Sunday, 12 September 2010


Ours is a country where the traditional and the modern, the mundane and the bizarre, the primitive and the contemporary, all co-exist side by side peacefully. Some of the examples are:

(1) A bullock cart demurely parked beside a Ford Icon at the traffic signal waiting for the lights to change,

(2) A trawler carrying rows and rows of mean machines snaking through the crowded roads and an arrogantly upright frost - free refrigerator on a thela gadi trudging side by side,

(3) A pretty girl perched on a rickshaw with the latest Nokia mobile phone glued to her ears talking incessantly,

(4) An SUV crammed with burqa clad figures swathed from head to toe and faces covered; pairs of kohl laced eyes the only visible body part scanning the cityscape eagerly,

(5) A figure in body hugging jeans prostrate before the deity in a temple,

(6) A young girl in a short top ringing the temple bell religiously while her naval stone winks in the sunlight,

(7) A boy with punky hairstyle and studs shining on earlobes devoutly murmuring a prayer from the "Hanumaan Chaalisa",

(8) A matronly traffic police woman in her neat uniform and shining boots flaunting a big sindoor bindi burning on her sun-tanned forehead - a symbol of marital bliss,

(9) An exact replica of a branded outfit being sold by a street hawker at half the price in front of the authorized show room of the same brand,

(10) A young girl in jeans and short top with head covered by the hijaab,

(11) A female DMRC guard checking the passengers with a hand scanner while the bangles on her wrist jingle with the rhythm of the movement,

(12) A rustic woman with her face covered by an arms length ghunghat staggering ten feet behind her husband in the moving metro,

Many more like this accumulated in mind's memory bank - snapshots clicked hurriedly through cursory glances while travelling - recorded here without malice just to share glimpses of a city characterized by paradoxes, contradictions, thesis and anti-thesis - a picture post-card of a society under transition.

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