I would say that the moment I stepped off of the plane to India I knew I was in for a killer ride, but actually it was many weeks before in my research of this extremely economic use of space that I was hit with the notion that my trip would be intensely jovial, dismally depressing, spellbindingly euphoric, and everything betwixt these polar adversaries. However, I refused to give. My naivety made it possible to refuse to believe the seemingly over-the-top claims of LonelyPlanet and the many India travel blogs and forums that you could find me fanatically poring over in the weeks adjacent to my departure. In my mind’s eye, I had constructed a corpse of impossibility as the manifestation of what I held as India. It took seeing it with my own eyes to make India come to life, and come to life it did, bringing me to life with it. This is why stepping off the plane firmly rooted the vision of a hectic time to come. No amount of preparation can truly prepare you for what India holds.
I’ll begin where my adventure began: in Delhi. Walking through the alleys was like walking through a kaleidoscope of people, food, and culture. Crossing the street was like trying to thread a moving needle with a ski rope, except the consequence to failure is becoming a finished tube of toothpaste on the highway. The sights and monuments were compelling to no limit. The food was incredible (I stand beside that statement regardless of what my digestive tract has to say about it.) The people that I managed to divert out of the cascading river of pedestrians were friendly and helpful
After four days in Delhi I transitioned to Agra. On the train ride over I sat beside an amazing young lady from Ukraine wearing traditional Hindu garments. We talked about her profession and she introduced me to the Hindu faith. She is a publisher for the religious texts in Sanskrit and Ukrainian. The way she spoke so passionately about her beliefs captivated me.
There is surely an abundance of virtue here in India.
This was made even more abundantly clear when, just a few hours after meeting this lady, I witnessed the Taj Mahal. There’s no explanation for its beauty. I’m consistently overwhelmed by the thought that I stood in the archway embellished with the floral pattern of eternal paradise along with hundreds of others experiencing the same tranquility as I.
The next days flew by in a blur. Jaipur, Mumbai, and Goa with bright visuals, great people and culture, tasty food, and incredible experiences sinuated in each. The trains between each destination were an awesome way to meet people. The rails are like a social network, forcing very different people to ebb their defenses and seek shelter from impending boredom within one another’s facets of life.
In my train journeys I’ve met some really admirable people: A man recently retired from the Indian Navy, going to school to coach cricket as his next career; a boy my age finishing up his Computer Science degree from the University of Mumbai, with aspirations to work at IBM in California; a Spanish traveler who has completed the circuit of the world on several different occasions for years at a time usually, and who also is a faithfully practicing Buddhist; a surfer from New York living in India for years who does photography work for several big magazines and corporations, amongst a multitude of others.
I was starving for conversation, and this was a buffet.
By the time I arrived in Kochi I was drowning blissfully in an ocean of conversed wisdom and friendship. The train ride from Goa to Kochi was by far my favorite. The early hours of the morning provided a striking sun illuminating the bright green beauty of the Kerala countryside. Tea and rice fields flew by as I sucked in the fresh air, filling my lungs to capacity with the aroma of a fresh rain.
Arriving at Kalypso was another highlight of the journey. I was warmly welcomed by everyone at the headquarters. None of them would rest until they were assured that I was safe in my travels, and that I had a great time exploring their beloved country. Beckoned forward by Vishal, I was embraced and immediately I felt myself part of the Kalypso family.
This welcome has allowed me to expect a great 2 months here at Kalypso. Hopefully I can aid the company in their social media efforts with my skills in media and resourcefulness. In the period that I’m here I wish to gain practical knowledge on the inner workings and organization of an adventure-based company. Marketing is also something that I would enjoy to learn about while I’m here, because I think it will be useful in deciding how I would like my academic and professional career to develop.
I thank Kalypso with all the strength of my heart for their kind welcome and for taking a chance on me as an intern. I will do my best to make them relish their decision.