It's funny how time and distance change you, the roads you take don't always lead you home.
I think the most incorrect presupposition about India, is that the subcontinent itself has any universal qualities that can adequaltely describe the beautiful chaos that is this country. In a physical sense, the more south you go, the darker the skin. Sarees are tied differently from state to state. Although Hindi is the national language, each state has a specific language. For example, I am taking Hindi, yet Telugu is spoken among the Hindu population of Andra Pradesh whereas Urdu is spoken among Muslims.This truly could be the most diverse place on Earth, yet there are over a billion Indians on this planet all categorized the same.
Every state in India is known for something. Andra Pradesh has a special rice dish called Biryani, Darjeeling harvests tea, and in Mysore sandalwood is everywhere. Sandalwood has a sharp aromatic smell that when mixed with the already pungent smell of the city creates a truly unique odor (not for the weak).
I think a photo of sandals outside a holy place is fitting with this post. In India feet are holy–it is common for elders to show their supremacy by placing their feet on the heads of offspring. Other than that, shoes are removed at temples and when entering any respected buildings, homes, or stores. I have begun to enjoy being barefoot, yet I am in need of a pedicure pretty soon.