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A woman sitting in a chair at Hawa Mahal (Palace of Wind) in Jaipur, India. Photo by Eliana Rothwell (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest Finalist).

From Delhi to Sonapani

New Delhi YWCA, really early in the morning – I dragged my bags down to the hotel lobby. Through heavy eyelids, I stared out the taxi’s window into the contained chaos of Indian traffic. My sandals left the comfort of the car’s carpeted floor and with a splash they landed at the train station. Seven students and four jis boarded a train towards Sonapani.

I fell asleep, then I woke up to see that the cities and villages along the tracks were already bustling. Sari-clad women balanced bricks on their heads. Street vendors sold snacks made of sweet, spicy, or sour somethings. Next to me, Peter was reading some story in the Hindustan Times.

Some measure of Indian time later, we arrived at the Kathgodam train station.

After having lunch and being introduced to the world of Indian candy, we returned to the road. Although there were no traffic lights or signs, the drivers’ generous use of honking kept us safe. Eventually the mountain air got cooler and the honking and swishing and bumping lulled Christine, Jane, and me to sleep as we made our way among the beautiful Himalayas.