Monday, September 04, 2006

0.9 Rupees

Well, I wanted to get my 2-cents (0.9 rupees) in here since the title does include my name. First, though, I have to say that I am shocked and dismayed by the death of Steve Irwin, especially since he was killed while scuba diving! Can you imagine? - a stingray through the heart! But, man, of all the ways to go, you don't get much cooler than that! Although I hope my ultimate demise is in the distant future, I sure hope it is something groovy - maybe get eaten by a giant squid when I'm 92!
To Elizabeth's driving advice, I'd add my own. If a huge truck in front of you slams on the brakes, be cautious as you whip around to pass them on the left... you just might find yourself approaching the less fragrant side of a cow much faster than your two wheels can brake. I very nearly missed what would have been a tragic "rear-ending".
Also, I've travelled with so many tour groups on so many busses that I can't help but to stare and study everything I pass. I don't just glance at the temple facade, I try to peer inside and glimpse the priest and devotees. I often forget that I am on a motorcycle and this has caused some near misses and more than a couple wide-eyed looks from my wife on the scooter near me. We are in the final days of Ganesha Chawurti, a 10-day festival to venerate Ganesha. So, it is quite common to find myself in the middle of a darshan parade. This usually involves a flat-bed truck or even a farm tractor with a trailor hauling an 8-foot moulded clay image of Ganesha painted in bright pinks and reds. Generally, there are around a dozen exhuberant devotees of all generations aboard with drums and instruments and bells. Ganesha is adorned with fresh jasmine and marigolds and all the traffic slows to get a glimpse. The procession carries the group to lake where Ganesha is tossed into the water to remind the devotees of the emptiness of the idol and the pervasiveness of God's presence.
How could I possibly be attentive to my driving with all of that going on around me?!?

5 comments:

E(Liz)a(Beth) said...

Yeah, you do freak me out when I see that back tire spin out...your life flashed before my eyes...

The other Momma B said...

Ok, that's it! I believe I can speak for both mothers when I say "Enough with the motorcycle and scooter. The rest of your India road trip adventures have to be taken on roller skates...or maybe those sneakers with the rollers in the heels".

Jen said...

Glad to hear from you Brad! I love that they throw it in the water at the end. I think a lot of people completely misunderstand Hinduism as idol worship, I guess they never stay for the end of the parade to get the real meaning.

Mom (Bannon) said...

Ganesha n.Hinduism 1. the lord of the troops of inferior deities. 2.the Hindu god of success and wisdom, represented as a small, fat creature with the head of an elephant. (Jen, you made me curious enough to get out the Thorndike Barnhard World Book dictionary :)and I liked the end of the parade also.. ker splash..I had never stayed for the end before, and had no idea how they viewed idols either. A ten day parade to toss an idol in the lake should be self-explanatory..

Mom (Bannon) said...

but on the other hand 'venerate' means to "regard with deep respect,revere." so now I am still confused...