See, The Thing About India Is…

The thing about India is:

Directly following your trip to the cinema in a state-of-the-art theater with reclining cushioned seats you walk smack into a slum on your way out.

Last week you had coffee at a busy, reputable coffee house down the street. Today, the entire establishment is gone. Not closed. Vanished.

Everything is permanent and nothing is permanent.


During monsoon you hail a rickshaw, whose driver goes 6 minutes out of his way at no extra charge, to find the driest place for you to disembark;  just so you don’t have to walk in the rain.

8 months later, you walk down the narrow, dusty road and the same rickshaw driver loudly and repeatedly honks his horn at you as he nearly runs you down.

Everyone is wonderful and no one is wonderful.


The documentary you watched tonight was the most moving, beautiful, charming thing you’ve laid eyes on.

Yesterday you saw the most horrendously gaudy film you’ve ever laid eyes on. Bollywood is unbelievably tacky.

Everything is beautiful and nothing is beautiful.


Every morning, when you wait for the van to pick you up, you get to watch the world wake up before your eyes. The bread man on his rusty bicycle pedals by with fresh rolls, the birds wake from slumber and chirping happily as they pile through scraps on the road, and gorgeous school girls in their silky, black braids walk cheerily to school holding hands and singing songs. Sacred temples and churches and rituals and worshipers awaken at dawn to give thanks for the beauty and health of their friends and family.I do that too. Every morning.

Everything is sacred in India. Everything.

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