Sunday, October 25, 2015

Tourist grows fonder of India

As I lit up the first Panama cigarette of the day, I reflected that the more I saw of India, the more I liked it. Wandering through the streets, and observing the many herds of sacred cows, for instance, I could now view them as amiable, benevolent spirits rather than unnecessary public nuisances. Previously, I had been irked to hear that there were twice as many cows in India than human beings, and that this explained a lot fo the prevailing food shortage. Now, however, I could see some of their values. Not only did their endless patience and calm stoicism impart some sense of order and tranquillity to busy Indian streets, but they also managed to keep the accumulations of waste and rubbish on the road down by eating a remarkable amount of it.

Part of my misconception of India, I was now coming to realise, lay in the fact that foreign tourists like me only saw a certain "type" of Indian—generally the type who wanted money. The vast majority of Indian people are of course neither insensitive nor grasping. 
Frank Kusy, Kevin and I in India (Grinning Bandit Books: 2013), p. 208 (first published 1986)

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