“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition.”
India- one word to describe beauty, tradition, culture, diversity, authenticity, intelligence, spirituality, art, talent, cricket, ethnicity, brotherhood, family and love! India has so many faces, so many flavors that it was impossible to taste all of them in my first trip. So many people and each one of them carry along their own version of Hindustan, which if explored is so magnificent and vivid that it cannot be described in limited words. Then you can imagine my perplexity of describing the extravagant worlds of millions of Indians on a single piece of paper. Well, to make it simpler, I’ll take you through mine, which is astounded by the charm of this incredible country.
Just like a Masala Box in every kitchen, India has enough of everything required to give a sweet or a tangy kick to your journey. I’ll start describing my infatuation (which has now metamorphosed into unconditional and eternal love) by flashing glimpses of Indian Culture & Tradition. My personal favorite petal of this magnanimous flower is its Music. Music in India is majorly devotional and classical and both north and south India have their own segment of pious Hindustani Classical Music which runs on framework of different ragas. Also, Ghazals in Urdu reflect another level of peace and tranquility. Apart from that, every region and state in India had its own music style and all of them are equally enchanting. Rajasthani folk songs out of all were most intimidating.
Indian Dance forms are again very striking and diverse. The elaborate costumes and make-up will leave you awestruck. Kathakali of Kerala, Bharatnatyam of Tamil Nadu, Kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh, Manipuri and Odissi from Orissa are the prominent dance forms in this country that sways to an altogether novel beat. The robust Bhangra of Punjabi men, the graceful whirling of Rajasthani women, the gentle sway of northeastern dancers, vigorous tribal dances, every corner has developed its own unique form. Apart from that, Indian Theatre Forms like Yakshagana, Bengali Theatre, Jathra, Tamasha and famous organizations like IPTA and Prithvi Theatre didn’t let my euphoria die as I love theatre more than anything in this world.
Other two things which were most captivating were the Film Industry and Cricket fanatics. The Hindi movie industry is the most prolific in the world. Based in Bombay, hence Bollywood, this spool-spitting machine takes on the onerous responsibility of fuelling India’s prime passion. And oh! The love for cricket will start making you believe in God. Players are worshipped the six-ers are craved like a drop of water in a famine. It’s a mad-mad-mad world and in India cricket stars adorn the doors of innumerable cupboards.
Festivals in India are more than the starts in the sky if counted and each one of them has its own significance and a unique way of being celebrated. Most famous ones are Diwlai, Holi, Dussehra, Durga Pooja etc. I visited India at the time of the festival of Holi and to me, world was never so colorful. People threw colors at each other forgetting all the differences and celebrated the feast together.
Out of all the places I visited in India, three of them were most spellbinding. First among them was The Taj Mahal. The legendary building has set its own standards of expressing love. Its beautiful architecture, shining marble and radiant enigma of perfection will cast a spell over you and you will be left staring at the benign wonder of the world. Next mesmerizing place was Kerala. Kerala ‘The God’s Own country’ is an enchantingly beautiful, emerald green land, flanked by the Western Ghats on one side, the Arabian Sea on the other, and strewn with rivers, lagoons, backwaters and rich vegetation. Legends state that Kerala was created by Parshuram (a famous ancient sage). The last place which drew a scar on my heart was Leh Ladakh. The snow covered mountains all around you; the Buddhist culture, the trekking, the vibrant dance and music forms cheerful people showed me a new side of India!
In short, my first trip to India was so wonderful that even if I write a book about it, it won’t be able to capture the entire essence of this wonderland