Nothing in India is in its complete form, everything is half done - tar roads are half paved, rubbish half cleaned, water piping half built, houses always in construction mode and motorways never reach the final stage. Perhaps it is the Indian's belief in 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts'. If you are architecture savvy, this is what the industry always refers to as the 'Deconstruction Movement'. The word Deconstruction, as powerful as it may sound, is its own worst enemy. Construction necessarily involves destruction, but Deconstruction is the provocation to destruction, as early as during its construction phase. Everything must be, or at least looks as if it is new and destroyed at the same time and in the same space. Indian cities truly live up to this philosophy; the juxtaposition of old and new in the same living dimension. Under the dilapidated cover, Indians continue to live happily amidst ruins and dusts. Is it true that Morphosis, a great philosopher of the Deconstruction Movement, found inspiration from the natural deconstruction of Indian cities? The Indian cities, I must say, are where the old and new collide - the new Indian today is like living in the past.

A charming pink city that offers you a spectacular walk-in-the-past experience. The dust choked air, crowded bazaars and colorful spice markets, deafening vehicle honks, almost-falling-apart city fort and the pink furnished walls guarantee you an ancient flavour in Jaipur. After days of backpacking around Rajasthan, I almost couldn't distinct Jaipur from Jodhpur. Both cities became so identical that only the city colors could tell them apart - Jaipur has the romantic pink whereas Jodhpur has the serene blue.

A miniature version of Varanasi without the burning ghat. I guess I am not the first who had a rather disappointing stay in this small city surrounding a holy lake. Some hostile locals simply go overboard when it comes to extorting money from the tourists. I couldn't find a moment of peace at all during my stay in this so-called 'the most beautiful and peaceful holy lake city in India'. I will save my story here, as I believe there are tons of similar unpleasant stories out there on the web. Quoting an old friend of mine, 'holiness shines most desirably where human decadence is prevalent'. Certain people hide behind religiosity, but the more they flash their religions, the more it shows their hopeless decadence.

It wasn't in my original plan to visit this place, but it certainly turned out to be one of my favorite travel spots in India. Shekhawati, a significantly huge area in Rajasthan that is rich in intricately painted mansions called havelis. Don't take my word lightly, the havelis with their grandeur and rich artistic frescoes had once brought glory into northern India's architectural culture, particularly in Rajasthan. Sad to say that the havelis are not well preserved and the new Indian generation forgot about their existence. It took me, my friend and our Indian driver tremendous effort to find our way to a few havelis in Shekhawati. Finally with God's help we bumped into Biyani Haveli in Sikar. The owner generously opened his door and proudly showed us around. After a cup of milk tea and sweets served by his wife, he asked for some money. I generously bestowed the old couple a token sum. This is at least a friendly albeit intentional service offered by the locals, unlike the rather bad experience in the holy Varanasi and Pushkar. If you are in India next time, Shekhawati, a rather humble and not so publicized area, is certainly a place you don't want to miss.