How in the world do you describe India to a Westerner?

Courage to tremble

How do I explain what India is like to a Western person? Often people who visit the country for a short period come back with negative descriptions. “But that is not India,” I want to tell them, and yet their descriptions are not wrong either. They come back loving the Taj and loving the hospitality of friends and yet horrified by the poverty and filth. But for us who grew up in that great land, India is so much more, which is so difficult to put into words.

I chanced upon a blog by Eric Rowell, a young man who wanted to find out more about India and actually lived in India for two years and wrote about it. In a post called ‘Answering a Hard Question – “How was India?”’, he writes:

The hardest part of this for me might be that nothing happens linearly. I want to…

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