Impressions of India

I saw two people take a shit today. One of them was no older than 9 months and the yellow soupy poo pouring out his baby grow and onto the step was out of his control- so no judgement there. No judgement in general- I’m in India and arriving without an open mind (ready to be opened further) is literally, pointless.

The second ‘defecator’  was spotted en route to Asia’s biggest slum, Dharavi. You might recognize it from the small film Slumdog Millionaire.

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There are certain ideas people have about India and its for those reasons many won’t visit it. In general these ideas are a reality. Almost every Indian stereotype you can think of is real. I guess they exist for a reason. India is full. The country is massive and so is the population. Over 1 billion people – and believe me it feels like every one of those is in Mumbai.

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India is hot and its not even summer. Perhaps the rainy season brings relief but I’m not sure I’d want to be around when the floodgates open and the the once grimy, dusty ground becomes filthy mud. India is dirty and it can make you very sick, but it doesn’t have to. Just like America can make you fat- these things are avoidable.

It’s been less than a week and already the Someone I Once Met list is growing, because India is as interesting as it is dirty. The foreign concept of arranged marriages is as much of a reality as the head wobble and features in the human stories I will write.

There’s not much more I can say on the subject of India- my time here has been short. But it is far from over and I will do my best to bring to your attention what has come to mine. For now just know that a great deal of what you thought about India is very true. There’s curry, covered up ladies, taxi drivers taking you for more than one ride, and a constant battle to avoid paying ‘white tax’. But then there’s other things which you thought you knew but actually didn’t- like not every Indian meal will burn your mouth off.

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And despite the constant honking, hooting, hustle and bustle there’s peace. Muslims, Hindus and Christians living peacefully side by side is an indication of the lessons one can aim to learn here.

To be continued….

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