Lauren and I traveled to the mountain paradise of Gulmarg last weekend. Hundreds of Indian tourists did, as well.
As we waited in line to buy gondola tickets, three plain-clothed men walked to the front of the line to cut in. Military people had been doing this all morning but, then again, there's a military base at the top of the gondola so perhaps military folks had good reason to jump the queue if they were commuting to work.
I asked the civilians why they were cutting in line when there was a long line of people waiting for tickets. The man said they were also military but he offered for me to go ahead of him before he cut in. I told him he wasn't dressed as military and asked, "what about all the others waiting?" He said, "worry about yourself." I asked, "so you don't care about all the others?" "No, I don't," came the reply to which I said, "that's a problem." I was fuming and decided to turn around so Lauren later told me that he responded, "you're not Indian."
I want to believe that some Indians care about others. Cynically, I also think the plain-clothed military man probably hit the proverbial nail on the head -- many don't care about others. Is it the same world round?
Lauren's visiting from NYC and she prompted me to record the things that have become mundane to me but would still amaze people unfamiliar with India. Here goes . . .
-The Delhi Cantt train station was bustling at 5:30 this morning.
-My cab driver from the train station lied to me, telling me he was giving me a good price when he was trying to charge me double the price charged for air conditioned cars (his car was not air conditioned).
-A pepto bismol pink-colored sari-clad woman walked right in front of my car this morning, commanding me to swerve by the mere brightness of her sari.
-A bell-laden horse pulled a cart along the road as a boy directed the course from his seat on the cart.
-A woman in a magenta and teal kurtaa salwar greeted me at my office. She comes daily(?) to sweep and mop our floors.
india: a place of extremes
i want to run, i see circuit training signs to rest
all technology, all inaccessible
too cold for a shower, too hot to walk outside
water overflowing the streets, water dried up in the tap
ferraris in a ballroom, rickshaws on the streets
a place to visit in Feb, a place to flee in Apr
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