23 responses

  1. kathy
    September 11, 2012
    09/11/12
    7:07 am

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    kathy said...

    I loved reading this – it gave me chills, and your description and photo of that group of people at the train station broke my heart. I’ve never been to India, and would love to go – husband is reluctant. I’m going to go back and read your other posts, although I have read most of them, would love to read them in a batch.

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  2. Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita
    September 11, 2012
    09/11/12
    8:23 am

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    Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

    wow. As always, you inspire and provoke thought and wonder. I love reading about your journeys. Seriously, a novel please.

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  3. Dawn
    September 11, 2012
    09/11/12
    8:37 am

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    Dawn said...

    Isak Dinesen herself could not have crafted a better tale. I look forward to hearing more.

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  4. flwjane
    September 11, 2012
    09/11/12
    9:03 am

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    flwjane said...

    Dear God Lisa, this is quite a story. And I understand your expectations re the blonde thing.

    I still expect a little more slide room and am often shocked when I don’t get it.

    Should we change our expectations as we age or should we have not had them in the first place.

    Don’t keep us hanging on.

    xo Jane

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  5. Parnassus
    September 11, 2012
    09/11/12
    10:15 am

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    Parnassus said...

    Hello Lisa, The point of your trip was to experience the world outside your protected circle, and to mature in your outlook, which I’d say you accomplished admirably. (You certainly don’t have to match or emulate Mother Theresa, whom many, including myself, regard way overrated as an icon of charity.)

    Your photographs are stunning, both those showing the human condition in the city, and those beautiful shots of the tea country. The photographs have faded just the right amount to make them seem other-worldly.

    –Road to Parnassus

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  6. Linda G.
    September 11, 2012
    09/11/12
    11:01 am

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    Linda G. said...

    I had indeed flown to Bagdogra. Somebody ought to start a novel “I had flown to Bagdogra.”

    Lisa – Guess who I think ought to write this novel??!?

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  7. Danielle
    September 11, 2012
    09/11/12
    12:07 pm

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    Danielle said...

    Yes, yes, yes. To your excellent writing, thoughtful self-reflection, and pictures that capture so much.

    Maybe the fizziness was fermentation?

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  8. ELS
    September 11, 2012
    09/11/12
    1:08 pm

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    ELS said...

    Well what timing! This was just wonderful and has reminded me what a treat these Indian journeys are, not least because the juxtaposition of your younger, adventurous and older, reflective selves work so well as co-narrators.

    We had a great programme here recently which followed the lifetime devotion to their jobs of the employees of the Shimla railway. I absolutely adored it. Turns out some girls like trains too..

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  9. Danielle
    September 11, 2012
    09/11/12
    1:17 pm

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    Danielle said...

    I just clicked over to The Economist website, and coincidentally they have a video up today about India’s new-ish national health care system, which seems aimed to treat people similar to those you encountered on your trip. So fascinating: http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2012/09/indias-health-care-system

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  10. Sarah S (Neutral Territory)
    September 11, 2012
    09/11/12
    3:00 pm

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    Sarah S (Neutral Territory) said...

    Fabulous post – so thoughtful and thought provoking. I really look forward to more please. x

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  11. Dan Prater
    September 11, 2012
    09/11/12
    3:30 pm

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    Dan Prater said...

    Thank you for such a beautifully written and profoundly moving piece.

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  12. Terri
    September 11, 2012
    09/11/12
    4:39 pm

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    Terri said...

    Are the Nicobar islands the place where the cave in A Passage to India is located? Did you go there?

    I know I have traveled places where the poverty is scarcely hidden, but I have never seen scenes like these.

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  13. Melissa @ I Pick Pretty
    September 11, 2012
    09/11/12
    8:36 pm

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    Melissa @ I Pick Pretty said...

    If you do not write a travel memoir about your India trip, I will . . . I will . . . well, I’ll be very cross with you. I’ve so enjoyed each & every one of these.

    Also, here’s what I hope to do when I grow up – “To own up where I fail, and give my small acts of virtue their own clean place to sit.” Yes, please.

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  14. Ida
    September 12, 2012
    09/12/12
    6:29 am

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    Ida said...

    HB and I were in India about 1993,and the levels of poverty were much the same,villages fly ridden waste dumps everywhere.
    The children were always smiling,and seem happy in their poverty,it upset us and your pictures have returned to haunt me.

    Thank you for sharing your journey.Ida

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  15. A Southern Preppy
    September 12, 2012
    09/12/12
    4:57 pm

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    A Southern Preppy said...

    I read the series one installment after the other, and it’s fascinating.

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  16. Staircase Witch
    September 14, 2012
    09/14/12
    11:56 am

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    Staircase Witch said...

    This is lovely and heartbreaking.

    What stands out most to me, however, is your interaction with the Indian official. I have never been to India, but a good friend recently returned from a two-year stint (her husband was working for a software company in Bangalore) and has described, in amusing and horrifying detail, her travails in confronting the Indian bureaucracy. She would submit a critical form *in person* to a government administrator and return to find out that, no, Madam, we do not have that form, you must not have submitted it. At first, she blamed herself, then she began to rage against the system, and finally, she adapted, with the understanding that to get what she needed she would have to build in extra time and go through the same process on multiple occasions. She is in her mid-forties and very no-nonsense (moreso now as a result of her Indian experience). Now, a seasoned former expat, she is back in her home country and grateful for its relative expediency. So perhaps, now, you shouldn’t blame yourself too much for not having been savvy to the inner workings of government bureaucracy in India.

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  17. cara
    September 17, 2012
    09/17/12
    3:26 am

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    cara said...

    “To own up where I fail, and give my small acts of virtue their own clean place to sit.” I think I shall write this on a note above my desk.

    Have you read Holy Cow? I have wanted to see India ever since I read it at 15.

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  18. Whitney
    September 17, 2012
    09/17/12
    11:18 am

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    Whitney said...

    Oh those pictures make my heart hurt. Keeps things in perspective… when you see them in person even more so.

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  19. Susan Partlan
    September 17, 2012
    09/17/12
    9:16 pm

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    Susan Partlan said...

    Dear Lisa, I love your India posts. I always feel like I’m right there, at least initially, because you describe everything in such detail. But in the end I’m usually left wondering what you felt. What did you feel?

    Reply

  20. bigBANG studio
    September 22, 2012
    09/22/12
    9:40 am

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    bigBANG studio said...

    Finally got a moment -over the last curls of Indian tea at the bottom of the tin I brought back from Kerala- to sit down and read this.

    It goes without saying that my favorite posts of yours are the India Recollections. A book waiting to happen. In short, breathtaking. (Have you read Beryl Markham’s West with the Night? These India stories come close to her dazzling, unfrivolous prose about Africa in the 1930s.)

    xo

    Reply

  21. Mai
    March 16, 2013
    03/16/13
    1:46 pm

    Reply

    Mai said...

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post. Many thanks for providing this
    info.

    Reply

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