What a contrast between Anu’sdescription of London beautiful morning on her departure for India when she talked about her nostalgia for India, where she has her roots and Delhi where there seems chaos and mismanagement at the urban level!
India with its huge population still has a long way to go for material progress. But it has democracy as its biggest asset which must have contributed to its stability despite its sharp contradiction and big ethnic variety.
India has been a country of wonders from its monuments and landscape to the dominance of supernatural beliefs and magic in some circles.
It has a huge population as well as a huge human potential. One day the streets in Delhi and in other parts of the country will be neat as an indication that its economy is roaring, whose products are in shops and not on the pavement.
Despite everything, India is great as Indians' love for peace makes them one of the great people on earth.
Hi Steve, I can't access the link you posted, but what a weird coincidence... The story you're referring to is one I did last year for BBC TV- about how Indians buy huge amounts of gold (worth more than all the foreign investment combined) and keep it locked up in their safes at home, where it earns nothing & the government can't tax it. I got to see gold jewellery being made (every girl's dream!) and have some of my own locked up in London! (Though I do pay my taxes unfortunately!)
Abdelilah-- you're right! It's easy to wax lyrical about a place when you're away... and then see it for what it is- good and bad- when you return. As I wrote in that first post-- it's the contrast between success and failure that hits me hardest whenever I come here. I had the pleasure of visiting Morocco recently, and I didn't see the same kind of poverty I see here. In fact, I've never seen that level of poverty, except in Mexico City.
I'm curious what image you both have of India. Do you see cows and beggars? Or computer geeks? Would you ever visit? Thanks for posting!
And here is my response to her at 07:19 PM on 14 Nov 2006:
Hi Anu, Good to hear from you in your homeland India. A country where East meets West – a reminder of Hector Hugh Munro, who made India his homeland.
India has been introduced to people in Morocco through its cinema. Indian movie is still featuring in cinema rooms. Perhaps Indian movie is the main India’s cultural export to Morocco. One of its fascinations is the lyrics and the love stories it represents. Some Moroccans repeated these lyrics without understanding a word, but just for the beauty of their melody.
In Morocco, it’s easy to find someone familiar with the names of Indian actors. But apart from Mahatma Ghandi, it’s rare to find someone familiar with the name of an Indian politician. So as you can see, the image a large section of people have of India is that presented them in movies.
In Marrakesh, there is a yearly international film festival. Among the guests are Indian actors and directors like Amitabh Bachchan. In 2004, he got a very popular welcome because Indian movie for many people in Morocco is a means for escape and to celebrate the beauty of Indian music, songs and dances.
As a student of English literature, I had the chance to read some literary work like “Passage to India” by Forster, short stories by Hector Hugh Munro (Saki), and other work by Rudyard Kipling featuring India when it was still under British colonialism.
My view of India today remains in parallel with its social fabric. As long as there is the cast system embedded in Indian society despite democracy and nearly 60 years of independence, Indians will continue to live the sharp contrast as you have eloquently described in your posts. This can in part explain why some Indians resign to their fate and accept to live in an age similar to their distant ancestors because in their lifetime they almost have no chance to taste the fruit of India’s current economic boom.
Despite everything, Indian culture is full of wisdom that can enable one to reach reconciliation with oneself. This can benefit anyone in any corner of the world regardless of social status or material possessions. For that, India remains worth visiting at least for spiritual inspiration.
Have a nice time in India and welcome to Morocco, especially Marrakesh, if you happen to revisit it.