August 29, 2011
Having lasted twelve days, Anna Hazare’s fast is over, having reached some sort of compromise. I think some of his bill’s components are going to be added to Parliament’s version of the anti-corruption bill. Last night there was a candlelight celebration, at India Gate in Delhi, attended by thousands. I wish I could have been there. If the fast had lasted another day I would have gone to sit among the peaceful throngs.
I just finished dinner with Arti and Vitsan, Maneesh’s aunt and uncle. They are such wonderful, caring people. “Ratkaana kellyay shukriya!” (Thank you for dinner!) Dinner is made up of the words night + food, literally ‘food of the night.’
I visited a lot of places today. After settling in at the Arora’s house, I hopped on the metro to go to the market Delhi Haat for lunch. It was a bit too touristy for my taste, but the food was pretty good. Rice, a crispy chapatti, a very bamboo shoot curry, beans, dahl, and tomato and onion. Bon appetit. It is too touristy here, but at least it is quiet, a respite from the smell and fumes of the heavy trafficked-streets.
I’m not really interested in shopping, as anything I buy will feel like another millstone around my neck. Not only do I have to carry it home on the train, but having too much possessions is stressful, it starts to owns you. Before I moved out of the Campbell Club I went through all of my clothes and got rid of everything that I don’t wear. Not just things I don’t like, but things that I never wear. I gave all of them to St. Vincent DePauls. I don’t really miss them. I do have memories attached to certain articles, but what’s the point of it sitting in your closet when it could be put to good use by someone?
After Delhi Haat I took the metro to a mogul tomb, built in the 17th century. It cost 100 rupees to get in, so I just took photos from the outside and then kept moving.
Next I stopped at Haus Khaz, trying to find the artisan village. I got a bit lost until I saw a sign reading ‘Aurobindo Market’ which intrigued me. I perused the shops and then found a copy of Hindi for Beginners to fill my desire to know all the nerdy details of tenses and syntax. Did you know there are 400 million people who speak Hindi? Apparently the written language is very phonetically written. Perhaps I will learn to read a bit after all… As with most worthwhile endeavors, the effort of language is its own reward. Today I stopped to ask two uniformed schoolgirls for directions. I thanked them with a confident “shukriya!” to delighted giggles. Tomorrow I’m going on a whirlwind sightseeing bus tour. Photos will be back online!