The original tree is long gone, no matter. Leaving footprints in this sanctum is a privilege, mine will be humble. For the longest time I wanted to visit Bodhgaya. It is arguably one of the holiest places on earth. Bodhgaya, you ask? In the sixth century BC, a man of noble decent sat down under a Bo tree near Bodhgaya, in present day Bihar. He became Enlightened. Ever since, the tree was called the Bodhi tree, or Tree of Enlightenment. When the man sat down his name was Siddharta, after rising up again, he went by the name of Buddha.
The crowd gathered after sunset for the sixth annual Delhi Jazz Festival. I don’t necessarily connect Jazz to India, but reality caught up with me before I even sat myself in the grass. A woooz of appreciation went through Nehru Park after ‘Dancing cheek to cheek’. Then the festival host addressed the audience with a humble request. Alcoholic beverages were strictly forbidden, yet I heard clinging of beers all around me and an occasional corkscrew plop. I wondered what was next. The lady with the mic perfectly conducted the audience with a compelling: “Ladies and gentlemen, please keep the decorum.”
A while ago I broke an egg into a bowl of flower to learn it had gone bad. Since that unfortunate egg, I invented the Indian egg test. Before use, I break an egg into a separate bowl now, to smell if it is usable at all. When in doubt, toss it out. Taught my children the smell test too. So now my daughter is preparing pancake batter: “How should an egg smell like?”, I ask “Should smell like egg”, she says. Me: “Wrong”. Lucie is puzzled for a moment. Then she remembers: “If it doesn’t smell like nothing, it ain’t good”.
The streets are crammed with traffic. Like Tetris, if you know what I mean, but in stead of blocks falling down, cars are overtaking you, left and right, navigating in the tiniest of spaces between your bumper and the next. Spaces you not knew would fit a car, or motorcycle. Or a bear foot wala selling slices of coconut. I hardly honk and still use my indicator (novice me), but then again, I was never an avid player of Tetris. Driving in Delhi is all about anticipating moves from other cars, even the ones they haven’t decided to make yet.
Was it a rickshaw involved in a car crash, or a car involved in a rickshaw crash? The fact of the matter is that on an intersection of Pansheel Marg, a personal vehicle and an auto-rickshaw collided with considerable speed. Both vehicles were dented upon impact. The rickshaw was a standard green and yellow livery model (see exhibit A) and the car was a blue Suzuki Maruti, model Celerio (see exhibit B). The evidence is ambiguous as to whom is the culprit in this accident, yet very conclusive which of the vehicles provides better odds of stepping away from the scene unharmed.