What can I say about you India, you broke me at points, changed my perspective and showed me a way of life that I’ve grown to love over the past 2 months. As much as you are dangerous you are a true piece of gold hidden away from the rest of the world.
When I first arrived thunder and lightning welcomed us with rain pouring down like the water which comes out of your tap except the heat was stupidly humid and I didn’t plan for rain so there were no raincoats involved. We almost got scammed by a taxi rented from the airport, didn’t eat for 7 hours and the lack of sleep was taking its toll on our bodies but that still didn’t tear us down, why you ask because when we looked out of our window and we saw the life which lived on this land. Women moving tons of weight on their heads dressed in colors so vibrant you couldn’t stop staring. Children playing the side of the road throwing stones at each other with such joy you would have never thought they lived in a carbonated house next to the bus stop. The cows were what got me the most, the animals we excessively breed in the UK roam the streets with a chilled expression on their faces at all times, I mean why wouldn’t you if you could walk wherever you want when you want. Including roads, houses, shops and even motorways without the faintest worry about being hunted for your meat.
I found myself lost amongst the streets, the endless roads which submerge the almost fake parts of India to the true life that lies in the slums. The people there are the most exciting part, it’s like seeing a story unfold in front of your eyes, I remember meeting this girl who was studying Hindi in the early hours of the morning despite having school later that day and earning a living painting henna onto backpackers in hostels. She was about 13 years old and had a mindset of a 21-year-old who had graduated from University, such a sweet soul.
As we head up the golden triangle, from Delhi to Agra we found the Taj to be overrated, too many tourists, not enough wonder which makes sense because of it’s one of the 8 wonders of the world, it was the little things that made our trip so special. Our first Tuk Tuk drive was in Delhi in the pouring rain, not even joking. When we got out we were literally drenched but found humor amongst the wetness. Every place we went we found the food to be insane. I’m sure that we had lived off garlic nan for almost a whole month but don’t regret a single thing because food had never tasted so good! The moment we happened to come across paradise in Goa with palm trees surrounding us and sand for miles and miles. We had truly found bliss or Samadi as yogis like to call it.
Puskar further south of Delhi is a hidden wonder which not many tourists head to. We managed to find this AirBnB in the center of Puskar. It was surrounded by beautiful hills, mountains of tall grass and ruined temples for miles in every direction. Luckily we got there during a festival so the markets and streets were submerged in people from all over India, all coming to Puskar to pray and wash in the holy river. Although due to the impact of people the attention we were getting went from a good 85% to 110% which was sadly major turn off but I would recommend discovering this colorful city for yourself, getting lost in the endless markets and walking up to watch the sunrise and sunsets on the temples on the many hills they have.
Jaipur was very similar, great food, location, and beauty but I think from all the places we went from Delhi being my least favorite, Agra, Udaipur, Jaipur, and Puskar being my top choice of location, Delhi was just too busy for my calm soul, I need earth and life around me. What Delhi has to offer is a lot more touristy, pollution and more markets stalls than an entire shopping center. I suppose that’s another trait that I’ve developed from my long-term travels. I must admit that the humidity kept me on my toes, the constant bartering for a better price and the numerous amounts of photo albums I must be were all worth it for the experience I came out with.
India you see past our selfish exterior, rushed way of life and challenge the way in which we live, selflessly to show us another way to be happy. For that I am truly grateful.