“Where from?”

“Pardon?”

“What country?”

“U.S. The States.”

“Oh, USA. Amedica. Very great country.”

“We’re all right.”

“Yes, very strong.”

“Very strong.”

“Very great.”

“Eh.”

“What city?”

“Washington.”

“Oh, Washington, D.C. The capital of Amedica. Very nice.”

“It’s OK. Where you from?”

“India.”

“Oh, India. We love your country. Great country.”

“Yes, great country, India.

“Very great.”

“Eh.”

Thus we changed the subject. Many times we had some variation of this conversation. Indians were less keen to discuss their own country, naturally. They all had a very high opinion of “Amedica.” Not so much the current state of affairs; but we did find one goat herder in Rajasthan who thought the world of George W. Bush.

 

Aarti in Haridwar, left, and Rishikesh

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