India is an overwhelmingly populated country, which is immediately evident in the mass number of crowds that fill the streets and the traffic that flows in every direction. The country proves to be a contrast within itself; it displays life through the
stories of the poor and the rich, the traditional and the modern, and the frightening and the harmonious. It is at times these
opposites that blend together that makes India, a masala of spices, that warm the palate. For many it may be overbearing and for others a wonderful medley.
I believe one way to experience India is to go through Delhi. It is an exciting city that has many things, which India offers. There is a spirituality emanating from the people and their religions; this energy flows from the masjids, mandirs, temples, and gurdwaras in every corner. The aroma of the different Indian foods fill the alley ways and streets of Delhi. Delhi is a heritage city, full of UNESCO World Heritage monuments, which displays India’s past grandeur and hints at its future. The people are warm, caring, and helpful although they may not seem that way in all the chaos that is Delhi. There is so much in Delhi and it is a mixture of bad and good.
Not all of Delhi is pleasant. Pollution is suffocating. Water is contaminated and care needs to be taken when eating or drinking, especially vegetables and water. Trash is everywhere. Beggars come from every corner and ask for money. There are women who harass (verbally) tourist for money and curse with ill-omens for those who don’t cough up. There was a little kid, with a big smile and laughter behind his throat, who innocently asked me for “ek rupee!” There are other kids who look dazed and point towards their mouth, asking for a meal. There is chaos about the streets and it feels like no one can be trusted.
Nevertheless, it is from the dark and murky swamp where the lotus flower blossoms. It is the beauty, which arises from this chaos. As I mentioned before Delhi is for lovers and dreamers, it is full of the bad and the good. Within the parks and world heritage sites romantic lovers stroll about the gardens and fountains; their eyes fixed on one another. Right above them the Delhi sunset lowers its head covering the city in a haze of orange and red, a warmth that radiates in beauty, and is unique in nature. School children amuse themselves in the parks, which define history and future. The Rajpath Boulevard is filled with a peaceful energy, which emerges from the families, lovers, cricketers, and tourists. The flowers decorate Delhi and the birds sing their love songs for the city and it’s people. The cattle and dogs roam through the parks and streets. What can I say? It’s India.
Despite all the poverty, India is filled with hopes and dreams. This aspiration resonates through every street in Delhi where Billboards advertise projects to rebuild India and it’s infrastructure. There is a school for engineering or science next to every side-walk. The people work hard, through tough means and measures, to better their livelihood and country. They look towards the future and aspire to become a wealthy nation, restoring themselves back to their previous grandeur. It is a place for dreamers where great opportunities arise from each shop and dealer. They dance to the songs of the movies and they dream their Bollywood ending.
As I mentioned before, Delhi is for lovers….