6 Reasons Why India Rocks

Susan Narjala   |   March 3, 2017 

You know those artsy stores that sell recycled products? Like a comfortable chair from an old tyre or a gorgeous lamp stand from a discarded pot? Well, this month, I'm taking a page from their book and recycling an old blog post. For a very good reason.

I’d written the post below when I lived in the US and had visited India one summer. It was a perfectly lazy summer, with shopping and eating being our only scheduled activities.

Fast forward a few years and I now live in India. It’s no longer a vacation destination. And that’s why I needed to reboot this old blog. I needed to remind myself just how vast and vibrant and brilliant and sometimes downright entertaining life here can be.

The post reminds me that when we look for beauty, we find it. In the unexpected. In the mundane. I pray for continued God glimpses - daily moments of catching the glorious.


6 Reasons Why India Rocks

Everyone knows India is mystical and spiritual and beautiful. At least everyone who hasn’t stepped foot in the country. Once you’ve visited, you know that India is controlled chaos spinning in kaleidoscopic frenzy. Everything has been distilled so you’re left with the best, the worst, the most vibrant, the craziest. There’s just nothing vanilla about it. And I love it. Here’s a photo essay of why:

1. The entrepreneurs

She sells flowers or mangoes on the sidewalk. He owns a tyre repair shop or a pharmacy that’s barely bigger than a closet. They set their own hours, they are their own bosses. They take long afternoon siestas. They’re nice to their customers – when they want to be. Meanwhile, you know that shopping is never going to be the same old.

2. The food 

What’s not to love about the blend of salty, spicy, sweet, and sour. Where else can you get a thali of biriyani, naan, appalam, chicken fry, dals, mint chutney, dahi and payasam, all for $1.25? And this was at a food court at a mall.


And then there's the community that gathers around the table. It's always about community. Food just tastes better that way.


3. The street signs

You’re stuck in traffic anyway. Might as well have fun reading the incredulous, misspelled, downright strange posters around town. Like the KFC ad below. Yup, 100% vegetarian at KFC. I doubt Colonel Sanders saw this coming.

4. The innovation

He packs his entire business onto a motorcycle and, voila, you've got yourself a travelling tailor at your doorstep. India is a land of innovation.


5. The colours

It’s like colours decided to come alive. Like pastels woke up from a long, dreary winter.

India, where even the cows have a colourful closet.

6. The unexpected

You never know what you're going to see. Or who'll pull up next to you at a traffic light.


And then there are glimpses of unexpected beauty. Untamed, almost bewildering, splendour -- God portraits -- that makes all the chaos so worth it.

Those are just six reasons. There's only about a billion more to fall in love with this place I call home. What are yours?

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When she's not smuggling chocolate past her kids or drinking gallons of coffee, Susan Narjala can be found writing, baking and (thinking about) working out. She grew up in Chennai, lived in Portland, Oregon, for the last ten years and is now back in India with her family. She finds nuggets of humour in the everyday, and writes about it on on her blog, www.susannarjala.com

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8 comments on “6 Reasons Why India Rocks”

  1. Hahaha. This is so cute. At first glance it seems like a satire but it is far from it because they are really quite endearing if you think about it. The romance of India 🙂

  2. Very well written, Susan. I enjoyed the colorful, concise portrayals. We miss seeing you and your hubby here.

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