Intensity

Aman DosanjhUniversity of California, Berkeley

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During my second week in mumbai, i got dinner in colaba and ordered an uber back to the Tata Power guest house in Chembur. The monsoons were starting and the rain already broke my umbrella during my first use. My uber driver took a detour to avoid the heavy traffic of the rains and went into a narrow road filled with people, rickshaws, and scooters all trying to avoid to the downpour. A car came towards us on the opposite side and within seconds we realized there was no way we could get through. Our driver spent the next twenty minutes slowly reversing out the lane while people slammed the car for getting in its way. The rain kept getting louder, the voices yelling at our car increased, and a nearby vegetable cart tried to squeeze its way past us. The situation was intense. The rains were intense, the amount of people were intense, and the voices were intense. Intensity has been this constant theme during my time here in Mumbai. Whether it was the sun’s scorching heat as I stood on right outside the Taj Mahal and stared at its majestic grand structure, or the boy trying to sell me magnets as I hopped onto a rickshaw and persisting until he couldn’t run fast enough to match our speed, intensity has permeated every aspect of my Indian experience so far.

On top of the rains and the people, this has included the intensely sweet taste of gulab jamuns and the intense joy I felt buying cheap earrings at the Colaba market. The feelings and experiences I have here are unmatched with any other part of the world that I’ve been to. So whenever people ask me “How is India?” I say that it’s everything. It’s hot, wet, challenging, beautiful, dirty, and overall very intense.