There was a time in my life when I wanted to go to India. That was replaced by a vow never to go there. Now, after months of related research, I’m thinking, not so much that I should go, but that I could go.
Between the Jungle Book and Gandhi how is a middle class American boy to conceptualize such a place as India? Snakes, tigers, tribal warfare and crowds, always crowds, makes even the brave Westerner cringe and the xenophobic curl up into a raisin. Even a cursory examination of the place confuses one with contradictions; wild and ancient, enlightenment and secular violence, clean rooms and dirt floors. By all accounts it’s a place of sensual overload, a beacon to the adventurer and spiritual seeker, and hell for anyone afraid to leave their comfort zone. So, as an American, bred to love my comfort zone and yet feeling adventurous, India is both exciting and terrifying. Great inspiration for a book don’t you think?