I’m an Australian girl, who was born in the wrong place. My heart belongs to India and I think in a past life, I must have been a Maharani. After 6 visits to the beautiful country of India and meeting so many wonderful people, I have decided I must live there. People always ask “Why India?” I say easy! You don’t smell, see, hear or touch India – you feel it! It gets in through all your senses, under your skin and once there, you will never lose that wonderful feeling. When I land in Mumbai, I take a deep breath, feel a warmth in my heart and sigh… “I’m home!”
I’d like to share with you the 5 reasons why I love India and why I intend to move their and hopefully settle for a little while. I will move for 6 months minimum with the view to staying as long as I can make it work! I want to run my business there and maintain a fusion of my western and Indian life.
1) The people have heart
Nowhere in the world have I met a people so willing to bend over backwards to help another. I feel so welcome in shops, hotels, homes and even rickshaws. The people, whether rich or poor, would give you the shirt off their back if they though it would make you feel welcome. I’ve had businessmen fighting over one another as to who would host my father and I in their home for a meal on my first visit. I’ve stayed in homes of many of my Indian friends and been kissed by the grandmothers and taken as a guest to most prestigious events of weddings and engagements. I feel at home wherever I am in India and it’s due to the overwhelming hospitality of the Indian people.
2) I’m an Indian Princess
My first trip to India was in 2005. I went with my father to a conference in the beautiful Udaipur, city on a lake. We stayed at the City Palace and on my second night, I met the Maharana, the king. I asked whilst I was there to ride an elephant and despite there being a supreme lack of elephants in the state of Rajasthan, they managed to find me an elephant, brought it to the palace gardens and I rode it there. How could I not love a country where I’m treated like a princess? However, I must say – the hospitality and the warmth of the people and the dedication they pay to guests would make anyone feel like royalty.
3) Complexity and Contrast
From hustling cities of 20 million people to silent meditation and yoga retreats; from the hottest curries one can taste to delicious sweet and cool kulfi for dessert. Saris of bright colours flow in the wind on a woman crouched next to a river filled with rubbish and dirty water. Tropical palms grow tall by the sea in the south where Mountains capped with snow tower about the north, desserts scattered with palaces filled with rich jewels through Rajasthan and dynamic business centres in Bangalore. The poor live on the streets outside the most expensive buildings in the world in Mumbai, and still the city moves forward. It’s an incredibly diverse, dynamic, contrasting and complex country.
4) The world that I know is turned on it’s head
The food, the clothing, the language, the colors, the climate, the music, the buildings, the sights and the sounds. I could not believe how far removed India was from the world I knew and I loved it. I’m so happy there amongst the topsy turvy world of Bollywood dancing in the streets and the spices evoking the senses with every twist and turn.
5) I want to eat Indian food every day!!!
Parantha, lassi, samosas, pao bhaji, butter chicken, dahl, lamb rogan josh, chicken tikka masala, gulab jamun, kulfi and now I’m salivating! I can eat Indian food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and the many many snacks in between. If you think you love Indian food- wait til you are invited for a meal in a traditional Indian family home – you too will be packing your bags and heading to Incredible India very soon.