I have been thinking about writing this one for quite some time now. Like I mentioned before, I am a bit lazy. Do not admonish me, it is an admirable quality…after all slow and steady wins the race yes?
Anyway, my parents believe in traveling in one’s own country first to discover its beauty and appreciate it. For your information, I live in India, a vast country with a very diverse culture. I am a nature person. I like nature. I appreciate the sunlight when it colors mountains with orange-yellow hues; I appreciate the light cool wind that rustles my hair; I appreciate the mighty waves crashing on the land. So when my parents informed me that we would cover some part of east India, I was thrilled.
As our flight landed us at the Siliguri Airport, I noticed the expansive green areas. You see, I live in Rajasthan, the desert state of India. The low temperature and the constant drizzle was a refreshing change from the blistering heat and sparse vegetation in Jaipur. As we lounged in the hotel rooms we were to stay in for a day, my father suggested exploring the city on foot. One can see the dominance of traders from Rajasthan as every second shop belongs to them. The labor is inexpensive and overworked. Since we did not have much time, we walked back to the hotel in a few hours, but not before having an interesting dish. It was our beloved bhelpuri(a mixture of puffed rice flakes, tamarind sauce, coriander sauce, boiled potatoes, tomatoes, chilly and spices) with a dash of mustard oil. It was unexpectedly delicious. It is interesting to see how the culinary culture changes. The next day we were on our way to Gangtok, Sikkim, a tiny state that shares its boundary with China. The road to Gangtok was beautiful. Tall green trees stood proudly as thick vines draped all over them and made them seem one. On the other side of the road, the river Brahmaputra slithered along. The city, we discovered, was more of a quaint town. Thick trees dominated every part of it as exotic flowers grew on them and moss covered every wall. It was all so alluring and enchanting that I would just stare at the beauty the state was endowed with. Normally, in cities, I find myself surrounded by cacophony of blaring horns, shouting people, machines droning on; I see people jumping red lights, intentionally “forgetting” to wear seatbelts, people spitting on footpaths and roads, or even pissing there. but I was delighted to see that people in Gangtok were not only good looking, they were law abiding citizens who would be forever courteous to you, and would never ogle at a woman no matter how “provocatively” she was dressed. I must mention that in my city, every second road is strewn with garbage and it is a major disappointment. Imagine my relief and joy and surprise to see that the streets here were clean and that people would actually throw their rubbish in the bins provided.