All cab drivers in India pull over at some point in the day to have their chai—tea. It’s better than beer. Our winger vehicle could hold eleven of us, members of our drama troupe, and after being in motion, the roadside gas station provided the driver with his needs and all passengers with theirs. I took advantage of the dabs (coconuts) for sale.
“I’ll get you one,” said Pariksit. “I still owe you one according to your sponsor, Kaustuba from Ohio.”
Once done, I informed Pariksit that I was going walking down the road. “Have the driver pick me up!”
For that one-and-a-half-kilometer stretch of the highway toward the Kolkata Airport, I saw so much more than I would as a passenger. I greeted people and they in return got back with that iconic side-to-side head toss. For females, it’s simply, “Hare Krishna,” but the ratio of visible women in outdoor India is small compared to their counterparts.
I could see the industrious nature of the people (a compliment), happily hard at work. Farmers at labour had their feet sunk into the stagnant waters of rice paddy fields and merchants in stalls along the way engaged in merchandising, chatting for minutes more than a sale requires. A Durga temple and smells of all kinds were featured in the stroll I took, along with the dust and cars I had to contend with.
The walk was beautiful.
May the Source be with you!