My final few days will be spent in buzzing Kolkata before setting off for my second country, Thailand. I enjoyed some final Indian luxuries, walked the city, saw some local music and picked up some cooling clothes for the hotter climates ahead. We feasted on South Indian and Bengali food throughout our final few days, cooled down with refreshing Lassi and snacked on local treats.
You can generally get things done with about 3 words in India. My haircut was no different. I wondered into the local hairdresser, was seated and then my barber said only three words during the whole experience. “Short or Medium?” he asked. I wasn’t quite sure what either of those options meant, but I thought medium would be a safer option. Fortunately, it was!
We were also spontaneously gifted with some tickets from Bibhu to the Cricket World Cup final which was taking place in India whilst we were there. In India, cricket is closer to a religion than a sport, and with England playing in the final against West Indies it was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The crowd was electric, and every spectator raved to each wicket, boundary or six. My dad and I perched nervously with long periods of silence whilst the game reached its tense climax. Despite being played in the evening, the stadium seemed to only heat up with the crowd, and our white shirts were soaked through. And even though my heart sank when the West Indies batsman crushed their final over to chase down the score in spectacular style, it was an amazing game that won’t be forgotten quickly.
As I sit in Kolkata airport now with a Paneer roll and a questionable chocolate muffin, I find it difficult to summarise India and the experiences I’ve had. When people say India is many countries in one, they’re definitely right. It’s closer to a continent with all of the cultures, languages, religions and cuisines that’s squeezed in. I’ll definitely miss it! Goodbye tea-drinking, Momo-eating, mountain-climbing, cricket-crazy, amazing India!