I arrived into Bangalore, South India into an amalgamation of various cultures. The city beats a hectic tune, but it was all that I expected of India. What I find familiar no matter where in India, is the great aromas, bright colors and noise. Everyone was quite happy that I was taking their picture. After I showed them what they looked like on my camera, they always smile. Despite being in another part of the world, a smile is universal, the one way we all connect to another. A country like no other, it’s often said you haven’t travelled unless you’ve been to India. I visited some of the temples barefoot and crawled almost on my knees through tunnels surrounding the temples. It’s really fascinating to watch the different types of styles conducted for prayers. One was a crossing of arms across your chest and pinching the ear lobes and bobbing up and down in prayer. Reminds of a kid in school in the naughty corner being punished. Another I had seen before, was lying flat on the floor with the nose to the ground with arms outstretched over their heads. I asked the locals and they enlightened me that the rituals differ depending on which part of India one is from.

Despite getting food poisoning in Agra while visiting the Taj Mahal, I yearned to savor the local dishes again. To the sheer delight of my grumbling belly, the hearty traditional Indian breakfast arrived on my table with generous portions of sides. The multitude of spices excited my palate. The Indians must have found it quite amusing that I had ordered so much. Little did they know, I could possibly at times, eat twice my body weight in food.

I did not see anyone of the same origin as me the whole duration I was there, which makes this city all the more enticing to venture, discover and get lost. I was a little apprehensive about crossing the roads early on, with auto rickshaws, buses and cars maneuvering at all directions around me. By the end of the day, I was crossing the dusty roads like a true Indian. Just walk, and let the rest if the traffic stop for you!