Hello everyone! So I’m back from India and to be honest, I’m experiencing mixed emotions . On the one hand, I’m trilled to be back in Canada but also super sad to have to have left behind all the amazing memories I shared with family and friends back in India. Nonetheless, it’s time to move forward and run full swing into Miss Teen Canada-World 2012 preparation! So here’s an overview of my journey!
Upon landing in New Delhi, India, I began with a road trip to Amritsar – a city in the state of Punjab in northwestern India, which also happens to be the centre of the Sikh faith and of the Golden Temple.
The first thing which struck me while driving on Indian roads was just how many people there were! People honking left and right, motorcycles coming just inches from your car – it was definitely an experience!
And of course, what would a road trip be without delicious Indian ‘Dhaba’ (road-side restaurants) food?! Here’s a pic I snapped of my meal I had at a Punjabi Dhaba restaurant called Haveli. This particular dish is called Chole Bhature, a combination of chole (spicy chick peas) and bread called bhatoora.
After having reached Amritsar, I visited the Golden Temple, a very prominent Sikh Gurudwara, whose construction was completed in 1604.
Once my visit to Amritsar was over, I stopped off in Chandigarh where I visited Chandigarh Accountancy Solutions-one of my main sponsors for the pageant. I’d like to really thank the staff for their generosity and warm welcome.
Next stop was Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh a state in central India. There, I visited a local orphanage called Shri Rajkumaribai Bal Niketan, where I met and interacted with the children during their meal time. I came to learn that most of the children were girls who had been abandoned by their parents at a very young age. In fact, the orphanage lovingly adopted these children and ensured that they learnt a trade for their future endeavours and even took the responsibility for arranging their marriages; so much so that the girls were asked to visit the orphanage twice a year after their marriage to ensure that they were leading happy lives.
That same night, I visited the Gwari Ghat on the banks of river Narmada. The Gurudwara is located on the mountaintop and the temple of Godess Narmada is in the center of the Narmada river. In India, rivers hold a very important position. They are worshipped as the source of life, they give birth, sustain life and when people die, their ashes are submerged back into the holy waters to be distributed to the seven seas.
The next day, I made a visit to Jabalpur’s Narmada River valley, famous for it’s marble rocks. The valley is essentially a unique formation where the whole river flows for nearly 2 kilometers between varied coloured and tinted marble rocks.
I then payed a visit to the Women’s Home Science College in Jabalpur. There, I had the pleasure of speaking to young teenage girls studying Fashion Design, about my title; Miss Teen Quebec World 2012 and how I got involved in the competition. They were all very curious to know how I did it and if I am nervous for the national pageant. While there, I tried to motivate the girls and stressed the importance of a balanced lifestyle. One can be a good student and know how to have fun as well!
That same day, I had an interview with the Indian media; Dainik Bhaskar, a local newspaper in Madhya Pradesh. They asked me questions related to my title and why I was visiting Jabalpur. I explained that this is the place where my dad is from and that I had come to visit family and give back to the community as best I could. What was funny was that I appeared on TV the same night, only a few hours after they had interviewed me! Here’s a link to a mobile video I recorded from the TV (sorry for horrible video quality)!
Once my visit to Jabalpur was over, I stopped off in the country’s capital; New Delhi. Here, I visited a number of sites including; Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar and the Hauz Khas Village.
What would any trip to India be without having visited the Taj Mahal?! Here’s a pic I was able to capture in the scorching heat;
In the end, I made a short visit to an ISKCON Temple in Vrindaban, where devotees of Lord Krishna from all around the world take shelter.
In all, I can say that India was truly an eye opening experience which I will cherish for a life time! Stay tuned for more blogs on my preparation for Toronto!