I haven’t talked about my trip to India that much in detail, so I guess now is the time. It took a lot of guts for me to arrange that trip. I was scared, and I wasn’t afraid to admit it. I had no idea how to even start planning for it, but then I realized that the best trips are the unplanned ones.
We left Manila via PAL on May 1. Our flight was incredibly delayed, but when we arrived in New Delhi our car was still there, waiting for us. We slept for a few hours then left New Delhi for a long drive to Jaipur.
Best Garlic Naan I’ve ever had.
On our way there, we stopped and ate at a roadside restaurant where I had the best garlic naan I’ve ever had. It was unbelievable. It was how naan should be. It was how the world should be. During the 6 hour drive, I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to see every bit of India that I can because I won’t be there for long. I was itching to see sights that I know I will not see back home. I wanted to see a little difference. I wanted to see why India is different.
We arrived at Jaipur around 4 in the afternoon, and we had no tour scheduled that day so we stayed at our hotel. I wanted to go around because that is what I usually do, but I was scared. All the bad things about the country got to me. I still could not forgive myself for it. I settled for looking out from my hotel window. It was a sad thing, for a traveler like me. It was painful, but I just couldn’t let myself go through with it. I was becoming a stranger to the world, and that is a fear I did not want to indulge.
The next day, we got up early for a whole day tour of Jaipur. I can’t even begin to describe all the sights and sounds. It was all too much, it was perfect. That’s the India in my mind. Never has anything that my mind created been translated to reality. India knew me too well.
Nanay and I at the Hawa Mahal.
Outside Amber Fort.
We went through the pink city, which was unbelievable. Everything is pink. Everything. It was a lovely sight to see, especially when the sun sets and turns the city pale orange. I don’t think people ever acknowledge sights like that anymore.
We went to Amber fort, which was a huge place but full of intricate details and genius architecture. after lunch, we headed to the City Palace (it was better than the Buckingham to be honest) and from there, I saw the Jantar Mantar. How do I even begin to describe such a place. I mean, you know how our generations is all cocky because all of our technological advancements? Then you come here to this place, and then you say “Fuck. We have done nothing. Nothing at all(cept for the internet maybe)” But think about it. These people created machines out of nothing so they could tell time and see their astrology, check the latitude and the longitude and all other scientific research. It was all there, older than any god damn computer alive. Older than my country. It left me wanting for more.
Me at the Jantar Mantar. That’s their sundial, btw.
After that, we went back to the hotel and slept off the ache we felt. Next morning, I was up bright and early because I could not contain my excitement. We were going to Agra and I was going to see the Taj Mahal. It was a pretty long drive, but I did not care. The moment we arrived, I begged my grandmother to have lunch already so we can leave and see the city. At around 2:30, we left and went to Agra Fort. It was too beautiful, if I do say so. The intricate details that they put into every little thing just amazed me.
The blue you see? All Lapis Lazuli, with in-lain coral and precious stones. Thank god they weren’t all gone.
The well maintained garden inside the fort.
Then, it was time. We were on our way to “it”. I was shaking from excitement. I was still wondering if it was all a dream. I just couldn’t believe I will get to see it. I just couldn’t. Before we got there though, we had to go through many obstacles. Our car can only go up to a certain point, and from there we had to ride a tuktuk. Even that only had a certain point, and from there we had to walk. I didn’t mind the heat and the pain I was feeling in my legs. I was so close, I could not stop.
The moment I saw it, I forgot everything. I had to stop giggling because people were starting to look. I was there! I saw it in real life! I’m actually standing on where it was built! I just couldn’t stop going crazy.
I walked all the way to the front, and I noticed something red was dropping onto my shirt. My nose was bleeding, but I didn’t care. I only have one chance, I will not let my nose ruin it for me. I went inside and clearly realized that you don’t go to the Taj to see the tombs, you go there to see the architecture from the outside. You just gape at it until you’ve had your fill for a lifetime, and then you’re good to go.
I can barely remember the places we went to in Delhi. They weren’t anything like the Taj.
Before we went home, we had a tour around Delhi because we were only there for a few hours, and those were for sleep. The only thing I adored was the India gate, which took me back to Paris.
Doesn’t it look like the Arc de Triomphe?
After going around Delhi, we went straight to the airport to catch our flight back home.
I never knew I would ever be able to go to India. I think it was all the preconceived notions that people had that stopped them from exploring the wonderful place.
Haven’t we all learned anything from subscribing to our preconceived notions?