they say that India is officially a casteless system. unofficially though...
after speding time here, scratching the surface of Indian culture, i believe it exsists. it exsists within us. officially/unofficially it doesn't matter. i can only speak for myself but i believe this to be true. i am a VAISHNAV(trader/craftsman), a KSHATRIYA (warrior), at times a BRAHMIN (holy man) and a SHUDRA (Untouchable). sometimes i can be all of these in an hour. if i'm lucky, a week. the holiest can be untouchable and the untouchables i know, can be as saintly and beatific as DEEPAK CHOPRA on an episode of OPRAH.
welcome to DELHI.
all of my experiences en masse couldn't have prepared me for country. the magnitude of hues, the volume of smells (from rancid to pungent, savory to downright aromatic). all of it. the foooooodddd. the food is a culmination, an amalgamation of all the complexities of a culture with this many years under it's belt. (i sound like a food critic) you can taste it. all of it in one bite.
i had dinner last night in Connaught Place. a very nice restaurant called VEDA. i'm not sure what i ordered but i may as well have asked for a poker to be brought from the fire and placed on my tounge. literally i was about to pass out. laying there, mouth full of water, gurgling, i saw a Indian man sitting next to me who had ordered the same dish. he looked at me. took a bite. chewed.... chewed... swallowed... beat... beat.... hand to brow to wipe the sweat. other hand to bro to wipe the sweat. he leaned back in his chair. looked at me and winked.
but after the fire dwindled there it was..... i've never tasted food better.
there's so much to tell really. so much.
had an amazing day today. went to a Bahai temple. never been to one before. the Bahai's and me have a lot in common. they believe in the commonalties of all religions. the universal truths. i was beside myself in that sacred chapel. a chapel in the shape of a lotus bud. i found myself an hour later barefoot and hooded in a sikh temple. my rickshaw driver was Sikh. he needed to stop by his temple. i went with him.
i met a woman my first day here. i asked her what she thought INDIA'S greatest strength to be. she said population. i asked her it's weakness. she said population. then she humbly offered... " what India has to offer... what INDIA has to give.... if it doesn't loose it way, is non-violence"
i'm here. i'm safe and i'm happy. i hope you are all the same.
love to you.