For my final blog post I though I’d talk a little more about my trip to Delhi, as it was one of my favorite experiences of the summer. With some of the other interns, I took a weekend trip to the capital. Much larger and a little more chaotic than Chennai, Delhi was a fun change. The moment we landed I was surprised and impressed. Delhi has a great airport- and not just by India’s standards. It’s comparable to almost any top class airport in the world. To top it off, we traveled into the city by a special, airport metro that was overpriced, air conditioned, clean and absolutely empty- it was surreal how different this was from practically every other mode of public transportation in the country. The moment passed quite quickly though- we came back to reality as soon as we stepped outside and got hit with a wave of heat, pollution and noise- ahh India.
And so began our Delhi weekend. Over the next few days we explored restaurants, bars, monuments in the city, and Agra (of course), we stayed in a sketchy little hotel for 2 nights so we could treat ourselves to the Leela Palace on the 3rd night, and we watched a ridiculous Bollywood movie in a dingy cinema (that I had to translate for the others) and kept up with World Cup matches as best as we could. There were a few things that I really loved about Delhi. First and foremost, being able to communicate with auto drivers (in Hindi) was a small yet incredibly fulfilling thing. After weeks of frustrating miscommunications with autos in Chennai it was a relief to be able to move around easily. The food was also fantastic. We made it our mission to eat at some of the city’s best places. The first night we went to a famous restaurant called Bukhara, which has some incredible kebab dishes and probably the best dahl I’ve ever had- they cook the dahl for 18 hours, and you can taste the magic of each hour. The next day we ate at Karim’s- probably the most famous street food vendor in the city, in the heart of the Muslim quarters. We walked through crowded alleys and tiny streets to find this gem of a restaurant, with kebabs that matched and maybe even bettered the likes of Bukhara. Can’t forget about the delicious fusion fine dining either. We were all foodies as you can tell!
And, without a doubt, my favorite part of the trip was seeing the main historical monuments. The Red Fort and the Agra Fort were incredibly massive and well built structures. It’s crazy to think that a few hundred years ago the men and women who ran and protected kingdoms resided in them. And the best, by far, was the Taj Mahal. I was quite awe struck as I walked into the main courtyard. It got bigger and bigger as I moved closer, glistening white, with incredible carvings and wonderful gardens- pictures do not do it justice. In all honesty, as an Indian I felt incredibly proud at that moment. With all the over-population and pollution, India’s beauty is not necessarily in pristine structures or well developed cities, but rather the culture and people. However, the Taj is an incredible building that we’ve maintained for this long, and that was really nice to see. I spent the rest of summer telling my family that they all had to take a trip to Agra! The trip was a lot of fun and a great learning experience too- I got to see parts of India I had always wanted to check out, so that was great. A big thank you to CASI for the whole experience!