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Nellie Ingleheart*

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FIRST-PERSON: In India, using the 7 senses

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Water buffalo wander the streets of India, causing people and cars to give them the right-of-way. Photo by Mark Weather
INDIA (BP)--Taste, smell, sight, sound and touch -– there is such an explosion of the senses here in India that at least seven senses are needed to cover everything!
Smell is one of the first senses that bombard a person. Just think in your mind what it would be like to step off a plane and smell a multiplicity of scents. The first odd smell was that of mothballs. Yes, that’s right. Apparently, the Indian people use mothballs as a form of air freshener.
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Outside a Hindu temple in India, an elderly woman begs for money from those visiting the shrine.Photo by Melissa Alexander

The next smell is that of the pollution. There is no EPA here; therefore, there is much black smoke coming from vehicles, especially auto rickshaws. It was quite an adjustment to get used to, but now we barely notice it.
Now, the good smells –- garlic, ginger, curry, hot chilies and a myriad of spices. The smells draw you to vendors selling all kinds of authentic Indian cuisine. Tea is another fragrant smell. Indians love to mix tea, milk and sugar together and serve it to guests. It is called chai, and it is delicious. They serve it hot and can’t fathom drinking cold “iced” tea.
Sight is the next sense that overwhelms you. There is so much beauty here amidst the dirt and dust. Tropical flowers are like an oasis among the dusty, dirty streets.