My intention to visit India one day was born fifty years ago when I wrote to the High Commission in Canberra for some information about a particular issue to inform an assignment I was doing for school. I’ve long since forgotten the topic, but I do recall the beautiful calendar that was sent to me along with more material than I could have hoped to use.
For me, my positive feelings about India were born then. It reflects the old truism that people don’t remember what you say, little of what you do, but always how you made them feel. The person who was tasked with responding to my request, made this little feathered duck feel valued and special. India must indeed be a wonderful place, I reckoned.
India is half the size of Australia in area, but it is still a large country, and we saw but one small triangle of it. India has a population of 1.34 billion people compared with Australia’s 24.6 million. Other comparisons offer stark reading.
The level of traffic in the cities was intense and negotiating a journey required our driver to have spatial awareness of his vehicle to within a centimetre. He brought us through unscathed.
Large numbers of cattle roam unchecked, and lie on highways in odd places. Our guide explained that this happens because people stop and drop food to them – a Pavlovian response, I guess.
Then a beggar woman holds out the tortured arm of an infant as she solicits aid and sparks that awful dilemma of do I help the child, or would I be condoning what may have been done to her to extract the sympathies of tourists.
In stark contrast is the opulence of other sections of the place, the majesty of the palaces, the ease of access to all things technology, the development of cities to reflect the inexorable march through the 21st century – they all combine to make India the marvellous country it is.
And talking about India, in general, gives me the opportunity to use some photos that don’t fit anywhere else.
Ancient and modern;
Traditional and trendy –