Part One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Part Deuce: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Multimedia aside, India was as India as it ever was, crashing into me and filling me with joy at the phrases necessary to describe my existence. My favorites:
- As I stand at the side of the road, foreign coins lining my pockets, contemplating hurling myself into traffic once more, I am nearly run over by a wobble-lipped camel.
- I charm my way into an air-conditioned restaurant by bobbling my head indiscriminately, to discover that the featured dish of the day is Taliban Soup.
- In Mecca Masjid, a turbaned man comes up to us. I am concerned he is angry that we are not properly dressed (and not Muslim), but all he wants to do is assure us that Islam has more people of peace than it does of violence. "Bad Muslims are like the driver of a truck…it is not that truck's fault if the driver steers into a tree."
- As I sit on the side of the road, a man dressed as Charlie Chaplin walks up and unblinkingly stares at me for five minute, straight, twiggling (it's a word now) his mustache the whole time. I swear, the bats in my belfry are going to form a tenant's union at this rate.
- I love how trains let you into the lives of people as they slice through India. . .for a moment, I am an old woman carrying a sled-sized tray of dirt on my heed, chest-deep in water
- In the slums, the smell of cilantro somehow cuts through the stink of fetid water, and to the right, a bus stop is filled with orange and yellow flowers.
- My friend Bilal, who runs a hotel, comes and sits beside me after checking out a bunch of his countrymen. He sighs, puts his head in hands, and says "I don’t like Indians.”
- In India, it seems everything is operating in its superlative version--everything is the best, the brightest, the strongest, the most dramatic...and the worst, the most grotesque, the lives so terrible they make god seem heedless and cruel.