Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I don't have it.

One of my heros is James Madison, 4th President of the United States. It was Madison's lifelong job, to save neighbor, Tommy Jefferson from himself. Jefferson may be the better known, but that is only because Madison was his editor, sounding board, buffer.

That's not why I like Jimmy so much though. What I find particularly interesting about Mr. Madison is that for the last 19 years of his life, the years after leaving the Presidency, he left home only once. When he made his last trip he was old, near senile, and disavowed most of his legacy. He was a doddering old fool, told to put on a show, and he did.

To me that sounds like a pretty great way to go out. Having Montpelier to keep you company wouldn't hurt either.

As much as I could easily never leave home again, I have an incredible desire to go to India.

I blame this on two television programs, for I know absolutely nothing about the subcontinent, and presumably most of the nothing I know is wrong, and wrong headed.

Last year around this time, PBS ran a 6 part series "The Story of India" with Michael Woods. I sat transfixed, as week after week this wonderfully photographed program aired. You could taste the dust, and smell the cities teeming with life.

Such things I learned.

With India on my mind, an episode of "Man shops Globe" aired, with the hero traipsing through Jodphur searching out trinkets and treasures. I've got a wish list should you ever find yourself there.

The last nail in my coffin, was the recent Maharajah exhibit at the V&A in London.

This is a very long walk, towards a very short finish. The PBS series is being re shown. Look for it on your favorite channel, or if you can't wait the episodes are also on VEOH.



Shelley said...

Thanks for the heads up, I shall look for the TV listing. I don't think I've had the thing on this year, we've been so busy with new books! Wish I'd known about the V&A exhibit; Bill would have loved it. He has a thing about the Maharjahs as well. We've only been to Goa once; I suspect another trip to Jaipur or suchlike is in the cards.

Martha said...

Husband Jim will be interested -- he's been to India a couple of times. Found it interesting.

McGillicutty said...

Well...with you on the staying home thing... although travelling is my fave thing to do. I only like to stay home when I have no where to go!! hahaha
No although I love Indian food.. I love all food... I don't want to go there. nope.

Suburban Princess said...

I used to have a serious case of wanderlust! I couldnt sit still! But now I am content to stay home as a trip seems like more work than it is worth - maybe when my son is older I will get itchy feet again :O)

They say you havn't travelled until you have been to India!

Rebecca Woodhead said...

How splendid to go to India. I so wanted to go there when I was a teenager but I missed the chance. My cousin went though - he went round the world one year - be prepared for the poverty. He found it too much to bear and cut his trip there short. Of course, there are many ways to travel. Books are a great place to start.

Very best wishes, old chum,


LPC said...

In my experience, India is more than you expect. It rather takes one over.

Patsy said...

oh! I was just going to talk about LPC behind her back. You should read about her Indian adventures at Privilege.

I would dearly love to see India.

Toad said...

I did see LPC's posts on India and they only added to the fire. There were others too.

Maybe India can come to me? But not Hicks. Too tempting.

David said...

Jimmy and Tommy, classic! I'm a big fan of both of them, and their talks inspired the name of my blog. They were both incredibly gifted individuals to say the least, if only our nation had more men like them. If I had montpelier, I wouldn't leave too often either.

I have a good friend who visits India every so often to partake in humanitarian work. He said it is unlike anything he has ever seen, everything from the culture to the architecture is so different he said it was like being on another planet at first. He enjoyed it very much, but after months of living there he said it made him very grateful for the things we have here at home. He definitely recommends a visit there though, just to experience that completely different facet of humanity.

David said...

If I had the money, I'd be out of here! england, france, germany, india, italy, greece, egypt... I want to see it all!

One of the men I respect the most, my arts history teacher, made a trip lasting a few months in bangladesh and india. He told me that it was quite a life changing experience, and I believe him.

It's only a matter of having the guts to get away from what you know and leave your comfort behind.