Culture shock? Not really… After over a year of preparation, research, reading, and engagement with my new family (குடும்பம்- kutumpum), this environment looks, smells, feels, and definitely sounds (honk-honk) more like the realization of a dream. In my first few days in urban India, it seems like everything I love about the city, condensed, with its very own flavor and array of specialties found nowhere else in the world.
After “defeating” jet lag, as Krish put it, we woke bright and early at 5:30 a.m. to go to the Balaji Temple and ISKON temple. It meant so much to accompany my new family to pray at these truly glorious centers of worship. I’m grateful to feel accepted into and be a part of these ancient traditions.