In a place like Delhi it is easy to find your self over whelmed. I live in New York and I was still taken aback by how many people, animals, cars and buildings could be shoved into one place.
When I got off the plane I was immediately met by clouds of dust and a ride that could have taken 20 minutes took nearly an hour.
Saying traffic is insane is an understatement.
More so then any where else I have ever been Delhi’s roads are out of control. You are not just fighting with other vehicles but with pedestrians, bikes and animals. That’s right, dogs, occasionally an elephant and always, always lots of cows. They are every where. They stop traffic. A herd of cows can make you wait for as long as they want. Most of the roads in India are 2 lanes, try going around cows in that. If the animals don’t get you the pot holes might.
Driving in India is an experience all it’s own. The traffic is one thing, the fact that there seems to be nothing that resembles a rule. If there are no one is following them. Mass amounts of vehicles all move at the same time coming from every direction. There were a few near death experiences I would rather forget.
Same thing goes for the dust. India is a dusty, dirty country. And I mean that with a lot of love. However my initial reaction to Delhi was not love but possibly anxiety. You have to get to know India before you love her or she will make a mess out of you. One thing I can say with out hesitation is DO NOT WEAR WHITE, it will be beige (at best) by the end of the day.
The traffic, the noise, the heat, the crowds and then suddenly your at a Sikh temple. They ask you to remove your shoes ,cover your head and your shoulders (women). Prior to walking into the temple everyone must pass their bare feet through water. A cleansing. It’s weird to say, as a completely non-religious person but it felt very spiritual.
The Sikhs don’t practice the caste system.
Under there roof everyone cooks together and eats together regardless of social status. So I sat on the floor with a few elderly women and rolled naan. I was terrible at it and they all laughed. One women kept touching the fabric of my clothes and my skin. Smiling at me and holding my hand. Speaking in Hindi,I understood none of what she said but it seemed kind and loving.
We knelt in the prayer room and joined the silence. It was amazing that outside those doors would be chaos. Loud rumbling cars, people shouting and the sounds of a city. Inside here it felt like the rest of the world did not exist. To me it was astounding to be able to have such a quiet religious experience among such a chaotic city.
In that room, I understood perfectly well why so many people flocked to India to find their spirituality.