The driver forces his way through the traffic, the horn used liberally to warn, cajole or threaten those in the way. Never use a short “peep” when a long, loud blast can be employed. Motorcycles and cyclists squeeze through gaps betwixt car and smoke-belching truck. Buses bully their way through; and implacably picking their path are pedestrians, some in radiant saris, red and gold, turquoise and blue. Cows stand in the middle of the road, as immovable as they are revered. At the side of this well-rehearsed chaos lie dogs, mangy curs, sleepily taking it all in.

Here the senses are assailed as perhaps nowhere else on earth: the noise, the cacaphonic din of roaring engines and blaring horns; thje smells, some sickly sweet perfume, some spicy and aromatic, and others a stench speaking of death and decay; the sight of so many people and vehicles croweded into so small a space (and yet the city is vast) creatse an almost physical sense of oppression, of being crushed from all sides.

I’m back in India.

[I2011 2]

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