As I sipped my masala chai by the early light of a Canadian morning, my eyes caught the twinkling mirror work of the wall hanging and the mind wandered back to my visit to Delhi with my little boy Noah last year.
Delhi enchanted me with its breathtaking scenery. I gasped in wonder as we visited the serenity of the Jama Masjid mosque, the Birla Mandir temple and the pearly Moti Masjid. It was love at first sight in the National Gallery of Modern Art, in the shades of the welcoming roadside tea stands and amidst the smells of colourful curry cafes. How could I forget the labyrinth of Old Delhi markets, all a-blaze with colours of vibrant textiles and scented with the aroma of the cinnamon tea?
My greatest passion in life is collecting books and I could have lost myself forever wandering through the fabulous bookshops while my son begged for yet another kameez. What touched me the most in this city were the people. It was in Delhi that I learned the value and significance of culture and finally felt 'at home'.
My favourite sites as we travelled by tuk-tuk through the bustling streets were the families speeding by on motorbikes. I would see smiling couples zoom past, the woman's arms clasped about her husband, her scarf flowing behind her like a beautiful butterfly. Often entire families managed to fit on a scooter with little children and babies in tow. We were made to feel like family members. After a visit to a library our driver treated us to sparkling lime sodas. The manager of the hotel we stayed at, invited us to his home for dinner with his wife and children. Our wonderful friend at the internet cafe introduced us to his auntie who helped us shop for spices to make homemade masala tea. We marvelled at the loving sense of community all about us. Boys would walk home arm-in-arm from school as shop owners shared tea in the sun. Mother Teresa once said, "If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to one another." Delhi has not forgotten it. I have found my heart's true home in this effervescent city. The author lives in Toronto, Canada.