Discovering India Time And Again
Let me get this out of the way first. Despite my very non-Indian sounding name, I am entirely of Indian origin and have lived in India all my life.
Now you’re wondering why I’m writing about discovering India. It’s pretty simple.
I keep discovering India time and again!
Here’s a view that I can see from my home in Secunderabad, South India. It’s a Hindu graveyard! If you, like me, thought that Hindus were cremated, we’re both wrong. I learned a while back, that certain sects choose burial. Of late, I see a lot more activity in this graveyard, including families redecorating the graves and visiting on special days. This is something I had only observed among the Muslims and Christians in India. In learning about this, I discovered India again.
A couple of years ago, my husband and I visited Mahabaleshwar, a few hundred kilometres away from Mumbai and made a lot more discoveries. Since this place is located in the hills, the British used it as an escape from the hot summer months in the plains. We viewed Kate’s Point, named after the daughter of the British Governor of Bombay (now Mumbai), Sir John Malcolm! The guide books had mentioned an elephant’s head but we weren’t prepared for this sight. We had discovered one of India’s little-known natural wonders!
A few months later we were in Cherai, a beach town in Kerala, South India and visited the oldest European monument in India – a fort built by the Portguese in 1503! The fort was captured by the Dutch, then sold to the local King and passed on to the British. Can you imagine a small town having been witness to such a variety of cultural influences?
Having lived in different parts of India as a child, I sometimes think I know India. Then she surprises me time and again as I discover new facets of the land, its people and the variety of religious and cultural expressions on display here.
I often caution visitors to India, especially those seeking to do business here, not to assume anything about this country based on any ‘cultural sensitivity training’ they might undergo. As I told you, I’m still discovering this wonderful country.
I’ll be here every Tuesday to share with you some facet of India, talk about my own life, about blogging or even do a book review. I’d love it if you would ask me questions which I could then attempt to respond to in my posts.
Have a creative week ahead!