Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mobility






















i should have known when the hotel manager said he'd give me a wake up call at 2 am...there was no phone in my room. why was i getting up at this ghastly hour? driving to Indore, train to Kota, car to BUNDI. knowing the unlikely hood of the offer made by the INDIAN HOTELIER, i set 2 alarms of my own.


when i made my way to the car outside, my driver, ABDUL SAMET, was fast asleep in the back seat. apparently he doesn't have a phone in his car either. i gently knocked so as not to startle. he was up with such alacrity, he hit his head on the ceiling of the small sedan. he then flung open the door and stood there, hand extended, as if he'd been waiting to welcome me for the last two hours. i sat down.


to say that the next two hours were harrowing would be an understatement. 2:30 in the morning, on the roads of small town INDIA, with a nodding chauffeur is not the place one goes to meditate. i sat erect. the passenger. the cheerleader. with english lorries passing by within inches on either side, my audible mantra was, "ABDUL, YOU AWAKE?"


we stopped at an INDIAN starbucks for a pick me up. these are those photos....


My thoughts on Movement in INDIA:

Imagine you body, your human form, hollowed except for one artery running its entire length. then imagine everything passing thru that artery; blood, oxygen, carbon dixoide, water, food, waste, muscles, ligaments, joints, bones, thoughts, emotions, all functions of the body. add to that cows, chickens, elephants, goats, monkeys, rickshaws, oxcarts, tractors, transport buses, tourist buses, bicycles, rickshaws... welcome to traffic driving in INDIA.

i had heard this from several veteran Indian travelers before i began my journey. "come on. i've rented a car in every country i've traveled in." a knowing smile was their response.

i don't know the length of my stay on this planet, but it would have been exponetially shorter had i decided to exercise my valet skills on the mean streets of this sub-continent. moving in this country is a stream of consciousness, a religion unto itself. you must have faith in the oncoming and the ongoing. church is held whenever mobility is required. your prophet is your driver.... one foot on the brake the other on the gas....INDIA.

3 comments:

  1. I love the photo of you sitting on the train platform. Having lived in China and Japan I can't tell you how many memories that photo brings up. Great shot...

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  2. I'm always impressed with and by you.

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  3. ok, i could have commented throughout this blog but have an image to uphold and I am not a fanatic! lol
    However, this piece deserves a nod...you are keeping me from my very good book but this is just as good - good stuff...

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