Tuesday, December 9, 2014

CPC 2014- Winning essay "My India" by Shashank Kalkur

3rd prize winning essay on age group 8 thru 11 by
Shashank Kalkur - 8 years old

I have been to India several times and it is really a fun place to be! Life in India is very different compared to life in the USA. The houses for example are made of brick and cement and not wood. Roads are full of all kinds of different vehicles - trucks, buses, cars, motor cycles, scooters, autos and bicycles. Only in India will you find cows moving freely on the road perfectly comfortable with the chaos surrounding them!Early in the morning I am awakened by the vegetable vendor yelling out that he has arrived. He has a cart full of vegetables attached to his bicycle. How nice that the grocery store comes to your home and you don’t have to drive to the grocery store!When I think of India I think of all the yummy food. We usually get invited to family gatherings where there is a grand feast served on a banana leaf. There are more than 20 dishes - savory and sweet. I found it quite overwhelming at first not knowing what to eat first but soon started to enjoy the feast.Riding an auto rickshaw is one of my favorite things to do in India. An auto can take you to any part of the city and they are everywhere! You never have to wait for more than 5 minutes to get an auto in a city like Bangalore. I noticed that some autos are decorated with pictures of Gods and Goddesses and some have flashy tassels. The auto drivers are so skillful in maneuvering through the traffic. Sometimes they come so close to a big bus that it scares me.India has more than 1 billion people and so you see people everywhere. Buses are overflowing with people literally hanging for dear life. I like to travel by train when I visit my grandparents in Kerala. I like watching the never ending line of coconut trees through the train window.I walk a lot when I am in India because everything is close by. My grandfather at the age of 77 still walks every morning to the market to get fresh vegetables. I think that is the secret to his health. In the evening he visits the temple and prays for all of us. He also does "pooja" every morning.The shopping experience in India is so different. There are bazaars lined with stores selling all kinds of merchandise. I noticed that the stores have no doors. At night they secure the store with shutters. The small stores have just a couple of employees who are attending to all the customers. They are good at multi-tasking!When I am in India there is never a dull moment. In spite of the many challenges they face, Indians take things in their stride and move forward. I am proud to be Indian and looking forward to exploring more of the country in the years to come.

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