We landed in New Delhi, the business mecca of the entire country. From our taxi we saw business men in westernized suits on their lunch breaks slurping curry from paper bowls, sold from carts outside the tall office buildings.
After checking into our hotel we were able to get an Uber (for under $5) to the older part of the city where we explored the marketplace. On the ride we saw monkeys, boars, bats…oh, and an ELEPHANT crossing the street. Upon arrival to the market smells of spice and saffron filled the air… so much so that it was a bit difficult to breathe, caused us to sneeze a lot.
We made sure to be there for India’s Holi festival, a Hindu celebration of spring. During this time colorful powders are sold and on the first day of the holiday locals (and tourists) throw the colors on each other with the goal of covering everyone from head to toe in bright rainbows.
Unfortunately, before going I had heard about some of the horrors women went through when visiting during this holiday. Apparently, some local men take advantage of the “touching” aspect of this celebration. SO we went to a tourist friendly version, which was still fun! Plus, the colorful powder being used didn’t have the harsh chemicals that some of the locals use to make their own.
Perhaps the most touching part of our trip was seeing the four children pictured below. While visiting the Jama Masjid (one of the largest mosques in India) I noticed these kids playing in a dirt patch nearby… a dirt patch which I assume was their home, as one of them was napping on the ground there. Soon after we arrived it started raining…hard! As the rest of us frantically scurried to find shelter, these little ones were having the time of their lives. Dancing and sliding down this staircase as if they were at a waterpark. This is a memory I’ll hang onto for a long time. A reminder to be grateful for everything we DO have.
I think it’s also important to point out that this is what was across the street from us as we watched these kids… Look at all those WIRES! You can imagine how worried we were when it started to rain…
From our hotel in Delhi our tour guide picked us up in a bus that could hold 15 people, which we had to ourselves, complete with this good luck charm! Chilis and a lime aka Indian car insurance. Next, we were off to Agra!