Even 6 Years Later, I Still Remember Exactly What India Feels Like

Even 6 Years Later, I Still Remember Exactly What India Feels Like

This just shows how powerful it is to visit your home country.

Srinidhi Vangala

As the plane landed, there was a rush of excitement that came over me. After six years, I was finally about to meet my family that lives in India. I was only 6 the last time saw them so I didn't remember most of what I saw the first time around. I was unsure of what to expect yet excited. As the plane landed in Hyderabad, India, I saw my parent's expression change. They have a sense of pride and anxiety of finally getting to be in their home nation after a long period of time.

The first thing I noticed about India once we landed was the people around me. Everyone feels as if we all know each other- like one big family. As we came out of the airport, the first thing I felt was the warmth of my cousin's hugs. Their love showed in the way they greeted us. It felt like we had never left.

From Hyderabad, my family's native village is a four hour drive. To get out of the Hyderabad traffic in the first place is a hassle. I like to think that there is no concept of stop or go in India. The unspoken rule is "If there is space, you can go." Because of this, everyone honks wherever regardless of where they are going so that everyone knows where all the cars are. Every time I hear someone honk it always reminds me of the constant honking that goes on in a typical indian street. The sounds of multiple cars honking sounds like a broken record.

India is big on street food. There is nothing like a roadside cotton candy or pani puri ( a round, hollow,crispy shell, filled with a mixture of flavored water, tamarind chutney, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion or chickpeas.) Since childhood I have always been fond of the authentic indian flavors that are unlike any other. I can smell the sweetness of the tamarind mixed with the smell of freshly fried puris- it creates an aroma that is hard to forget. It reminds me of a snack I once enjoyed as a child. I ask my mom to ask the driver to stop by a pani puri cart on the side of the road.

I am filled with excitement as my turn comes up to eat the pani puri.It is something that you are supposed to eat in one bite and some people consider it an art to be able to eat it just like that in one bite. I quickly put one in my mouth before the flavor water makes the puri all soggy. When you eat a pani puri, the best feeling is the *CRUNCH* sound you hear of the puri cracking. The flavors of the masala, chickpeas, potatoes, and flavor water all of a sudden combine to create the master genius snack that pani puri is.

As we drive down the road to Mancherial, my home village, I come across so many astonishing sights. There are miles (or should I say kilometers) worth of green grass, animals such as cows and buffalos, and food vendors. It is a sight I rarely see here in America. The beautiful green fields shows me that nature really does always win no matter where we are.

India is such a beautiful country that helps me to unlock all the senses. By doing this, I gain an experience unlike any other.

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