Sunday, October 30, 2005

news from a small world

3 bombs exploded on Saturday in Delhi--one of them in Paharganj--where I stayed each time in Delhi. I'm reminded, once again, that this world is not only fragile, but small.

Today, from my journal:
Paharganj. The street outside has been breathing with motion all day. Not like the antiseptic and methodical business I know of home. No, the movements of Paharganj are filled with dust, and life, and color. Coming home from the market, I was swept away by the tide--a swell of pressing, human current that brought me to the heels of a small woman wrapped in a python. Its cold strength close enough to murder me. Nothing like the charmed cobra that entranced me earlier today. A tide of sensation--—assaulted by life and death, beauty and apprehension in each step. This is Paharganj, where the soft sounds of mixing flour and water for chapatis fill the air and drift through windows, delicately, before being dissolved by the commotion of a city filled with eight and a half million people...

(interesting what a tense shift will do to the mind.)

And a painting, so big I don't know what to do with it:

It is a culture that has changed very little, yet tremendously, in the last several thousand years. I wonder-- what will be different when I return?

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