This is my view from my home almost 8,000 miles away from my home in Baltimore.
The rainy season in India lasts for the majority of the summer, but this trip is my ﬁrst
experience with it.
Initially, I thought the rain would destroy any plans to go outside and explore the cities I
have been to this month. During the long drive to my home from the airport, the scenery
was absolutely gorgeous. We traveled through a mountain valley to the city of Poona
after arriving in Mumbai’s international airport. Despite the rain, families had somehow
stacked themselves onto an old motorcycle, even smiling at the tiny monkeys that were
playing on the side of the road. It was like we were in a tropical rainforest, with
waterfalls on either side of us.
Once we reached the city, trafﬁc was incredible, and the monsoon didn’t help. The rain
had created and ﬁlled deep potholes in the dirt roads. They say if you can drive in India,
you can drive anywhere. Drivers have incredible reaction times to the rikshaws’ crazy
maneuvers, the stray dogs lining the sides of the streets, and the luxury SUVs and cars
weaving through the congested cities (think of it like mountain biking through a city).
This system appears inefﬁcient in comparison to the structured roads and cross-walks
we are used to. However, to the people accustomed to this chaos, anything more
organized would just be weird. Nothing seems to stop anyone from going about their
daily lives. Drenched in the rain and bitten by mosquitoes, people are busy chatting on
their cellphones waiting to get onto a crowded bus.
Without a raincoat or an umbrella, I got grumpy just thinking about the state of my hair
in this humidity. However, the Indian mentality is contagious. I found myself unaffected
by the constant drizzle and the sticky heat, even in pants and a shirt. It became fun
watching the trafﬁc, like a tired cyclist being towed on the street by a friendly motorist (in
fact, it was a distraction from the nauseating bumps along the way).
India is a crazy place. It has also taught me a lot: that chai can be just the thing you
need after being in the heat, that spice and ﬂavor are food’s best friends, that rain
should be enjoyed, and that you can ﬁnd peace in insanity. I was able to make the most
of this trip, and was fortunate to have seen some amazing sites here.
Hopefully, I can bring the unaffected attitude of the people here back to Baltimore, and
make the most not only of my ﬁnal month of summer, but also to my ﬁnal semester at
Hopkins. Just like this trip, my experience in Charm City has gone by entirely too fast.
This fall will be my best yet! Enjoy the pictures!