India


kolkata, from here

i'm dreaming of India today....

the first person who made me want to go to India was Allen Ginsberg, who published the lyrical, spellbinding Indian Diaries (which made me want to become a poet), and then later i was inspired by Paul Theroux, whose subdued and quietly exciting travelogues about that place planted a deep, deep desire in me to set foot on India, to see for myself what all that fuss is about.

in the real world, my friend, adri, who first spent months traveling in India, would fall in love with that country and end up going back again & again. she, too, writes beautifully about India, where hell and heaven seem to collide. almost everything i've read about India is about how it can be magnificently ugly & beautiful at the same time.

and then, a couple of years ago, i stumbled upon one of the sweetest descriptions i've ever read about India:

"The first thing I noticed about Bombay, on that first day, was the smell of the different air... I know now that it's the sweet, sweating smell of hope, which is the opposite of hate; and it's the sour, stifled smell of greed, which is the opposite of love. It's the smell of gods, demons, empires, and civilizations in resurrection and decay.... It smells of heartbreak, and the struggle to live, and of the crucial failures and loves that produce our courage."

now if that doesn't make you want to go to India, i don't know what will.

anyone of you been to India before?

5 comments:

October 3, 2008 at 8:47 PM keyin said...

the movie Gandhi had left a lasting impression on me and
Buddhism has been a major influence.
perhaps i could say India has been to me.

October 4, 2008 at 4:00 PM tin said...

From Shantaram?=)
The most breathtakingly beautiful writing ever, I really do think.

p.s. you have the most wonderful space.

October 4, 2008 at 7:04 PM kristen said...

my parents r in india now~

October 5, 2008 at 4:11 PM Xinying said...

i spent 3 months in india...and incidentally met adri there! didn't know u knew her too.
this is a random blog entry i made when in india:
http://www.xanga.com/hidamali/554792309/item.html

i miss it soo much!

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