“I’ve often questioned myself, why Europeans are so nuts about India. Why they want to be there, to travel there, to put up with everything there. Clearly, India is not just a different country, India is a different continent, a different planetary system. Incomparable with everything else in the universe. No spot on earth resembles it. India is crazy. The horrible beautiful insanity that often cheers and often drives crazy. India is a wonder of the world that the world has to offer only once. But it’s not that. Or only to a certain point.
So what is it that drives us, the white man, the white woman, time and again to India? My explanation is only one of many others but I don’t know a more coherent one. We want to know how a human being, that is to say an Indian human being, can be so happy. How is it possible? With nothing, almost nothing. While we don’t succeed – or let’s say hardly succeed – in being happy. At the same time we are loaded with prosperity junk like never before. We have so much and still: not a gram does our heart become any lighter, more beaming. And they have so little and so much lightness. Of course this is a cliché I’m repeating which is not always valid. But a hundred millions of times it’s true…
Nobody will get to the bottom of India. India will just throw you, stun you. A country as a drug. Whoever enters the country has to be prepared. The danger of addiction is tremendous.”
Andreas Altmann (and Pier Paolo Pasolini) “Indien” 2014
July 2016 and January 2017