A graphic on where I went in India, what means of transportation I used, and how long I was in each place (area of circle based on number of days spent).

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India: the End

June 7, 2011

I write you now from both the inside of a near-comically bouncy bus traveling at terrifying speeds through the foothills of the Himalayas and from within the safe and cozy confines of room I grew up in and the country I call home.

I went to India to try to get a feel for as much of India and Indian culture as I could, and along way challenge myself a bit and get into a bit of trouble. But beyond this, my larger goal was to gain a better understanding of where I was. I hiked through the greatest mountain range in the world and I bathed in three oceans at once. I ate food that still makes my mouth water thinking of it. I rowed a canoe through the famous backwaters of the south and played Holi in India’s City of the Dead. I went to two spectacular Indian weddings. I slept in places that would make you cringe and places fit for royalty. I stayed in some of India’s smallest villages and it’s biggest cities. I meditated with some of the few Tibetans left in the world.

But, when its all said and done, I still haven’t the foggiest idea of what India is. I could try to logic it out; use words like “extreme,” “diverse,” and “love,” but I wouldn’t be doing it justice. I could talk of the poverty and pain in the country, or tell about the raw unadulterated beauty and warmth of it and it’s people, but I still wouldn’t be getting it. I could write a book and leave nothing out, and it still would not be complete. In a way, I have to give up trying to explain it. I have to give up trying to understand it. I have to give up because India is more, is greater, than the sum of it’s parts. It’s larger than life, somehow beyond it’s own identity. India simply is. That’s it. Its all I can say while still being accurate.

Thanks for listening for the last six months. And now back to the usual programming.

This has been DJ AP on the ones and twos, coming to you live from H-bad.

New Delhi

June 5, 2011