So, here I am…
I find it difficult to put in just a few words what exactly is India to me. In a way, this is why this first post took a little longer to be written (this and the fact that the wi-fi is it not a common sight in India – so we’re back to Romania’s favorite place during the ‘90s: internet cafes!).
The word that kept coming back into my mind, time and time again during my first days in India, was “more”: more colors, more dust, more smells (good and bad!), more noise, more people, more everything, than anywhere else I’ve ever been. Some would say that here there’s more LIFE – with its chaotic, crazy, beautiful, tiresome, full of energy, never-ending play. The first few days I could not stop but welcome everything around me with a bewildered smile, not really sure what to feel about the constant honking, the cows with painted horns, the old, dusty busses full of people, the saris (the saris… and it seems so wonderful and incredible to me that, here, the women are dressed in all these amazing colors, every day of their life!), the dust, the noise, the garbage that seems to pile up on the side of the street, the welcoming smile that I am getting from other women… All of this is too much to be captured in just a few photos. Hopefully, I will be able to slowly unfold it, through the posts of this blog, and bring you bits and pieces of what India looks to me.
For now I can show you just a little bit of Tiruvannamalai, a town in the south of India, where we spend our first week and half, in the company of friends from Bucharest. Here, near the sacred Hindu mountain of Arunachala, there’s one of the biggest Hindu temples in south India, as well as the ashram of Ramana Maharshi, an Indian teacher who lived at the beginning of the 20th century.
And it is also here that, courtesy of our resourceful friend Adar, we got invited to a typical south-Indian wedding: and you can imagine how excited I was to have such a change! The ceremony started in the evening, with different rituals expressing the agreement of the two families for the marriage, continued over the night, with more guests arriving from other cities (we were sent home and advised to come early the next morning) and was completed the next day with a ritual performed by the Brahmin, which lasted for almost two hours.