INDIA: Chaotic … Overpopulated … VIBRANT … INSPIRING.
After a recent visit to India, the New York Times columnist Roger Cohen wrote this:
“India is ample. Soon to be the most populous country on earth, it is home to close to a billion Hindus, some 172 million Muslims, and tens of millions of Christians. Cochin is dotted with churches and mosques. Nobody cares too much. There’s room for multiple truths. It is this that makes the country such a source of hope.”
Despite its many problems, including overcrowding and the occasional flaring of religious violence, Cohen writes that India’s “basic alchemy is good.” India is an inspiration to the world.
My book READINGS FROM AN INDIA JOURNAL — available at amazon.com — includes an entry from May 2003, in which I expressed observations similar to Cohen’s.
Here is part of what I wrote:
“THERE IS A VIBRANCY to life here in India, an immediacy, an openness, an aliveness, which might best be described as vibrancy. It is as if the whole society is quivering, tuned to some psychic frequency…. Many are the observers who see only disorganization and chaos here. Yet is it this very seeming chaos which brings color, variation, contrast, vibrancy to the tapestry. An Indian crowd is resplendent with life.”
I grew up in India and — after concluding my Peace Corps service in Kyrgyzstan— I will soon be in India again and then will return to my normal life pattern, spending half a year in my American hometown, Seattle, and half a year in my Indian hometown, Khajuraho.
21 April 2017