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Saturday, September 25, 2010

The village

    The light turned green and I began my journey once more. The rush hour rush was just horrible today and I really did not know if I will be able to reach my home on time. I began to wonder why I even bothered to get out of the house today. The stop and go traffic was driving me nuts and the vehicular pollution making me dizzy. I pulled off to one side as the start/stop traffic was getting on my nerves and decided to wait it out. I called home and told them about the mess and where I was stuck

    A huge Neem tree some distance away caught my eye. It was an old one and if it could talk, it might have a tale or two to tell the passerby. I looked at it with envy wondering how much my life would be different if I could leave all this behind and live in a house in the country side where there are no trappings of modern life. I walked under it and felt many degrees cooler instantly. I wanted to climb it and reach the very top, but my sore body just didn’t want to do it.

    The village off to one side looked quiet deserted as all the folks except the elderly had gone off to work. It was one of those colonies where laborers, fruit and vegetable vendors reside. A man on a bicycle wound his way through the dirt tracks selling pink colored cotton candy to anyone who was interested. Off to one side, kids could be seen swimming in an algae coated pond while the water buffalos lazily floated through a patch of water lilies. Endless green fields stretched from one horizon to the next and I wondered how long it would take to cover this distance and what lies beyond.

    Someone opened a door as I heard the wind chimes twinkle and the sounds of little kids as they ran down the dirt track to buy a snow cone from an ice cream seller who was riding past and jingling the bells on his cart. I got out of the car, wandered down the slope to see if I could shake the bone deep weariness out of my body.

    First stop was the hand pump located at the edge of the village. It took some effort to bring the water up and I wondered how silly I looked pumping the handle. After quenching my thirst with the ice cold water, I headed off to the temple just around the bend. Its boundary gate was still open and I wandered in looking to see if I could find some solace for my stressed out life. It was a small one with just one deity inside, yet the Peepal tree inside the temple compound offered me the shade to relax and meditate/reflect on the past events. The old temple priest was fast asleep on a cot under the same tree unmindful of the crows which was going caw caw on a tree branch on top of him.

    The shrill cry of the encircling hawks far above was probably the reason why the crows were acting the way they were. They were on the hunt for some prey and kept going round and round for a great length of time. Time flew by and it was getting late. The priest had woken up from his slumber and went off to take a bath and a change of clothes. The evening prayers were due shortly, so he’ll be back shortly. I took my leave shortly after and went back to my car to see what the situation was. The traffic mess had cleared up to a great extent and the fruit/vegetable vendors were starting to set up road side stall on each side of the road. It was time to make a move before I got blocked in.

    The remaining journey was uneventful. The main cause for this traffic mess was evident a few kilometers down the road. There was some huge pipes being laid and a portion of the road was dug up for it. Therefore, there was only a single lane access to both incoming and outgoing traffic. I was many hours late yet I liked this diversion. I had seen many new sights which are usually hidden from urban life and I absolutely loved this experience. Getting lost and diverted can be an enjoyable experience at times and one should savor every moment that life throws at us.