Before I got to this country I had an idea of what kinds of things I would see and what it would be like here. I thought I knew what I was getting into. It turns out India is all of those things I thought it would be, and also so much more than I ever had imagined.
India is a place of abundance, in a lot of ways. And by abundance I don’t mean wealth, I mean that there is literally so much of everything– abundant smells, abundant colors, abundant people. I have been entranced by the vibrancy of it all. The sights and sounds are never-ending, and there is always something going on. For the past four days we have been walking around Bangalore, sometimes up to 8 miles a day, without any real purpose except to just take it all in. We have seen some absolutely amazing, and equally heartbreaking, things.
I am a lover of Asian markets– but I have never been to a market like City Market in Bangalore. There is so much going on outside of the market building itself, I was a little afraid of what kind of calamity I would find inside. But when I walked in, it wasn’t as crazy as I thought it would be.When I walked up to the second floor, passing vendors selling fruits and plastic ware, I came upon a railing overlooking the ground below. As I leaned over the railing, the sun hit the vendors in such a way that I was temporarily blinded. When my eyes adjusted, I saw the most incredibly beautiful scene that actually brought tears to my eyes. Below me were people selling strings of the most vibrant flowers, all wound neatly into huge shallow baskets. The smell was a heady blast of florals, so unexpected from a place where any smells are mostly cringe-worthy. It all took my breath away.
Nothing India does is subtle or understated at all, and I think that’s the magic of this country.