Updated: Nov 6, 2020
* Note: All photos taken by me. This photo of the Taj Mahal was edited and does not appear this dark in person.
India is the most fascinating place I have visited. Till this day I can say no other place remotely compares to Delhi. Prior to my visit my colleagues described India as intense. A friend of a friend who coached me on accommodations said hotels are either 'five stars' or 'no star'. I found this to be an analogy for many aspects of India. There were so many extremes. The posh hotels and majestic monuments adjacent to blighted areas.
Even though India is the birthplace of yoga, my first impression was anything serene. Roadways were not fully developed and on multiple occasions I witnessed a family of four on a small motorcycle without helmets. Cows reigned supreme throughout the city and I specifically recall one being on a "leash" tied to a pole in a median. The extreme poverty was jarring and heart wrenching.
Yet with all the crowds and chaos there was a distinct rhythm to the city. Energy created by the wide array of colors, smells, and movement pulsed all around me. My senses were on high alert and I felt so alive. The people were so warm and welcoming. The food was mouth watering. Plus India is home to some of the most splendid manmade structures every built.
Sure everything was not perfect. My cell phone never had service. On the train to Agra I noticed I did not have my wallet. Luckily I dropped it outside the car and my amazing driver retrieved it for me. did not get off the train at the first Delhi stop and stood on the platform for over an hour until my driver located me. A friend raved about kulfi (Indian ice cream) and on my last day it was probably not the best idea to eat a frost bitten bowl my driver picked up from his brother's house.
As a part of my 9-5 I am connected to a team in India daily but my goal is to find myself back in India, exploring new areas and meeting new people. I want to marvel at how much it has changed since my visit and appreciate how some aspects have remained unchanged.
Have you been to India? What was your favorite memory?