India is a very diverse country, that conjures up images of spices, colours, elephants and dusty sunsets. And according to the Bollywood movies, if you ever decide to start dancing on the street, everyone around you will dance along and already know the choreography.
Karnataka is a state in southwest India whose capital is the technology hub Bangalore. The state is full of natural, historical and religious wonders. When visiting the temples, shoes always have to be taken off, though as soon as I did some guy appeared out of nowhere trying to sell me socks so it does not mean being barefoot.
There's also all kinds of food to try. Indian food is delicious but can be lethal to the stomach, each time I ate I would pray to God. Indian sweets are equally tasty, as long as you don't mind the occasional hair you will find in them.
Kochi in Kerala is a port city on the south-west coast. Getting there was a mission. I took an overnight bus from Bangalore which was impossible to find and left 3 hours late. All the passengers fell asleep almost immediately. Halfway through the journey the driver parked up the bus, turned off the engine and went to sleep. I woke up in the morning to shouts from irate passengers haranguing the driver as to why he slept instead of driving. The driver's answer to the avalanche of insults? He just said people were angry because they were hungry and that he would take them to his brother's restaurant for some breakfast. The rest of the journey was shambolic, the driver got lost but did not tell anyone, only when eagle-eyed passengers realised we had passed the same monuments a few times, that they started guiding him. In the end, we arrived at 5PM instead of the scheduled 9AM.
In Kochi, the main thing to do is a boat cruise through the glistening backwaters. It provides a mosaic on the daily lives of the people who live along these backwaters e.g sending their children to school by boat, people washing on the river, etc.
Chennai is a seaside city in Eastern India. The weather was stifling hot and the traffic was horrendous. Indian driving might look unnerving, but the free-for-all chaotic melée seemed to work in a way that western practices such as staying in your lane or using the mirrors do not allow.
Snuggled comfortably amidst the lush green hills, Pune has a slow pace and year round cool weather. Whilst in the market, I was invited to visit some famous guru. In the Hindu religion, a guru is an enlightened master. To visit the guru, I was told to first undergo a HIV test. Needless to say I did not see him.