Insane India

Posted by in Inspiration board, RUG-ART design journal

The Taj-Mahal (shown left) is way more magnificent and overwhelming in real life.
I don’t know how to put it in words but I cannot describe what India is all about and if I do it would take more than a blog. I’ve visited India a few times and believe me I haven’t seen nothing yet. It’s a never-ending country with a never-ending culture, people, languages and religions. It’s incredible. The very long flight, anticipation, delays and everything else that come with travel, once I landed all the headache and fatigue were well worth the effort. India is a country that’s impossible to believe.
You can’t miss India on the map. Surrounded by wall of Himalayan mountains and large seas this land is full of contradictions.  It’s massive and exaggerated. A world in itself. I felt in a complete trance, a feeling that stayed well rooted in my soul long after I returned home.
When I left the air craft I could smell ashes in the air. I looked up and saw foggy skies. It was late and a thick layer of pollution was floating above my head. It didn’t bother me, I was too excited to see what’s ahead. I felt  fortunate to arrive to India and discover a whole new world, life. Fifteen hour flight is no picnic and Jet-lag didn’t hit. Yet. Landing at night was the best because I got to go right to sleep and woke up the next morning to a new world, literally.

Lobby of a very chic hotel in India, Shangri-la

Same hotel lobby displays elaborate flower arrangement. A visual feast.

It feels alluring to wake up in the morning and a lush glamorous arrangement of flowers welcomes you. Everything in the hotel was luxurious. The interiors, arrangements of furniture, the bar, restaurants even the elevators all looked well thought out. Young Indian girls wearing magnificent traditional Saris lead us to the breakfast room. Service was impeccable. But wait! this is not the real India. The point is, one step outside the hotel and the real adventure begins. Let me add that staying at a chic hotel in India helped keep my sanity for the night. It was too much to take in. It was insane.
Indian breakfast and tea Masala was part of this unforgettable experience. Simply a treat.
It seems that there are more Rickshaw on the roads than any other transportation in India. In mid-day this circular area is crazy with traffic we got dizzy. Looking at this photo I can still hear the noises of buses, cars, motorcycles, rickshaw. We risked our lives trying to cross the streets. ‘Run don’t walk’ was our motto. Traffic rules? what rules?
Poverty in India is beyond words and this is a mild short memoir of what I’ve seen. My first image of a very young girl, a baby, wearing only a t-shirt. She was trying to reach the balls that hung on the other side of the fence. She wasn’t afraid to climb the railings to get those soccer balls while traffic was swirling around her. Didn’t seem to bother her the intense heat shooting through the asphalt and burning her little feet. I admired her persistence. Don’t know if she reached to the balls. The sidewalk was stationed in a middle of a very busy intersection in Delhi. I had enough time to follow the girl with my eyes and wonder about her and many other children in India. I was afraid she would get hurt, fall on the hot asphalt or get hit by a car. I looked around but no one was there but her. Was she an orphan?  hungry? tired? I couldn’t get my eyes off of her until she vanished from my view as we drove away.

Different ways to explore India:

The best way is by Rickshaw, in my opinion (if you can stand the scorching sun unless you arrive between Oct-March). When we visited around April the sun hit 125 degrees F., we decided to go on a Rickshaw for a leisure “walk”. Yeah, we thought we’d turn to heroes. Take a cab. With AC.
I looked at these juicy fruits and all I thought about was my colored pencils and rug designs. Yes, as much as I enjoyed being there I couldn’t wait to return to the office and draw my inspirations.
If you notice there is a sign by the first fruit on the second row: “Dragon fruit”. It’s  from the ‘cactus’ family (No wonder it looks creepy). It’s pink and green on the outside with white or super red flash inside. BUT, delicious.
On my visit India celebrated Dewali holiday known as festival of lights. The staff at our hotel decorated the floors with painted rice, to create shapes of flowers. Yes, painted rice. By hand. Meticulous and time consuming but results in an unbelievable focal point.

How creative is that. So gorgeous.
More on India and the Taj-Mahal click here.
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