Survived 26/11 but still in love with India

Survived 26/11 but still in love with India

At the age of nine, she had  taken a trip to Germany all by herself to become independent. This fascination for travel continued even wh­en she grew up and joined Ita­lian Trade Commission and started travelling for work. In 2007, she landed in India and since then she has become more Indian than European.

Metrolife speaks to the current Italian Trade Commissioner, Erica De Giovancario who has been in the country for almost five years.

Like any other foreigner, India’s mysticism attracted Erica, “I decide to come to
India because its charm intri­g­ued me.” 

Landing in Mumbai first, Erica found that the adage about the ‘city that never sleeps’ was true. However, there was a night when the streets went deserted, which Erica remembers with a he­a­vy heart, “I had gone with my friend to dine at Taj and on the night of 26 November 2008 when terrorists atta­c­k­ed the hotel and we got stuck at the 26th floor. We esc­aped at six next morning from the fire exit. It was for the first time that I saw Mumbai str­e­e­ts completely empty.”

But she disagrees with rep­o­rts which cite India as an unsafe destination. “India in ge­n­­eral is quite safe and I say this after having travelled to a lot of countries.”

She moved to Delhi in 2009 and saw a completely different side of the nation. “Having lived in Mumbai for two years, I tho­u­ght I knew India but visiting Delhi was a totally new experience. It feels so beautiful to wake up here in the mor­ning, open the curtains and see vast expanse of gre­e­n­ery. I call it living in an exub­e­rant jungle,” she smiles.

It is the historicity that Erica enjoys the most. “I go for a walk and yoga classes to Humayun Tomb every morning and love to observe the rich flora and fauna around. I love to watch the artisans work in small shops of Old Delhi but for shopping I love Shahpur Jat and Hauz Khas Village.  The restaurants beside narr­ow lanes in this places remind me of my native Rome. In fact, it is the historical backgr­o­und of both Rome and Delhi that entices me.”

Living in Nizamuddin, she often gets stuck in traffic but doesn’t get irritated. “The compound of my house and workplace are extremely quiet but the moment I step out, it is noisy and messy. Still it doesn’t stop me from going around, observing locals bec­a­use it is a part of life.”  Even the extreme weather doesn’t irritate her for she opts for a salwar kameez to beat it, “I love wearing salwar kameez because it is comfortable in every weather.” Did someone say, ‘Jaisa des waisa bhes’?

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