adventures in india (part one)

so i finally finished my first semester of college on the 20th of december (phew) and got to fly back home to wisconsin on the 22nd for the first time since august (but only for a day) and then my dad, sister, and i flew all the way out to india on christmas eve! christmas day was spent in the heathrow airport, sleeping in plastic chairs and drinking festive starbucks drinks, praying for a christmas miracle in the form of harry styles...but alas. it was a 30+ hour trip and i felt absolutely exhausted once we landed but since it was in the morning, we were forced to stay awake the entire day......which was actually the purest form of torture i have ever experienced.......but once you get past that initial bout of jetlag, india is kind of the greatest. we've been staying with my dad's side of the family in hyderabad for the past three days and been having the most perfect kind of weather (considering how hot india can get) so i'm really not looking forward to chennai (where my mom's family lives) because you will actually melt if you step outside, it's the worst :-( i've (slightly) missed my family while i was away at boston so it's been really nice spending time with them and catching up...i guess

but anyway, i really do love visiting india, and i try to make the most of the few short weeks we do come every 2 to 3 years. every time we're here, we try and see different things, so it's not always the same "visiting relatives and shopping for clothes we'll never wear" kind of deal. although we do plenty of that anyway.......but yeah, i'd have to say that my favorite trip to india was when we went to delhi and visited the taj mahal. definitely worth it. this time, we're going to rajasthan and kerala, both of which are supposed to be super pretty so i'm excited! so far, we haven't done much sight-seeing, just visiting relative and eating tons of delicious food. i've been trying lots of new fruits that i never thought i'd like before (pomegranates, custard apples, guavas) and they're all so fresh in india because most of them are grown here. and they're so easy to come by too! i wake up every morning to the sound of merchants rolling their fruit carts down the street and yelling in hindi, kind of similar to ice cream trucks in america, but better. while there are some really great upsides to india, there are also some downsides which you kind of get used to after awhile. like how there aren't any showers here. we have to heat the water up in a bucket and then carry them to our bathrooms and then scoop the water with smaller buckets onto ourselves. it does get easier after awhile, but it is a change nonetheless. there's also the constant staring and the pungent smell of garbage and the sweltering, often time unbearable, heat...

but the number one thing you've really got to be prepared for in india is all the crazy driving. there's a complete disregard for road rules and two-way lanes and traffic lights and there aren't even speed limits, i don't think??? so it's just driving however you want until you reach your destination (the ends justify the means and all that) but once you get used to it, driving around actually gets kind of exciting! dodging all the cows and people walking and cars coming at you full speed...it's swell...but in spite of all these things, india remains one of my favorite places in the world. there's something really wonderful about traveling to different states and hearing a multitude of beautiful languages, on overnight trains and 12-seater buses. about swerving through traffic and seeing the faces of happy children, dropping change into the hands of those who are asking, just feeling comfortable living in that moment. it's nice picking flowers and putting them into our braids, sharing huge meals with family, and sipping on cold sodas while shopping for traditional clothes and jewelry. and i like falling asleep and waking up to the sounds of cars honking, people shouting, and water splashing in the kitchens, the smells of jasmine and mango swirling around you from a childhood memory. so yes, i am looking forward to these next 17 days and i hope you continue reading as i continue updating! it's very difficult to find wi-fi in india but whenever i get the chance, i'll be sure to find time for a post. we're off to rajasthan in the morning, so definitely more later!

happy holidays! 
♥ pratibha

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