I saw a cow lying in a roundabout today, and I am not sure that it was the strangest thing I’ve seen since arriving in India.
The poverty, religion, beggars, tuk-tuks, honking and spices slap you in the face ceaselessly. There has barely been a moment of rest for my senses.
My eyes flash from one scene to the next. A group of women in colorful sarees walking toward the Taj Mahalj. Groups of men boarding an overcrowded, moving bus. A seemingly dead body lying lifeless beneath a bridge. School children chasing each other down narrow alleys in a bazaar. Bicycle rickshaws carrying Muslims to afternoon prayer. Frowning men driving tuk tuks with other wide-eyed tourists. Men in turbans everywhere doing all sorts of jobs.
My nose picks up one smell after another. Tumeric. Burning plastic. A curry cooking in a restaurant. Dog feces. Cumin. Urine. More feces. More food. Exhaust. Smoke. Then it comes back to the Indian spices.
My ears hear honking, roaring motorcycles, yelling tuk-tuk drivers, calls to afternoon prayer, Indian music.
But my tongue has been the happiest. Curries, vindaloos, spices, naan, potatoes, samosas, teas, lassis, yoghurts. Amazing food.
India is a whirlwind of stimulants that never cease to work your senses. It is beautiful, strange, unnerving, calming and interesting. It is truly unlike anywhere I have ever been in this world. Taj Mahal today, Himalayas tomorrow.