Friday, February 6, 2015

Morning In Delhi

It is the time of day I so love most.  The promise of sunrise faintly glimmering on the horizon.  The atmosphere still and cool though the air of Delhi seems to be permanently tainted by a dull dirty haze.

I am staying near Central Park, Or at least New Delhi's version of it.  A long steel fence surrounds it and you have to walk some distance to find a gate to let you in.  A small group of scruffy man stood next to a little shack.  A bedraggled security check point I believe.  A metal screener stood off to one side ignored by the chatting men wrapped up in shawls.  They paid no attention to me as I walked in.  Signs said no pictures.

A giant Indian flag hangs limp.  The wind has yet to rise the city still slumbers.

In the middle of the park are many many signs asking park goers not to spit.  On the way into the park I could hear the shuffling steps of a man behind me.  Then the conspicuous sound of a throat gathering a load of phlegm.  Followed immediately by a roaring discharge onto the sidewalk.

The peculiar mix of the divine and the worldly I always find mysterious.  The goddess of beauty Lakshmi juxtaposed with an old hanging tire.

Some of the earliest ones to wake are the crows.  Their voices still a little timid in the morning coolness.

I learn over my coffee that it is a special day in Delhi.  There are I believe municipal elections.  The polls are open starting at 8am and close again at 6pm.  The television is filled with the excitement of it all.

You cannot drink alcohol on a voting day.  Security is tightened, or at least so they say across the city.  The faces on the screen as sincere and as well meaning as anyone who has ever stood in front of a camera and had important things to say.

But just outside the Radisson hotel, security and voting is not so important, or so it would seem.  In the still dimness a dog sleeps and a shape lies on the sidewalk under a slim blanket close by.  Both beings waiting for the sun to rise and to find purpose on this Saturday morning in Delhi.

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