Thursday, October 8, 2009

A whiff...

...of twirling, dusty air. A replica of the purest Hindi that seems to emanate from every nook and corner, every masaledar mouth. As jerky and as carefree as the roads, it flows heartily and airily among the people. Airiness is the way of life. It is omnipresent - it is there in the manner in which perfectly polite and normal people flaunt guns, it is in the rain, which has made few and scarce visits over the last decade, and even in the animals, that live their lives khule aam in the middle of the road, not giving a damn and forcing human contraptions make way for their menacingly slow meander.

There is an air of mystique in the people here that I haven't been able to truly and completely comprehend, not drastically different from Wodehouse's wizardry with words. Since it is people that make a place, and not the other way round, this enigma extrapolates to the place itself. To illustrate, I take recourse to the greatest enigma of them all, music. From the rain bearing and light bringing notes of Tansen and Baiju Bawra, to the soothing, effervescent tunes of Amjad Ali Khan's sitar, the only thing that is manifest is this very mystique. And it is this very mystique that made Bandit Queens turn into Queens of the People!

Stark contrasts and everyday surprises are the order of the day in this, the heartland of temperate India. From sizzling summers, to arid 'rainy' seasons, to the nerve freezing cold in winters, from villages where children know where their fathers gamble to modern day McDs, from horse driven tongas to mega seven seaters, this place has 'em all!

Streaks of disorder and chaos sprinkled across sprawling acres of order stand out in the landscape of an ancient place that does not know whether it is a big town or a small city. Amid all this hubbub and the eerie feeling you get when you feel like a particularly alien strand of protein, a Big Bazaar greets you like an old friend in a foreign land. Modern Trade is probably the greatest invention ever! Surely it is, along with the location of this post, because nothing like them have existed, 'waiting for the covers to be thrown off '.

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