India I have something to admit... I love you. I love you sooo soo very much.
Why do I love you?
I love you for so many reasons. It's everything from your look, your past, your smell to your intense spirituality. I love you because you smell so strongly, you smell of roses in the morning, cow dung during the day, delicious samosa and curry in the evening, and you wreak so strongly of incense when you are feeling spiritual that I can hardly breathe.
Your streets and homes are never quiet, you have a sweet melody of car horns and animal sounds continuously. You sing of temple music, prayer chanting, and loud street vendor calls. You never can keep quiet, but I love that about you because I never feel alone.
I love that I can cover every inch of my body, never show you a peep of skin and yet you think I am beautiful. My hair concealed with a scarf, my legs draped with cotton, and my entire upper half sheltered with your unique kurtas always vibrant in color and bedazzled with sequins and beads. And that my clothes always fit perfectly because all of your people know how to alter my clothes perfectly for practically nothing.
AND I love that while I am draped in 6 meters of fabric I can still be completely stunning with all the jewelry I want. Earrings that encircle my entire ear, nose rings as big as my fist, a ring on each nimble finger, two toe rings one on each foot, bangles that cover my lower and upper arms, and anklets that jingle as you walk. I love the golden necklaces that women wear and the jewel placed perfectly between the ladies eyebrows symbolizing their commitment to their husband. I love that your people can be so in poverty yet still have all these jewels draped over their distinct natural features.
I love that I can have an extravagant and beautiful piece of henna on my hands crawling up my arms for celebrations and that the henna smells so fresh and natural.
I love your obsession with black eyeliner that highlights the glowing whites of your eyes and makes your babies so beautiful I have to stare.
I love that I know so much about your people with just one glance. I know who is married based on the 6 meters of fabric circling their waist and showing off their stomachs. I love knowing what caste people are telling a story of their ancient ancestors.
I love that the fabric you have is always a rainbow.
OH India... I love that you don't favor any color in the rainbow, you display every color in the rainbow ALL THE TIME! You are so beautiful with every shade of every color somewhere within reach... that is except for Jodhpur, your beautiful blue city, where every home and every business is painted a pale sky blue.
I love that every day of the year here, is a holiday, no matter where I am in the country I can find a celebration next door: a reason to fast, a time to set of crackers, an hour of puja, or hear a band playing outside.
I love that you make me laugh at my stubborn ways and make me confused at my lack of knowledge. That the more I get to know you, the less I feel I know you.
I love the way you make me shop. You make me think everything is so simple and then you challenge me. Buying an extension cord is not as simple as going to the local hardware store... it involves cutting of wires, installing the plug size you want and choosing the length of the cord... that is SO I can watch the electrician-wala make it in front of me in a shop the size of my closet at home.
I love that you are vegetarian and that I never have to watch what I eat because you are already have. I can eat out at a restaurant and 95% of your menu is vegetarian. I love that I can't even taste the vegetables I only taste your concoction of spices, bathing in oil. I love that all the food is so fresh, that the bread is still warm when I take my first bite and the milk is hot from being boiled because it came from the cow this morning. I love that I don't recognize your fruits, but they all taste so sweet and I love that I can buy them at every street corner and that there is always a fruit in season... so you never get sick of one thing.
I love that I can afford really nice things. I can have clothes made in my size, in whatever color, on whatever day, in whatever design.
I love that I am not the only one who believes non-violence should be in religion. You make me feel reasonable in my search for peace, with your religions that wear all white, and cover their mouths as not to inhale a living thing. You believe in it so strongly you cannot kill a living thing... and worship all life on this planet and believe in being open minded to all religions and lifestyle choices.
I love that family is so important to you and that you respect your parents so much that you allow them to pick who you marry. I love that you believe in taking care of your parents until their last breath. I love that your cousins, sisters and brothers are your closest friends and that your mother is your best friend. I love that the men in your family are your protectors.
India, your spirituality is stronger than anything I have ever encountered anywhere in my life. The people that completely devote themselves to Hinduism and Jainism are more committed to their religion then I have ever been committed to anything in my life. It makes me think about my own spirituality, begin to question my lack of commitment to any specific faith and the lack of prayer I have in my daily life. It makes me crave spirituality and devotion of one's self to something.
I love that in the few months that I have spent here I feel at home. Your people recognize me, your landscape has become familiar and I have found places that I favor. I can now find my way around your towns and through your small crowded old streets. I love that I have my own rickshaw driver whom has my number... waiting to pick me up from wherever whenever.
I love your rooftop restaurants that all have a unique view, their own creative touch and a tasty lassi.
I love that every time I am a guest in some one's home they offer me a feast of biscuits, Namkeen and a warm drink. I love that I am ALWAYS drinking chai... Every 3 hours... or even more frequent then that. I am always sipping on another milky hot ginger spiced tea.
I love that every place I have traveled in your borders has such a unique landscape, culture, and group of people. You have so much to offer me. You have romanticism in Udiapur, blue in Jodhpur, history in Jaipur, camels in Ajmer, havelis in Shekawhati, rat temples in Bikaner, forts in Amber, waterfalls in Bundi, sand dunes in Jaisalmer... and that's in just one state!!!! Your landscape is so diverse, from the Himalayan Mountains, to temples made of pure gold, your heaven like beaches in Goa, to the tomb of Taj Mahal, the deep caves of Ajanta, the sand dunes in Rajhasthan, the Bollywood of Mumbai, the boulders in Hampi, the Kama Sutra, the rivers of Varanasi, and so so much more. I love that I could travel to all these places without having to give an arm and a leg.
I love how mysterious you are... your land works in mysterious ways. Your people's traditions have no explanations; your religion has so many twists and turns. Your day can never be planned; your life will never be what you think it is with you in it.
You have a long history of beauty, elegance and mystery... I LOVE THIS!
I will never fully understand you, but you intrigue me so.
Your customs, lifestyle, and traditions are different every step I take... consuming my thoughts.
MUST KNOW MORE
MUST KNOW MORE
Every day you teach me something about myself.... My spirituality, my personality, my likes, my dislikes, about my relations with friends and family, my favorite colors, my views on politics, education and so much more....
YOU ARE LOVELY INDIA..... and that's why I am asking you to be in a serious-long term relationship with me.
I am going to be leaving soon... and I want to keep this thing we got going....
Let's keep in touch, for the rest of my life. I won't ever forget you, you have taught me so much about myself, I have grown so much being with you.
So please let me come again. .. and again... and again...
I love you so much and will never forget our time together... lets make more memories together