India. If I had to describe it in one word, I'd say, "Mysterious."


First, you need to know about how I know India and why I believe that this word is perfect. This won't take long, I promise.

I was born in Manila, Philippines (my mother is Filipino), where my father worked on an oil rig as a deep-sea diver. Perhaps one of the most dangerous jobs around. Yeah, my dad was (and still is) hardcore in that way. But with family comes responsibility, and my mother didn't like my dad working 150 meters below the surface. My dad then got a job with a research institution, and in the process got an offer to come to India, to a city called Hyderabad. He agreed, and at the tender age of 5 (almost, but not quite 6 yet), we moved from Manila to Hyderabad. The whole family came long, including Samson, our yellow Labrador retriever.
Settling down in India took some time, but that's the boring stuff, so we'll skip ahead.

India to me was a land full of mystery. Everything about it was strange and exciting ways that you could not realize until you are much older looking back. People tend to blame it on nostalgia, but I believe that it's actually because there are so many more questions there than answers, and every time you find an answer to one, you open up a whole bunch more questions.

Let me take for example the famous fortress. Golconda. Golconda fort is an amazing fortress situated on top of a hill. Everyone who goes there finds out about it's history, the battles, conquests, how it was finally captured, and the lives of everyone in there. Yet, this if you go here, and you know where to look, there is more to this place than what meets the eye.

Golconda is made up of 3 walls. A huge outer-wall surrounding the city, and an inner one defending the innards, and finally a tiny one basically used to keep the riff-raff away from the royal family. When you cross the first wall, you come into a large open spaces, probably used for crops, and agriculture.

Then within the second walls you come to a series of small townships. People still live within these ancient walls, and some speculate that families have been there for generations, and are of descendants of the people who actually worked or were soldiers back in the day.

When you come to the last wall, the smallest, you're essentially in front of the main palace area. This area is the 'tourist trap', where you have to pay to get in and look around.

When you cross the second, you find the garrisons, and military buildings. If you go around to the far side of the fortress, the Indian military currently have training grounds there.

Inside this massive fortress' third wall, but outside the second one, unknown to many, are a couple of fascinating things. For example, there is this huge cannon. A massive thing, and it's not in a museum (at least it wasn't when I last checked). This massive cannon brings about many questions. Why is this massive thing here? Why was it not removed? Why wasn't it stolen? How did they get it up there on the gun tower in the first place? Many questions.

Then there's the famous Golconda Baobab tree. This tree, hundreds of years old, is HUGE! Not tall, but wide, and the middle is hollow. So, what's inside? Since it's hollow, and you can get into it (with a little difficulty for the less agile), and inside there's a small shrine. A little Hindu temple. Why? Who put it there? What reason?

Every time you find something, you get more questions. Those questions keep leading to more answers, in a never ending loop of discovery.

I could go on and on. The Taj Mahal? Why marble? Where did the marble come from? The carvers who carved it where from where? What inspired them?

So many questions! And I think that's what I love about India. It keeps you interested in what's coming.

And it never ceases to surprise you.


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