I’m finally back in Delhi after a month of travel exhilaration, first in Turkey, then in the Himalayas of Kinnaur. I have so much to write about both the trips that I don’t know where to start. Truth is, this week has felt like the kind of low Leonardo Di Caprio’s character in Basketball Diaries must’ve experienced while trying to get over his heroine addiction. After many days of being surrounded by gorgeous green landscapes interspersed with purple and yellow fields, deep blue waters, thick pine forests, misty skies, pure mountain air, and stark barren slopes, I’ve thrown myself in the deep end of city life in Delhi. The only difference is that for Leonardo, all the beauty was only a figment of his imagination.
Flipping through my travel archives of 2011, I am overcome with a strange sense of nostalgia. The world suddenly feels as small as that plastic globe you can buy off a children’s store. I’m strolling on the beaches of Southeast Asia one day, and hiking on the countryside of Europe the next. One minute, I’m warming myself with a gelato in Italy, the next I’m sampling momos in the Himalayan desert of India. I’m going solo, over land and on water, unearthing travel secrets that conceal themselves from a large part of the world.
If someone tried to make folk music out of wooden sounds, it would probably sound like the soft clickety-clack that resonates through the village of Pranpur. Men and women are bent over their looms, squinting their eyes on their intricate sari designs, their hands automatically trailing a motion they learnt decades ago.
Mcleodganj is perhaps every backpacker’s rite of passage to India. Except that it is so unlike India, I feel I’ve skipped a few legalities, missed a few stamps on my passport, and entered a world I was taught is forbidden.
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” ~Aldous Huxley. Delhi has a reputation of being a nightmare for single women. So when I made the ‘bold’ transition from one of the safest cities in the world, Singapore, to perhaps one of the most unsafe, I was filled with curiosity, and to be honest, a little intimidated.
This post is dedicated to you, whoever you are and wherever you’re reading from. Thank you. Thank you for being a part of The Shooting Star, for leaving me words of wisdom and encouragement, for liking & sharing my posts, and for being with me virtually. I couldn’t have made it to 100,000 views without you. I present you with a brand new look today.