"I" Is For India - Alphabe Thursday, 3-18-10
I am participating in Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday
No, I was born in Georgia in the United States, not India - but India is the country of my heart. Perhaps I lived there in another life, if you believe in that sort of thing. All I know is that, even before my visit there in February of 1997, I had become intrigued by this country which is the seventh largest in the world, land-wise and the second most populous country.
India has over four thousand miles of coastline, with the Indian Ocean to the south, the Bay of Bengal to the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.
Sunset at Cochin by exfordy
Cochin, now called Kochi, is a city in the Indian state of Kerala, one of India's main seaports.
It is often referred to as "the Queen of the Arabian Sea."
India has one of the world's fastest growing economies, yet it still suffers from overwhelming poverty, illiteracy and disease. Many U. S. companies outsource work to India and pay workers substantially less than they would workers in the U. S. for doing the same job. I find this practice shameful. I feel that Indian workers deserve better salaries.
Street in rural India by mckaysavage
I became acquainted with many Indian crew members during my travels with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line which actually has a hiring office in Mumbai. Many of the crew have become personal friends and, because of their kindnesses, my interest in India grew. I found them to be such an endearing group of people who added so much joy to my life. I began to learn more about the culture and history of the country. I tried Indian food which I found incredible with its exotic spices and different tastes, depending on what part of India from which the cuisine came.
India is a country from which four of the world's major religions came - Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. In the first millenium, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam also were accepted.
India gained its independence from Britain on August 15, 1947 and became a republic in 1950. The country continues to suffer from terrorist attacks and dissension from various factions from time to time. Its military is the third largest in the world, consisting of an army, air force and navy.
According to Wikipedia, "India is the world's most culturally, linguistically and genetically diverse geographical entity after the African continent." One must allow ample time on a visit to this country to adequately see all this diversity, from the Himalayas to the oceans.
Sunrise in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu ( formerly Madras ) is the southernmost state of India and its most urbanised.
Kalpa, India by snotch
Kalpa is in northern India in the Sutlej River Valley, in the Himalaya. It is famous for its apple orchards and its many Buddhist and Hindu temples.
During my stay in India, I was the guest of a friend from Royal Caribbean. He and his family made me feel like royalty as did everyone in his village near the Sahar airport. I had brought two dozen small Energizer squeeze flashlights as gifts for the children in the village so our nights were lit with the sight of them running about, like fireflies, with thier little lights, calling out, "Carmen Auntie, look at us!"
The women were so beautiful in their multicolored saris and matching scarves, especially on Sundays when they wore their most special ones to church ( many in this village were Catholic ). I would walk the streets of the village and enjoy the wonderful smells emanating from each house and, often, I would be invited inside to taste some delicacy.
One day, we went to Bandra to shop. What treats were in store there - entire shops full of bindis and bangles, caftans, beautiful gold jewelry, Bollywood films ( ohhhh, those actors are so handsome and I have become an addict of Indian film! ).
My dream is to return to India in the fall and to stay an entire six months. Hopefully, this way, I can visit the places I couldn't see with only ten days in the country, see many of my Royal Caribbean friends ( I am known there as "the American mother of the Indian crew" ), and truly get to know MY India on a much more personal level.
Indian market by mckaysavage
Dances of India by Hyougushi
Painted temple roof by mckaysavage
Taj Mahal by voobie
Beautiful mendhi artwork by mckaysavage
Palace at Jaipur by Ahron de Leeuh
Bangles by mckaysavage
Rural Indian women by mckaysavage
I would like to express my gratitude to all the wonderful photographers on flickr who have their work on the creative commons section which I have used here. My post would not have been nearly as special without them.