Four Amazing Days in New Delhi

Recently, l had committed to seeing more of the world as a ‘visiting friend’, less just as a tourist with a guidebook in hand. I’m lucky since I’ve developed friendships with people from different parts of the world over the years.

For the last four days, I was a part of the Arora family in New Delhi. Alcie and Ritka Arora are good friends whom I met in Seattle. They returned to New Delhi for a few months and invited me to visit.

The whole household assimilated me immediately into the family. I enjoyed morning conversations with ‘mom’ as she prayed in bed recovering from a knee replacement surgery. I got to see the beautiful photos of her and her children in the younger years. She always beamed talking about her three kids. I also shared my family pictures.

I discovered real chai tea. Once everyone learned that I loved the tea, it was served to me at every turn in the house. No more Starbuck’s chai lattes for me! Too sweet. The ginger and spices are so much more pronounced without sugar.

The breakfast was usually some type of roti with yogurt made by a wonderful cook who has been with the family for 20+ years. The meals in the house were so good. The food is much less heavy than what is usually served at Indian restaurants in the US.

I went sightseeing in the glorious ancient city led by the most enthusiastic tour guide, the brother. He was an encycopedia of knowledge with bubbling enthusiasm and love for his city. We saw the Humayum Tomb, the Ugrasen ki Baoli (Ancient StepWells), a wonderful craft museum, which was more like a market with artwork from the different states, and so much more. We drank tea at very “hipster” tea shop, and sipped cocktails at a hotel that is a converted palace.

I also got to enjoy the New Delhi night life in crowded and pulsating clubs with hip, beautiful new friends.

Yes, the air quality was poor, the traffic sometimes at a standstill, and there were some political protests. But those were small inconveniences in four amazing days that will now always live in my .