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India

Bleed Blue

I looked on my Facebook this morning and saw someone say that they were proud to be Indian because we (I say “we” in the loosest form here) beat Australia in cricket. Sitting in a pub in Birmingham yesterday with my family, it was clear that that everyone was in a good mood. Boundaries and sixes were celebrated with noise that could probably be heard from India. However, this morning I stumbled across a documentary called “India’s Daughter” about the violent Delhi gang-rape of aspiring medic, Jyoti Singh, and it left a bitter taste in my mouth about patriotism.

All over my social feeds yesterday, there were plenty of people that were jubilant about the victory. It created a great atmosphere over lunch, although there were a few people that inevitably took it too far. I watched some of the reactions to players like Virat Kohli and M.S. Dhoni, the vice and captain respectively, as many people created a cult of personality around them. Sure, they are incredibly talented individuals, but there have already been allegations of match fixing with both of them at the very top and not to mention Dhoni’s infamous goat sacrifice scandal 6 years ago now which saw him banned from games.

It is very easy to look at sport in isolation. To watch and enjoy a game at a time, and ignore the politics that is happening behind the scenes. To be honest, a lot of the people who benefit from these games would prefer it that way – so you were not aware of what is going on. And if you don’t think that sport, even cricket, is political…then let me direct you to every India and Pakistan game that has been played since 1947. Whilst I can understand why it is exciting to see Indians of all shapes, sizes and genders colouring their faces in blue paint, donning their jerseys and singing in the crowds, it feels like this doesn’t translate outside of the stadium.

The problem with these sorts of tournaments, is that whilst they are a release from the mire of what else is going on, they do nothing to tackle the ongoing injustices that are plaguing Indian society. Speaking as an NRI (non-resident Indian), I am sure there are many that would label me a hypocrite. However, listening to the story of Jyoti, who had her entrails dragged out from her private parts with an iron rod before being thrown into the road, tells me that a cricket game is not going to fix it. If anything, it is more of a distraction.

Passion and enthusiasm are key. When you hear the cries of “India Zindabad!” during these games, it is fantastic to see the voices of many joining the chorus. Whether they are men or women, young or old. But we pick and choose the parts that we are patriotic about – the conversations about female foeticide, rape, a lack of sexual education, inequality, cultural backwardness, changes in attitude are all swept under the carpet. Not only are we not proud of that India, we choose to ignore it and let those individuals suffer in silence – shaming them for our own crimes of ignorance.

I don’t want to dampen any celebrations. It is fantastic that India are through in a tournament that comes around all of the time, with individuals that get paid too much money and who might be cheating. I mean in reality; I couldn’t give a toss. What concerns me is that we cheer for a nation that seems to be doing well in the ICC World Rankings, but is also dubbed as the “rape capital of the world” in Delhi.

I mean we could practice our bowling and batting, because it is easier. It also means someone (probably not you) will make a lot of money. But does it really make you proud to be Indian? When you watch that and realise all of these things going on in the background, does it make you “bleed blue” as everyone seems to say?

I wouldn’t say that I am that sort of patriot yet.

A Backwater Christmas

You’ve probably just woken up from your post-Christmas meal nap and are either waiting for the Doctor Who or Eastenders special to start. It has been an incredibly alcoholic/calorific day and you can’t remember a time when you weren’t at a dinner table or splayed out on a sofa. The jumper you are wearing has a snowflake or a reindeer on it and you don’t care a little bit. Your dad is probably still asleep, snoring and has forgotten to take his party hat off. This is what Christmas usually looks like. However, writing this in Allapay on the backwaters of the River Periyar in Kerala, I can’t say that we have had the most conventional Christmas.

They don’t really celebrate it here even though a significant number of people are Christian – however, the hotels containing tourists really do make an effort. I managed to pack a couple of Christmas jumpers in the vain hope that I could wear them without melting underneath. My thin “Chilling” jumper was just about bearable for breakfast before it got absolutely ridiculously hot. Considering the weather has always been freezing at home in the last few years, this was a much welcome change. In Greenwoods, there was a beautful treehouse that we climbed to peer over the town of Thekkady before we left for the final place, Allapay. Then I saw a turkey. A real live, gobble-gobble turkey and I raced down to see it. It was particularly grumpy, but it was huge and the irony was too strong for me to not take a picture with it.

Skipping ahead the three hour long car journey, Allapay was back towards Cochin where we started, and so it was humid beyond belief. However, this was mitigated by the fact that it was bang in the middle of the backwaters, which are like canals and very famous in the area, which cooled the land around them. You could see palm trees, paddy fields and so many house boats – it was almost like a Venice-themed set for Lost. To top it all off, the only way to get to our hotel was to get there by boat. Yes, a boat bus.

We jumped onto the barge and made our way across the lake to the Lake Palace resort. When my Mum said that she was going to organise a five star trip for my 21st I thought she was joking, but this place was literally like paradise in the middle of nowhere. Set up a serious of cottages straddling the river, the entire hotel was completely integrated into its surrounding environment. Our “room” is surrounded by a man-made lake, the centre of which stands a swimming pool. You have to get around here by golf cart and they offer free pottery classes. And when someone offers you claywork on Christmas, you would be an idiot to say no. So I’ve set up a class for tomorrow – go figure.

The highlight of the day though was the boat ride over the backwaters here. They are separate from the rest of the ocean and act like roads for the fishing and agricultural markets. One of the key features are the thatched house boats that were traditionally set by fisherman over week long campaigns where their family could stay with them. Now they are a cool tourist attraction and inevitably everyone has jumped on the bandwagon. To be honest, all of the other things aside, it was nice just having the tranquillity and the sunset behind us as I thought about how different it would have been in England. There wasn’t a television or Shrek re-run in sight.

With only a few more days left in India, it has dawned on me that this is the last time I am going to be here for a while. Having been here three times in two years and seeing over half the country, it is time to take a break. Saying that, it is going to be sad to say goodbye to this, and especially enjoying these last few moments with my family. I will be forever grateful to my Mum and brother for single-handedly putting this whole thing together. I am not a birthday person at all, but this is the best way to celebrate it.

I may not have learned anymore about Christianity this year (it has been difficult to do so with no wifi and few English-speaking churches out here) but I have learnt the importance of having my family around me. It is easy to lose a sense of that at university when you have been away so long.

I may have met turkeys, made pottery, climbed tree houses, swum in a pool inside a lake, ridden on a few boats, worn a ridiculous jumper in the crazy heat and eaten Indian food instead of Christmas dinner. Like I said, it’s been an unconventional festive season. If this is the last thing I get to say about South India, then all I can say is that it really is “God’s Own Country” as they advertise it everywhere.

I think they just have better tea.

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What a sunset

Free Wifi

The lack of connectivity is starting to get to me. I am becoming more and more sceptical of these “Free Wifi” signs that I see outside hotels, because the connection that we have here is very slow. It is almost worse than having nothing at all, because you are tempted to use it and then are frustrated by the fact that you can’t do what you need to do. Part of the problem is that I was hoping to update this blog every single day and now writing more and more posts in retrospect, and then having to schedule them for the future, is quite demotivating.

I am so used to writing them down in a book, as I don’t ever carry my laptop with me, and so I never usually feel the need to press publish. This time it is different. I am making mental notes of everything as we move forward and trying to capture them as best as I can from mind to keyboard. Now Mum knows that I am writing the online journal, she is reminding me to write things down and telling me I need to remember this and that. She’s right of course, but I am trusting my brain to remember only the things that I want to matter when I look at these in a few years.

The accounts of my old visits to India still sit in camera reels and old diaries. I haven’t read back over them yet, more out of laziness than anything else – but a part of me wants the rawness of the first trip to stay with me. I was a frightened little boy deciding to take this mammoth country on my own – it seems impossible now that I even conceived I could do that. It wasn’t a heat of the moment decision, and everything was planned out, but it was still a huge challenge.

I never used to be good at things like that. My brother was always the one that took these leaps of faith – by the time I had set off to India, he had already conquered half the world on his own and much of it in a much more spontaneous and braver fashion than myself. He was and is a traveller in the true sense of the world, and some of it is starting to rub off on me.

I don’t mean it in a negative or cliché way. He chose not to travel with a backpack, whereas I found it extremely useful. We both volunteered first and then choosed to stay on – for me, I just needed an excuse to get out here and see this place on my own first. And then it just continued. Once I realised that I could survive on my own, the wanderlust decided to make a home in my head. And for the last few years, it has been amazing to find my place somewhere that never really meant anything to me before I became an adult.

However, the real truth is, it is nice to be looked after for once. I don’t really remember what it is like not to stress out about where my passport is, whether I have enough money to eat for the next few days and making sure that I have all of my valuables with me at all times. I don’t have to worry about bunk beds or budget meals or bugs. Everything is catered for and someone else is doing all of the worrying. I know it sounds selfish, but whilst exhilarating at the time, this sole responsibility is extremely tiring and it does burn you out.

The one thing I don’t take for granted on this trip is making decisions as a group and not having to worry about getting mugged. Don’t get me wrong, I have always made good friends when out on my own, but it is always a thought in the back of your head. You can never totally trust anyone when you are travelling – you have to be smart. However, being here with my family, and having that level of trust, means that I can have some real thinking time and not have to worry about anything at all.

When my mum said that this was going to be my 21st birthday present, I thought it was wildly expensive and over the top. However, I can see that true relaxation and peace is priceless. Whether or not the wifi is working, I think this is the first time that I have actually heard myself think in years. And connectivity, as well as all of the work that I need to do, is not going to get in the way of that.

The “Fixed Price” Myth

You would think that after the wedding, all of the gifts had been given and it was time to move away from incessant shopping. You would be wrong. Whenever you are in India, there is a need to buy a gift for everyone there, back home and some people you don’t even know. As soon as you walk past something, there is a committee meeting with three distinct questions: 1) can we make use out of it or give it away? 2) is it something that we have seen before or unique? 3) can we afford it? If two out of these get an overall yes, then the process begins. If you didn’t know it already, Indians love a bargain.

We decided to stay in Baroda for a few more days after the wedding considering we hadn’t spent enough time with our family. It had been so hectic that we hadn’t really had the chance to relax with them. However, part of this bonding experience meant exchanging gifts as well as finishing off any last minute shopping. And if you walked around any market, you would be surprised what you can walk away with for 350 rupees (about £3.50 at this current moment).

The most laughable part about the process is the “fixed price” signs that they put in each of the shops. It is an unwritten rule that there are absolutely no fixed prices in India, unless it is unlucky enough to have a barcode – although to be honest, the most persuasive person could probably do the job. If you are trying to buy a sari, for example, then you can assume that they are charging you 20 percent more before you have even sat down and it has been unfolded in front of you. The so-called NRI (non-resident Indian) or foreigner tax. Then you can probably shave another 20 percent off if you have a little more chat, and the more items you buy, the bigger chunk you can get off the overall bill. By the end of it, the original figure seems like a fairytale and however upset the vendor looks, he or she knows for a fact that they have got as much out of it as you have. Just be ready to walk away if the price isn’t right.

When prices are so flexible, you start to get an eye for quality. The street markets in India are generally better than those in the UK, but you have to be careful, and it means shopping around. Whenever you enter any showrooms here, with stacks and stacks of clothes delicately placed behind the counter, it is no mistake that there is a huge mattress on the floor. You don’t look through the clothes here, they are presented to you. A salesman will get our sari after sari, shirt after shirt, until the entire white surface is covered in a heap of colours and material. If you are lucky, he (all of the sari vendors seem to be men) will try on the sari in front of you so you can see what it would look like. The first time it happened, I can’t tell you how many glances were exchanged between my brother and me.

As much as I hate shopping, especially in the intense heat, it is interesting to see the performance every time. It is always the same routine as I have described above, and it is amazing the effort that each vendor will go to in order to sell his wares. Everything is in fashion, a good material, with some sort of quality certificate and an absolute steal…whether it be 100 or 10,000 rupees. We seem to be spending a lot of money out here, but I can see why.

There aren’t many good shows in the world that are cheap.

A Dozen Or So Lanterns

There are many things about the British influence in India that I find abhorrent. The way that the old Maharaja were treated is one such circumstance that makes me feel sick. The loss of wealth, the pandering, the lack of respect, but most of all, the idea that everything should be made into a theme park. Suprisingly, the Laxmi Vilas Palace in Baroda, the venue dedicated for the reception did not live up to any of my preconceptions. It was still lived in (albeit as a hotel – you can’t win them all!), but it was understated, elegant and absolutely beautiful.

Four times the size of Buckingham Palace, it was unmistakably one of the biggest residences I had ever seen. Considering the temple yesterday had absolutely overwhelmed me, I was starting to realise why people choose to get married in India. You don’t need to hire any decorators because every venue is furnished as if it were welcoming royalty. We were dressed like kings and queens when we arrived in the early evening – everyone else seemed to have gone for smart casual – and we went for this-is-the-only-Indian-wedding-we-are-going-to-so-let’s-turn-up outfits. I was told that the suit I was wearing was supposed to be for a lagna; I smiled politely before quickly scurrying away and taking a seat. There is still plenty of time to arrange my marriage. Not today please.

It was the first time that I saw Pooja, the bride and my cousin, at ease. She was spending time with her new husband, walking through the grounds before everyone started to arrive, and it seems like she could finally relax and enjoy herself. The culmination of three weddings in one week had obviously taken their toll. When we bumped into each other during dinner, it was so bizarre to see her as a fully-fledged adult when only a year ago we were traipsing around Mumbai in the early hours, looking for a café that would serve us. She made one of the busiest cities in the world so manageable (and now writing this in retrospect in Mumbai, I am so grateful I got to spend that time with her).

The garden banquet took most of the crowd’s attention. When we were stood outside, there was everything from a live pasta station to a coffee bar being replenished constantly under the lights of a dozen or so lanterns. You can see a glimpse of how it looked in the picture above. My stomach was still recovering so it was a case of window shopping when it came to most of the food. Like the famous Goodness Gracious Me sketch, I ended up with the blandest thing on the menu and a free reign on the desserts. I wasn’t complaining.

As the night started to draw to a close, our Indian wedding seemed to be drawing to an end. I had missed half of the festivities due to illness, had made the most of the wedding and now stood in a groom’s suit at the reception – it was fair to say that it hadn’t been the conventional way to do things. Nevertheless, it was a wedding that I wouldn’t forget soon. It was probably going to be the last time I saw Pooja for a while as she was moving to Malaysia, probably the last Indian wedding I would attend in India, and most probably one of the last that we would attend as a family (that wasn’t hosted by us). A sobering experience in a state that has banned alcohol.

I thought back to the amount of weddings that must have taken place here. The lavish receptions and bountiful food. For over a hundred years, these walls and gardens were the boundaries of so much happiness and hope. I have noted before how assumable marriage is an institution of progression and prosperity – in fact, someone noted that on these occasions that big weddings are inevitably worth it.

Although, finally the confetti hits the floor and it is time to start the rest of your life. Pooja and Eldan will be walking around Paris now enjoying the first steps of theirs, as our own journey continues. The wedding, the reason for our coming, is now over – but this is the start of a new chapter.

This is the start of our holiday.

Lagna

“Lagna” is the Gujarati word for wedding. Whether you speak Gujarati or not, everyone knows the meaning of this word. It culminates the entirety of all awkward conversations with older relatives in your twenties as they unsubtly hint at the fact that you still don’t have a ring on your finger until you finally tie the knot; the showcase of your summers in your thirties as every week is another journey with your spouse to a stately home or temple for another cousin’s ceremony (or usually string of ceremonies); the laborious chore of your forties as you introduce your children to the various rituals that you yourself have been getting to grips with for most of your adult life; the expense of your fifties as the time eventually comes to give away your daughter or welcome a new one to your home; and finally in your twilight years it remains the rare opportunity to bring your family together and celebrate the beauty of such a union. This may be the longest sentence I have ever written. However, it reflects the nature of lagna. It permeates each stage of life and is a centrepiece in Hindu tradition. Fair to say, it is kind of a big deal.

Weddings in India are the stuff of film and legend. Growing up watching Bollywood films, I imagined that it would be thousands of people all adorned in their finest clothing, steel cast after steel cast containing delicious food and an intensely traditional ceremony that would give me an insight into how weddings should be done. It wasn’t…quite like that. The bride, my cousin, and the groom had decided to go for something much simpler and so it remained close family and friends – they didn’t want a big fuss. Go figure. The one time that we spent all of this time and effort to see a ridiculous Indian wedding and they had chosen to “keep it basic”.

However, the venue was absolutely amazing. There are a few extremely ornate temples in the UK, but it was absolutely nothing like this. This was on the level of a palace in the middle of a busy city. Domes of marble and coloured statues filled the grounds with large open platforms that lit up a sparkling white when the sun finally came into view. From the very finest detail in the pillars, to the huge carved tiles that made up the ceilings, it looked like someone had gone through this place with a microscope. I had never seen anything like it.

Unlike back at home, the weddings are conducted in the late afternoons here because of the intense heat. Even though this was technically the winter, it reached the mid-twenties when the ceremony started and we all started to sweat into our outfits. Because lagnas are such a big part of Hinduism, both practically as a means of legitimising marriage and spiritually to move forward to the next stage of life, it is important to understand the rituals. It is said to be the bride’s occasion, the very last event before she leaves her parents’ house and moves in with her in-laws. The more lagnas you attend, the more you start to pick things up – I guess this is part of the point so you know what you are signing yourself up for when it finally happens to you.

But that is just it, isn’t it? This preparation and celebration comes with the frightening expectation that the seconds are ticking. I don’t think I really feel it at my age, but I can tell that my brother can. Every wedding we go to now, he can’t escape without another distant relative promising him that they can find him a girl. It doesn’t matter what his current situation is (they never ask that) but they are determined to make sure that he gets married. It has become a running joke that I get to tease him about, but I am fully aware that my time is coming.

The prospect of arranged introductions is promised with love. It is 50 percent inquisition and 50 percent well-intentioned. However, it is 100 percent pressurised. There are a very few cultures where the narrative is so direct and continuous – there is almost no question that an Asian man and woman in their twenties should get married against all of the odds. Homosexuality is never discussed and the concept of staying single must mean that there is something inherently wrong with you.

I can’t imagine the prospect of not getting married. Yet, I don’t know whether I have been conditioned to think this way in all of my relationships or whether this is what I actually want. I am sure it is what I want in the end, but there has never really been any other option. It is scary how the lives of most Indians are already mapped out until their 30th birthday.

I don’t know whether tradition has saved or shackled us in this regard. We don’t question marriage like we do other institutions. It just is. Maybe the big weddings are worth it then, hey?

Reading The (Gujarati) Signs

I learnt Gujarati, my home language, religiously until the age of 11. I remember sitting in a women’s kitchen, with a makeshift whiteboard on the wall to my left, looking down at a tattered textbook that I imagine was probably used by teach her children, leaning on a table that was covered in a thin plastic sheet to prevent the ink from our pens ruining her mahogany table. As I look out the window of this campervan, and try to read the various signs of these shops that we keep passing syllable by syllable, I must admit that those lessons seem to have come in handy.

This will be the third time that I have visited India in the last two years, having never set foot in the country before my 18th birthday. It was more by luck than circumstance that I was able to come in the first place, but this trip is completely different. I can’t remember the last time that we went on a proper family holiday, as both my brother and I have taken the last 6-7 years consecutively to finish our university degrees; but that means that we haven’t been away together as an entire family for nearly a decade.

India seemed the natural choice. My mum, having not been back since Nikhil was a baby (some twenty years ago), has been itching to come back and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. My only cousin out here in Gujarat is finally getting married, which is the only real incentive that she needed to plan out her ideal trip. Only two days in now, and already on the way to our third location it seems like she is determined to make up for lost time. I am less apprehensive than I was before we arrived – having mostly been travelling on my own for the past four or so years – I now feel happier and less stressed knowing that the weight of all this running around is much less heavy and more luxurious than I could afford on my own. There seems to be a lot more luggage though.

After a really stressful couple of months, this feels like the perfect time to start writing again. I wasn’t planning on doing anything like this when I left, which is unusual as I carry a journal with me all the time, but I don’t remember the last time I wrote anything down for me. My diary is always full of appointments, my pads full of seminar notes and my head full of conversations. At some point in the last two years, I just stopped engaging with them all and decided that my responsibilities were more important than my personal development.

Today was the first day in a while that I looked out the window and felt that pang to write. Anyone who writes a blog probably understands the feeling. Reading those signs in Gujarati shot me back into that kitchen in my childhood, my connection with my grandmother (we will get onto this another time) and this big move forward for my family. India has always been about heritage and at this moment, all I want to do is write it down which is fantastically exciting.

This space for my writing has always remained a risk and a source of nervous tension. When I plan what I want to say, it changes at least eight times before the final version is ready. Ironically, I re-wrote that previous sentence a few times before I was happy with it. However, I am going to go back to how it was at the beginning of this journey and write fearlessly. The next month will be the most honest conversation that I have had with anyone who reads this since I started writing as a confused and scared teenager.

I can scarcely remember what it was like to be that 11 year old who sat in the kitchen. Let’s go and find him.

Shed Perspective

2 years ago, I wrote the post Shed Light which has probably been my most popular blog to date. The reason why many of you will have kept up with me until now. Since then I have been trying to find answers which is what I set out to do. I have never stopped being hungry in asking questions and trying to further my understanding.

Knowledge precedes understanding, but understanding precedes perspective. Everything must be seen in context. I wrote that post on Diwali which is the most auspicious day in the Hindu calendar marking the journey that Lord Rama makes from one side of India to the other, to get home. The day after Diwali is Bestuvaras which marks the start of the New Year, which in this case is 2071. It is fitting that after the day of illumination, it should be followed by a new beginning. The chance to change perspective.

I was fortunate enough to go to India this year and spend some time with some amazing kids. Many of them were disabled – born without limbs, deformities, psychological defects and even blind – and it was a privilege to see their perspective on life. Within a week of coming back to England, I broke my leg and had a chance to see what it was like to be in their position. After seeing how well they dealt with their hardships, I realised how ungrateful and selfish I was.

I wallowed in self-pity. I became agitated because I couldn’t do the things I wanted to. I blamed myself for my situation and made it seem like I was the only person suffering. Through the trauma, I spared no thought for those worse off. “I was hurt…this was horrible…fuck everyone else” and in this way I became the one thing that I made a commitment not to be in 2012. Ignorant.

Weeks down the line now, I realise how ungrateful I was. It was a natural reaction to what happened, but I am disappointed that I didn’t open my eyes. There is a magic in positive thinking that is underrated. There was nothing I could do about my situation, other than to change my perspective about it. I would have to change my lifestyle, but not necessarily for the worse, as rather than running, I have been able to spend more time with the people that matter most.

So this is my commitment to the next two years. Every time I feel like my eyes are closing in dark times, I need to remember in my mind’s eye those kids that found solace in themselves. Knowing that adversity is the catalyst of progress, not the restriction of it. From now on, I am going to take the blinkers off and realise how good it is to appreciate what I actually have.

This year as a resolution to yourself, regardless of whether you are Hindu or not, use perspective as a positive. Tell yourself how lucky you are each day to be alive. Smile at what you love about yourself. Message the people that love you – don’t wait for them. Hold out your hand for those that need it. Look at what is in front of you and relish the challenge. Take risks. Walk (or in my case hobble) forward.

And if you ever feel like your eyes are closing, read this post again to remind yourself of how great it is to feel the light hit your pupils for the first time each morning. Then get up and live.

Human Zoos: “Animals” in India

There has been a backlash against British and International tourist operators by the India authorities following the promotion of “human safaris” where tourists are taken around rural tribes on the Andaman Islands. Following an investigation by the Observer, videos have come to light of policeman luring young girls of local tribes to dance for food…not to mention that they are half naked from the waist up.

In 1989, tourists were banned by the government from visiting the Bonda villages on the island due to the fact that some had been seen to take pictures of the naked women, with some tourism brokers even promoting the fact that the women of Bonda have “scanty dress.” With many operators removing such ads from their websites, two men have been arrested pending charges.

The most disgusting thing is not the fact that these individuals were offering the service, but that tourists were not as appalled as I was when they saw it, and rather bought tickets as if they were seeing a show. Having seen some footage of the Jarawa tribe which I will provide a link for, I can safely see that this is the dark part of Indian culture.

Seeing human beings, boys and girls performing like monkeys shows me that there is something seriously wrong…the only thing that this safari doesn’t have are cages and I dread to see whether that is true or not. It has been said by many that the Indian rich/poor divide is substantial as can be seen in the streets of major cities like New Delhi, Mumbai and it houses the biggest slum in the world in Dharavi. Nevertheless, we can see how British and international tourists have been seen to exploit innocent villagers…and I am not amused.

Britain is supposed to be a multi-cultural society and embrace every creed and colour. It is supposed to be the most diverse and tolerant countries in the world. Do not get me wrong, I am not accusing 60 million people of prejudice and such vile behaviour, but I am looking at those on the fringes that think it is alright to leer at a naïve, indigenous people and sneer at their way of life. Well I have got news for you – you are less evolved than they are, at least they know what is decent and what isn’t.

I am sorry that this has turned into a bit of a rant, but I am sure that you are as enraged as I am. Again, I am not saying that everyone does it, and the majority of the public are honest, but it is true what they say, that a cancer only starts with a few poisonous cells.

LINK TO THE VIDEO: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2012/jan/07/andaman-islanders-human-safari-video