Posts Tagged ‘ India ’

Slumdog Millionaire and what’s wrong with it!

After living in London for a year I became a fan of Bollywood. Last November I went on holiday to the south of India, because I was simply fascinated by Indian culture. I loved it there. I was fascinated, amazed, sometimes shocked, but most of all I enjoyed my time there. When Slumdog came out and was critically praised I was already wary of going to see it. But last week I finally got around to it and although it was entertaining, there are so many things wrong with it!

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Inspiring elephants

On the video you can see me and a keeper playing with baby elephant Sheba. During my time in India I was touched by the elephants there. Here in the Netherlands we don’t have elephants and we can only view them in zoos. In India it’s very different. There are elephant gods, temple elephants, working elephants and wild elephants. I seized every opportunity I had to see elephants and have had different experiences that I will share with you in this post.

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Mumbai under attack!

My month in India ended in drama. It was a beautiful trip and a wonderful country, everywhere we went we felt completely safe, until on the night of the 26th. In the middle of the night I received a text message from my mom that Mumbai was under attack and if we were ok. We were then still sleeping safely in Silken Sands, our hotel in Goa, Benaulim. The next morning, however, we were supposed to go to Mumbai by train and our hotel, as we found out a bit later, was directly in the danger zone.

We were so lucky. Our travel agent decided we weren’t going to go to Mumbai anymore and bought us tickets from Goa airport to Mumbai’s domestic airport for Friday the 28th. We were relieved. The next days we spent in our room, watching the news and for the first time in India feeling terribly unsafe. Even though we were in Goa, kilometres away from the attacks, I was terrified by the idea that people aimed at tourists and that we’d be next. Especially once I found out the military was patrolling the coastline of Goa, to me that meant we were possibly another target.

Luckily nothing happened! That didn’t mean I wasn’t terrified. The people I’ve met along the journey told me the government of India is as corrupt as can be, which caused me to be terribly afraid of the Indian military. They were patrolling every airport, walking around with loaded guns and dogs that weren’t trained. I felt very much unsafe and wondered when these people would start abusing their authority. That never happened. The only thing I witnessed was a dog attacking an innocent woman at Mumbai’s domestic airport, while we waited for our flight. It just caused me to avoid all dogs, since they were obviously not trained well enough for these situations.

On my way from the domestic airport to the international airport I met this wonderful man called Harrath. He told me the attackers were from Pakistan or another neighbouring country and that they were attacking Mumbai because they were jealous of the tourist industry of India. I don’t know if that’s true, but I was relieved to hear that the terrorists weren’t Indian. The Indian people are incredibly chaotic, curious by nature and tolerant people. They basically accept anything from anyone and won’t cause problems. It’s a shame that these attacks happened and I hope it won’t discourage people from visiting India.

By the gate at the international airport we met a couple that escaped from the tower of the Taj hotel. They had nothing left, except their passports, some money and the clothes they were wearing. They flew in from America to attend a wedding, which was obviously cancelled due to the horrible events. When I got home, I realised how lucky we are. We are completely safe and unharmed. I feel terrible for all the people that died, got injured or had to live through these attacks. My thoughts are still with them.

A quick update!

I’ve not been able to post much lately, since I’m too busy and have been without internet for a while, but that’s going to change! I’m first going to take a lovely break from everything and I’m making a trip through Southern India, which I’m very excited about and I’ll write about the Indian culture and all my experiences when I get back in December.

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