How India Helped Me Find My Purpose in Life

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Should I Move To India?

A few readers have recently posted comments around the blog to the effect of "should I move to India?".....

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5 Things About India that Attract Me

I often get people writing to me, wondering why I choose to live in India. Here are five reasons why I'm under India's spell ....

5 Things About India that Attract Me 5 Things About India that Attract Me

Life in a Rajasthani Village

by Sharell शारेल on March 14, 2013

in Snapshots of India, Travel in India

Post image for Life in a Rajasthani Village

India is a land of extremes, and it’s not hard to notice the contrast between rich and poor. But what about traditional and progressive? If you’re willing to venture off the tourist trail and into India’s villages, there you’ll discover a very different way of life unlike anything you’ve ever encountered.

I spent much of last week in the rural Pali district of Rajasthan, checking out the inspiring rural development work of Mumbai-based Culture Aangan. I went from a city reflective of the “new India”, where women flaunt their bodies in the shortest of mini skirts and love marriages are growing in popularity, to a village where women still cover their heads with a ghoonghat and children have been wed as young as three months old.

“They can’t walk around the fire seven times, so they are carried around on a thali (platter)”, my host informed me. I was staying with a Rajput family in their guest accommodations amongst the fields near Padampura village. My host had taken me to the morning opium meet of the Raika shepherd community. Children were running around everywhere while the shepherds partook in their daily opium fix. “These children are all married,” my host confirmed. “And you?’ I asked him. “No, I’m only 22. In my Rajput community we get married in our late 20s,” he replied. “You’ll have an arranged marriage of course?” “Yes, it’s necessary otherwise the villagers will lose respect for me and my family. As we are head of this area, they need to respect us.”

It was the shepherds that held much more fascination for me though. One smoked continuously on a huge chillum, while another distilled the liquid opium and shared it around. The shepherds were fortifying themselves with tea, tobacco, and opium before heading out to herd their animals all day in the harsh environment. [click to continue…]

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Beatboxing Rajasthani Villager Video

by Sharell शारेल on March 8, 2013

in Snapshots of India, Travel in India

For most of the week, I’ve been in the Pali district of Rajasthan to see and experience the inspiring rural tourism development initiatives of Culture Aangan.

During the evening, the hosts of the homestay where I was staying organised a group of local villagers to come and perform bhajans (Hindu devotional songs). However, one of them had an unexpected extra talent that he was delighted to demonstrate.

There are so many weird and wonderful things to discover in India’s villages, and he was definitely one of them!

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Funny India Photo: Goat Wearing a G-String

by Sharell शारेल on March 1, 2013

in Snapshots of India

Post image for Funny India Photo: Goat Wearing a G-String

I saw this goat on a street in Mandawa, in Rajasthan’s Shekhawati region, recently. There is something not quite right about it. When I showed these photos to a friend of mine, she exclaimed, “The goat is wearing a g-string!”.

But really, what is going on with its strange attire?!

Is your goat really wearing a g-string?!

What the...? Is your goat really wearing a g-string?!

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My Mum’s Visit To Rajasthan

by Sharell शारेल on March 1, 2013

in Family & Friends, Travel in India

Post image for My Mum’s Visit To Rajasthan

Although my mum couldn’t stay in India for a long time, she was able to spend around 10 days here recently. This meant that we could go on a short trip somewhere after my nephew’s wedding. But where to?

Since my mum had never been out of Mumbai, I had the whole of India to choose from. But, since India is such a diverse country with so many varied and remarkable attractions, it wasn’t going to be an easy choice. I wanted to her be amazed and in awe, and to see some sights that she’d read about. I thought about my favorite Indian city, Udaipur, with all its lakes and palaces. Yet, I also wanted her to be able to experience India away from the city. After much deliberation, I decided on the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, and Jaipur.

What convinced me of this plan was that my mum loves to paint and draw, and Shekhawati is full of old painted havelis (mansions). It’s actually possible to stay in one! Since the region is only three hours drive from Jaipur, this would enable us to visit some of Jaipur’s attractions such as Amber Fort and the Old City as well. And, I also wanted to take my mum to the magnificent Rambagh Palace to celebrate her birthday with an unforgettable lunch. [click to continue…]

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Funny India Photo: National School of Decency

by Sharell शारेल on February 4, 2013

in Snapshots of India

Post image for Funny India Photo: National School of Decency

Here’s another reason why I love Odisha — decency is important there. Important enough to have a National School of Decency. Even better, it’s part of an International Indecency Prevention Movement. That’s essential, because we all know indecency comes from the wicked west!

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