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New York Cool - Ask Miss Wendy


Off The Beaten Path:
India

Written by Wendy R Williams
Photographed by
Katherin Wermke


Opposite Photo:
Mysore Palace


“No people whose word for 'yesterday' is the same as their word for 'tomorrow' can be said to have a firm grip on the time.”
Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children

India is steeped in history, long before present day, travelers followed the Grand Trunk Road across the continent to return laden with textiles and spices and tales of the wonders of India - stories of the exotica of the land and the wonders of a culture that invented the numbering system and was centuries ahead of the Western world in science and medicine. The country that was ruled by the Maharajahs, appropriated by the East India Company and forced to become part of the British Empire, was finally freed by Gandhi and became the most populous democracy in the world.

Today, India is blessed with one of the fastest growing economies in the world, benefiting both from outsourcing from the the world's more developed nations and the work of its own rising entrepreneur class. One of India's homegrown industries, Bollywood, aka Hindi Films, is one of the largest film centers in the world. India's Silicon Valleys abound. And it is a rare Western home without a touch of imported Indian art.

But it is different in the hinterland. Far from the bustle of the developing cities, time has seemingly stopped. The backwater of India is a place of strong contrasts; an environment both oppressively hot and stunningly beautiful. Exotic animals and brilliantly colored flowers and spices create the background for a society mired in abject poverty. Yet where there is life, there is always hope and the possibility of change. And the Gods and Goddesses must have really loved India to have made it so achingly beautiful.

Keith Bellows wrote this about India for The National Geographic: “There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won't go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds. It was as if all my life I had been seeing the world in black and white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor.”


Alleppey


Alleppey


Kumarakom Backwaters


Kumarakom Backwaters


Kumarakom Backwaters


Kumarakom Backwaters


Kumarakom Backwaters


Verbanand Lake


Verbanand Lake Ferry


Devaraja Market


Devaraja Market


Road from Mysore to Bangalore


Chinese Fishing Net Fort Kochi


Hindi Wedding


Hindi Wedding


Hindi Wedding


Kalari Center Thekkady


Kalari Center Thekkady


Kalari Center Thekkady


Mudamalai National Park


Mudamalai National Park


Mysore


Mysore Market


Mysore Market


Mysore Palace


Ootty


Ootty Market


Ootty Market


Ootty Market


Ootty Train


Ootty Train


Ootty Train


Ootty Train


Thekkady


Thekkady


Thekkady


Thekkady


Vimala Welfare Center


Vimala Welfare Center

 

 

 

 

 


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