How can chaos, poverty & beauty exist together as it does in India?
It’s absolutely incredible.
I landed here in Delhi around 6am local time, and I could see the sun creeping up over the horizon. After multiple questions at customs about why I have a Hindi middle name, and being referred to as a doctor (as apparently people who work in the field of psychology in India are often referred to as doctors haha), I walked outside to see a stunning orange haze in the sky.
Stares. I was expecting this. I just continued to look past swiftly as soon as a pair of eyes would lock mine. I didn’t know how bad this was going to get on my trip but for now I could handle it.
I was just trying to find this young nurse who had taken time off to travel with me. 40 minutes and no luck so far.
After a couple of lost Germans asked me if I managed to jump onto local wifi, and having a bit of a laugh at how I say ‘HEKTIK’, I totally forgot about being lost. Turns out one of them was here to shoot a commercial for one of Indias famous fitness models (hilarious).
Aruna managed to spot me, I looked like a sore thumb to be honest- and I took the Germans with us to our booked taxi to drop them to their hostel. They couldn’t be more grateful. Yeah we chatted about football and ultras and pyro 😂, exchanged FB details & being thanked for saving them, they were on their way.
Yoga on the side of the highway, continual beeping horns, hundreds of people napping on median strips under trees in the shade- this was all soon going to be normal to spot.
Stairs. Our first stop was the world heritage site of Humayun’s Tomb. I was mesmerised by the amount of gates and gardens you had to pass through to get to it. The cobblestone stairs were deep and steep. The ability of humanity generations ago humbles the technology-saturated world we live in today.
I felt home. Now I get why I love marble wonders, calligraphy, old wooden doors, rustic metals and coloured fabrics. The tomb was full of marble beauty. I haven’t been in such a glorified tomb before. Nor asked so many times to take a photo WITH strangers. I kept saying no because I knew it wouldn’t be in my best interest to welcome any sort of attention. But when a 9yo boy came and asked politely and I said no quickly, I walked away and felt bad. A child’s innocence pulled my heartstrings.
This city is full of people trying to take opportunities when they present themselves. I understand why. They feel the grass is geeener everywhere else but here. I know I have to be careful, my heart is big and my generosity can be exploited for someone’s gain. Kids are taught how to pick pockets using their innocent eyes.
It was a beautiful first day in this city. 75 million people coexist in utter madness. The poorest of women wear bright beautiful fabrics.
I will be walking a lot on this trip. Can’t wait to open some magnificent doors along the way.