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#InternInIndia: Independence Day, Delhi and Agra

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Lancaster graduate Yasmin Jaunbocus is interning at The Times of India and New Indian Express in Bangalore, in the south of the country. Here she shares her adventures with TNS...

Aside from the fun I've been having at Indulge Magazine, The New Indian Express, the past few weeks at the office have been hectic. The weekly magazine is over 20 pages, so that's a lot of content to produce for a small but dedicated team.

Of course reviewing new places in Bangalore and interviews are fun but there's serious business going on too. This week I set up a Twitter account for Indulge Magazine (@Indulgeblr) and have taken over their Facebook page

In a growing economy and with changing consumer behaviour when it comes to how we get our news, India is no stranger to recognising the importance of social media. Apart from everyone having a business card, all businesses are quickly promoting their products online too. Although Indulge already reaches a massive audience, an online presence is important too.  Hopefully the response will be positive. 

With it being a such a busy week, me and two other interns,  Ciara and Claire, decided to book a spontaneous trip up North.

We got back from the office at 10pm and had to quickly pack for our 6am flight to Delhi the next day. A couple of hours later, feeling a bit bleary eyed, we arrived in the capital just in time to celebrate Independence Day. 

Opposite India Gate we met up with local entrepreneur Viren Khanna, who organises events in Bangalore. Delhi being his home town, he was keen to show us around. We only had a couple of hours there so we spent it in the park in front of the  palace; the atmosphere was jubilant. We played at flying kites with the kids- a favourite past time for the holiday- and ended up on national TV wishing India happy independence! 

We were so wrapped up in the festivities we  almost missed our coach to Agra! Luckily, punctuality isn't one of India's strong points and so we made it and three hours later arrived in the city of the  most iconic buildings of India and one of the seven wonders of the world. 

Excited, Ciara, Claire and I caught a rick, unintentionally procured a tour guide along the way and eventually made it to the Taj Mahal

Standing in front of the original White House was incredible.  It truly is a feat of architecture and morbidly romantic too. It's hard to explain anything about your experience of the Taj Mahal. It's more of a feeling. 

Though beautiful, the whole thing is hampered by the incessant pushing to get into the mausoleum, the heat, and the queues to get your classic 'Princess Diana' tourist shot and your 'touching the Taj' photo. I'm not acting high and mighty; I'm guilty of taking both of these photo ops!

Exhausted by a combination of jet/coach lag, and the Taj's majestic beauty, we retired to the first restaurant we came across - Relax He Relax. 

This was, without doubt, the best decision we made that day. The food was tasty and they even had a 'western toilet', but what made it was restaurant owner Sanjay. His mantra was customer satisfaction and he really did go the extra mile. Claire ended up cutting her arm on a badly placed metal staircase. Mortified, Sanjay sent a waiter to get a tetanus injection and administered it himself before Claire had chance to really understand what had happened.

After that, Sanjay really took us under his wing. He made sure we made it to the coach station for our midnight coach to Jaipur safely as we were three girls travelling alone, and made his brother keep his shop open for us to have a look around before we went.

Far from the horror stories you hear about unfortunate travellers, so far - touch wood - we seem to only have bumped into friendly Indians.

Sanjay wasn't the only friendly Indian on our journey.  Believe me, we encountered more problems and more good Samaritans too.

Now though, we're on a six hour coach journey to Jaipur, the capital of the state of  Rajasthan,  the AC Is broken so it feels like we're sat in a blast freezer and we'll get about two hours sleep before exploring Jaipur if we're lucky.

Namaste!




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