The Adventure Of Simplicity.
“This is: My India
When tourists come to India they have it all planned and neat : “We’ll see the Taj, and Delhi, and Kashmir’s lush retreat, and then, (perhaps), if we have time, we’ll go and ‘do’ Bombay; a quick look at those pavement-slums before we fly away.” And when they’ve done all this, and more, they think they’ve reached a goal; but they haven’t seen my India, they haven’t touched its soul.
For it’s not in five-star plush hotels or cushioned air-plane seats to find the soul of India you must seek it on your feet : It’s in crazy twisting narrow streets with houses jam-packed tight, or dusty village pathways, and a million other sights. Patient plodding buffalos, carts creaking through the night; crowds of tiffin-carrying women awake before dawn’s light to work all day in paddy-fields, bent-backed with tucked-up saris, patiently planting rice.
It’s sweating village wheelwrights fixing rims by cow-dung fires, or patient squatting chaklas making chappals from old tyres. It’s idli, samosa, dosai, and fresh tandoori bread; smoky bustling kitchens like Dante’s Inferno, or bazaar wallah’s tiny stands with chulas all aglow.
It’s mothers giving babe the breast, natural, unashamed, whilst sleeping on the platform or in crowded passenger trains. It’s this, and other earthy sights; folk squatting on the paddy-bund to ‘welcome’ sun’s first rays, or loti-toting ‘twilight-brigades’ going their separate ways.
It’s children, naked, dusty, laughing with wide brown eyes, swinging from trees on thick straw ropes, playing ‘gilli’ or flying kites. It’s in the evening silences, or weddings that take all night, in noisy joyful festivals with splashes of colour bright, in noonday heat and quietness with not a soul in sight.
When tourists fly from India, they think they reached their goal; but they haven’t seen my India, they haven’t touched its soul.”
Written: 26/12/85 by David Watson.
We received this writing from one of our readers and it explained exactly the India we are seeking.
This morning we are off to visit the project run by Birds Nest. And all the project we are visiting this week, work with pavement dwellers. Essentially women, men and families who have no permanent dwelling.
We can’t wait to share this adventure of simplicity with you.
Each day we are going to take you on the journey here on our blog.
Have a great day and thanks for all your prayers
Amanda, Kelley and Penny