It has become a problem, because along with creation of my new web page, nothing was occurring in my mind and my full concentration was focused on page´s bugs. Moreover, after long time without any decent practice, my english language writing skills have worsened enough. I am not a journalist, or the person who knows how to keep a good blog, however I always wanted to try. So, to start with, I have chosen my family trip to India this May, because it left in my heart lots of warm memories and love to this country and its culture. I think that the following sentence describes India very well:
…. The land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendour and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of traditions…
A visit to Mumbai (in past and as locals still keep calling it – Bombay) was always my dream. First of all, because my beloved father was born there and ofcourse I wanted to meet some of his friends and family members I could not meet before. I knew, that Mumbai is large city and that it really differs from all European cities, but I could not even imagine how it will impress me.
The biggest impression on me has made the contrast of this city. Yes, exactly contrast. In past I heard a lot about it, but never realised what people are talking about. In India and especially in Mumbai two different worlds coexist very close to each other. Just imagine people sleeping on the road near the luxury gold shop. Or try to draw a picture where newly built skyscraper stays in the middle of slums. Gregory David Roberts has mentioned this contrast in his novel „Shantaram“, and I find his expression true and suitable to my idea.
The contrast between the familiar and the exceptional was everywhere around me. A bullock cart was drawn up beside a modern sports car at a traffic signal. A man squatted to relieve himself behind the discreet shelter of a satellite dish. An electric forklift truck was being used to unload goods from an ancient wooden cart with wooden wheels. The impression was of a plodding indefatigable and distant past that had crashed intact through barriers of time into its own future. I liked it.
The city lives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Everyone seems constantly busy, each has its place in life. It is sad that despite the abolition of caste, it is still very difficult for poor to get a higher education and to do what they like. But at the same time it seems that everyone is happy with what he has, and would not have traded his life for another. Several hundred religions live harmoniously in this city and in general in India. I’m not going to talk about the pros and cons of this thinking, but I think that we can learn something from them.
Mumbai is exceptional city. Despite the pollution, poverty, and a nine-month drought every morning streets are cleaned and watered with water, all women are dressed in colorful ethnic clothes and all around is painted in the most vivid colors. It’s a real delight for the eyes of every artist.
I deliberately not talking about any specific places that are worth a visit, because the city is extremely diverse and everyone will definitely find something for himself. I want to draw your attention to something else, something what will make you coming back again and again or vice versa.
After a busy week in Mumbai arrival in Goa was like a jump into the cool water after walking on a hot sand. Goa is a big friendly village. Since this is a very popular tourist destination point, the locals live by providing various services to visitors. Whether it’s drawings with henna, massages, ayurvedic medicine, a variety of water sports, restaurants, hotels – everything that a tourist could wish for.
Goa – a former Portuguese colony, so if you want to see ethnic Indian you should go to Kerala and Rajasthan. My husband and I decided that next time we will vitis these two states for sure, because everyone, including the majority of local people suggested us to go there. But Goa, definitely, also worth attention. Here, as in Mumbai, everything is possible. Having a walk in the evening on the promenade you will be offered to buy all possible types of souvenirs, an elephant, some light drugs and you will be welcomed to have a drink or a meal in thousands of beach shacks, bars and restaurants. Some of the most delicious dishes, revered throughout India, are cooked here. In Goa you will eat a seafood for the year ahead. Both, body and soul will be rested in Goa.
In conclusion I would love to simply add another phrase from the novel „Shantaram“, because it accurately describes the nature of the Indians.
Indians are the Italians of Asia and vice versa. Every man in both countries is a singer when he is happy, and every woman is a dancer when she walks to the shop at the corner. For them, food is the music inside the body and music is the food inside the heart.