Thursday, May 7, 2009


Most of my views about contemporary life in india tend to negative and pessimistic in nature, due to the very fact that I immediately compare everything to my experience in California. But there are inumerable, poignant memories that I relive every time I come back home to Bahadurgarh, Haryana - the ubiquitous rickshaw-walas peddling in brutal heat; the silence of night broken by the chowkidar's whistle, pounding the ground with bamboo stick; the howling of contentious dogs fighting over territory or bones that the few non-vegeterians threw out in our streets; the loud and descriptive yelling of the sabji-wala, listing the daily inventory of vegetables available; the iconic honking of the man who sells balloons and other cheaply made plastic toys; the evening streets lined with various food carts dispensing all sorts of fried, sweet, spicy finger foods; the early dawn sleep broken by the obnoxiously loud silencer-less motorbike that is signature of doodh-walas;the ubiquitous cows roaming, grazing or just lazily nesting as if the people are the troublesome intruders who need to manuever around; the beggars - oh yes theres plenty of them of all sorts - blind, maimed, young kids, single desperate women, the sadhus, the ascetics - some carry buckets of oil with pictures of gods, some dressed like hanuman (half monkey half man follower of rama), some who insist of slapping themselves with a large, leather whip until money is given!! One of the most amazing aspects of life here is that it seems idyllic even though there's chaos beeming every where; somehow between the blaring horns, the screaming hawkers, the hustle-bustle, life seems to go rather slow and easy. It is truly unique in every sense of the word.

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