Should you be visiting India, or just want a good read, or perhaps know someone who has been or intends to visit that beguiling continent, read Hero on a Honda.
Thank you Judy
5.0 out of 5 stars Good to read if you’re going to India,5 Mar 2013
This is a gentle and evocative account of the complex experiences that face anyone visiting India for the first time. Tony Farmer tried to blend in and observe, to learn rather than to judge. It is an admirable model, but the contradictions of modern India would challenge anyone. It is hard to avoid criticism when you encounter breathtakingly beautiful countryside polluted with industrial waste and urban garbage. Difficult to ignore the contrast between the gentle kindness of traditional life and the brash, noisy pace of a young middle class that desperately wants to ignore tradition and become American.
Tony warns that you should go to India NOW if you want to see it before the old values disappear. I have been fortunate to spend about half of the last twelve years living in India and I think that he is right. It is changing fast. The light, the dazzling colours, the lush vegetation, the bright green of a rice paddy, the dusty ochres of a dry plateau, these are always a source of pleasure. Even the incessant noise and the apparent chaos of traffic become part of the enjoyment of the place. Gradually you learn that there is a system, a logic in it all, even the traffic does follow some rules, and you can adapt to them.
But India has a rapidly growing middle class that wants its villa in Mumbai or Delhi, its holiday home in Goa or Kerala, its smart saloon and a four-wheel drive and cars for the kids. The built environment that is changing with such speed and such insensitivity that beautiful heritage areas are disappearing as landowners rush to grab their share of development profits. A few conservationists are putting up a fight but money talks in India. So go as soon as you can, don’t worry that they do things differently, and that many things would be unacceptable at home, don’t look for Health and Safety or a Benefits system, just enjoy the whole wonderful experience of being part of India.
Hero on a Honda is available at Amazon, Barnsandnoble