Walking Through The Idea Of India
How about playing Megasthenes?
You may not be a historian or a diplomat like this Greek, but you can follow his adventurous yet reflective way of exploring India. And India's multicultural ethos, its natural beauty, its resilient society, the sumptuous festivals and ceremonies, the wisdom of the seers, all remain the same.
Walks Of India allows you precisely this secured, therapeutic freedom. We would not be a lesser host than Chandragupta, the Mauryan emperor who welcomed Megasthenes! We would make up for the regal opulence with warmth andexpertise. Let Walks of India help you take part in this rewarding role-playing!
Come, discover the India we see, smell, breathe, think. Come discover the Idea Of India!
A house-wife, drenched in sudor, and contending with everything from power cuts and cranky kids to recalcitrant domestic help, rustles up a quick meal and stuffs it into a steel or aluminum dubba called a tiffin box. Her husband, a government employee, drops it into his bag as he heads for office.
Come noon and the box comes out. It's tiffin time. It's close to impossible to get any help in such offices at the best of times, but never dare to think of asking a soul there for help at this sacred hour (or two).
Tiffin time has all but vanished in private concerns in a modernizing India. Their gleaming edifices contain canteens which cater to those with more westernized tastes, perhaps, but those pizzas and burgers have to be wolfed down at far greater speed than in the halls of babdudom. It's all about 'work ethic' and 'cut-throat competition'; one must carry one's own supply of antacids at all times.
Most students eat their tiffin at their desks, there being few schools with elaborate dining facilities. Some students share what they've brought from home, others stand in groups at the canteen, and the more gluttonous snatch tiffin from their unsuspecting classmates.
Tiffin time on the streets...the daily wage earners chow down on a tangy concoction of sattoo, a gram-flour and milk-powder based product, mixed with pickles, oil, and slices of onion. After a morning of back-breaking work in horrendous conditions and a nutritious meal, they lie in the shade, covering their faces with pieces of cloth...what bliss!
A woman in all ways caring, unique, and free-thinking, Parkes spent twenty-four years in India. She learned Hindi, explored various aspects of our culture – including that of life in the zenana – and wrote an extensive memoir: ‘Wanderings of a Pilgrim in search of the Picturesque’. Here, she ranges from a discussion of colonial tyranny to an account of her travels in India, analyzes economic and social reforms, seeks to understand its theologies, and delves deeply into the customs and culture of each part of the country that she visited. In her words: “How much there is to delight the eye in this bright, this beautiful world! Roaming about with a good tent and a good Arab [horse], one might be happy for ever in India.” She valued the diversity of Indian culture; her vivid depictions of life here in the 19th century have earned praise from no less than William Dalyrymple.