While the stories on India focus on its crowded cities, Bollywood and the myriad issues and problems of this fascinating country, I rediscovered an India where the majority of its 1+ billion population spend lives far removed from the hectic pace and bustle of the big cities. The simplicity of life is marked by the rhythm of everyday, and memories of my formative years in the sixties and seventies filled me with nostalgia.
Transportation reflects the dichotomy of old and new as in all aspects of life in India. While camel carts plod along with loads of straw and brick, the human body is also a source of carriage as is overloaded trucks with kids and youth hanging precariously off the top, sides and back to excitedly join rallies in support of India’s 67th Republic Day.
Images of ornate shrines, modern artwork reflecting the phases of the moon using rice and metal balls, colorful vegetation and flocks of birds in the vast rural landscape leave a lasting impression and force reflection on India’s long and diverse past.
The famous Gujarat Kite Festival on the 14th and 15th of January marks the advent of summer and is an indication to farmers that harvest season is approaching. Though I was not there to see the exuberant festivities, remnants of the festival remained marooned in trees a week later.
Inspired by my experiences on this trip, I continued to ponder the meaning and course of my life. Watching my young niece rock a centuries old bed reminded me that the cycle of life continues regardless of my musings and need for control.
Adios till next time!