Adventures come in many colors and smells in India. Aromas of Masala tea, dirty cows, tumeric and cumin, fresh and not so fresh killed chickens and fish, dyed cloth, dung dust, burnt offerings, purple turbans, charred wood, engine effluvia, and humidity rising from humanity make for the wonder of India.
Can you imagine road signs and lines that are suggestions not mandates? Cows and dogs who own the right of way? Women in colorful saris weaving among the cars and detritus. Three wheeled vehicles called autos, carts pulled by men, bicyclists, sedans, children unwashed and homeless pulling at your clothes? Goats, jacketed to bear the cold of 65 degrees. White marble rising up from the smog and brown of a river? Electrical wires hanging over chipped cement buildings? Smiles amidst a mass of humanity pushing for a bit of space when there is none?
Feel the wonder of the Ganges River. Used for: river trips, puja (blessings), the ashes of beloved dead ones, drifting lotus lights, the nightly ganga arti ceremony, raw sewage, and tourism. The Ganges, Mother Ganga, more than all else, is a most sacred place for Hindus.
And who has not heard of The Taj Mahal – a manifestation of a king’s love for his favorite wife? Shah Jahan, met his wife when he was in his teens and married her five years later giving her the title “Mumtaz Mahal” (Jewel of the Palace). When she died after giving birth to their fourteenth child he set out to build a magnificent memorial in her name. Her white marble tomb, The Taj Mahal, set with precious and semi precious stones, sits on a raised platform surrounded by gardens and fountains. It took twenty years and thousands of architects, calligraphers, and stone masons to build; once called simply rauza (the tomb), today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Think of a memorable place that you have visited and begin to write a poem…