A reflection of exploring Raipur one evening during Ganesh Chaturthi.

What an absolutely fantastic night with some equally fantastic girls, exploring the Lord Ganeshas all over the city for the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, where neighbourhoods and communities all over the city install and beautifully decorate large Ganeshas, play loud festive music and some even hand out sweets as you stop by! What a wonderful way to celebrate and interact with local communities and learn about local culture. I also need to say… There is something magical about the nighttime here (and everywhere, I am always fascinated by how streets change in the middle of the night and often will take long walks late at night in my home city) but in India specifically, I have not gotten to experience the nights, as mostly I stay inside. But when the storefronts all close up, pull down the gates, turn off the lights, so only those lights of celebration and candles are sparkling dotted lines along the streets and inside little windows tucked away, there is a quietness (not really) but an air of calmness and what I can only describe as magic and wonderment. To see the sidewalks and alleyways, a now empty stage for what the morning will bring, the dim lights in windows of the people still awake. There is a rebellious feeling that also comes with being out past a certain time, where everything becomes an adventure… But more than anything being able to see the night sky, feeling the air on my skin, as we zoomed through the streets, watching the distance entirely light up with lightening flashes, all with 3 new friends I’ve been so lucky to meet here in Raipur (I might add, my friend Ankita is next level/scooter racer extraordinaire). Taking in the sounds, sights (and tastes) at 60mph, in the coolness and darkness of the night sky added another beautiful dimension to my already unexplainable journey as an intern here in India.