Thursday, August 1, 2013

Last thoughts

 Flowers are always appropriate, but on my last night finding a set of four flower stands like this felt particularly so.  The wreathes of marigolds and white flowers are for honoring the gods, and people put them on statues or small sculptures.  They also put incense sticks and pictures in these shrines.  They're scattered everywhere and remind me of fairy houses somehow.  

I wandered some in new neighborhoods tonight- from Hindustan Park to Khalighat 

It felt like goodbye, and I was struck by the low key density.  In the past couple days, I've been less tolerant of the honking, of the aggressive motorcyclists, of the guys sidling up next to me to try and chat me up before making the pitch for their shop (this never happens in real neighborhoods- only in this one by the hotel).  I've stared down some cars that expected me to jump out of the way despite the basic assumption that anyone who has a vehicle has priority over anyone walking. It's a sign of my transition back home, clearly.  But I also admired the tiny stalls of people selling rice, tea, chai, or offering tailoring, grain milling, or cell phone repair. 

I also came across this street where all the typists offer their services under a ubiquitous blue tarp.  I recall an office like this in Marrakesh where the illiterate could get letters typed or forms filled out.  In a legalistic, bureaucratic place like India, this must be an essential service for many.  Yet juxtaposed to a large population w/ smart phones, the contrast feels jarring. Still, most of them had customers tonight. 

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