guestblog: India #4

Sitting in Heathrow airport on the way home from India, my travel companions and I tried to come up with our list of the Top 5 Adjectives to Describe India. Its near impossible to do. Come up with any word to describe the country, (say, impoverished, sacred, pristine…) and its antonym is equally true (opulent, propane, filthy…). The only word that we could all agree on is paradoxical.

That said, I do feel like I can easily say that Indians love to adorn things; their camels, their elephants, themselves (my students said that they couldn’t tell if I was a boy or a girl when I didn’t wear bangles AND earrings), and their vehicles. Trucks, taxis, motorcycles, bikes, auto rickshaw, cycles rickshaw, or the plain old fashioned running rickshaws, modes of transportation are decked out in India with om symbols, deities, black lights, flower garlands, dashboard shrines, painted hand-tool leather mud flaps or the obligatory hand-painted “Stop! Please OK” slogan on the bumper. While you’re stuck in Mumbai traffic with cars so close that you couldn’t possibly open your door to make a quick escape, you might as well have something to look at. –Sarah

{top images by Sarah Templin, bottom “signs” by Bruce Willen…with lots more India sets to explore!}

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