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Days in Delhi

When I first arrived in India, my friend Naira met me at the airport. We went to school together in France but she is Indian and recently moved back to Delhi. Both on gap years, we thought it would be fun to spend time in India together.

The next day, Naira invited her friends over so I could meet them. We talked, ate, listened to music, and had our hands decorated with henna. Below is what stood out for me that day.

Food You Can Play With:

Among the different foods we ate, gol gappas were my favorite (not just because of the way they taste but because of the way you eat them). They are hollow balls of dough that you put tamarind sauce inside and then dip into water infused with spices such as cumin and mint. You have to pop them in your mouth quickly before they start dripping!

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Later during our trip we returned to Delhi and went to an Indian fusion restaurant called Indian Accent (which I definitely recommend). We ordered gol gappas there too, only this time they offered a variety of flavored waters. The original is still my favorite though.

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Music:

In Naira’s garden we listened to a mix of Western and Indian music. These were some of the Indian songs we danced to:

Henna/Mehendi:

In high school I always saw Naira doodling designs on her notebook. At the time I wondered how she thought of those designs but watching the henna artist decorate my hands, I realized from where she draws her inspiration.

The henna I had done is customarily reserved for weddings, but Naira wanted to treat me and since I’ll never have an Indian wedding, what better time than now?

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The artist started the henna from my arm and slowly made his way to my hands. Despite this, I learned that no matter how long you keep the henna on your skin, it will always turn up darker on your palms than on your arms or the back of your hand. This is what it looked like when the henna dried and peeled off.

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Sharing is Caring:

After the garden party was over, Naira and I relaxed and then went out for a bite. At the restaurant, I was surprised we were only given one menu. Naira explained that India has a cultural of sharing and so they assume one menu is enough for two people, or two menus is enough for five. You can ask for more if you want, but that’s what they give you instinctively.

And since we’re on the topic of sharing, I want to thank Naira for sharing so much with me!

Xx, Sabrine

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