Sunday, 6 September 2009

Escape to Paradise or Crash Course to Insanity.

For many, the concept of travel through India is a minefield of mayhem, a double order of disaster, a cesspool of pestilence. For others it is the promise of seismic spirituality, tropical temptations and tantalizingly tasty treats of sizzling spicy proportions. For me it is any and all of the above and a whole, whole, whole lot more. My dream of discovering India and more than that; discovering myself in India have been with me since the very first time I began to wander the globe with the spirit of an intrepid traveler many years ago. My first trip (another story altogether) was a 6 month ‘around the world’ extravaganza that took in 9 countries and all terrains. The final stop on this whirlwind tour was India – although with time and money running out fast it was destined to be only a brief sojourn into this vast land of fascination. With only 11 days to reach our final departure city, Delhi I was only granted a glimpse of the delights and disgraces of India. Undoubtedly one of the greatest highlights of my trip and stunning man-made wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal was of course upon my list as well as Varanasi, the Holy City on the banks of the River Ganges and the sights of Delhi. This final location was sadly, mostly missed due to the unfortunate condition in which I found myself upon arrival. That of requiring a toilet within easy grasping distance at all times for about 72 hours so that I could expel every ounce of intestinal contents at regular intervals – one of the many joys of travel in India – but again I digress. In those first 7 days in India, despite the maddening confusion and chaos of a great many moments of my time there, I managed to fall in love. In love with the sights, the sounds, the smells (not all of an entirely pleasant aromatic nature – but intriguing and memorable nevertheless), the people and of course the spirit. The spirit of India cannot be described in any simple way but it absolutely cannot be denied. Once you have experienced India it kind of burrows under your skin and finds a resting place deep in your soul from which it calls to you now and again and gently reminds you that it is in fact still where it was when you left it, and that you are not there, and have not returned, and eventually it will have it’s way, you will succumb and India will once again draw you in, tempt you back and unfold her gems and jewels for you, if you give her half a chance.
And that is exactly what happened to me. Somewhere between the border with Nepal, where I entered her fine lands and the departure gate where I boarded my flight from Delhi airport back to London Heathrow, the spirit of India entered my body and deposited little alien forces within me that would arise every now and again to haunt me and call to me and remind me that the promise I made to myself to return and explore further had not yet been fulfilled. Finally the voices of that alien force have become so loud, so deafening that they can no longer be ignored. Finally it is time to return and explore all, or at least some more of what this wonderful, wild, beautiful remarkable country has to offer. I am off to India.

1 comment:

  1. paint a most visually inspiring picture Carrie! I wish I were meeting you guys somewhere along the way..but you never know where life is going to take you. Tell Darko to shoot lots of footage if he can figure out a way to download as he goes. Sounds like a wonderful, spiritual journey you are both about to undertake. Un abrazo muy fuerte! Douglas