I present to you some more sights from Ahmedabad.
- A token Muslim, easily identified by his fabulous beard and cool cap and gown.
- A “close knit” family in transit. Not two, not four, not even six, but a family of seven on a single motorcycle (You can’t see the baby on the other side). That does it — I’m sold. I am trading in our mini-van for a motorcycle when I return home. I had know idea my whole family would fit.
- An Indian bottle neck. Your innards begin to quake when all of these are moving — through an intersection of ongoing traffic of equal numbers. Also note that I captured here in the city center one of the select few traffic lights in all of Ahmedabad. It functions as a pretty decoration but nothing more. The people are unaware of its existence. I am not exaggerating when I insist that the light means absolutely nothing — to police or passengers. Every intersection offers a unique free-for-all.
- A New Yorker’s dream world. You find the words on the back of this truck, “Honk OK Please”, on half the moving vehicles in this city (regardless of their size). They respond in unison with a cacophony of ceaseless beeps day and night. I asked, and, yes, they literally wear out and regularly replace their horns, the only part of a South Carolinian vehicle that goes to the junk yard brand new.
- A classic Rickshaw in standard green and yellow glory. You find more of these on the streets than hairs on your head. Now picture cramming every last child in our congregation into one these three-wheelers. Some of the numbers we have seen defy calculation.
- Two corrupt traffic cops in typical tan, armed with a whistle and a stick. They stand on the side of the road, chew the fat and watch the bedlam in the streets. Then in classic tyrannical fashion they arbitrarily flag down some passerby, extract their hard earned money — and cram it into their own pockets, never ever to see the public coffers. Then back to loitering. Hold your breath now. Two days ago they pulled and searched our vehicle — no fourth amendment, mind you. No, I am not writing from an Indian prison, but if I was driving, we could have been sporting a new despotic hood ornament. Do these posts go on the Internet?
- I have only laid eyes on two white people since we arrived nine days ago — and he is one of them (I am not the other.). Since Randy may read this post, I will wait until I get home to sing his praises. Thank you for praying for his valiant labors.
- The Hindus built this pretty pyramid as a giant fire-cracker for their pagan festival earlier this week. As we drove home on Wed. (the days blur together now), we passed loads of these pyramids in various sizes (usually 3 feet to 8 feet high), sometimes every 50 yards. I was not present to see it, but at 7:30 that night, the whole city set them ablaze. Everything was closed Thursday, as they smeared everyone and everything in sight with bright colors. Google “images of the Holi festival” for a peak at the evidence.
- A sample shrine, located a stone’s throw from the front door of the training center. The streets are littered with shrines everywhere you look. As I noted in an earlier post, we have four or five within a 100 yard stretch on the tiny, dirt road in front of the training center.
Lastly, did you know that the world consumes goat more than any other meat? And no wonder, it is scrumptious. I ate it with pleasure again today. What is wrong with Americans? We eat lamb and venison, close cousins — but no goat meat. Isn’t there an advocacy group for American goat farmers in Washington?
A touch of humor supports sanity here, as the sober realities easily overwhelm the soul. The spiritual death toll boggles the mind. If anything above brings a smile, I hope it cements India in your memory and fuels your future prayers for the Sun of Righteous to rise with healing in his wings over the Indian Subcontinent.