When we walked out of the Delhi airport into the hazy morning air, we were met with a barrage of sounds, smells, and especially heat. It was only 6:00am, but there were rarely more than a few seconds without someone shouting and cars honking. And yet, amidst all the commotion and chaos, the city seemed alert. As the cars zipped haphazardly down the road, everyone was forced to keep track of everything. People weren’t monotonously going about their day-to-day lives, but did so with an unmistakable vitality. There was so much going on that it created a vibrant, sensory-overload experience for us all.
After leaving Delhi, we flew North through the mountains to Ladakh, which is where we are now. Here it’s not the heat and commotion that catches my attention first, but the quiet and the mountains. Peaks jut out into the sky in every direction – some rocky and brick-red, others snow-capped and blue. In Delhi we barely interacted with anyone on the street, but now we are greeted with an enthusiastic “julley” and a smile.
Despite their differences, though, Delhi and Ladakh share a liveliness, albeit in very different ways. Whether they live in the city or the mountains, and regardless of their living situation, the people seem to be mindful of what they are doing.