Monday, January 31, 2011

Sri Lanka

Is not India.

That was the one thought that came over n over again as we travelled through the little island. Somehow, because it was right there, because it was ever so closely linked with us - what with Hanuman flying in, and Ravan doing his thing, Sita sitting there, Rajiv Gandhi and LTTE - somehow imagined it to be an hybrid extension of Tamil Nadu and Kerala

Thankfully that is one thing it is not

Open doors and gates, windows without grills on them.. the average roads are a maze of well developed houses and happy faces. Despite being a war ravaged country, there is no poverty in the air - everyone has enough to eat and there is hence a QUIET DIGNITY doing the rounds

Letching is missing, foreigners have an easier time travelling and there are no 100 touts goading you into there hotel and taxi. Friendly faces, make you feel at ease. Sure they are still making  money off you, sure there are small instance where you know you are paying the tourist rate but its done with so much charm that you smile and happily shell out that extra 100 rupees

Clean. everything is clean. the roads are clear, well maintained and pot hole free.
The sea is blue,
the air somehow devoid of fumes
an ease of being fills the air making it seem allright

Sure its not like everything is perfect, look carefully and you can sense that the minds work a little slower, there is a lot of catering to the tourist thats done, in the interiors English evaporates and there is limited knowledge of the world beyond..

Women have it good, no matter what age, shape or size the average person is dressed in a skirt and blouse, comfortable in having the contours of her body visible. The men show a modest amount of respect, and there is an overall sense of safety.
A women wearing a bikini with her white sarong wet from the sea stood near a crowded ATM. There was not much left to imagination, and as she stood in que there were no 100 people surrounding her for a glimpse. It was as normal for her to be there, as it was for the Sri Lankan women with her child to stand there,

But I get the feeling that there is something that I missed. As we drove around on the bike, everyone wanted to confirm if i was sri lankan or Indian. The moment they knew I was not one of them, it almost seemed as if they breathed a sigh of relief... that I was not one of them

Still dont know what prompted that..
all in all its a country that is more than worth visiting
a picture blog coming soon