About Us

Contact Us


The 21st Century

Hacktreks Travel

Hacktreks 2

First Chapters
Lifestyles 1
Lifestyles 2

The International Writers Magazine
- Hacktreks Journeys: India

I Love India
Rita Sidu

I love India...I love eating chikoo, mango, giant grapes, pineapple and lychees...drinking refreshing pomegranate or sugar cane juice, tendercoconut water, nimbu pani, fresh lime, and mango shakes. And the mangoes here are so much better than the ones we get in North America even though they are smaller. Mom was right again. The variety of fruits and vegetables is astounding. No wonder there are so many vegetarians in India. I don't even know the name for much of what I have tasted. India really is an Epicurean delight.

The other day I was walking home and the strap on my sandal broke. No problem, I just walked on over to the cobbler at the market. He's just a guy that sits on the 'sidewalk' with his few tools. Two stitches and two rupees later, good as new. And I love how you can get ANYTHING delivered in India-for free. I will really miss that, along with the convenience of autos, the great food, the amazing shopping...I will also miss the cute little 5 year old boy who comes banging on my door three times a week early in the morning to pick up clothes for ironing. He takes them down the street to his father who has an ironing stall where all the neighbourhood ironing is done. 1 rupee an item and delivered the next day. I like to sneak the kid some candy and watch his face light up. He finally switched from calling me aunty to didi (sister). After all, I'm not that old!

Yesterday my friend and I went to Sarojini Nagar market. Quite a lot of deals to be had. Kind of like a flea market, but not really. I find it fun to go and bargain now, unlike when I first got here. It's like a game once you get into it. I get so much more satisfaction buying something after bargaining for it than after going to fixed price shops. Yesterday, my roommate was haggling for a nice bag and it just struck me how some of these people are struggling to make an existence for themselves yet we will try and pay them as little as possible while we just throw our money at the people that don't need it nearly as much. I don't like the idea of taking advantage of their situation in order to get a deal. The very fact that you can get them to bargain down so low just goes to show me their level of desperation. But that is the system and that has always been the system. And I cannot remake India in my own image as I have had to remind myself over and over again. But, that said, an extra 10 rupees is nothing to me so I always like to be generous when I can. (If I sound contradictory, it's because India is just that kind of place).

I don't want to leave India. I still have so much more that I want to learn and see. I know I will return one day, but that does not make it any easier to accept my rapidly approaching departure date. I love being in Delhi; it definitely grows on you. I'm so glad I got the chance to actually live here and discover it rather than give it a cursory couple of days which would have been wholly inadequate. There is so much here to see and do, it just bursts with culture. I could live here for years and still not see it all-but I'm trying to squeeze in as much as I can in the short time I have left.

As I occasionally read the international news, I can't help but feel so far removed from that world. In fact, most of the news is so silly, I realize how little I am missing. After seeing what I have in India, the problems of my own country have taken on a whole new light. Plus, my safe Western existence just seems so boring to me now.

I suppose this bittersweet time before departure was inevitable. Yes, India got into my blood. Yes, India has changed me. Yes, I love all of it including the good, the bad, and the ugly. And yes, I will be back, my only consolation. I will leave you with a quote which I find poignantly describes India:
..."it is the chaos from which Life is churned out and in all its glorious variety. India, because it knows how to celebrate both enlightenment and darkness. India, because it has all the beginnings without end. India because there you will find you belong, somehow, somewhere, whoever you are and wherever you came from. India, because it is heaven and hell together, in one earthy mixture." ~ Anon
Yes, in India, I have found I belong.

© Rita Sidhu, Edmonton Jan 2004
Exploring Punjabi Roots
Rita Sidhu goes home

More Journeys in Hacktreks


© Hackwriters 2000-2004 all rights reserved