India: On the move

rajiv chowk

India is an enormous country with a population exceeding 1 billion and growing. Much as it is hard for human imagination to grasp the vastness and the diversity of what is better described as a continent rather than a country, everyday experience offers a good idea of the scale – of both the surface and the population size.

In New Delhi, one is at all times confronted with a moving sea of humanity: running or walking in all directions, pressing against one another, elbowing and pushing. One stroll in the streets of Delhi, one car journey or ride on the public transport and one is inclined to believe that all 1 billion Indians are on the move at the same time.

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India: Examining the Other

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I’m writing this sitting in a cab on a noisy, dusty road in New Delhi, India. I’m watching scenes of morning hustle and bustle pass by: rickshaw drivers zigzagging with confidence in the rush hour traffic, honking frantically; a man peeing directly into the gutter; a barber vigorously covering a customer’s face with white foam; a stray cow sniffing a pile of rubbish; a street vendor pouring cupfuls of steaming milky tea; a thin woman in a sari balancing a heavy load on her head; a homeless man sleeping with arms outstretched and face to the sun in the middle of a busy pavement.

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