January 23, 2009

Road to Grandma's

No!, I argue frantically with the auto driver. 40 bucks is hell lotta money. It was 30 last week. This is not fair... Come on... He shrugs and says, I'll drop you off at the bus stop near the place. Then you can walk. I need to eat too. I mumble under my breath the entire trip of ten minutes, hugging my knapsack close to me. Here, stop near this temple I say, and get off. I don't tip. I would have, but he was a mean, greedy person. I hoist my bag on my shoulders and walk past the small temple. There is a lone man standing outside, praying. He had both his hands above his head in a respectful gesture and seemed oblivious to the world. He had lots of oil on his hair and it was neatly brushed back, the red dot on his forehead mingling with his sweat. The temple was at a crossroads, and he was standing in the middle of the narrow street. I tried to siddle past, but I caught his attention. He stopped mid-prayer and let out a long whistle, craning his head to look at me as I walked past. Come on, I'm not THAT hot.

I was about to turn around and let him have a piece of my mind, mostly on the sanctity of worship, when there broke out a cacophony.The chickens from the butcher shop on the opposite side of the road had gotten out of their old, rusted box and were running up and down the road. The butcher and his boy started running too, the boy mostly for the fun of it. One chicken ran up to me and started nibbling at my shoes. Another started to shit about two feet away. I walked away fast.

I passed the church. I have come here several times with Grandma. It'a a quiet and unpretentious place. I don't stop though. It was a long journey and I'm almost there. I turn the bend and almost get knocked over by a cow. It was shitting too. Pang in the middle of the road. What is it about my country and animals shitting in the middle of the road. Indians abroad always laugh at the question frequently asked to them, "Do cows run on the road over there?" and they answer with an indignant "No!". In a way, that is true. The cows don't exactly run, they jus loll about, chillin'. Sometimes they have conferences too, mostly on highways. Funny as hell, except when you're in a hurry. We are a cow country. And big on chicken too.

The old Christian Mission school comes up on the left. It used to be a big deal once, funded by a lot of white people from Europe and the Americas. You were cool if you went there. That was two generations ago, though. Now, most of those people are dead, and their children couldn't care less, what with recession and mortgages and all. The only kids who go there now are either too broke, too high or too retarded to care. The board announcing the school's name is so rusted, you can't read it. I let out a sigh. There are lot of things I'd change if I had the money.

I reach the gate of my grandma's house. It's always been "grandma's", though grandpa lives there too. Dunno why. I say hello and walk straight to the fridge and drink a lot of cranberry juice. It's supposed to be good for her cancer. It's nice to be here again.


Chriz said...

things you see in your walk... told in a nutty way.. i dont see any cow or chicken on the road here

Anonymous said...

Do you live in India? cuz if u do, then of course you'll see them. Unless ur so used to them that u dont' really look.

Chriz said...

i eat them... but no i dont live in india.. nri

Emily said...

i love your writing style. it's very raw and unique :]

hope you're having a great weekend!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I hope u are too... :)

Anonymous said...

That was a quite the adventurous and engaging read. The permeation of chicken and cows was really delineated in the combination of them interrupting highways and your response to the man whistling at you.

To respond to what you put on my blog: yes it was a difficult time when Bush was in, but it's kind of hard to sympathize with him when he's one of the main reasons that the time was difficult. People are SO against Bush because he did the best he could to stuff his and and his corporate interests' pockets, economically and socially abusing his own nation in the process.

Kid Dork said...

A nice piece, Crow. Applause from the other side of the world.

Here in Canada the only thing we have to fear on the roads are snowdrifts, falling icicles and the occasional dire wolf.

mania said...

oh here in Pakistan, instead of cows, buffaloes do such nasty things on roads and almost forgetting about where they are heading to. Hence, blocking the road.

Today, I visited a nearby village and there people are staring at me with such expressions that they never have seen a girl in their whole life.

Great post, crow.
what is your real name?

Love from the other side of the border,

Anonymous said...

My real name? That remains a secret to hide my identity from my enemies, and i have several of those, waiting to capture me and subject me to all sorts of unpleasant things LOL. Yup, they stare at women here too. Even pre-puberty girls. Disgusting.

mania said...

I have got some pics of buffaloes walking on the road. wait. I'll upload them soon.

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