My friend’s neighbors in the small village of Ropar heard that I was in town and so invited me in to meet them. They were very keen to provide me with drinks and food but my family were cooking me breakfast.
At last I accepted a sweet cold coffee. It was very tasty. Being white and foreign I feel almost famous. Everyone wants to meet me and feed me. There is a lot of love in these Indian’s hearts and I feel very honoured to meet such welcoming people.
On the street I have got used to the stares but whenever I go out with my new Indian friends they say: ‘everyone is looking at you.’ I avoid eye contact and go on as I normally would. It is in the human nature to people watch and as soon as someone sees a foreign alien they are intrigued. The looks are not malicious, they are simply curious.
After another delecious family breakfast I was very kindly driven to the city Chandigarh (capital of the state Punjab), known as ‘The Beautiful City’. It rightly deserves this prestigious title.
On the way we stopped at Ropar’s Sikh temple. We said a prayer and were given a sweet dessert.
I could tell Chandigarh city was nice when I arrived by bus in the dark. Seeing it in the daylight my first impression has been confirmed.
We arrived at my friend’s uncle’s house which is gorgeous. Antique furniture decorates the main living room. He is living abroad at the moment so my buddy’s grandmother is there. We tucked into another banquet for lunch.
After lunch the family’s driver took us to Chandigarh lake. It felt like a western park. Many people ran past or were doing press-ups on the grass. Others power walked around the lake. Friends hired boats and peddled or rowed around. I enjoyed the spot of exercise.
Next on the cards was the rose garden which had spectacular water fountains lit up in multi colours.
On returning to the house I went for a run to expell some extra energy I had. Seeing people run earlier sparked my motivation.
It was dark outside but I felt very safe running around the local park. In fact despite being gazed at as normal it was safer than running around some London parks in the dark.
I returned back for a shower and yet more food. This time we had Dal (lentils) and rice. Followed by an Indian fruity ice-cream. The meal was scrumptious.