Natasha in India

January 18, 20161 Comment

7420fa8c-cc75-40f0-b6bc-d8eef9433b0dBeautiful colors, deep lasting sounds, exotic smells and a deep routed culture that has been able to maintain its identity against the test of time despite many forms of colonization. “India?” many people ask me as I tell them where I travelled over the 2015 winter holiday. “Why India?”  Is a question that I have heard over and over again. Even my parents cried out against my travels yet I marveled in the idea of visiting a new land with ancient traditions. I knew immediately after the plane had landed that I was in a magical place. For those who are not familiar with India, it is a vast South Asian country with diverse terrain – from Himalayan peaks to Indian Ocean coastline – and history reaching back 5 millennia. In the north, Mughal Empire landmarks include Delhi’s Red Fort complex, massive Jama Masjid mosque and Agra’s iconic Taj Mahal mausoleum. Pilgrims bathe in the Ganges in Varanasi, and Rishikesh is a yoga center and base for Himalayan trekking.


India to me was an exotic blend of old and new traditions with a passion for innovation. It can be felt in the conversations, the long glances and the ability to understand a culture other than your own. It was more than a vacation. It was a moment in my life journey that will forever touch my heart. I know that one day I will return and I wait patiently for that day.

To visit 4 Indian states in the span of 15 days was very overwhelming. Not in the negative sense yet in a way that allows you to breathe in the entire splendor that India have to offer. I took time to enjoy every little thing although we bus kept going! Agra, Delhi, Rajasthan and Kerala… 1 day at a time we explored these place. From the Taj Mahal in Agra to the Jama Masjid in Delhi; we saw it all!0b37ceae-c13a-48f4-954b-a5d81e345b2a

Paneer or Chicken Tikka became my staple meal although I never felt sick. I never had what some people call Delhi Belly! Actually, I ate a variety of foods and drank the water in most places. I believe that if you are afraid then you will restrict yourself from enjoying the finer delicacies in such a country. My favorite to this day is the Pista Baarfi and Chocolate Baarfi. I mean walking down the streets of Jaipur eating the delicious sweet and savory delicacies was a treat! India is a sweet eating country and I understand why! I, myself, became a sweet eater while in India.

And then there was New Year’s Eve! NYE in Jaipur, Rajasthan was nothing short of spectacular. It was a joyous day and night! Fireworks, delicious food, great music and friends to welcome the New Year! Rooftop after midnight with a view of the city… Who could ask for more! The Amber Fort, the markets, the deep history of the Maharaja’s and the last Queen of Jaipur.

Now going down south was a perfect fit for me. The mindset and mentality of the people living in Kerala was a soul foul experience. The traditions, food, dress and overall feeling in Kerala is beautiful. The people are so welcoming and truly want to welcome you into their home. Not to mention the Ayuvedic Spa! Ohhh… That was the most beautiful and soul filing experience that anyone can have. The hot oil that pours on your head, the massage the Reiki clears your mind of worries and opens your heart to the world.


The moment I started to think I’m right on the precipice of unraveling one of India’s deep mysteries, she has an uncanny way of reminding me that it would take more than 1 visit to do so. And that is precisely what makes the country so deeply addictive for me. The constant exploration and the playful unpredictability of knowing that, just when it’s least expected, you can find yourself up close and personal with moments that have the power to alter the way you view the world and your place in it. In the end, I will be returning to India. As a guide told us on the first day; “India is an experience and not a simple vacation.” I’ll be back… Natasha in India!

By: Natasha E. Feghali

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