Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. -Mahatma Gandhi.
In my first post about India, a month ago, I promised all four sections would be released within a week. I apologize for breaking that promise. Life, as it is occasionally known to do, got in the way. But here it is at last!
I enjoyed my first day in Delhi as a stopover between the Tamil Nadu Express and the 11-hour bus to Aavishkaar. Coby and I wandered the alleys near the train station, took auto-rickshaws to Rajiv Chowk, the circular shopping district home to Delhi’s Central Park, and visited Ashkaardam Temple. Ashkaardam is the world’s largest Hindu temple, and the gatekeepers enforce a very strict no-photo policy. I even got turned away for having a USB drive in my pocket, and had to return to the ticketing area to leave it in a bin with the rest of our electronic devices. So if you’re interested in getting a visual on the gorgeous Ashkaardam, you’ll have to Google it.
That night Coby and I went to the second night of Delhi’s third annual Contemporary Arts Week, a festival involving, as festivals usually do, music, food, and booze. There was also some contemporary art (for about a week).
When I returned to Delhi a week later, it was Coby’s last day of vacation. The bus arrived at 5:00 am. Exhausted from our incredible week in Himachal Pradesh, we returned to Rajiv Chowk and took naps in the park. Then we went to Maker’s Asylum, a space for artists and designers like Coby to do their thing. Using Adobe Illustrator and a laser cutter, we made a wooden case for my Amazon Kindle. It had a geometric elephant pattern on the front cover, and the following quote on the back:
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. –George RR Martin.
Sadly, I had to leave the case behind, as it ended up being too big for my Kindle and thus there wasn’t room for it in my backpack.
After Coby left I had a week to spend in Delhi before my flight back to Thailand. In this time I really neglected my darefulness. I could have taken a 3-5 day trip to Rajasthan, the desert region of India, and gone on a camel trek as per my original plan. I could have even taken a 1-2 day journey to Agra to see the Taj Mahal.
I didn’t. Here is what I did in Delhi:
- Spent hours reading in Central Park.
- Took a self-led tour of the city’s bookstores.
- Visited the National Gandhi museum.
- Visited Humayun’s Tomb, the incredibly gorgeous inspiration for the Taj Mahal, built to house the remains of the 2nd Mughal emperor.
- Returned to Maker’s Asylum and etched a board for the game Rummoli onto leather (this I can fold up real small and take with me).
- Went to see two movies at local cinemas: Everest (incredible) and The Martian (impressive).
- Spent more hours reading in Central Park.
By the end of my time there I was ready to return to Thailand, and while this semester has already brought many new challenges and precious memories (which I hope you can read about soon, if I write about them), I miss India every day.
More on everything to come!