+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| I'm on gnu social / facebook / twitter / linkedin / g+ / instagram / tumblr |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|         _______                 | Democracy is the worst form of            |
|     ,--'.:::::.`-._             | Government except all those other forms   |
|    /..:::::::::::..\            | that have been tried from time to time.   |
|   /..:::::::::_;::::|           | - Winston Churchill                       |
|  || `---'----' _|:::|           |                                           |
|  ||            `;:::|           |                                           |
|  |' ====  ====  |-::|           |                                           |
|  |-( @ )-( @ )--|O):|           |                                           |
|   |  ` |   `    |/::'           |                                           |
|   .    v        |:/   jeremy@   |                                           |
|    |   ___,     ||    malcolm   |                                           |
|     \   --    _/|     .id.au    |                                           |
|      \_____.-'__/-.__           |                                           |
|      _|     _/|::.\.::-._       |                                           |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| [*] news     [ ] about    [ ] writing  [ ] journal  [ ] images   [ ] guests |
|  +--- last 10                                                               |
|  |->> archive                                                               |
|  `--- search                                                                |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
+--| India |------------------------------------------------------------------+
|                                                                             |
| I have had a very full week of meetings in New Delhi, but also two          |
| weekends on either side when I was able to squeeze in some sightseeing      |
| (for which Dom was very keen to join me).  I had previously been to         |
| Hyderabad which is further south, and most of the Malaysian Indians are     |
| from Tamil Nadu which is further south still, so north India was a new      |
| experience.  Rather than the garishly-painted and elaborately carved        |
| exteriors depicting Hindu deities that we associated with Indian temples    |
| in Malaysia, here there is a much stronger influence from Islamic           |
| architecture, with simpler designs in unadorned sandstone, or embellished,  |
| if at all, with geometric patterns inlaid in marble, semiprecious stone or  |
| mirror glass.  At one New Delhi site (the Qutub complex, which sports the   |
| world's largest brick minaret), it was interesting to see how the earlier   |
| designs that carry Hindu themes later gave way to simpler but still         |
| beautiful Islamic patterns.                                                 |
|                                                                             |
| The Taj Mahal in Agra was a predictable highlight of our trip, though a     |
| pale reflection of that masterwork in more earthy hues can also be found    |
| in New Delhi itself, at Hunyamun's Tomb.  Also well worth seeing, about 40  |
| miles north of Agra, was the palace and mosque of Fatehpur Sikri in         |
| Rajasthan, which included three separate palaces for the Maharaja's         |
| Christian, Muslim and Hindu wives respectively - the last of these the      |
| largest, because it was she who bore him a son.  On the same day we         |
| continued on to Jaipur, where in addition to an enormous millenium-old      |
| Mughal palace and fort on the outskirts, and an opulent still-occupied      |
| city palace in the pink-painted old town, we saw another palace that rises  |
| out from the middle of a lake - perfect for the scorching weather this      |
| area suffers through in summer!                                             |
|                                                                             |
| The other main attraction of India is simply to observe the chaotic way in  |
| which life goes on here, and that takes only a drive through town - the     |
| way that man, beast and machine battle for supremacy of the dusty potholed  |
| roads, the food carts, gypsies and open-air barbers who occupy the verges,  |
| the children and street-vendors who dart amongst the cars with hands        |
| outstretched, the cow-dung cakes that are piled up in neat stacks by the    |
| road, and the unending cacophony of horns from cars and tuk-tuks.           |
| Interestingly, whereas beeping your horn without cause is seen as rude in   |
| Australia, here most slower-moving vehicles have a painted sign on the      |
| back actually inviting those around them to "horn please" - and they do.    |
| Noise pollution isn't the only irritant on Indian roads; after half a day   |
| of travelling, it will take you a while to wipe all the soot out of your    |
| orifices.                                                                   |
|                                                                             |
| Compared to other countries that I've visited in the region, India's        |
| culture seems to be very strong; traditional costumes remain everyday wear  |
| for many, local music is heard more often than foreign pop music, local     |
| celebrities such as Abitabh Bachan and Sharukh Khan adorn billboards, and   |
| even though English language is ubiquitous, it is India's whimsically       |
| archaic variant (for example, a bus is called a "stage carriage" - though   |
| I'm still not sure of the difference between a "crore" and a "lakh").  We   |
| caught an infectious Bollywood-style stage show called Zangroora, and sat   |
| through the first half untranslated in Hindi - thankfully, Bollywood        |
| musicals are rather predictable and so we followed it quite well!           |
|                                                                             |
| So too, we ate little else than Indian food.  Whereas we have mostly south  |
| Indian food in Malaysia such as curries, here I enjoyed some of the         |
| northern dishes, particularly Punjabi food such as grilled meats, patties   |
| and a bewildering variety of breads.  Having said that, I couldn't resist   |
| also stopping in at McDonalds - just to try their Maharaja Mac, which I     |
| had read about back home - the beef patties are replaced with chicken, and  |
| a Indian-spiced mayonnaise added.                                           |
|                                                                             |
+---------------------| posted 1632 days ago via news | reply (2 comments) |--+
| << Back                                                                     |
| page generated in 0.527 seconds                   sadlittlewebjournal 3.2.5 |
| content (c) its respective creator(s)                    web administration |
| valid html 4.01 transitional                                       rss feed |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+