In July 2012 I went to India. This is something I wrote whilst I was there…
Delhi screams at you; assaulting you ferociously and abusively from every possible angle. Invading every sense it drags you into its bowls as smoothly as if you were laced with ghee. You immediately succumb. Doing battle with India is not an option.
Delhi is probably the worst place to first meet India. The emotions it scrapes from you lack the positive – it excretes only anger; frustration. The city takes your body with its enveloping crushing arms and squeezes you until you have to leave.
Nowhere in India is as abusive to Delhi as I later discover. Varanasi has a tendency to cause minor ruptures, soft sprains; the Keralan coast turns you into natures final feast but nowhere is Delhi. I, like others, allowed Delhi to barrage me with her sharp tongue for seven days, unearthing only moments of respite before her oppression and hatred thrust me north to begin a five month, life changing whirlwind of travel.
Eventually I travelled the final 4000 kilometers back to her grasp. Back to the abuse of India’s doyenne. This time, she needed to be aware. Because I was not the same person who left. She may recognise my face, my hair, my voice – but under the sun drenched skin and layers of grime – may soul had undeniably changed.