The Madness That Is India: A Photo Essay

The Madness That Is India: A Photo Essay

During the course of our trip we’ve met a lot of people that have been to India and their message is always the same; that place is crazy.

Some people absolutely love it and cannot get enough; a number of friends have traveled the country for 6 months or more at a time!

Others abhor the place will never go back; one of them provided me with a telling acronym of his experience in India…


But despite these polarizing accounts, we’ve traveled enough to know that a country is never as [Insert Attribute Here] as it’s made out to be.

Vietnam wasn’t as rainy as everyone said it would be.
Not every person in Thailand is out to screw you over (very few actually).
Most Aussies unfortunately do not carry a large bowie knife around with them (to my disappointment)

So there was no way India was going to be as crazy and intense as everyone said it was, right?



India is absolute, unadulterated madness.

There is no other way to put it.

Here’s a few notes I took during our stay:

  • Cows – are kings of the road (territory which they mark with copious amounts of poop)
  • Trash – is piled up to your eyes in some places and at the very least a thin layer everywhere else. Cleanliness is nonexistent in public places. Don’t even think about touching the toxic waterways either.
  • Staring – Locals will often stare at you for a full 20-30 seconds at a time – do you realize how long a 20-30 second stare is? (Start counting now)
  • Driving – death is never more than a few inches away on the roads as each and every vehicle drives like they have a bomb strapped to their car that will explode if they go less than 60mph (including buses and trucks…wait scratch that, specifically buses and trucks). They actually have signs that tell people not to make turns from the far lane in intersections. This being the far lane that, to make a left turn, they would start in the far right lane and have to cut across 4 lanes of traffic (I’m translating this to right-side driving for my American audience). This is so common they have signs telling people not to do it!!!!
  • Crowds – Everywhere is crowded. Everywhere. You are never, ever alone.
  • Staring (cont’d) – Ok stop counting. That’s a long stare!!

And we didn’t even go into Northern India, what many people consider the ‘real’ part of the country. I can only imagine the aforementioned would have grown in quantity and intensity.

But despite this madness, the place has a strange allure to it. There’s something very honest and pure about the way life works here – it’s like no where else on the planet.

And even though you’ll sometimes have to restrain yourself from vomiting after the smell of a 3-week old trash pile sneaks into your nostrils, I have a strange sort of affection for the place.

The food was absolutely amazing (we lucked out and didn’t get sick), much of the countryside is picturesque, the people (despite the occasional stare) are wonderfully welcoming and while many parts of the country are desperately poor, the areas connected with industry are growing faster than almost any I’ve seen on the trip.

It’s such a dichotomy.

Smelly but delicious.
Disgusting but beautiful.
Rude but welcoming.

And I now fully understand how some people can absolutely hate the place and others love it.

But love it or hate it, the madness is there – and that’s what I hope to convey with my photos. Enjoy.

Naturally I will start with the cows…


Staring contest, go.


Jenna and a couple friends.


Cows always have the right of way.


Just hangin’


Cold shoulder.


Now we shall move on to life on the roads…


Our autorickshaw died and his friend pulled up and pushed the thing 5km like this. WITH HIS FOOT!


One of the two insane Bangalore bus terminals


‘Yea I can talk, whats up?’


Familymobile. Helmets must legally be worn by the driver – but no one else has to wear one. Makes perfect sense especially in situations like this.


‘Dad I think you dropped Raj’


Helmet law again.


Hitching a ride.

Now onto crowds and privacy…


Just a stroll in the ridiculously crowded park


Crowd control at the park. They will literally beat you with a stick if you cross that rope.


Packed streets


This guy was also interested in what we were looking at


The goats are crowded too


Even the bookstores are crowded! (I’m stretching it here…)


Mealtime is always crowded


Two amazing mustaches, a woman wearing a bucket and a guy with a gun…all in one rickshaw ride…


Amazing Mustache #1


Amazing Mustache #2


Wearing a bucket.


I feel safer…?


And just some other things I found amusing…


Naptime in the hotel kitchen


Monkey eating a chipatti


Yoga on the roof


Best of luck to the guy who has to untangle that

Posted by on August 27, 2015


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