I went through my Instagram feed and found this post that I put up a few weeks back. The post is a compilation of a few pictures of Juliet and I in beautiful picture-perfect moments wearing smiles that describes happiness. In the first picture, we are in Taj Mahal, the second one somewhere in Delhi, the third in a palace in Jaipur and the fourth one is our hands covered in the beautiful and intricate henna pattern. Right below the post, the caption reads “Incredible India!!! (with three exclamation marks and a waving Indian flag)
Incredible: adj. Impossible or very difficult to believe
True to the caption, my time in India has been very difficult to believe. There are moments, like the ones in the picture, that I was truly happy and satisfied. There were also moments that I emotionally hit the rock bottom and all I wanted was to go home in Gurgaon, pack my bags and leave India. But one bad day should not ruin the good ones, right?
That said, in this blog post today, I will reflect on those moments that I felt happy, moments that I was genuinely calm and was in love with myself and my stay here. There were many of these but I will pick just a few.
(I) Women’s only Metro station.
The subway in Delhi is crowded but organized and user-friendly. The best part of it there a pink streak of light leading to the front coach of every cabin that is served for women only. Every time Juliet and get into one of these, you feel safe. It’s quite and clean in there. People respect each other and there is always someone willing to give up their seat for you if you been standing for too long.
ii) Exploration of India during the weekends.
Our supervisor, fortunately, allowed us to work extra hours during the week and have Fridays off. Weekends have been time to explore the “Incredible India”. We’ve been able to travel to the historical Jaipur, to Agra to see world-famous picturesque Taj Mahal, then to Hyderabad the land of flavorful Biryani and most of all, go shopping in different places and markets in Delhi. I mean, how else will you remember India if you don’t experience the hustle and bustle of markets and put your bargaining skill to the test? I say it’s worth the headache at the end of the day.
iii.) Going to the gym and practicing yoga.
Well, this isn’t a place but a space for myself amidst everything. Mindfulness and wellness was one thing I swore to stick to when I packed my bags for India. Working out in the gym or just doing yoga in the house has been very helpful in settling all my emotions. Coincidentally, the gym is called BOMISO (Body Mind and Soul).
iv.) Experiencing familiarity.
Newness is the thrill and isn’t variety the spice of life? Sometimes I disagree. I have enjoyed staying with a homestay family, sitting together at the dinner table every day and just chatting about our days and life in general. It feels like my family back home- a space that I can talk out my frustration and my joy. I also got to learn a lot about different religions in India at this table.
Everyone loves a good plate of food and Indian food will offer you exactly that. Food has been an exciting part of the trip because there is a lot of variety in Indian cuisine depending on which part of the country you are in. Living in Delhi has also been instrumental in trying out all sorts of cuisines from the Indian subcontinent. I have been able to see how far my palate can go with hot chilli or how many Indian sweets I can tolerate.