India? This is where I confess my absolute naivety and lack of knowledge about the world around me.
I will not pretend here that my geography is any good, I’m pretty clueless in fact, and to add to that, I live in the New Forest, in an area with little to no cultural diversity whatsoever. I will be truthful and say that 6 months ago, if anyone had said to me that i would be dating an Indian guy, let alone one who actually lives in India, I would have told them they’ve lost the plot. I need to be clear here, I am not racist, not in the slightest, however, as I have already mentioned I live in a predominantly white-British area and am not particularly well travelled.
Up until a couple of years ago the furthest I had ever been abroad was Spain, with a couple of ferry-runs to France here and there. So when I went for a week to Barbados in 2008 it was heaven for me, I enjoyed everything about it, I’ll never forget the feeling of stepping of the aeroplane – the heat – it was like nothing I had ever felt in my life, and mixing with the locals – loved it. So this was how I came to find myself back in the Caribbean on a cruise ship a few years later. I had wanted to go back to Barbados, but my boyfriend at the time got it in his brain he wanted to go on a cruise – my parents were booked on one so he wanted to go on one too – so the cruise was a compromise – I wasn’t convinced, but hey, maybe it was fate, as after that relationship ended, it was on that cruise that I met Babu.
India? well, I knew nothing about India, or Indian culture, it was never anywhere I felt the need to know about, or that I ever imagined visiting, just not on my radar! And so, I will get to my point, Babu has a very traditional way of thinking, even after several years of working on British cruise ships he has managed to retain a lot of his Indian culture and values, this was quite clear to me from the second or third time we spoke properly.
He is from Orissa, he tells me that it is one of the few remaining states in India that isn’t becoming westernised. So it went hand in hand, that whilst getting to know him, I am getting to learn a lot about his culture and family too. This is where it comes to this blog, as part of my new found hunger to learn more about Indian culture, I have been doing a lot of reading. I personally find articles and blogs about peoples personal experiences most interesting, and a lady named Sharell (i will tell you about her another day) suggested I start blogging about my own experiences, so i have taken that advice and ran with it.
I am at the beginning of my journey, which I hope will inform and inspire you as others have me.