Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Post India

My apologies for not having posted last Wednesday for reasons related to travel. I was on my way to India, from where I returned last night to Iceland only to leave home this morning for Oslo. I now sit there in a hotel room, my body in some time zone that does not exist - at least not in India, Iceland or Norway.

The affair in India was a crime fiction seminar called "body of Evidence" organised by St. Steven's College of the University of Delhi. It was very well done and the academic speakers were all much smarter and more eloquent than yours truly.

India is an amazing country, the ads on CNN promoting "Incredible India" (do you hear the accompanying jingle?) are 100% true. It is so unlike Europe or the States that it is hard to come up with a society that would be more different unless one imagined a country underwater. On this trip I did not venture out of Delhi but some years ago we did the golden triangle tour which gives you a better glimpse of the beauty and variety the country has to offer.

There are so many people in Delhi that the whole population of Iceland often passed us by on one single bus. How the system works is beyond me and I would assume this is the closest resemblance to anarchy that one would be able to find among functioning nations. It is probably only due to the wonderful attitude and outlook of the Indian people that the system or lack thereof does not bring everything crumbling down.

The only annoying thing were the rickshaw (small three wheel taxis) drivers that never took you where you wanted to go, instead driving tourists to stores run by their relatives or places that paid them a percentage of what you purchased. Very, very annoying and me and my husband once ended up walking after three failed attempts to be driven to a government controlled bazar that paid no one any bonus for sending buyers their way.

But the food is wonderful, the history amazing and the people both beautiful and kind. Poverty is however very prominent and if there had been a remote possibility I could get away with it I would have stolen or purchased a small little girl that sat with her mother on the side of the road, tiny tears leaving clean streaks on her otherwise dusty cheeks. But there are other ways of helping aside from stealing children.

Yrsa - Wednesday


  1. Yrsa,

    Lovely post about India - it reminds me of my husband John's blog post a few months ago, when he had very similar reactions as you did, being a western observer.



  2. Loved your post, Yrsa.
    I'm also in love with India.
    Personally, I'd love to hear more about that conference. And about mystery readers on the subcontinent. And about how people are getting their hands on books. Are the Indian publishers reprinting books in English for local sale? Or are they importing? How many attended that conference? And are they going to do it again next year? Sounds like something Eide and I would enjoy doing.

  3. That little girl you mentioned made me think the rickshaw driver was not the only guide who took you to a place you did not wish to see, to find something you had not sought. Sounds sort of like the essence of India.

    Welcome back, Yrsa.