They are admittedly cute as they rush up to you with large eyes, grown-up bargaining words, and big expectations.
In their hands can be any number of items: keychains, snow globes, gum, snack mixes. Next to them are adults selling the same items at a competitive price you’ll never hear because your ears are blocked by the cuteness of the child offering up items for you.
They are the street children of India. Often, they look slightly too skinny, with either tattered shoes or none at all, and clothing that is either to big or too large for their bodies. They look like children who have scuffled and played and been roughed around with a few too many times, but here they are, selling whatever they think you’ll buy.
It all started a little bit more than a year before my second departure to India. A friend inviting me to her wedding that would be the next year. By grace, things lined up perfectly that I was able to go though no plans started getting set in stone until October.
Being the planner that I am, I spent quite a bit of time researching what I wanted to do and see. At first, I was positive I would fly from Delhi to Darjeeling, then to Kolkata for the wedding. Then I thought Kochi and the backwaters of Kerala. Then I started looking at pictures of camels in the desert. Finally, I decided on Delhi (got to see the Taj Mahal, I figured), and the recommended city of Jaipur (which I would 100% recommend). The deserts and backwaters and tea fields can wait until my next trip.
I did have to be careful with getting my e-TV visa. If you know nothing about this visa, it’s basically a document that you print from online that allows you to travel anywhere in India for 30 days, although you can only enter from specific airports. You need to have it a few days before you leave and can’t apply for it more than a month before your arrival date.
I thought that maybe someone would find it helpful to see how long it took me to plan for this trip in case they, too, are worried that they are an over-planner.