Early tomorrow I am traveling to India for a few weeks. I am looking forward to simply being there again – to the essence of India. I am even looking forward to the freneticness that is Delhi and Jaipur with horns and bicycle bells ringing in the wild intersection of cars, walkers, rickshaws and animals. And to other sounds
Chanting when I escape the street into a local temple,
A cricket bat striking a ball,
Chiming bangles on ladies' wrists.
I am looking forward to the indescribable mixture of odors and heat which hits you as soon as you step off the plane when you smile to yourself and think ‘Ah, India”. And to the smells of
Rose water and incense over animals and sweat,
Smiles of passerbiers as they greet you,
Hot, sweet tea sipped by a quiet street in the early morning.
Running silky sari fabric through my fingers
Humorous signs in English offering warnings “Beware of Tigers - only those who strongly believe in Rebirth should go near” or advice as on a road border sign proclaiming “Drive like hell & you’ll be there”.
I am looking forward to the small details
Water bowls filled with intricately laid flowers,
Inlaid stone vines on white marble walls,
Towels folded in the shape of an elephant head on your pillow.
I look forward to the imagery of the modern and ancient India intersecting when I wonder in the old palaces and houses turned into hotels decorated with ancestors and their hunting prizes, or inside an ancient carved temple still loved and used today.
Ever changing, ever surprising India.