Indian Girls A Reflection On Life

Indian Girls

After I left Turkey I returned briefly to the UK and then headed to India. I had a six month visa and planned to spend it travelling around. I was lucky enough to get a dirt cheap charter flight leaving the UK on New Years Eve and I ditched the return half of the ticket when I arrived. Mind you I enjoyed ten days in a hotel first.

No particular aim in mind, I would go with the flow but use my interest in zoos to determine the direction in which I would travel. To me travelling is in many cases as important as the destination. Travelling is about new experiences, new people. Travelling alone I find is best. When you are alone people are more likely to speak to you. Travelling alone you can spend five minutes or fifty looking at a view and not be concerned about anyone else. You can eat what you want, when you want and where you want. You can sleep where you want for however long you want. You can stay or move on or change your mind in the blink of an eye.

I am a loner who likes people. I like meeting people, listening to their stories and learning something of their lives. I believe there are certain people that I was pre-destined to meet. I would take something from meeting them which would change my life in some way.

Here are four Indian Girls who have touched me in some way. I have learned from their lives and perhaps in some way others may learn from me.

None of these girls were lovers. Sex did not come into the equation. These were just people living their own lives in their own way.

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I met Valla in Chennai. She was a street girl, no home and lived and slept on the pavement with her mother, grandmother and handicapped brother. I never saw her wear anything but the same colourless shift.

Valla was a skinny girl and passably pretty. I guessed her to twelve or thirteen years old. What made her stand out was her stunning smile and friendly personality. Her winning way was what supported her family. Valla had never been to school but could read English and spoke it well along with a couple of Indian dialects. She was interesting to talk to but embarrassing to eat with.

It was Valla's smile that drew her to me or me to her, I'm not sure. Beaming in the crowded street she approached me. "Sir, will you buy me rice?" I sort of laughed the request off and gave her a few Rupees.

But in the following days I met Valla time and again and eventually agreed to her request for rice. I bought 25 Kilos of the stuff...too heavy for her and she carried it off in two trips. At the time I thought I had been conned but did not mind too much because it had cost me little and her smiled reward was worth a ransom.

The following day I was given smiles and waves by many of the people sleeping on the streets. When I caught up with Valla, or her with me, I was never too sure how things went, she said "Peter, all the street people pray for you last night. They thank you for the rice." Wow! She had fed them all! She had not looked after just her own. She cared for everybody.

I think I fell in love with Valla at that moment. Not a sexual love but a soul love. I loved this girl for her caring. We spent at least part of the next few days together, I met her family, I met her friends, many of the other street people. But I learned also she was eighteen years old and felt that she was looking at me in a different way.

I needed to escape before people started to read more into a relationship than there actually was. I lied. I said I was moving on.

Valla said to me "Peter, you know what I want more than anything. I want to be like other Indian girls. I would like a silver ankle bracelet." I asked her how much and the money seemed very little. I said I would buy her one before I left the following day.

We met up in the morning and went to the silver shop. The bracelet was twice the amount she had said, so I said sorry. She then asked if I would give her the money I would have spent. I felt I had been conned again but didn't care because I knew that Valla would not be selfish with it.

I said goodbye.

Valla is one of the people I would seek out if I ever won a fortune. I would set her up in business and give her somewhere to live. She would only do good.

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A Calcutta Orphan

I was playing in the waves in Kovalam, South India when I met and made friends with an Indian girl. Only she wasn't Indian, she was Dutch. She had been adopted as a baby from an orphanage in Calcutta and taken to Holland. Before this trip she had never been to India, knew nobody here and knew nothing of the languages or culture.

She was 23 years old and travelling alone for two months. She had spent the first two weeks doing voluntary work in Calcutta at the orphanage which had first cared for her.

She loved India and liked Calcutta best. Her journey was an emotional adventure. She felt happy being Dutch but felt she was discovering herself.

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Back Home in India

If I had not met the 'Calcutta Orphan' I would not have appreciated my next Indian Girl so much.

Again I met her on a beach, but this time in Goa. Another Indian girl on her first visit to India. She lived in the midlands of England with her parents and grandparents. She was English born and had wanted to visit India since even before she knew what the word actually meant. From the cradle she had been told "India...this" or "Back home in India" or "India.... that". India to her was a magical place full of wonderful places and people. A country of happy memories she shared with her family but had not experienced. There were photographs, books and ornaments each with a story.

She had been in India for two weeks and hated it from the moment she entered the airport. She was suffering culture shock worse than anybody I had met. This was not the India of her dreams. Here there was dirt, strange smells, beggars, poverty, heat. She had found nothing she liked. She could not wait to get back home to England. Her dream shattered.

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An Ooty Intellect

I had walked some distance out of Ooty to some temples close to Prasanna Virupaksha when I was approached by two beggar children, a girl of about seven with her five year old brother in tow. I don't know where they came from as there did not appear to be any houses close by and, as far as I could see, I was the only tourist.

The little girl spoke to me first in German and then in French before settling on faultless English. Had I got a school pen? she enquired. As i had not she settled on money which, she assured me she would split fifty fifty with her brother.

They were lovely kids and made me so ashamed of my own poor grasp of foreign tongues. They showed me round the various temples and ruins before taking me up a tower which commanded a view over the whole area. The little girl pointed out that all the walls inside were scrawled in graffiti. I said that it was very bad. She said "Yes, but have you noticed it is all in English?."

Out of the mouths of babes. I felt ashamed.

Given the money I would find these two kids again and support them through their education. They are two who would definitely make a difference.

And Travel?

Travel broadens more than the mind. There are many single girls out there on the road in India. More girls travel alone than men in my experience. I am sure that most return home better people, learning from Indian girls too. 

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Comments 65 comments

dianacharles profile image

dianacharles 7 years ago from India

Reading your account of your travels through India was very enlightening Peter.Tourists tend to see a side of the country that the citizens may never see.I too remember meeting a German girl on the beaches of Goa and she said that she had come there because her parents had lived in India for so many years and had loved the country, so she had to come to see what was so special about it. I think if you can get past the extreme poverty,you can see the souls of the people, the way you did in Valla.Lovely read.

guidebaba profile image

guidebaba 7 years ago from India

Too long for me to read complete at the moment. I read the story of valla complete. I am from Calcutta too. Let me read and understand the moral of the story and will come back for my comments.

goolya profile image

goolya 7 years ago from Bay area, California

I was wondering if there would be a hub on Indian women which actually spoke of what they repesented more than how they looked and I think I am glad I read this hub...reality is like everywhere in the world there are all kinds of women in India- the ones who look beautiful and the ones that make you feel beautiful.

One only chooses!

Thank you for this wonderful hub.

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Thank you Peter - a welcome change from the sleazy Indian girl hubs of which I'm sure most Indian women on this site are ashamed! You also make me feel ashamed that there are so many things we're inured to when we should be up and doing something about it!

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia Author

Diana - Thanks! India, land of a billion stories. I love the place. I am thinking of leaving my little corner of Thailand and heading back to travel for a few months.

Goolya - Just writing as I saw and heard. Not judging. Back in the sixties I had an Indian girlfriend for a while. She was beautiful. Thanks for the comment.

Shalini - It is easy to become blind to what is right under our noses. I recall staying with friends in the UK for a week. At the end of each day they asked me where I had been and what I had seen. They were amazed by what I told them. Not once did I venture more than 500 yards from their house. Thanks.

Research Analyst profile image

Research Analyst 7 years ago

This is such a nice account of your travels and of the people you had the pleasure of meeting, it amazing to see how people of different cultures live and how we can learn something from them that can impact our lives in such a positive way, thanks for sharing your experiences.

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

fantastic hub - and I share the general sentiment about it being a relief to avoid "sexy" pics!

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia Author

Research Analyst - I continue to learn from people. Both the good and the bad. Thanks for the comment.

LondonGirl - Thank you. I enjoyed the memories when writing it.

Mrvoodoo profile image

Mrvoodoo 7 years ago from ?

Excellent article, I love the way that you are able to relay the meetings and experiences that you have both through your own eyes, and through the eyes of those that you meet. I wonder whether you have considered turning your travel reflections into some kind of book, although perhaps Hubpages is your book, and we your readers.

ratcliffe07 profile image

ratcliffe07 7 years ago

Very enlightening and heart breaking. It is my personal belief that all people should travel and become aware of other cultures. It is the only way in which we can all come to understand each other.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia Author

Mrvoodoo - Thank you. The book I idea I have thought about long and oft. Maybe one day.

ratcliffe07 - I could not agree more. More people should travel but sadly many never get to see more than their own villages. Even sadder is that of those who do travel some see nothing at all. Thankyou.

ratcliffe07 profile image

ratcliffe07 7 years ago

Right I agree and you can even take it another step farther and say those who do not travel can be even more accepting and open than those who do travel and have learned a great deal. You can learn alot from people who appear to live the simplest of your first girl. I don't think i would ever be so selfless if i had nothing. It truly makes me look at myself and think wow what kind of person am i who has so much and wants more and more. So thank you for this post

ahpoetic profile image

ahpoetic 7 years ago

How do you define destiny and why are you a loner that likes people? Is traveling your form of therapy? I love to travel, but I have a home. You've got me wondering about traveling for extended periods.

Minilady profile image

Minilady 7 years ago

Lovely hub..I love travelling too and am lucky to have had the opportunity to travel a lot. Your writing has shown how enriching it can be.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia Author

Minilady - Thanks. Long may you travel.

flamingoes profile image

flamingoes 7 years ago from Mumbai

There is a lot one can learn from travelling. Great insights!

amjadbhatti profile image

amjadbhatti 7 years ago


SearingMarketing profile image

SearingMarketing 7 years ago from United Kingdom

This caught my eye and I think you should write a book and get it published.

I have some Indian heritage but have not made it to India myself. My parents have visited and came back to the UK with similar insights. The girls you met restore faith in humanity. As a business woman I tend to see the wrong side of humanity too often!

DynamicS profile image

DynamicS 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Peter, I truly enjoyed your hub. You have confirmed what I have always believed, beauty is in everyone, everything and everywhere. I like to travel, but due to family circumstances now - raising a young son, I have to stay close to home. In the next 15 years however, I hope to travel the world.

I believe that the world is the most influential professor and so I can't wait to get my PhD in travel..

Travel safe..


lindagoffigan 7 years ago

A great hub, Peter. However, I wish you could have afforded the silver bracelet for Valla, the first Indian girl you met on your travels. Knowing that she would have done good with the money as a substitute would have sufficed also. I have to admit that at first, I thought the traveler was a woman. Glad to find out that the article was written by a man because men may be safer to roam alone in India moreso than women.

kundhan karunakar profile image

kundhan karunakar 7 years ago from vishakapatnam

hi peter,it is good to read such a good hub.u have given some information to me to write them book thanks a lot ..i will be mentioning your name in the book i write .i hope much more curious hubs from u in future

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia Author

kundhan - thanks. Happy to have helped. I hope to read your book one day.

Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Good stuff Peter. Stay-at-home folks miss a great deal of life. You tell your stories very well.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia Author

Thank You Paraglider, a fellow traveler. You have some diverse and interesting hubs which I will return to time and again.

lindagoffigan, I too wish I could have helped Valla more but she had the spirit and morals to succeed. I believe she will.

DynamicS - thank you. Travel teaches so much but so does raising children. It may seem long and trying at times but before you know it they are all grown up and you wonder how it happened. Enjoy every minute...even the painful ones.

SearingMarketing - Thank you for your kind words. I reckon we all have a book in us somewhere. It is getting it out that is the problem.

flamingoes and amjadbhatti - Thank you.

Kambakkht Ishq 7 years ago

you are totally right , I can't believe I didn't noticed this earlier..and also , I enjoyed reading this

prasadjain profile image

prasadjain 7 years ago from Tumkur

Thanks for your interest in common people. Your sympathetic attitude towords people is appreciable. But in this anecdote, Except Valla's , other's did not touch my heart.

India is a country in which millions of women are very talented and happy with their families.Good ladies win our affection and blessings.We believe, best wishes of woemen keeps a house peaceful.

Some hubwriters write here about -sexy indian women, etc, etc, only to increase there hub traffic, and earn more. Those articles do not give real picture of Indian women.

Thanks for the hub.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia Author

prasadjain- Thank you. The world is built up of delightfully different people. I learn from them all. I learned from my 'Indian Girls', a different lesson from each. There were others too, perhaps another hub, another day.

universeexplorer profile image

universeexplorer 7 years ago from Bremen, Germany

salute brother, you have seen more than i have


sarahtrudeau profile image

sarahtrudeau 7 years ago from India


This was wonderful. One of my favorites. I can relate to every character you described in some way- the little girl with the winning smile asking you to buy her rice, the Indian girls returning to their motherland for the first time in their lives, the little kids showing you to the temple and speaking faultless English. Such common experiences in India, but so memorable, aren't they? I'm glad you shared this~ it makes me smile to read!

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia Author

Thank you Sarah. Strange you read it today because I had reread it today for the first time in months.

scheng1 7 years ago

A sack of rice in exchange for all the prayers! That's a really good deal.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia Author

scheng1 - and I don't suppose it really matters what religion you are or whether you have no religion at all.

AllMomNeeds2know profile image

AllMomNeeds2know 7 years ago

Interesting learning about the lives of others so different from mine, thanks

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia Author

Thanks AllMomNeeds2know - You know I think the same.

PATLIP profile image

PATLIP 7 years ago

Great feeling arises after reading this story.It really a nice way of expressing power of women in front of people.u should make a documentary film on it,this will definitely chnge the scenario of women not in INDIA but also in the rest of the world.good luck PETER..................

skgrao profile image

skgrao 7 years ago from Bangalore City - INDIA.

Instead of meeting city girls who come from rural places as they have nothing to eat there they come to city.If you care so much for these black profile city spoilers try to live in a village and organize something from a social org who do such work.You enjoy in a hotel and throw some money is most distasteful to me.It is not reflection of life as you view it selfishly.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia Author

skgrao - you are perfectly entitled to your opinion but I find your interpretation twisted and shallow. We shall have to agree to disagree...or you can continue to disagree.

suraj002singh 7 years ago

hi peter dickenson , you collect good snap but among 5 snaps 2 snaps are from MANIPUR (A satate in INDIA) but you are not mentioning properly about MANIPUR, that's not good.As a manipuri i am feel bad.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia Author

Sadly suraj, I travelled in India without a camera and painted my pictures with words. When I need photos for my hubs I chose simply interesting Indian girls and women but without regard to region. No offence intended and as far as I can see no harm done. It is the text which counts. Perhaps I will change the photographs at some point.

H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

Hi Peter Dickinson,

Thank you Peter, I offer my best love for visiting India with an open heart and realized the soul of Indian girls. As an Indian I can say most of the Indian girls are very soft and sober and polite in behavior and less stupid and cunning as they were brought under a Hindu custom of religion mostly which is something unique if I am not wrong. Thanks once again.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia Author

H P Roychoudhury - Many thanks for your comments. You are right that any religion does play a part in how people behave.

ThisIsMyNameMan 7 years ago

This was a very good post, touching in its honesty. India tends to bring out extreme reactions in people (I'm prone to it myself :-), so reading something like this where the person has tried to get to the essence of the thing is quite refreshing. Congratulations.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia Author

Thank you ThisisMyNameMan. I agree about the extreme reactions.

ThisIsMyNameMan 7 years ago

Thank you, Peter. Your hub actually made me remember something that I witnessed sometime back, and much against my desire to bray in public, I decided to make a hub out of it.

pachuchu1977 6 years ago

Excellent Hub

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

Thank you pachuchu.

expatudon08 profile image

expatudon08 6 years ago

i spent 6 month's in India and Nepal i think it changed me forever and a few of the people i met i still connect with

the children of India are full of life

i was surprised buy locals with little spare money smile so broadly and be so active unlike the morbidly obese westerner's relaxing on social security

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

expatudon08 - It would be difficult not to be changed by India. It is good that your experiences give happy memories.

Sree 6 years ago

Hi Peter, Nice post. Majority of Beggars in India beg by choice and not out of compulsion (I exclude handicapped ones). I know this from my friends who work in social service in India. There is even a food for work programme in India. They don't want to work hard and prefer easy money by begging. Children are forced into begging by their parents or 'Masters'. Please see the article hyperlinked below.

Beauty of India is in it's villages. India has everything in varying proportions. Rich, Poor, Good people, bad people,expensive,cheap....You need to select what you want. Beggars only cover a small portion of that huge collage.

Hope you experienced and enjoyed other good things about India.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

Sree - Thank you for the information. Yes I loved India. Perhaps I will return one day.

mohammedwasifm profile image

mohammedwasifm 6 years ago from Chennai

Really great story Peter. I have become your Fan. Expecting more from your travel stories. Will read all your Hubs now. Thank you very much for such wonderful stories.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

mohammedwasifm - I am glad you enjoyed. Thank you.

rebu profile image

rebu 6 years ago from Coorg,India

Peter,its really heart touching..i enjoy reading ur hubs and i will be back to read more..

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

rebu - Thank you for visiting.

Chasuk 6 years ago

Moving and informative at once. Thank you kindly.

I've been attracted to Indian culture since my late teens. Later, I discovered Indian food -- most of it prepared by Indian cooks in UK restaurants -- and I think that it is still my favorite cuisine.

I'm currently living in South Korea, but I'm hoping that India will be my next expat destination.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

Thank you Chasuk. India is a wonderful country. Full of contrasts. Be open minded and accepting and it will accept you.

Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 6 years ago

I have always wanted to see India and its culture after reading so much about it. Great hub !

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

Ingenira - India is wonderful, intense, vibrant, different and unmissable. Go for it.

oishi profile image

oishi 6 years ago

Peter, thanks a lot. Your hub made me fall in love with my country once again.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

oishi - I am happy to have helped.

Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 6 years ago from Maui and Arizona

I am blinking my eyes in wonder and trying to take this in. It's quite surprising to me that you could travel like this and enjoy it. The people you met, that sounds very nice and I can appreciate how special some of those moments were -- and are -- to you. But I find traveling, well, not traveling, but staying in hotels and being away from everything familiar -- difficult. So, to me, you seem quite brave and amazingly easy going. I did enjoy this article very much.

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

Thanks Pamela - I enjoy my life on the road. Hotels can be a bit of a shock sometimes but are always more comfortable than a bench. I am still enjoying my life and need 'things' less and less. I feel no need for a home or a car. Sadly I cannot get by without money but I manage on less than most....but there are many far poorer than me. Thanks for reading.

theindiaphile profile image

theindiaphile 6 years ago from London

Second half is a better than the first! First para is, if I'm being blunt, a bit obviously for SEO purposes...

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia Author

theindiaphile - Strange you should mention SEO because I did not even know of its existence much less how to use it when I wrote this. I note you commented on six hubs in five minutes. I wonder that you actually had time to read them let alone comment. Peace.

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mokamav 4 years ago from India, Kerala,Cochin


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