Billie Silvey
India's Land & Wildlife
February 2009
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An eclectic website about Women, Christianity, History,
Culture  and the Arts--and anything else that comes to mind.
India's Religions
India's History
INDIA--
Land of
Contrasts
Recently, I seem to have been immersed in India for a variety of unrelated
reasons.  It began when I taught a woman from India in our FriendSpeak
classes and realized that I knew next to nothing about the country, which  is
growing in global importance.  Vijaya is from Puni near Mumbai, formerly
known as Bombay, and I checked its location on the map.  On the west
coast of India, it forms one leg of a triangle with Delhi, the capital, to the
north, and Calcutta on the east.

Mumbai itself burst into the news with the
attacks on its hotels.  We watched
it on TV, wondering what it would be like if someone shot at a hotel where
we were staying and started fires there.  I wondered if my friend’s family
was O.K.

I’ve been reading a troubling novel set in India,
The White Tiger by
Aravind Adiga, which points up the contrast between the cities along the
coast, the Light, and the villages of the interior countryside, the Darkness.  
I'm also reading Huston Smith's
The Illustrated World's Religions: A Guide
to Our Wisdom Traditions, considered one of the best one-volume studies
of world religions. It begins with chapters on Hinduism, the dominant religion
of India, and Buddhism, which had its roots there.

We also watched Michael Wood’s stunning PBS series,
The Story of
India.

India is a land of contrasts between crushing poverty and incredible wealth.  
It embodies the contrast between a rich 50,000-year history, and a present
marked by cutting-edge technology.  How often do you call tech support in
Bangalore?  There’s the contrast between the steep and frigid Himalayas
in the north and the hot, humid tropics to the south.  There is the contrast
between exquisite art and the pollution caused by a population of 1.15
billion, or approximately one-sixth of the world’s people, in a country
slightly more than a third the size of the United States.

In this website, we’re be looking at the land and its wildlife, the history of
its people and their culture, and the religions of India.  I hope you enjoy this
peek at the India I’m discovering and that you’ll write me at
b.
silvey@sbcglobal.net to share your own thoughts and experiences.
A stylish woman reads
at the beautiful Taj
Mahal, left.

A Brahma bull eats
garbage on the street of
a modern city, right.
An elderly woman on her cell phone, left.
A man prays in the polluted Ganges, right.