“Why I love India” – Roxanne Hebert from Canada talks about her solo backpacking trip across India and explains us all why she loves India.
People love or hate India. Or both. It’s a country that brings reactions, that doesn’t leave you neutral. Personally, I love it. And people ask me all the time why I love it. It’s really hard to give an answer in one sentence so usually I don’t really give an answer.
So there it is: Why I love India. I love the people. I love their smiles. I love the way they dance, the way they speak. I love how they welcome you for a dinner at their home or for a simple chai. I love that we become friends so quickly. I love that they don’t say please or thank you to friends. I love how happy they seem. How interested and curious they are about travelers, or anything, really. I love their naiveness at times. I love that even when they try to cheat you, it shows. And they are still nice. I love how they seem to know something we don’t; I love their wisdom. How they can tell you the most beautiful thing about love and life.
But I love that at the same time, sometimes they don’t have a clue about Canada. It is refreshing, and I love it. I love the old people, the youngsters, the babies and playful kids. I love their humour and their energy.
I love how they love love. I love that they love India. We have something in common. I love the intensity. It’s all out. I love that there is too much colors, too much noise, too much people, too many smells.
The women’s hair is too long, people wear too much jewelry and too many patterns, and it’s beautiful. People are too rich or too poor. It’s too cold or too hot. The music is playing too loud, the trains rides are too long, the trucks are decorated too much, the people drive too carelessly.
In India, there is no in between, no compromise, and I love it. I love that the most simple task is not that simple of a task. I love that going to buy a snack at a shop 50 meters away can turn into an adventure. I love to be overwhelmed by this intensity. I love the way I go to sleep exhausted. I love the way this intensity makes me feel alive, every minute of every day. I love the food. I love the sweet, warm and spicy tea. I could drink it all the time. I love how easy it is to be a vegetarian. I love the mango juice, the lassies and the juices stands everywhere. I love the street food and the snacks. I love the sweet deserts, the crispy papadums, the warm chapatis. I love the delicious dhals, channa masala, kashmiri dum aloo, palak paneer, masala dosa; name it, I love it.
I love that I don’t understand anything. I don’t understand the language, the religion or how things work. I’m lost. I have everything to learn again, like a child, and I love it. It’s a whole new world.
I love that not everyone loves India. I love that its true beauty is hidden and unveils to only the people that come with an open mind and heart and take the time to see it. I love to be one of the ones who love it. I love that the people who love it, love it too much and keep coming back. It makes me feel like I’m not the only one who got addicted! I love that everything makes sense.
Maybe India got me more spiritual, or maybe things really just make sense. I learned a new hindi word, 30 seconds later, I would hear it in the street. If I fell down and lost a tooth, it would be in front of a dentist. I love that in India, when something negative happens to you, something even better than you could ever imagine happens right after. Things seem to happen the way they are supposed to happen, and of course, I love it.
I love the person I am when I’m there. My messy hair, tanned skin, my dirty feet. I love how I feel, how I act and how I want to be. I love the fact that because so much happens around, I feel at peace inside. You just have to.I sometimes hate all that I said above. I sometimes hate the people, the food, the intensity, the chaos. I hate that I have to cover up, I hate being a little bit dirty all the time.
I hate that everything is so complicated and that I go to bed exhausted. I hate the same things that I love. That’s what makes all the beauty of it, I guess. I think it’s what makes people addicted to it; all the ups and downs. India doesn’t stop its craziness for you when you feel like it’s too much. You have to keep up with it. I love it.
And in the end, I just love it all. The honks, the dogs barking, the people shouting. The dust, the train rides, the “Yes madam, rickshaw?”. I love the smiles of children, the conversations over chai, the Bollywood music, the cows in the streets and the crazy traffic. I love the orange sunsets, the beautiful landscapes and the pujas. I love the laughs, the accent and the holy Ganga. I love the good, the bad, the ugly.
So there it was, put quite simply, Why I love India.