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INDIA | Sunday, 2 March 2008 | Views [532]

India has a keen ability of challenging every established thought and opinion of the world and this existence - no matter how inconsequential or small that perception may seem.  At times it's utterly maddening, other moments it's the most beautiful gift.  Sometimes it happens to me when I come across one of the infinite shrines dedicated to one of the 300 million and some Hindu gods and incarnations.  It often happens when my heart meets my feet as I fight an impulse to avoid eye contact with a polio-stricken beggar.  It's in the smells: spices, incense, marigolds, shit, dust, tea, fumes, smoke, so many unnameable fragrances.  It's in the colors.  It's in the sounds: high-pitched female vocals, rapid tablas, horns (endless fricken beeping horns), sweeping, chattering, the wind close at your ear, the wind far away in a palm tree, peddlers touting their goods.  Everything about this place is acute and unabashed.  It's easy to esteem it as mysterious and profound, because it certainly seems that way to me.  But that's just another perception.  Nevertheless this place, so crammed with countless languages, tastes, cultures, and beliefs, has a way of helping me access a space that is unfiltered, a space that is just observance.  Then it's gone. 

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