Saturday, November 13, 2004

Welcome To The Subcontinent

India is a land of sorrow, energy, and inexplicable power. Its is a fascinating mix of residual British colonialism, a cornucopia of religions, and dozens of different ethnicities.

To travel in India is to be overwhelmed, swimming in a crushing sea of humanity. Every turn reveals a new assault on the senses. Touts attack from every angle. Children follow you everywhere, continuously soliciting money. A macabre stable of beggars with an astounding and disheartening array of diseases, amputations, and maladies haunt you at every turn. People stare, and grab, pull, and tug at your clothing. There is no escape.

Yet India breathes a life like no other. There is a vibrancy here; an energy unequalled around the globe. Only in India do cows, monkeys, camels, and elephants vie for road space with autorickshaws, Ambassador taxis, scooters carrying five passangers, and every other wheeled contraption ever conceived. Only in India do the man-made colors compete with, and surpass, the rainbow. Here, the fabric of life is so rich, so varied, and so deeply textured that the visitor simply succumbs. India takes you in, captures your imagination, and never lets go.

We flew into Delhi, fortunate to have friends willing to host us and ease us into the rigors of the city. With Roopa, Rahul, and their two delightful kids, we were given the chance to taste daily Indian life. Blessed with traditional home-cooked Indian meals, we celebrated Diwali together, and attended social gatherings and an authentic puja with friends. It has been the perfect start to what promises to be an incredible month.

Enjoy the Delhi and Agra Photo Gallery.

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