Wednesday, 20 October 2010

road guide.

(Recovered from drafts)

The 24 year old half Iranian was about to leave the shelter of the building, but caught sight of a raindrop and shrieked.
"It's raining!"
"No, it's just drizzling," I expostulated.
The skies decide to set free from their midst another drop of rain, right in front of the 24 year old half Iranian's noggin.
"Then it's drizzling heavily!'

The nakhras* I have to reason with. o_O

You need good judgement to meander down lanes in India. Especially in the rains.
If you've ever lived in Pune (or anywhere in India for that matter) and have ventured out on foot, you'll agree that the concept of a footpath or a sidewalk is a little hazy here. If it does exist, which is increasingly rare, it will be encroached upon by hawkers and the homeless, trees, bus stops, signposts to either inform citizens where they are or which politician's birthday it is or who they should vote for, or there's litter (more like two-week old garbage of half the neighbourhood) strewn over the unbecoming red and yellow tiles.

So where does judgement come into this? Let me elucidate.

It's 'drizzling heavily' (no really, it is). The sidewalk lies in front of you, sometimes impossible to walk on due to the thick overgrowth of impenetrable branches of trees or bougainvillea crying for a trim either on the sidewalk or on the other side of a wall running alongside it. To bypass it the road must be walked, not an easy task as the sides are full of puddles. Here's where the judgement comes in. You're considering leaping over a puddle but decide against it if your legs, like mine, aren't long enough and your pants, like mine (in this particular instance), are a little too nice to be muddied more than they already are. So you sidetrack it, the corner of your eye looking out for road hogs coming up from behind you. You dodge past cars and motorcycles, step over the front wheel of a rogue rickshaw, squeeze your way through bumper to bumper traffic. And if you must cross the road, Lord grant you patience and the ability to make a quick sprint before the multitude of cars that race toward you. But if your courage fails you at the last moment and you cower at the sight of the monstrous oncoming traffic with the occasional rally driving motorbike or car zipping through (they don't really care if you want to cross; they'll intentionally try to run you over if they can), then oh woe is you! For you are doomed to stand there till the end of time.

A couple of hours atleast.

Revelation for the day: If you indulge in chicken prepared the Indian way (read garam masala**) and head out for an intense yoga class ten minutes later, you will get heartburn. And die.

**A seasoning made by blending dry-roasted, ground spices, such as black pepper, cumin, cloves, and cardamom, used in the cooking of northern(?) India - (couldn't have put it better myself)

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