India has more to it than poverty, feels Oprah
The traffic manners may have left her aghast, but the world's most celebrated talk show host Oprah Winfrey says she was impressed by India's "glorious" family tradition and would love to return to the country which had much more to it than filth and poverty.
"What most impressed me here was the family tradition in the country and the fact that you take care of your parents, your grandparents," said the 57-year-old media moghul, who turned up at the Jaipur Literary Festival wearing a yellow-green embroidered salwar paired with ankle grazing western styled pyjamas.
Her first visit to India, she said, was driven by her first image of the country - a picture featuring a woman on a camel - which she put on her visit board reading 'Come to India'. And after witnessing first hand the "paradox" that is India, and being left "awestruck" by the traffic manners of the country, she would definitely like to return, she said.
"Having been to a family of four generations, I got a sense of how glorious it is," she said. The media moghul spent time in Mumbai, visiting a slum, an ashram for widows, besides attending a high-profile dinner with Bollywood personalities before coming to Jaipur.While she got a glimpse of both the extremes of India, she said, she would like to portray the country as a whole and not "just show the filth". "It was important to go to slums but not necessary to show the the worst of the worst, what I wanted to portray is that there is poverty but there is still a sense of hope," she said. And while she was much impressed by many things in India, traffic manners was not one of them. "What is it with the red lights here. Is it there just for your entertainment? she asked to bursts of laughter from the audience. "There is a red light on and everybody just keeps going," she said.
And she returned to the subject before finishing her talk. "Texting while driving is stupid. But in India it is insane," she said, tongue in cheek.
Oprah's meeting with the widows too left her quite moved and according to her "caused a shift in my consciousness".
She said she was all the more surprised by the fact that women who lose their husbands can be discarded in a country where families do so well to take care of their elders.
"I couldn't understand this paradox that a country where families have so much love for their elders could discard its women just because they did not have husbands," she said. PTI