Reflections After Ravandur

“India is everything,” says our host. “Here you can find the best of humanity and the absolute worst, often times on the same street.” If Martians were to land on earth and ask for the best representation of human life, I would point to India, for what our host says is true. 

Good and bad exist everywhere, but of all the places I’ve been so far India exhibits the two virtues in closest proximity to each other. Our host tells us there is a word in Hindi that expresses the notion that foreigners should be treated like gods. “If they take the time to come to India, they deserve to be treated like deities” he said. This explains why the British were able to exploit and occupy India for so long. 

And this is what I mean when I talk about the proximity of the good and bad here. The genuine act of human kindness that welcomes and reveres foreigners can be so easily perverted into something wicked. The good here balances upon a sphere, and with only the slightest adjustment topples the good into misery. 

Our host tells us of his neighbor growing up, how his neighbor now works in IT and makes tons of money, and how his neighbor threw such an extravagant wedding, buying his bride a brand new luxury car, but he didn’t invite his own mother, blind and alone at home; he couldn’t be bothered to figure out a way to get her to the venue. Our host now takes care of his neighbor’s mother, the rest of the family being too caught up with sudden wealth and extravagance.

I would tell that Martian to examine India because of stories like these, but there’s more to it than just the close presence of good and evil. I would tell him to investigate here because here he might also see that, despite continually being toppled, the good, like our venerable host, always climbs back up on that sphere. 

One comment

  1. Colin Reilly says:

    Excellently said. It has been a year since I visited India and your article still stirs many emotions. The streets can be heart breaking, but the country is still the most genuine representation of humanity I have ever had the privilege of experiencing.

    Like

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