India

Superpower India RIP

Superpower India RIP

Superpower India RIP. That was the frontpage of the economic times last week, but that may as well have been called ‘when the shit hits the fan’. The Indian tiger sometimes seems like a clumsy cat as India’s problems come one after another. 2012. 680 million people in India lose power in two consecutive blackouts, […]

Consistently Indian

Consistently Indian

It’s nice to go back to a country that you enjoyed last time and be surprised of the same things catching your attention again. Here is a superficial list of consistent Indian traits that I see every time I visit the country. Wiggles or head nods. Everyone does them. They are viral, toxic. I find myself […]

India  - Pictures

India – Pictures

Books we read. Part I

Books we read. Part I

During this trip we enjoy the privilege of having plenty of time to read. In addition to reading far too many Lonely Planets, some of our picks are stories about the countries we visit, books we always wanted to read and some recommendations. The following are some of the ones we have read so far. […]

Changing gears

Changing gears

Yes, entering Bhutan from India requires a change of gears in many ways. Even though the towns of Jaigaon (India) and Puentsholing (Bhutan) are glued together and locals walk happily back and forth through a big gate, for us, they are two different worlds in many ways. After two months of traveling independently through India […]

Darjeeling Unlimited

Darjeeling Unlimited

After 2 months of travel through India and many hours spent on the vast rail network (legacy of the Brits) here a few facts and experiences. Kilometers traveled: over 3000 km Hours spent on Indian trains: over 700 hours Longest delay: 14 hours, on the journey from Varanasi to Kolkata (normal duration: 12 hour, our […]

Arranged/Love

Arranged/Love

This is the last town we visit in India. It has a border in the middle, half of it already belongs to Bhutan. I chat with Manish, a 20-year old boy, who asks naively if our marriage is arranged or love. Quite a common question for India, as arranged marriages are more than 90% of […]

A peaceful street in India

A peaceful street in India

We leave India, and the last place we visit is Gangtok, East Sikkim. If the rest of India struck us for the lack of regulations and the way some people abuse their freedom (we heard someone blaming this on Gandhi), the center of Gangtok is an example of the extreme opposite. If in most of […]

Women at work

Women at work

Es Domingo en Sikkim, al noreste de India. Caminando entre varios  pueblos, nos encontramos en la carretera una gran señal que indica  “men at work”. Pero no hay hombres, sólo una mujer sentada en el borde de la carrerera, a la que le ha tocado trabajar hoy. Y no es cualquier trabajo. Esta mujer de […]

Khangchendzonga

Khangchendzonga

Khangchendzonga, Kangchenjunga, Kangchen Dzö-nga,… One of different names, all  absent from our text books back at school. Did we sleep in geography class or was the teacher too afraid of its pronunciation? We are talking about the world’s third highest mountain, after Everest and K2.  Khangchendzonga means 5 peaks, and casts its powerful spell over […]

India en construcción

India en construcción

Rahul, 16 años. Se levanta a las 5am. Tarda poco en llegar al trabajo porque en realidad vive allí, en un edificio en construcción en el centro de Calcuta. El jefe de obra llegará a las 9, y aún tiene tiempo de subir unos ladrillos al cuarto piso que están construyendo. [flickr]http://www.flickr.com/photos/35413670@N07/4052531488/[/flickr] En un país […]

India 40 days later

India 40 days later

Arrival to India. After over-passing the first overwhelming days, we enjoy the beautiful sights and the multiple colors of the country. We are not able however to connect with its people. 28 days later. Heat, dirt, noise, a relentless siege from rickshaw drivers, pseudo official guides and hotel owners. Seems like most of the people […]

Diwali!

Diwali!

On our way to the mountains of north India, we happen to be in Kolkata (Calcutta) for the Diwali celebrations. Diwali is the festival of light, probably the biggest festival in India. [flickr]http://www.flickr.com/photos/35413670@N07/4050225622/[/flickr] [flickr]http://www.flickr.com/photos/35413670@N07/4055029633/[/flickr] Candles and floral decorations, family gatherings and fireworks galore. Beautifully dressed indians worship gods Ganesh and Lakshmi, as a new beginning […]

Vida y muerte en el Ganges

Vida y muerte en el Ganges

Unas gotas de agua sagrada del Ganges, nos cuenta Rajnish, al mezclarse con litros de otro agua le dan a esta poderes curativos, pudiéndose conservar durante años. La organización que se encarga de la limpieza del Ganges alerta sin embargo de una contaminación extrema del río, que contiene un 10.000% más bacterias del límite establecido […]

La privacidad en India

La privacidad en India

A parte de las clásicas escenas de gente pobre en India que vive en la calle y usa el cielo abierto para todas sus necesidades vitales, hay otras señales que nos hacer pensar que el concepto de privacidad en India es muy diferente que el que tenemos en occidente: Al reservar un billete de tren […]

We got robbed!!!

We got robbed!!!

The victim: Mister O., male Caucasian, mid thirties, handsome features, heavy beard, backpacker look [flickr]http://www.flickr.com/photos/35413670@N07/4004413884/[/flickr] The object: 3 bananas (value: 6 rupies or 8 euro cents) The perpetrator: (the perpetrator is underage, his identity can therefore not be revealed, for the purpose of this report we will call him “monkey”). Details of incident: 16.30 Agra, […]

Mr. Singh y el templo dorado

Mr. Singh y el templo dorado

El Sijismo es una religión desconocida para nosotros, que nos ha llamado mucho la atención. Intenta reconciliar el Hinduismo y el Islam, cogiendo lo mejor de cada una de estas religiones históricamente enfrentadas en India. Por ejemplo, reniega del sistema de castas hindú para favorecer los vínculos humanos, simplifica la colección de Dioses hindúes en […]

La rutina en el trabajo

La rutina en el trabajo

Trayecto McLeod Ganj-Pathankot. El autobús de linea en el que vamos baja velozmente las curvas de las últimas estribaciones de los Himalayas. De repente para en seco, hay dos vacas descansando en medio de la carretera. Poco después un monje tibetano se baja y agita su túnica cerca de las vacas. Estas, lejos de asustarse, […]

Free Tibet

Free Tibet

Deep in our sleep we hear chants “free Tibet”, “we want justice” ,”50 years of injustice”, suddenly we wake up and realize that the voices are not in our dreams, but in front of our window. We watch a demonstration passing by: about 200 people, most of them red-robed Buddhist monks, many Tibetan flags, some […]

Roedores sagrados

Roedores sagrados

Estamos en el 7º día de la celebración de Navratri, la fiesta de Durga, diosa de la destrucción del mal. En la esquina más occidental de Rajastán, el pueblo donde estamos venera a Karni Mata, una de las muchas reencarnaciones de Durga. Según cuenta la leyenda, Karni Mata, consiguió devolver a la vida a un […]