Our beloved Oprah pissed off much of India when the special about her vacay to the land of sacred cows aired there last week (it aired in the US back in April). They found Oprah to be ignorant, narrow and “culturally reductive”. Ouch. Well, OK—The show was meant for an American audience, who, OK, could be described by such language (sorry Middle America but…), so maybe Oprah had to talk that way so those people lining up to eat Chick-Fil-A might have a chance of understanding. Or it just could be the gait in her all pleasing elementary school librarian voice. Who knows. We’re staying out of this one but either way, Oprah’s got some making up to do if she wants to ever eat Indian again. Our suggestion? One word—Pray. Its a thought and maybe she can entertain it at any one of the 7 most spiritual places within India.
Go deep Oprah. Deep into the Himalayas to the source of the Ganges river where you can cleanse yourself of evil and pray in their 6 or so temples. Just take care not to look “reductive” darling.
Don’t mind the ashes of the dead deposited by locals to the temple of Shiva. Its better than the air pollution in Mumbai anyway. Bathe away your ignorance in the river and then pray with the villagers who’ve cherished this location as sacred for as long as anyone can remember.
We’re not saying that the 10,000 steps you need to ascend to reach the Hindu and Jain shrine will serve you in more than one way but…it will.
Or maybe this quiet temple coastal town is more your speed. They’ve got great coffee, food, beaches and a famed temple of Krishna.
Its the most famous and prosperous of India’s shrines with tens of thousands of pilgrims visiting each day. Here, the deity Vishnu can give you a new heart, but you’ll have to trade in your hair.
You’ll have a lot of time to think about the nature of your special as you walk 9 miles to this temple to Shiva atop a high glacial cirque in the Himalayas.
Well, this is it Oprah. She’s the Goddess and protector of the whole land of India. Ask for some forgiveness with a side of nan.
Matt Bell is a New York based travel and style writer who contributes regularly to Esquire.com and Essential Homme Magazine. He has also written for Out.com, Next Magazine, American Spa Magazine and was the Senior Editor for Genre Magazine.