At the start of 2015 I traveled to Punjab, India for a friend’s wedding. And then stuck around for nearly two months.
Chaos. Crowds. Pollution. Trash. Noise. Smells. Poverty. Color. Character.
India is has all this in overwhelming, sometimes suffocating, amounts. From the moment I landed in New Delhi and saw smog rolling into the terminal, to the piles of burning trash while trying to find a family friend’s home, there was rarely a dull moment. Being unable to get a hold of his family member, my friend’s father and I ended up waiting at the train station for around six hours. The lobby held back little in show casing why Westerners struggled with India.
After nearly eight hours on the train, we arrived in Jalandhar, the largest city near my friend’s village. En route to Merrypur, where I would finally have a chance to lay down after travelling for 48 hours, the car’s alternator began having problems and we had to make an emergency stop at a mechanic’s shop. Some welding, hammering, and improvisation later, we were back on the road.
Quickly giving into sleep after arriving, I found my friend and his immediate family had gone to hand out wedding invitations (the wedding was in a week) leaving me to figure the culture and language with his extended family. While everyone was fairly friendly, it was a bit overwhelming. To top it off, the weather was around 40F and extremely humid, leading me to just want to hide under blankets and sleep some more.
Walks at sunrise became a routine quickly. Not that waking up was much of an option with the extremely loud morning prayer from the Sikh temple right next to the household. Didn’t really mind though, at least not at first, because it was gorgeous in the mornings between the mist, sunrise colors, and fields.