Someone rightly said the best way to experience a place and its people is to straight away hit out at the streets (well that someone might just be me). Especially in a country like mine it provides a taste of all its unity and diversity.
Walking along the road you find beautifully decorated shops geographically encompassing the footpath area as well (leaving a footpath as a footpath is a cardinal sin for a shop owner). Coming back to the road you would find veiled beauties on their scooterettes heading towards their base camp for waging war against India. And not to forget there are a few bikers following them hoping of an encounter (don’t read fierce gun battle stuff). And if your feet stop supporting you, you should stop at a tea stall where all kinds of socio-political issues are discussed and multi-million dollar business deals are struck. Whoa fool you are if looking for a public transport and waiting at the bus stop. Every place other than a bus stop is a bus stop and the best thing being even an intersection on a road is a bus stop. Swiftly slip into one of those boxes called public transport and don’t expect a seat as you are the 150th person on board where there are seats for just 50. You get down at your desired location and you would discover that colonies of mosquitoes and and humans do co-exist. Walking across, you accidentally are attracted towards a piece of clothing on a shop and when you land in the shop you would realize that the net worth of the products shown to the customer would be around 400 times the net value of items sold ( #window shopping ). More Indians speak English than the total population of the Great Britain and that is the reason why you would come across a studio proclaiming “proposel speslist”, a couple of shops saying “oswal sop”, ” cow ghee”, “celender”. Not to forget the temple in the middle of the road which might read “visa wale hanumanji” or” bijli wale bholenath”. There are free spirited wanderers, there are drunkard maniacs, there are the stalkers’ brigades and there are god’s finest creations, well there is no end to what the street has to offer. From Tata nano to BMW series 7 grab it all. It is this place where the definition of pillion holds no meaning, 4 people on a two wheeler. From the colorful stall of the fruit seller to the filthy pharmacy, from the neatly spread out saree shop to the refreshing soda shop we have it all. Don’t be astonished to find a nepali lifting his auto while the hydraulic jack is laying at rest nearby, don’t be astonished to see a man with an iPhone enjoying the flavors of an ice candy, don’t be astonished to see a militia coming to thrash you up if you meet a girl accidentally ( reading meeting an accident involving a girl), don’t be astonished to find an ordinary man with a belt boldly stating “versace” just have a look at his wrist and you might find a swatch or Rolex ( there is no guarantee about the originality of the goods ). Come across a park and you have love birds unmoved by the motion on the streets. If you are new to this country and were wondering what those rusty red spills on the walls and on the road are, let me take you the factory then.
“Panwala” though not pretty much the same as the one yelling “dobara mat puchna” in a tv commercial but yeah an interesting character in the great Indian story. A man stuck up on his mobile phone as if he is the personal aid to the President of India, a master at multi tasking one hand on the pan other dispensing the side items such as cigarettes etc. Unbelievably that 4X4 shop has a color TV where the rest of India watches team India being pissed off by the English. And you thought that he would have a cleaning cloth at his disposal to clean his rusty red hands, I swear if he is true to his profession he would wipe them on his head.
The street is a word in unison with motion.
You see people heading endlessly to eternity, to a horizon, the horizon of faith. That faith which has single handedly set and maintained this country in motion.
At the end of the day you find a man with a black Tee with a tricolored Rubik’s cube and a small line stating “The united mysteries of India”.