On Going to India

Am somewhat in demand around this time of the year. It’s when people begin planning their holidays, and some of those looking to book their tickets way in advance want to head to India. Lovely, am always happy to talk about the places they should go to, helping people carve their plans out…

All good. Except I’ve met many people who moan about the heat and the dirt/ dust like it’s a badge of honour. It’s part of their travel story, the kinds they tell you with minor embellishments (who doesn’t?) and with warmth. But I’m tired of telling them that it doesn’t make them ‘cool’.

Yes, it’s hot and uncomfortable for nearly half the year but if you stopped trying to look for yourself by suffering on purpose, you’d discover air conditioned hotels and cars. Or maybe abandon your idea that all heat and sun is enjoyable – discover the healing power of shade and an afternoon snooze.

Or stop being a miser and go when the weather is decent.

As I managed to snap at someone – “Your ancestors managed to deal with the heat and rule over the country, despite the lack of electricity. You’re made of stronger stuff. But if you want a story out of it – go ahead and slog it”.

Travelling in India is not an endurance test. And if you pretend it is, you’re not much better than the desi tourist who complains about the rotis not being soft enough whilst in Switzerland.

End rant.

3 Comments

Filed under India, Rants and Rambles

3 Responses to On Going to India

  1. I’ve tried both – if you visit India at this time of the year, you are going to arrive during summer’s peak, but then you get to eat mangoes! If you visit in December, it’s cooler, yes, though still about 30 degrees warmer than where you left from, and there are no mangoes.

    One gets used to the heat after a few days anyway, and soon will be spending hours shopping at mid-day :) But if you miss the mangoes, who knows when you can get to eat them again? :(

  2. Indian summer brings back lovely memories. Late afternoon siesta in the balcony after a sumptuous meal punctuated by cursory breeze. The chiming bells of the ice-cream seller. Diced mangoes and jackfruit. Fresh sugarcane juice et al. Unless we experience the heat, how can we relate to the bliss we feel when we wash our feet in cold water, or the fragrance of the soil before the summer monsoon?

  3. Very part of it just as delightful as you have described it!