5 – The wedding
I was so excited! I took a shower and put on my indian dress on. Makeup, perfumes and I am good to go. The heat was just unbearable… Far away from the distance I heard the drums! „It is starting now” – my friend remarked – „Are you ready?”. Of course I was ready! I took my camera and off we went. The people were gathering next to the bridge, which was leading straight to the beach – the ceremony was meant to take place over there. The groom was wearing elegant pink turban and the rest of male part family from his side – the orange ones. According to the tradition the wedding starts with dance procession of all guest of the groom to the wedding place. After the groom, the bride to be arrives with her family and of course in the rhythm of the drum music.
When we arrived at the beach the sun was setting down. Two, three minutes… we were waiting for the bride to come. I heard the woman whispering to her friend: „Seriously… To begin marriage with being late to her own wedding! Nothing good will come out of it.” However, despite a bit late start the wedding was more than beautiful and the young couple was full of happiness.
After the wedding and some photos we set of for the party! I could write pages on what was happening in Goa that night. In summary: the amazing food, live music, dances till late night and the great final on the beach somewhen between 3am-4am. It was a memorable night and I am sure everybody was happy despite bride being late at the beginning 🙂
6 – Holy cows
I did not know how to pass by. The street was jammed with cows on right hand side and the big pile of junk of the other. In between both there where cow’s excrements. Well, I think it is the time when I change my route – I though.
There two aspects of the cows existence in India. For majority of the society there are the holy animals, they are worshipped and treated with respect and adoration. However, most of cows I met on my way were eating the trash from the street, they were skinny and looked pretty sick. I could not understand how it is possible – such a beloved animal was actually poor and underfed. But so were the people…
Travelling teaches you understanding the world – not judging, but accepting the culture you meet and explore!
7 – Love
We came out of the metro station only to find ourselves lost in the jungle of people. Old Delhi station was packed with the businessman coming back from work, physical workers, stall keepers hurrying to the market and children coming back from school. Soon we lost a track of each other. Suddenly I spotted that woman. It was something special in her eyes – big pain but also peace! She was lying on the cardboard surrounded by the trash, stray dogs and food leftovers. Next to her there was her husband – holding her hand, stroking her head… So much love in the middle of such a big city.
8 – Religion
The air was tensed with anticipation. People were gathering slowly in the temple, leaving shoes outside, with flowers, fruit and sweets they run to the main part of the building. Suddenly I heard the bell ring, drums and the people moved! „They are opening the gate. Come on! Quickly!”. We run with the rest of the crowd. Everyone was heading with the offerings to the orange statue of the monkey god, everyone was focused, tensed, full of religious passion – the brahmins dressed in white were jumping with excitement. I had never seen such an engagement, such a faith!
My friend once told: „The Europe is scared of immigrants because it lacks its own identity. In India there are christians, muslims, hindus, sikhs, jain and many, many other religions – nobody is scared of the mutual differences, because everybody has its own unique identity, tradition. Europe does not have much values and it loses their culture as well, that is why the immigrants are dangerous for the european people”. It is hard not to agree with this opinion.
9 – Contrasts
The were speeding in the taxi straight from our district to the Mumbai’s downtown area. We were passing by the slums slowly waking up in the morning. Tiny houses with dozens of people trying to squeeze in – all it was behind the glass of our car. A bit unreal world for me, such a real world for all those people living in such conditions. „Look! Do you see this skyscraper over there?” I saw it! A big, massive building, about twenty floors was easy to be spotted even from far away. Apparently there were only four people living in the building, apart from the housekeeping staff and the people hired to take care of the gym, swimming pool etc. It was a house of only one family – the richest family in India! The skyscraper! Seriously…? I looked at the building and the slums still visible from the distance – I bet they must be seeing them from their windows…
That was the beginning of our walk in Mumbai. It was pretty incredible because it included all of the places connected with my friend’s youth. As such we visited his university, the building where he had rehearsals with his choir, we sang together in the cathedral and I also saw the shop where Schel bought his first… cassette! It was such a joy and I think for both sides!
However, despite all happiness and nice memories of my companion, I just couldn’t forget pictures from the morning drive. The contrasts in Mumbai were just horrendous. We were going the nice and tidy street, everywhere there were beautiful houses, however when you looked at the street – total poverty… The silver limousine was chased by the cows, stray dogs and tuktuk drivers without shoes. While going to the train we passed businessman, scouts heading for their gathering, but we also saw how the whole family was living in the pile of rubbish – children playing around in their dirty clothes.
However, the children were laughing and the eyes of their parents were full of love. Mumbai, same as the whole India, is both a bit depressing but also full of underneath joy and peace.
Author: Joanna Zubkow