A very brief moment spent in Delhi & Agra, INDIA

“Our first real auto-rickshaw adventure: we squeeze into what looks like a metal deathtrap and amidst a cacophony of traffic noises, we’re off. What follows is an impossible navigation through a chaotic tempest of traffic, horns BLARING and screaming from every angle, the traffic lanes entirely disregarded and every man for himself. We jolt violently and bang our heads on the roof at every bump, veer dangerously around corners… there are bikes charging over potholes, dogs dodging carts laden with vegetables, decorated trucks with 9 men crammed into tiny drivers compartments, random cows plodding along apparently oblivious to the zooming hunks of metal all around them, motorbikes and scooters bearing whole families that squeeze through the ever appearing and disappearing gaps between vehicles, overcrowded school busses, people crossing everywhere, rickshaws zooming in and out of the lot and BEEEEEEEEP after BEEEEEEEP after HONNNKK after BEEEEEEEEEEPPPPP. It is utter and complete chaos… but miraculously, it somehow works.”

“The Taj Mahal stands proudly ahead, wearing a blanket of mist, almost a mirage in the dawn sky. This is the kind of monument that tugs at my insides. It is undeniably awesome. I do my best to ignore the crowd of tourists that seem to flock in a never-ending tide from the entrance and wander in a daze. It is when the sun has risen high enough to start kissing the dome and minarets with an orange glow and gently dissipates the fog that I find the Taj Mahal the most beautiful. I’d love to see it at night, bathed in moonlight and glowing white, surrounded by silence.”

“By the time we start to walk back, it is buzzing all around us. The reddish stones of the surrounding buildings are glowing more and more warmly. There are big flocks of pigeons and birds of prey circling overhead. Camels plod by with goofy smiles on their faces pulling carts of tourists. We get hassled by locals trying to convince us that Taj Mahal key-rings and magnets and snow-globes are indispensible items: You buy plis! You buy! Taj! Two for one hunded! Madam! Ok, ok, tree for one hundred!

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