At last. We had finally reached our destination. Unlively as a slug I stood aside at the immigration counter while my father had the passports checked. “This is it!” I thought. For the first time in my life, I had come to visit my home country, India. The eight-hour flight had been most exhausting but I still had the energy to roam round the congested airport. My sister was, annoyingly, wanting her milk and once she was tired of that she wanted to go to the lavatory. Acting the role of big sister I directed her but was asked to accompany her. How pleasant! To my amazement the toilet was the size of a sink basin. It was simply a hole in the ground. We immediately left deciding that we were not that desperate.
An unusual aroma floated around the airport and due to the amount of people, there was a rather sticky warm atmosphere. After retrieving the luggage, which we needed at least three trolleys, we headed towards the exit, excited to meet our arrivals. As we past several bodies, the volume of trolleys squealing and women muttering seemed endless. The voice from the speakers seemed like shouting, as I was unable to understand such language. Continuing through the corridor I found it very abnormal to see numerous Indian bodies in police uniform and many other professional services.
Finally, we approached two large automatic doors with tinted glass. As the doors opened, it was really now that it had struck to me that I had entered a New World. Although it was during late night hours, the weather was very warm and humid. The arid heat hit me. There was scarcely any room to move. Crowds of people were stood in almost every square metre that could be seen. I was forced to grasp on to father’s hand as we tried squeezing through with the trolleys still at our side. As we escaped from this meeting, I was forced to take a glance at the beggars sat at the side of the narrow dirty pavement. They were like stray dogs, weak and starved and a few were roaming around begging for food.
Gradually, the humidity of the air began to moisture me causing droplets of sweat to run down my face. The coating of foundation was, likely, all to be smudged as I wiped the sweat from my forehead. I visualised my face, at this point, to be patchy with different shades, resembling a guinea pig. My hands began to slip off the thick metal bar attached to the trolley. The heat felt disgusting and threatening. I tried to ponder about something else so that I did not have to repeatedly suffer this warmth. Glancing over to the other side away from the airport, about four hundred metres ahead, virtually nothing could be seen except for small vehicle lights. The pollution of thick clouds of smoke from loud, huge monsters, what were meant to be trucks, were responsible for the prevention of visibility.
The topography of this area was not what I had expected. At a closer distance towards me were taxis parked not in an orderly manner but more like a car boot sale car park. I was amazed to see so much liveliness at such hours of early morning. Maybe I was prejudging my surrounding and at present was in a less developed part of India. “Wow! You’ve grown so much”. Our relatives had finally arrived. Although I didn’t recognise them I, respectfully, did the usual “hello, nice to see you”.
Moreover, it was pleasing to hear them speak English. We were escorted to a rather bright four-wheel drive, which had black tinted windows. There was two of the kind and I suppose that was what we needed to manage to place the luggage in. The exterior inside the vehicle was leather and it felt most uncomfortable, as the seats were exceedingly hot due to the heat outside.
As we were driven away from such poverty, the scene in front gradually appeared to become perceptible. Lines of numerous vehicles crowded the roads and persistent sounds from transport horns were to be heard. Although I had been experiencing India road life for a matter of minutes, it was clearly understood that drivers use indicators rarely, however prefer using an invidious sound device for communication. Whether large or small, vehicles were imprudently intercepting one another. The driver sat not even a metre away seemed to be doing the same. I was immediately constrained to grab on to a lousy strap, which was seen as a seat belt. My concentration began to fade from actions around me and my eyes could no longer remain open.
“Ouch!” Rubbing my head gently, I leapt up to see where we had arrived. My eyes forced open from seeing such a beautiful building. It was enormous. It seemed that during my sleep I had been transferred into a different country. This area was a total contrasts from what I had seen, roughly, a couple of hours ago. Lights were shining on all sides of the building as if to be spotlights in a theatre. In the distance there was a huge carved wooden door with wide marble stairs that had thick engraved pillars on each side. The driver opened my door and while stepping out onto the cream coloured marble I felt like royalty.
My parents were chatting away with the relatives and they began to walk towards the house. I stood still and proceeded to examine the beauty around me. Silence. Voices had faded away. The fresh air was oxygen to my lungs. The silence was like therapy to my mind. It was pure relaxation. The imperturbable slight breeze past me as I casually strolled down the path, towards the entrance. Looking upwards into the crimson sky, I witnessed the sun gently awaken the world with its soothing apricot rays, until I was rudely interrupted by my father summonsing me inside. Annoyed at being torn away from my utopian feelings, I stormed in.
Overcoming my emotions, I was surprised to see so many new faces. Amongst them a few appeared considerably younger than me however, it was pleasing to see a couple of my age. They were fairly shy and quite, especially the little one who ran to hide behind the sofa. My auntie introduced me to them and told me to take a seat. I sank into the beige leather sofa and listened to the elders talking. Before even having the energy to gulp down the cold drink that was placed on the large table before me, I had fallen asleep.