Monday, January 6, 2014

India Street Scenes - Part 1

A picture can be more powerful than any words I can add, so I will share a few pictures I've taken, mostly from the car as we are driving along.  Sometimes Ravi drives, but most of the time Vignesh drives.  Vignesh is a soft-spoken young man, usually smiling.  He was married last May and is expecting his first child this spring.  He is skilled at what is a very challenging job - finding his way safely through this chaotic traffic.

Vignesh takes us safely where we need to go and helps us when we get there. He is worth his weight in gold!

A group of about 12, mostly students, from Denison, arrive tomorrow for a one week seminar, so everyone is busy preparing.  I will be doing some traveling with Barbara, a professor from Denison who began her one month stay here just before Christmas.  This will be our first time venturing away from the comfortable, safe home that Ravi and Sheela are providing for us.  We will be gone about 10 days, visiting Pondicherry, Tiruvannamalai, and Trichey.  We will be visiting ashrams, alternate communities and temples, and finding our way on our own.  Even so, this is a baby step because Ravi has helped us arrange our transportation and lodging.  I hope to be able to report from the road.

All I'm sharing with you so far are sense impressions.  I still don't know what I think and feel about all this.  I can tell you this much.  I am definitely glad I am here and I believe I have a lot to learn from this experience.  

Motorcycles and bicycles are common modes of transportation.  Most women are wearing saris, even on bicycles.

Whole families ride on motorcycles, and it isn't unusual to see a mother holding onto an infant.

Auto rickshaws are another common form of transportation.  Usually they are more crowded than this one.  We plan to give one a try soon.

   Traveling in style.

It really requires a video to give you a sense of how quickly all this traffic moves, how close vehicles come to each other, and how many horns are blaring all at once.

Most sidewalks, when there are sidewalks, are filled with vendors of all kinds.

Shoes?  Who needs shoes?

Crossing the street can be a real challenge.

Both these girls look like they can nap almost anywhere!

Helmets are required for motorcycle drivers but not for passengers.  And as with all other traffic laws here, this one is ignored.

These women were working in their saris with orange vests over top.  A very dusty job.

With no sidewalks most places, the streets must also accommodate pedestrian traffic.

And the occasional bovine visitor as well.

There are beautiful sights to be seen along the way.

1 comment:

  1. WOW!!! What an informative blog! GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY does indeed tell it with impressive detail! But your narrative with each picture is equally impressive so that we can know what the picture shows us! Good luck on your 10 day trip! We will be watching for more pictures of what you experience...and more of your commentary on what you think of what you see.