Friday, 2 December 2011

This Indian City (and many like it) is brought to you by the letter . . . . H

Leaving Mumbai, my memories of it are forever linked to the letter H:

Heat - 30 degrees plus at 9.40pm? Yep! That's hot.

Humidity - to open long forgotten sweat glands and sink the heat deep into your bones, humidity of over 70% does the trick . . .

Honking - everywhere in India, honking is the default (watch out Dublin! I may exhibit aggressive tendencies on my return!)

'Have's - the 50 plus private jets parked on the apron as we landed (God knows how many more are stashed away in private hangars) is ample evidence of the affluence in Mombai

'Have not's - the shanty town at the edge of the runway (within sight of all those private jets) is an immediate reminder of the opposite end of the spectrum. Apparently it's the biggest slum in Asia (Slum Dog Millionaire was filmed there)

Haa! - the eternal 'Yes!' offered in response to every question: the culture stoutly resists saying "No" to any question ("Excuse me, can you tell me the way to XYZ?" "Haa!" (clueless! Delightful, but clueless!)

Henna - you may like it, I think it's ghastly - but very fashionable for women to stamp their bodies with ornate patterns using henna dye

Hairdryer - the feeling on your legs in the taxi - the same feeling when you stick your arm out the window to cool down (not!)

Hopeful - the look from every beggar asking for money or chipatis or rice - just to survive

Hilarious - sitting in the back of a speeding Classic Ambassador taxi with no lights, no side mirror, no reason for surviving the mayhem of the city - and living to tell the tale

Hawking - the inevitable body response to omnipresent pollution. India has to have the worst incidence of pulmonary disease in the world?

H(B)ollywood (ok I am cheating a little with this H) - well, Bollywood! What can I say?

Hindu - the ancient religion that boasts 33,000 or three million Gods depending on your personal preference

Hysterical - the feeling you get wondering how you ended up visiting this country of such contradictions

Helpless - the occasional sense of despair you feel when you consider all the poor, starving, illiterate people who simply don't have a chance (as we would think of 'a chance')

Happy - The crazy sense you get that, notwithstanding all the deprivation, people are remarkably resilient and, perhaps, even happy?

What a country!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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