A journey to discover the people who change our world.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Welcome to India!

What hits first? The heat.
It comes to slap you in the face like a shout. Very soon, the half a litre bottle of water you were saving is gone, and you can almost wring your clothes out.
Welcome to India.

What next? The colour.
Saris, flapping pink, gold, blue, green, everything, in long sleek strands. They are prayer flags. They are bunting. They wave high and bright. The women wrapped in rainbows.
Welcome to India.

What then? More colour.
A swarm of black and yellow taxi cabs. They are buzzing for fares. There is a herd of them, a hive of them. Pity my driver couldn’t find his keys. He looked in the same pocket about 20 times. He was a Sikh. Eventually he found them in his turban.
Welcome to India.

We made our way though the city. It is familiar. It is new. Rickshaws are permitted on the outskirts, whittling at speed (or as fast as their little engines permit) through the taxis. The taxis still going for it. Cyclists braving it. Pedestrians taking a very big chance.

There are lines painted on the motorway to give the option of lanes, but they seem very optional. The ‘lanes’ morph and blend. Three cars. Five cars. Five cars, a bus and a bicycle. Noise.

I looked around. Soaking it in. Thinking ahead. There is no doubt about it. I am here. Welcome to India!


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