India....while incredibly fascinating and wonderful......will at times cause frustrations......
I am not talking of the frustrations caused by the minor inconveniences of living here.....those differences comparing living in India to the U.S.; those are issues I have accepted and actually embraced quite some time ago.....and I am proud to say, so has my family. We don't complain about such things......we are enjoying life here in India.
Of course, there are the HUGE issues of poverty, lack of infrastructure (although improving everyday), bureaucracy and corruption......and other social issues and ills.
So why.....with all of these huge issues to deal with am I choosing to express my frustrations about an old house, laying in ruin on top of a mountain?
It is certainly not because I am insensitive to all of the much larger issues.....I am.....my head almost explodes at times when I see the corruption in the government......my heart gets twisted and is in pain when I get a soft knock at my window from someone in need.......my stomach gets tied up in knot's when I watch a limbless man, with no shirt, in the heat of Delhi, pushing a plate filled with what may amount to $1 US in change, with his forehead while he makes his way along a dirty unpaved street....
I could share more such stories.....but I think you get the picture...I am grounded in "reality".
So....why?....what's the big deal about an old house when there are so many other bigger issues to deal with.
Well, there is no "big deal" actually.....until recently, I didn't even know much about the life of George Everest.....or how the tallest mountain in the Himalaya's was named for him, what his accomplishment's were.....or where he lived for goodness sake. A year ago, I couldn't even point out to you where Mussoorie, India was on a map.....or even that such a place existed.
But it does.....like many other places in India; monuments, fort's, tomb's, and other such places of historical significance, that have withstood the test of time.....but are laying in various states of ruin....or disappear as an afterthought in pursuit of progress...
There is much more to India than the Taj Mahal......so much more.
While the pressing issues I mentioned above are very real and extremely challenging to deal with....AND are a tremendous financial burden to the country......I also believe that it is important to preserve the past......the country's heritage......the culture that makes it unique and fascinating.....the history that has shaped the country into what it is today......How can a country, plagued with so many social issues afford to allocate funds for preservation when there are people starving?
Wouldn't this be socially irresponsible?
I am not sure of the answers to the questions I pose to all of you who read this blog entry.....but it is frustrating to see what I consider "NATIONAL TREASURES" being allowed to fall apart.
One could easily argue that the investment in preserving these national treasures would pay huge dividends......much more than one can imagine.....
I suggest that India has an opportunity to focus on preservation....showcasing that India is much more than the Taj Mahal......and it will be a benefit to the people of this great country.....and to me......I would be able to stop pulling my hair out.Now that I am off the soap box......I welcome comments from everyone....tell me how you feel about this issue......or one that may be bothering you.
I would like to hear the perspective from all of my readers from India......please give me your perspective......for those of you in the US or in Europe......imagine for a moment if Independence Hall in Philadelphia was allowed to crumble in front of our eyes......or the Arc de Triomphe.....or any other iconic monument that means so much to the country.....
I look forward to your comments.
By the way......the views from the George Everest Estate are amazing.....but would you expect anything less? He was in charge of surveying the country....measuring the peaks......he had an insider's knowledge of where to locate his house.....truly magnificent....
SUGGESTION: to catch an incredible sunset, I suggest that you leave Mussoorie at 4:00pm, like Preston and I did.....you will have time for the hike to the site, some time to take photographs and walk through the house.....and then time to locate a perfect spot to sit and watch the beauty unfold before your eyes.
We didn't make it to watch the sunrise, which I am told is equally incredible.....but I will guarantee you that on my next trip.....I will make my way to the top early one morning to witness it.