Monday, February 2, 2009
Back from our first weekend in India and my thoughts are racing with all we’ve seen. The more I try to make sense of it all, the more perplexed I become.
On the 10 hour drive round trip drive to and from Agra I saw some of the worst living conditions I could ever imagine. People living in tattered tents made from scraps of fabric or tiny huts made of dried mud patties (we originally thought these were dung patties but we decided on mud, possibly wishful thinking)…women and children digging through piles of garbage…pitiful animals everywhere you turned milling through the hoards of people that crowded the sidewalks and streets…cows grazing on garbage or eating directly out of the dumpsters…men and children relieving themselves everywhere…girls piled into the backs of trucks like sardines, actually every vehicle whether it be an ox drawn cart, a van or a rickshaw were piled with people…children in rags so filthy you could barely make out their features…and these are just a few of the dreadful things I saw.
But in the same drive I also saw incredible beauty….women dressed in colors so vibrant and stunning they seemed unreal like birds of paradise rising out from the dust and dirt that surrounded them…children laughing and playing truly without a care in the world…men playing intense games of cricket with their friends in dirt fields…brilliantly hued fresh fruits and vegetables in each town market…idols draped in flowers and glowing in candlelight overlooking their devout followers… faces, remarkably striking faces everywhere I turned…and these are just a few of the wonderful things I saw.
India is captivating and undesirable, detestable and enchanting, repulsive and fascinating…all of these and more in the same breath.
I have no hope of ever really understanding it all…which I suppose is the true beauty of India.
Posted by MAV at 4:30 AM