During the first days I was traveling through India, it seemed to me that all business men were using falsehoods and exaggerations to make as much profit as possible. I even wrote that "Vedic civilization has come to an end. The vaisya (merchant class) often acts worse than the sudras (labor class)." In Kashmir (I visited Srinagar for 5 days), the search for money was pervasive but it is more patient because the merchant families will invite you into their home, feed you, befriend you, then wait one or two days before trying to sell you a rug or carpet. They would explain very clearly to you that they can ship anywhere in the world.
It really was not as bad as that. Being in this country for the first time is occasionally conducive to culture shock. One cannot imagine how different India is from anywhere else except for India. I had not even been to any first world Asian country before (think Singapore or Brunei). When I first left the airport, walking from the airport to the streets, I was completely disoriented. I could not tell if it was dawn, dusk, or maybe even midday. There was an orange or beige dust in the air that seemed to reflect a sunlight that could have been intensifying or diminishing. I just stood there outside of the airport looking around at the dusty air and feeling the heaviness of the humidity. I continued to stand there until a Vaisnava bramachari, dressed in the signature saffron colored kirta and dhoti of the ISKCON devotee approached me. He asked me if I was going to Mayapur. I told him that I was going there. He then asked me if I would like to share the cost of a taxi there. The devotee negotiated a decent price for us to pay and I paid my half. I was fortunate enough to meet someone who had traveled extensively in this country.
While we were in the taxi, it was hard to tell if it was fortunate to have gotten into the taxi with the devotee because it was one scary ride. It was as it we were running through a gauntlet of approximately 70 miles of pedestrians, bicyclists, donkey carts, goats, lone cows, noisy horn honking cars, and noisier horn honking trucks. We were rapidly passing through all these things which were all out in uncountable numbers while, at the same time, motorcycles were passing us and we were having to swerve out of the way of oncoming vehicles that were doing the same thing.
If I was tired and sleepy from the overseas plane trip, there was still no way I was going to take a nap in this taxi. I intensely watched the road in front of us while looking around at everything and everyone we were dodging and passing with unnerving speed. Bengal is the fourth most populous state of India and this road between Calcutta and Mayapur made that quite evident. It started to get dark after we left Calcutta so it was dusk when I stepped out of the airport. Well,I would not have been able to do much sightseeing on the way to Mayapur anyway because the road itself and everything I saw on the road completely engaged my attention.