Today will be my last day in India after 5 years of a more or less continuous stay.
It was an after all an overwhelming experience enabling me to see India multi - faceted lot more than tourist perspective of Indian live. On one side, due to the fact that I never was able to learn Hindi or Maharani I was not always able to understand what was going on around me And Indians me see me as an ignorant. On the other side I travelled most of the times like the Indians.
Indians now want to know my general impression about India and it is very difficult to define because the country is so large and multi- cultural with a social structure starting with the people sleeping at the border of the street, people living in the city in small tents, small house owners, the growing middle class, the owners of affiliates and medium size factories and the Mittals and Abamis. A variety of religions all with their own traditions, customs prejudices and the government trying hard (and quite successful) to avoid conflicts and real clashes.
What I admired the most in India is the free press and this is also the base of democracy to get people informed on a regular - non cheating base. Also the style of the news paper I know is very decent and informative; the stories of Spears and Hilton are really banned to the last pages. In general Indians are very open minded, honest and helpful.
In the 5 years I was in India, 3 times I lost my passport (simply felt out of the jacket) one time in Mumbai airport; people (non officials) followed my path from 1c to 1 d terminal based on the picture inside the passport to bring it back to me. I have to thank them. In 5 years in India nothing was stolen nothing went lost ! Stolen were 2 expensive Konia’s in Neuss, Germany.
I enjoyed the weekly flights (Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai) in earlier times struggling with the comfort of the old domestic flight terminals , with no time of flight and gate indication ( gate were announced by screaming either in the loudspeaker or by natural voice) to the already quite sophisticated domestic terminals now.
Walking to the streets of India should always remind us western how our countries looked like 1 or even 2 generation ago. One or two generation ago we had the same discomforts, with missing hygienic toilets , people spitting everywhere, rouspering , sneezing everywhere without limits and having no handkerchiefs. One day in a German news paper having a test (the call it Knigge - test) about not to do- in India, it was mentioned never clean your nose in front of people. Of coarse it is not a bad behaviour to clean the nose in an handkerchief, but since most Indians don't have, in the hand is a bad behaviour (Mr Bean I hear your objections)
Indian woman did not like me, well at least not as close as I was dreaming of, but this was very good and my Portuguese wife will for sure be happy about that.
Now than bad points and this are also the points where Indians might have problems when they go abroad and sure get attacked.... and this is than called racial but from my point of view it is not, is just a cultural conflict.
- Indians have no idea what is the meaning of a queue, they don't want to stand in- line don't respect the line and will do everything possible to omit the line.
- Indian traffic is the most dangerous of the world, I assume their are rules but no drivers know them and if they know they don't mind. Police doesn't mind either.
- Please don't walk in India , side walks ( beside Delhi) are just for trees , cows, hawkers, panels, high voltage transformers, shiting, and other activities , but not for walking
I could for sure write a lot more about my expiernces but need some sleep otherwise I will miss my flight back to Europe.
I THANK ALL INDIANS I MET FOR THE GENEROSITY,RESPECT AND HELP AND I HOPE TO COME BACK AS A TOURIST SOON
I still have a lot od unpublished expierences and pictures , so I will try hard to continue this blog , even if I will not be in India anymore
31 March 2010
Today will be my last day in India after 5 years of a more or less continuous stay.
10 March 2010
01 March 2010
26 February 2010
Books or publications showing prictures with Jesus showing a smoke in one hand and a beer in the other hand provoked strong reactions in Shilong and Jalandhar. The Shilong Archidioese Youth Movement (ICYM) condenmed the the print, saing : " This call for stong actions from the concerned authorities"
In Jhalandar armed Christian youth forced closure of shops triggering quick retaliation provoking the 15 bikes burnt. Later a curfew for the city was released.
If now Christian are behaving with the same stupid intolerance as moslems it is getting problematic. Jezus as no problem to see himself with beer and cigarettes he is above us in a form we cannot understand and it will take a couple of decades we might be able to understand , therefore we have to believe, there is no reason to defend him, he is over us.
Fog season in Gurgaon and Delhi starts normaly at the end of Nov and ends by the last days of January. Living now here for 5 years always in the vicinity of the airport it looks to me as if the combination of the natural ambient fog combines to the heavy air polution. India don't want to spent money on redicilous (they think) ambient emission measurement, there are only figures for particulates available, therefore the figures for SO2, CO , THC, NOx and O3 are unknow. I assume for good reasons these figures should not be measured, once published , tourist would avoid Delhi in particular and India in special. I assume that the 5 years in India I was more exposed to poisinious pollutants than all the rest of my live together.
Another city was famously exposed in dense fogs that brought visibility to zero, the LONDON of the Sherlock Holmes stories and the tales of Jack the Ripper.All this is history , London is now blessed with clear skies even on the most wintry days.
The clean air act of 1956 forced people to stop burning coal and wood to heat homes.
As long as India don't has any regulations for ambient pollutants and more important also the equipment to measure it, the situation with get worse and worse. In the automtive sector it is all good regulated but for ambient it is catastrophic and India should take the responsability not to invite any tourist, taking is health at risk.
Long time ago a wrote already a post about the unbelievable situation of the sidewalks in India, but now I did find a more neutral publication from
Indrajit Hazra , Hindustan Times
I may have to manoeuvre myself through tributaries of urine and rows of shacks and stalls — and, on so many occasions, walk through people’s ramshackle living rooms — in Calcutta. But even with its village’s cape, Calcutta still makes it as a city because a person is able to walk from (almost) any point to any other if he wants to do so.
In Mumbai, walking is not confined to strolling in parks or along the sea front to stay fit. People walk there also to simply move — aimlessly or with a purpose — thus making even that grizzly leaking beast of a city such an attractive conglomeration of spots for bipeds.
Delhi is to pedestrians what garlic is to vampires. Even if the urbane middle-class Delhiite deigns to get down from his E-class or rigged-meter auto-rickshaw, there is no place to walk across vast stretches of the capital city of India. Without the safety and the vantage point of footpaths, we, middle-class residents of India’s only truly cosmopolitan city, are denied the choice available to all modern citizens: walking through one’s own city.
With no mainstream walking culture possible, some of us end up singing dohas to cracklingly crowded and grubby lanes and bylanes in Old Delhi and Chandni Chowk. In other words, Delhi revels in its underbelly without having a belly. Which is why Delhiites opt for Footpath Walking Lite: walking around (mostly in circles) the shopping areas of Connaught Place, Khan Market, South Extension and all those pretend boulevards inside malls that hope to satisfy a bit of our primal metropolitan urge to walk in public spaces amid fellow, anonymous citizens.
The urban phenomenon of footpaths (villages don’t need them) first appeared in Paris with the mushrooming of shopping arcades between the 1780s and 1860s. People started walking away from the dangerous streets with its speeding traffic and mud and mounds into the safety and ‘public privacy’ of the boulevards and sidewalks lined against or near these shops. Thus, an urban activity was born: strolling.
This, in turn, brought about streetlights and public transportation (both of these abundantly in short supply in Delhi 2010). It also gave birth to the urban sophisticate who literally used the city for his pleasures. Charles Baudelaire wrote in the 1890s about the flaneur, the leisurely stroller of cities: “The crowd is his domain, as the air is that of the bird or the sea of the fish. His passion and creed is to wed the crowd.” Not everyone, though, was pleased about footpaths and the new breed of citizens they spawned. Sounding like a future South Dilliwalla, a character in a 1866 French play whined: “Nowadays, for the least excursions, there are miles to go! An eternal sidewalk going on and on forever! This isn’t Athens any more, it’s Babylon!”
But before we get all poetic about the joys that footpaths can bring us, there’s the more prosaic matter of the proposed amendment to the Delhi Police Act, 1978. Jaywalking, defined as the act of a pedestrian illegally or recklessly crossing roads, is something that Delhiites engage in without having a choice on a regular basis. The penalty for jaywalkers is, on paper, Rs 20. The new law, if and when it’s passed, plans to up the fine to Rs 1,000. A bit rich, don’t you think, considering that it’s like punishing a ravenous vegetarian for eating meat when there’s only chicken on the menu?
But then, the proposed law brings hope. If walking along Delhi’s roads really becomes illegal, the authorities will be forced to provide us with proper footpaths. Who knows? The city may get universal streetlights and public transportation too. So thank god for foreigners from Commonwealth countries descending on Delhi in October. They’ll want to walk about town and not only along the grimy bits. And that’s how we’ll wrangle our own footpaths. Hurrah!
From Dwaipayan Ghosh | TNN
According to police, Dr B P Singh of orthopaedic surgeon and owner of Prayag Hospital in Sector 41 in Noida ( is a satellite city of Delhi with only 3 Mio habitants), had attempted to kill journalist Mahesh Vats because the latter had failed to pay his hospital bills.
Vats, who had reportedly paid a part of his Rs 32,000 bill to the hospital, had claimed that the treatment at the hospital was inadequate. Vats was admitted at the hospital a few years ago after he met with an accident. Matters got complicated in June 2007 when Dr Singh moved a city court to recover the remaining dues, about Rs 25,447, and the court directed the journalist to pay up. Vats then filed an application under RTI Act seeking information from Noida Authority over the alleged ‘‘illegal’’ construction in Prayag Hospital. Vats had even dragged the hospital to the consumer court and a local civil court.
On August 16, 2007, a speeding Alto car hit Vats, who was on his scooter near Sector 71. The driver of the car ‘‘fled’’, but eyewitnesses claimed that three men got out of the car after Vats fell on the road and started beating him up. ‘‘The unidentified assailants then admitted Vats in Prayag Hospital and left the place. When policemen went to the
hospital, they found the victim being treated in the general ward. It was only after the policemen intervened that Vats was admitted in the intensive care unit (ICU),’’ said an investigating officer.
The critically injured journalist was later shifted to Metro Hospital where he was placed under life support system. ‘‘The journalist had suffered severe head injuries and he succumbed to his injuries three days later,’’ added the officer.
Based on a FIR lodged by one of Vats friend — U K Bharadwaj, a property dealer — police registered a case of abduction against the doctor and arrested him.
Noida police sources admitted that they had received several letters from the journalist in which he had said that four men had tried to barge into his
house around 2am on August 11, 2007 — five days before he met with the accident. In the letters, the journalist had alleged that the unwanted visitors were policemen from Sector 58 police station. The scribe had also claimed he was threatened on July 18 and August 1, in 2007.