India-Rajasthan 2013/2014

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About this blog

My decision to visit India occurred in 2009. Back then I was not even an avid traveller. Backpacking never appealed to me as a suitable way of travelling. Then I went to Thailand for the first time in 2009 and as an independent traveller ie. no bookings with tour agencies. It was as if I stepped out of a cocoon and saw the real world for the first time. Suddenly I realised this potential of seeing the world with an entirely new perspective. I returned from Thailand buzzing with excitement of new prospects.

The very first country that popped up in my mind was India. I could not imagine visiting India in any other ways but to pick up a backpack and run a do-it-yourself trip. Immediately I set out training goals and started backpacking Southeast Asia for my preparation to India. It was a good call. It brought me from Vietnam to The Philippines, saturating me with countless unforgettable experiences.

Mid 2013, I decided that I just had to do India in spite of my work commitments. My ambition for India trip was originally 4 months. This came down to only 17 days and Rajasthan was the destination, namely for the historical cities.

Having met and talked to countless backpackers who had India under their belts, I knew that I will be up for a challenge. Hot topics like cultural shock, violence against women, extreme poverty, caste system...etc are widely discussed and very well documented in many travel articles. It is one thing to read and talk about social cultural anthropology of India but to experience it first hand is like a newborn baby opening her eyes to the world for the first time, usually involving alot of tears.

Population of India is currently 1.3 billion. The world population now is 7.2 billion. The way I see it, there is a 5.5% chance that I could have been born a Hindu in India. In a probable lottery fate, I could have been that rickshaw rider in Agra, or that bollywood actor in Dhoom 3 or that orphan boy squatting under a soiled blanket in Old Delhi market. We all could be.

When I gave away my minty new blanket to the homeless family on my last night in Delhi, the father snatched the blanket so aggressively that I was startled by his reaction. For a bizarre moment, I felt that I was him grabbing the blanket from my own hands...

What can I share about India that has already been revealed so extensively on the news and world wide web? I realised so much more. But this blog will only attempt to scrape the surface of my experiences in a country that spans 4500 years of history. My best summary of India is this - go and see for yourself. India is incredible in every sense of the word.

This is only my first trip but is definitely not my last. India, I am coming back to you in the very near future. As the Rajasthani saying goes "Ram Ram Sa!" - blessing of peace and spirituality!

  • Midnight in Delhi
  • India Intermission
Trip Start Dec 18, 2013
Trip End Jan 03, 2014

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