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Saturday, December 27, 2008


Credible India

My visit to India is over. India is indeed incredible as the campaign claims. There are so many aspects to India, in one month I was barely able to scrape the surface. Perhaps one day I'll return but for now I'd like to revisit my preliminary blog Anticipating India.

Voluptuous and sexy women? Perhaps they exist but the India I saw was quite conservative. Indian women generally dress quite modestly. Saris and variations of them are designed to cover not reveal. However women wear them with style. I enjoyed the bright colours of Indian traditional dress. And a beautiful woman is still a beautiful woman without revealing all.

Enlightened beings? I have never in my life met someone who I could say 100% is an enlightened being, not in Australia, nor Thailand and not in my one month in India. Do they exist or are they the subject of legends? I don't really know. If they do, perhaps they are there in Australia in the same proportion as they are in India but having a much greater population, India may have a greater number just as they would have a greater number of charlatans. As for finding enlightened ones and separating them from the charlatans, let me know if you are successful.

Lofty principles? I'm sure they exist among some of the population. What stood out more for me was the poverty. Perhaps for a vast number of the Indian population their principles are based on the need to find enough food to survive the day. Perhaps it is up to those who have the luxury of lofty principles to address the issue of the great disparity between rich and poor in this country.

Shit in the street? I have been to another extremely poor country where I've seen more evidence of people using the streets as their toilet. However, in India, with the large number of holy cows that wander freely one still needs to be careful when walking in the street.

Bag stealing on trains? I didn't do a lot of train travel. I encountered no problems. Hey, I still have my passport : ). Perhaps we need to be careful wherever and however we travel.

Honesty in business dealings? I've already written about one hotel where they charged over the quoted price. I encountered one travel agent who charged an exorbitant booking fee and had all sorts of reasons to justify it. I didn't believe them. Quoted prices in India often do not reflect the final price. Considerable taxes may be added and people are not always upfront about this. Apart from this, I found the vast majority of Indians I had dealings with to be open, honest and helpful. I believe it is time that more emphasis was placed on these people. Instead of promoting Incredible India perhaps the government tourist authority should be promoting Credible India. How about a campaign to ask travellers to dob in someone who was honest and helpful? I'm sure there are many of them in this incredible country.

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