My take on India

All photographs courtesy of the BrianandRepublic

Yes, my blog has been inactive for quite sometime now, but only because I was on an amazing holiday in India. You heard me, India. Some of you reading would be shocked that I linked the word 'amazing' to a country like India.

A lot of people, especially local Malaysian-Indians, tend to look down on India. I myself am guilty of having such a perception. But after going there to experience India for myself, the question I think we should ask ourselves are - what is there to look down upon?

Yes, the poverty there is far from negligible and the streets are far from spotless. But the truth is that we fail to look beyond the dirty roads and the street beggars. When I was there, the experience I had allowed me to do just that, and what I saw was utterly incredible.

I learnt a lot about Indian history the past two weeks, and was indeed shocked to find out just how long ago our culture dates back to. The many historic temples struck me with awe and wonder. I was even more stuck to find out that my mother-tongue is one of the oldest languages in the world, dating back to the year 300BC.

It was amazing to see the the amount of faith these people had in God when I visited the sea-side pilgrimage town of Velankanni. Hindus, Muslims and Christians; both rich, poor, old and young, came to this town from miles away to pay homage. There was no rivalry, just a common yearning to grow together spiritually.

It was also unbelievable just how resourceful Indians can be. They are grateful with whatever they have and make use of just about anything.They are also very careful about they way they use electricity and water - making them, truly, good friends of mother earth. The world (and myself included) ought to learn a few things from them.

But seeing as this is a food blog, I shall elaborate more on that particular aspect of Indian culture. Food has a special place in Indian culture, which made me think about the impact that this perception on food had on the cultures of Malaysia and Singapore. Our love for food may have just evolved from the Indians themselves.

My grand-aunt is an excellent cook. I call her my 'India mummy' for a reason. Her food is made with the strictest hygiene standards, and are not only nutritious but absolutely delicious. Watching her cook, she incorporates many textures, scents, colours and tastes into her meals, making them a feast for the senses. Her meals are made with much love too.

Though what my grand-aunt does, is simply what each and every Indian cook does (though my grand-aunt does it exceptionally well). Essentially Indian food is, to put it plainly, a feast for the senses. The beauty of Indian cuisine is that there is much experimentation with the cuisine, with no right or wrong combo of flavors to use.

I've documented the food that I've eaten and the restaurants I've visited, giving you an insight into what Indian food is all about, and the experiences I've had in India's culinary scene. I enjoyed the entire culinary experience very much, and if it's one thing I'll definitely miss - its the food.

Looking back at my stay - the dusty roads and chaos added a nice charm to the place, rather than being a hindrance. It added to the experience that was India. With the rituals, tastes, sights, smells, people, beliefs and history - India isn't just a place, it's a way of life.

Much more to come...



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