The last seven days have turned out to be a week of firsts for Kimte Paite.
The 18-year-old student from Mizoram has been on her first train journey, made her first trip to a shopping mall and even attended her first Republic Day parade during the last one week.
But surprisingly, it was the narration of her experience on the escalator that sounded most animated. "I had only seen an escalator on television. I was pretty nervous and dreaded falling off it," said an excited Paite.
Paite is not the only one raving about her experiences in the Capital. She is among 30-odd students selected for a National Integration Programme organised by the Assam Rifles and the Government of India. The programme entails a trip to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
Comprising children between the ages of 14 and 18, the group has visited places of historical importance - Rajghat, the Lotus Temple, Qutub Minar - and areas such as Connaught Place and McDonalds to get taste of the Capital's life.
The Republic Day parade was a big hit. "My parents had objected to this trip earlier, but now I am glad that I made it. Watching the parade in person was one of my best experiences here. I felt proud of my country and countrymen when the President was awarding the Ashok Chakras to those who lost their lives while fighting for our safety," said Mercy Khongsai.
However, for 14-year-old Joseph Lalrawngbawla, the youngest member, it was Palika Bazaar that turned out to be the best part of his trip in the Capital.
"All electronic gadgets are dirt cheap here. I bought an Mp4 player for just Rs 850," said Lalrawngbawla, who was visiting the India Gate along with his friends on Tuesday morning. The group left for Agra and will be back in Delhi on January 30.
"We have selected students with good academic and extra-curricular record. None of these students have ever been outside their state and this is the reason why they are raving about even the smallest of experiences," said Major Kshitij Bhaitia, who is escorting them.