Monday, April 11, 2005

Notes from Delhi

As we were being introduced to Delhi, I pulled out my Palm and keyboard and began to type as I stared out the windows. Let's see if you can figure out my typing...

Monday- 3:51pm
sitting in traffic between new dehli and old dehli. Traffic has just increased and the people are ...we ll, almost eveywhere. There could be a few more. A back and while billboard reads "Ahead of the Times - Hindustan Times." We pass a large red 30' idol on the right. On our left we pass an auto ricskshaw taht has been turned over in the traffice. We are slowiing dwn for an intesectiona nd people are walking in andb wetweeen the vehicles and climbing up on running boards to catch a rdie. Newspaper peddlars race inside the stopped transporation busses to sell their wares and the horns honk constatly. Bro V says "you have no hrn in AMeraica, no? Here, we can drive without brake, but we cannot drive without horn." There were two children, unwqashed, playingon the streert. 5 feet away fromm them sat a grape merchant with his wagon of green grapes. "This is old dehli and these are Muslim women hiding their faces. " We are at a stolight and everyone is looking at the bus of Americas... We pass through the interviesw, and then slow down and move around an mox cart. But was a horse of types, ,not a ox. We're on a vbuasy stgreet filled with signs--advertising everything from flipslops to Noka cell phones. Readymade garments in Gauurav Fashion and the lcoal cinema. KEvin, the electrician of our group winces as Bro. V explains that all of these are live wires strung inches from everywhere. Auto rickshawas are numerous (all running on CNG fuel), but the bike rickshawas are becoming just as commonas we enter this district. The auto rickshaw sits next to us and I see a father movther, little girl, and toddler son on a wooden seat about 3' across. The Rang MAhal Hotel advertises an economicand comforabal stay, but something warns me that it definately isn't the place for naive American tourists to stay.

Bro. V is pointing out sites along the way. The Red Fort on oru right stretching farther than I can see through the conjestion. Bro. V lets us kow that the [slam on brakes for rickshaw] Red Palace was built by a Muslim king to defend the nation. HE also points out that we are russounded by mosques. On our left with golden spires, on our right wtih white spires, a brick mosque farther up weith square towers, farther in the distance with only their sillouettes available through the light costing of city smog. A parkingis to our right,--with 200+ motorbycycles. We pass a bike richshaw with it's driver laboring to power himself, the vehicle, and five young men down the street.

kI've taken quite a fewe pictures from the window today--some with flash and some without. It will be interesting to see which, if any, turn out. Bro. V explains that most people are Dehli for a job, but the caste system is not as strongly here. But still, you can gtell caste by people's names and you can aboid taht person. You will not haave a relationshjp with a person. So it is here. Bro. V tells that there people who hear the Gospel or rerad the Bible or hear about on TV, but they will not go to the church because they will be foreced to leagve their fillage or flee for their lives. Sometimes when our missionaries go into new areas, these people will come and say, I too belive in your God.

A little school boy, not more than 8, in his red checcked shirt and gray slacks runs down the road in front of us, dodging between cars, hi s packcpack boucing. He findss the bus that he wants and jumps on to the running board as it drives away.

I just passed a sign for the Linux competency cneter. The familiar penquin smiled at me from the sign. We change lanes to avoid five cows going the wrong way on our one day street. My typihng wass interruupted by a little girl banging on out window and begging for moneyh. Her right sleeve dangled empty by her side. Bro. V calls ou tht window to her--I don't understand the Hindi by I hear the word "school" school:"--and she runs back to a man on the sidewalk who is hawking cantelope. Bro. V explains taht her right arm is simply tucked inside her dress. Begging is her job. He offered to take her with jim,take her to a school, but she turned and ran back to the man who pays her to beg for him.

John turned to Tracy with the video camera and asked "What's youur thoughts, bro?" With eyes that threatened to tear, Tracy simply responded "I'm not sure yet."

We've left downtown and the street sellerss and are now surrounded by yet more cars (more of them private) and little green and yellow auto rickshaws.The horns, however, continue to blare.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. What you wrote really took me back. I could almost see and hear the things you were describing. Tracy's response to what you all were seeing really struck a chord. I remember not knowing what to think - and not sure how to react... just plain numb with every new experience. That feeling washed over me again just reading this entry. Thanks for sharing it. Makes me want to go back all the more!