperate for those few times you saw her smile.
For her smile will light up your entire life.
But at times it will seem like all you ever see is her grim frown.
However, when you do see that lit up smile, your life will have meaning again. Direction again. And again you’ll work hard for that sweet India smile.
But it’s a tough job. And people may question why you tried so hard, why you didn’t just leave.
And you’ll never really know why. You’ll just… know.
India isn’t for everyone. She especially isn’t for those who reject her, who refuse to embrace her. Embrace the crazy, colourful, contradictory country that she is.
If you reject her, you’ll only ever see the darkness in her.
You’ll miss the bright, beautiful, fleeting moments she offers.
You’ll miss those moments that you would have remembered for the rest of your life.
So, is India right for you?
Before you decide, think about whether or not you’re ready for a change. Such a huge change that you’re sure you’ll never be the same again, and you’ll never want to.
Decidewhether you’re ready to let your guard down, and ready to be completely taken into her embrace. Taken for the ride of your life.
Take your time with her
Make time for her, don’t just try to know her quickly.
Weeks are not enough. Months, maybe… She’s a huge, loud, intricate being. Relax, take it all in and start going with the flow.
Step into her like you would a washing machine, knowing that you’re going to get stirred up, smashed about and possibly drown.
If you live, you might step out again as a different person.
But you definitely won’t be the same person.
READ: Why must the Mud Statues of Kolkata be made with soil from a Prostitutes Land?
READ: India Packing List
Language: The main language is Hindi. English and Marwari are spoken as well, plus hundreds of others.
Currency: Indian rupee (INR, ₹)
$1 USD = ₹64.09
I was here: January to August 2014