I’m back and I wish I was still in India, traveling ad seeing, particularly the magical North East. Yes, I know it is the second time in a year, and I really should be fed up of the country by now, but how can I be? Until you visit India, until you witness the 1 in 6 of humanity going about their daily business in a chaos that shouldn’t work, but strangely does, do you realise that we, as humans, are a lot tougher, more resilient and far more fun than we give ourselves credit for.
Now yes, India is a filthy place, especially once you leave the hills. The sights of beggars, the wealth disparity and the sheer incompetence of those running the country want to make you weep in frustration. And the geography of the country with one end at the freezing cold Himalaya and the other at the boiling hot Indian Ocean means that the weather at any one point in India is usually f**ked. But let me repeat again, just in case you did not hear it the last time round:
I love India.
I set myself five challenges to do in India on this holiday and that was:
1) To meet the Khasis.
2) Hop on a train.
3) Cross a bamboo bridge.
4) Catch a flick
5) And eat well.
And did I? Well, that will be revealed in the first half November (with spoilers beforehand). After all, I cannot be too hasty in my writings, can I. Well…
Oh, I had such a fantastic time!
I don’t often do this but here is a vanity shot, the only photo I took of myself while traveling this year:
That’s a smile on me. An all too rare event here in the UK, but something that is always evident in India, wherever you go, no matter what people are doing, they are always smiling. And so where did I go to this time round? Well, I started off in beautiful Meghalaya. I don’t know what will happen to me after I die, but if I am destined for heaven, I think I will probably stop off in Meghalaya on the way, such is the beauty of the landscape in this corner of India. Next was Darjeeling, with the briefest of jaunts into Sikkim. Finally, there was Kolkata, home to 15 million people spread along the banks of the Hoogli river. India’s third city, and the first time I had visited one of India’s big 6. What a magical place, a collision of frantic energy from the mass of humanity that lies here. Three very different places, all in a small knot within the north east of the country. But a place to which I hope to return to in the very near future…