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What I love about India
IN a span of two years, I have indulged myself in exploring and understanding India. A country that is like no other, India fascinates me with her diverse cultures, varied landscapes, rich heritage, tantalising gastronomy, top-notch hospitality and most of all - her people.
The young are driven, proud of the "Made in India" label and eager to elevate the country's economic position in the world. The old hold on tight to the traditions, languages and practices that define who they are. I love to immerse myself in understanding the many festivals celebrated around the country, be it Diwali in Amritsar, Holi in Jaipur, Hornbill festival in Nagaland, Onam in Kerala or Hemis festival in Ladakh - each festival brings with it deep meaning and inculcates the value of culture in the people.
India frustrates me in a way that a husband frustrates a wife - the constant honking of horns on the roads by the colourful handprinted Tata trucks, the filth by the roads and free-roaming boars. The lack of wifi connectivity forcing one to disconnect will surely annoy any slick city dweller. Perhaps one day these frustrations too will go as the country progresses. A part of me knows that I will surely miss these little annoyances if they ever do go. When I reflect on my journeys, I must confess that these little nuances are what makes travel in India truly incredible!
I have travelled throughout this vast country in various capacities - as a tourist, as a businessperson looking for opportunities, as a medical expert, as a doctor delivering aid to those in need and finally and most recently, as a travel concierge showcasing and sharing my love for this country.
Each trip has only served to compound my interest in and understanding of this country. Establishing my travel company Ravishing India Holidays is my own way of giving back to this country for all that it has so freely given me.
Here's wishing my favourite nation in the world a "Very Happy Independence Day" and may we all work together to secure freedom for all and to Make India Great!
- The writer is a reputable breast cancer surgeon and medical director of FeM Surgery, a multi-specialty surgical group. She is a serial entrepreneur and avid traveller. She co-founded Ravishing India Holidays, a travel concierge service specialising in bespoke itineraries to India.