Our guide repeated in India you need 3 things to survive... a horn, brakes, and luck.
It is a country of incredible contrasts, beauty, colors, exquisite gardens alongside squalor, poverty and garbage. Huge piles of garbage with wild cattle or boars munching away. Children unclothed on highway ditches, anything that could move overloaded with goods and or people and noise! The noise never stopped. Two days later I was still hearing horns blaring. Six lanes of traffic often leading into a two way road we'd call a lane, with buses, bikes, motor scooters, anything with a wheel, loaded so precariously it was shocking. We saw one massive agri load on its side. No surprise. I have lots of pictures for in person visits!
We saw elephants, dancers with 7 pots on their heads balanced on two soup cans?? and men in robes smoking, spitting, yelling or swearing. A barrage of contradting feelings, sights, sounds crashing together in any given moment. And noise...crowds. 1.3 billion people!
But the kind, sincere, yearning eyes of woman and children child caught me routinely, touching my heart profoundly. Such beauty and acceptance in what we'd find intolerable in our western lives... always trying to please, help, connect. Smiles through bus windows never ending. A wave, giggle, peace sign. We were the fish in a bowl atop a tourist bus, being pointed at happily or angrily. So far from their world it was like bring in a 3 d movie. Unreal. But it was real. We watched bits of their every day lives unfold. Painfully for me. Add most of the men seemed angry or aggressive... hounding us for anything any time.
I see why visitors find India so emotionally tough to visit. I did not see the limbless children or leppers in Calcutta nor can I imagine their lives. Again I felt, I am blessed by a fluke of where I was born geographically. Their lot could have been mine. Hinduism and returning to a better ( or worse) life must give them hope? India affects all travelers. I understand why.
More in person... historically and culturally an amazing country! I am grateful for the little time I had in India. No I do not have an urge to return soon, in reality it was too painful. A weak response I realize.