This is a gate that neighbours the Rurban gate that I showed in the last photo. This belongs to a private owner. The land behind this gate may soon become 'Rurban' - the religious cult has been buying up all the land in the neighbourhood!
Rurban is my portmanteau word for rural-urban. This is a scene from the outskirts of Delhi. The gate you see is one of the many numbered gates of a religious cult that occupies kilometres of land just on the outskirts of Delhi. What do they do with all that land? Nothing but use it as parking space for the vehicles that come tri-annually carrying pilgrims! That's one aspect of Rurban.
The dog is indeed a faithful animal. This dog was leading the way. Is the dog a leader too? No, if you look at the human leaders. The human leaders bark a lot. They also lead from the front. But not the way this dog was doing. It was clearing the way for the cart. Clearing the way for the follower - that's what leadership is about. A leader should be a dog. Faithful.
The Planning Commission of India thinks a person in India can live on about $0.6 (in rural areas) or $0.7 (in cities). But look at what people in power are earning. Who drives India's economy? For whom, for what, are they driving it?
This is part of a report in today's [21 Sep 2011] Times of India . According to the report, the Planning Commission of India has recommended $0.7 (in cities) and $0.6 (in rural areas) as the cut off for determining the level of poverty in India. India is supposed to be the Superpower in 21st century. Who makes the rules of Superpowers? Who decides who is poor? Do you have a boss who sits in an air-conditioned room and gossips the whole day while he pays you Rs32 per day (the recommended rate?)
The Taj Mahal seen through the wall of the Agra Fort. Through the prison of the heart. For a historical story of mine related to the Mughals and their horrifying ways: http://matheikal.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/the-saga-of-a-warrior/
Baba Ramdev, Anna Hazare, thousands of their supporters (i.e., thousands of Indians) are demanding a corruption-free India, corruption-free politics in the country. How many of these thousands of Indians trying to save the country from corruption have paid bribes to get their job done? Is paying bribe an act of helplessness? Or is it an act of convenience? The above cartoon is from The Hindu [11 June 2011]. The Sunday Magazine of the same issue of The Hindu carries an article by Harsh Mander on the cover. Mander tells the story of a young DM who tried to rid his district of corruption. He faced staunch opposition from the politicians of all levels including the local sarpanches. Finally when he was about to win his war, he was transferred and all his efforts were scuttled. You can read Mander's article here: http://www.thehindu.com/arts/magazine/article2090149.ece Corruption is deeply rooted in the Indian psyche, in the collective unconscious of the country. That's why
When we climbed back to the top of the hill we were met by a young boy who offered us a peep at the Kanchenjunga Peak through his telescope. The charge was Rs10 per peep. I must add that his telescope was indeed of good quality; the glory of the Kanchenjunga came alive through its lenses. For the full text please log on to http://matheikal.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/mamata-in-action/
This is a view from the Darjeeling Railway Station The people of Darjeeling have been fighting for a separate state because the West Bengal government had been neglecting the Gorkha-populated regions for too long. Finally Mamata Banerjee, the new Chief Minister of the state, has signed a pact with the Gorkha leaders for some autonomy to the Gorkha regions. I hope to take a better picture of Darjeeling during my next visit. For the full text on this issue, please log on to: http://matheikal.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/mamata-in-action/
Cycles save energy - they don't use fossil fuels or any other fuel, except human energy. Cycling is a good exercise too. It builds up your energy. But these cycles belong to people who use them for travelling to their workplaces every day and back home. And then once a week they come to a place of worship riding the same cycles. Even if the religious service is in the dead of the night, after their whole day's tiresome work. Were the cyclists building up their muscles/energy? Cycles are toys for some!
Both these pictures were taken last night at about 11 o'clock. If you take a ride at night through the capital of the world's largest democracy, a country whose multi-billionaires are rising in number with generous assistance from the government in the form of tax exemptions and so on, you will find hundreds of homeless people sleeping on the roadside.
This morning [17 April 2011] the Bhatti village in New Delhi woke up to an overcast firmament. The clouds brought home a majestic guest, this peacock. It sat on the wall below my quarters giving me food for thought.