Deserts, jungles, forts, windswepped beaches and the Himalayas.
Recently the kids and I were sat on a balcony in Malana (Himachal Pradesh, Northern India) it was coming to the end of our time in India and as we sat looking out over the snow-capped Himalayas, we had experienced forts beyond our wildest imagination, deserts, fifty degree heat, jungles, monkeys, elephants, burning bodies, altitude sickness and a lost civilisation, we had rode camels in the desert and paraglided off mountains some 4000m high, we had rode and crashed motorbikes, kicked coconuts across the beach, and found ourselves immersed in vast tea plantations and I wondered – Was there anywhere else on earth quite like India. The answer is no, there isn’t. India is like an out of control monolith that could not care less if it tried, fuelled by a spirituality unrivalled, a complex interweaving of cultures and history and a guy called Sanjay straight out of Saturday Night Fever at it’s helm. You don’t get welcomed to India – You anonymously slip in under the radar and whilst you try and find your feet, the vast sub-continent flies forward at break neck pace crushing everything in its path. You can very easily get left behind, but keep up and find yourself in our favourite country in the world, amongst friends, amongst the most diverse country in the world, amongst 1.2 billion people, amongst 50% poverty, amongst deserts, snow and jungles – It’s paradise if you want it.
Welcome to India.