Meaningful Means of Transport
Some walking, some standing by way of ferry and some sitting by way of toto were my means of transport today.
To get to the local city, Navadvip (population 40 – 50 lakhs,) where I needed to pick up some supplies, you have to cross the holy Ganges River. The wetless way to go about it, is by purchasing a two rupee ticket with which you earn a ten minute boat ride to the other bank. The boat or ferry is a primitive-looking, gondola-like, rustic contraption with a motor that does the job.
I asked my friend Basudev, a Napalese native, what the sign in Bengali says that’s propped up in the middle of the ferry.
“This facility can reach maximum capacity at 250 passengers. Smoking and drinking prohibited.” That capacity was not reached on our passage. Many bicycles and rickshaws—with their personal operators—filled up the space. Some carried filled containers of milk which had cut straw, moulded inside, over top of the milk to keep it from splashing.
Usually on every ferry I’ve ever been on in the area, there’s always some passengers who carry japa mala (beads) for chanting. And that usually means they are loyal to Krishna. However, many folks in Bengal are goddess worshippers. Saraswati or Durga are honoured in the spring, as in now.
A toto means of transport is a battery-operated, quiet and environmentally-friendly carriage that gets you around. These I like.
Despite the presence of gout, it is now less painful and so I’m getting some walking in. Thanks to Keshava and Suniti for the excellent meal.
May the Source be with you!