I have wanted to visit India for years. Drawn to its wild juxtapositions, color, energy, and intensity ~ all details that I have read or heard about from fellow nomads who have been there ~ I imagine being overwhelmed in ways that would not be possible elsewhere. I don’t know when I will go there, but I know I will. In the meantime, I drink up stories from a country that is halfway around the world as if it were a magic elixir, capable of transporting me to this place I have been drawn to for a very long time.
One of the ways I have been able to get my “India Fix” for the past many months has been Vineeta Nair’s Indian design blog, ArtnLight. Full of color and beauty and vivid imagery, I go there when I need a dose of inspiration for my artwork as well as my travel bug. When I began compiling my list of potential contributors for Desire to Inspire, I knew I wanted Vineeta involved. I simply had to have a little bit of India in the book, and, thankfully, she said yes.
In addition to sharing her stories, sending images, and being an all-around force of good throughout the entire process of writing the book, Vineeta endured an intense visa application process and two long flights in order to be in Santa Monica for the book launch last week. As soon as her flight was booked, I started telling anyone who would listen that I had a contributor ~ and friend ~ coming for the book launch all the way from India….INDIA!, each time punctuating my sentence with the all caps, bold repeat of the name of her home country. At the book launch, I lost track of how many people came up to me and asked, “Where is the woman who came from India (INDIA!)?” and I would happily point her out, our celebrity from Mumbai.
I have had a passion for travel ever since I was thirteen years old, and this passion has taken me all over the world. In addition to the journeys I have taken on airplanes and ships and trains, this passion has also taken me to faraway places through friendships, and many of these friends have brought a little bit of where they are from into my home when they’ve visited. I know I can’t really say “I have been to India”, but in a strange way I feel like I have…or at least that India has been to me. And for now, I’ll take it. I’ll take every single bit of it.
“So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked.” ~Mark Twain
Christine Mason Miller is an artist, writer, and explorer from Santa Monica, California. She’s off to the Big Apple next month, and after that, who knows. Her latest book ~ Desire to Inspire ~ is now available on Amazon and in bookstores everywhere.