Monday, 1 March 2010

Communal Bads

and a few days ago i wrote that my defining image of India so far was


Four saffron-clad holymen

crammed into the back of a

shiny new rickshaw


beeping parping and blasting its

loud horn

while impatiently, maniacally

edging thrusting inching

through the

thickly milling market throng



By which i mean that

no matter what the thoughts

The beauties

Of those holy-men

those Yogis and Saddhus

Those thoughts mean nothing right now because they are

being steered by that great impatience

Have surrendered themselves to the

Unchangeable process

The time-worn inevitable of the obnoxious driving

They are, no matter what they think or

Teach or

Believe or

Profess or


as crappy a thing on the road as anything else

And it plainly hasn’t occurred to them to

stop their driver from the hyper-impatient blasting

Because the hyper-impatient blasting has been going on forever


And this is yet more of this country of good intentions and communal bads


The communal bad

Well you’ve heard of the communal good… well here, you get a strong sense of the communal bad

Like in, say, Montreal in June, when its very hot, all the aircon in the homes and businesses makes the heat in the city that much worse… so those who can afford the cool make the city worse for everyone else… and that, i might aver, is a communal bad

And here the painted adverts… for hotels and cafes… are near useless … because there are many adverts for places which don’t exist anymore… and many of the adverts have arrows pointing along the ghats, or up steps, or through archways and doorways,… yet many of these place are kilometres away and would take half an hour or more to get to… which, as many of them are no longer there, means no-one would never try to follow them… means they are useless… so they might work as reminders should you happen to walk past one of them, though as many are actually off the beaten track, you never are going to randomly chance upon them… So what I’m saying is… that indiscriminate and unthought-through signs … and the fact nothing is ever taken down or painted over… makes advertising useless… those people who have done it so poorly have ruined it for everyone else who might try… and this is yet another communal bad…

And this whole country is full of so many communal bads… so many overlaying bad habits… the driving the shitting the emptying of rubbish anywhere the horns the goats the adverts the unfinished buildings the roads

Despite which, everything gets by, everyone makes do, much of what people want is gettable doable liveable the land of fudge and bodge they are used to making do, getting by

And there is a charm in the rulelessness...

And all this a product of what?... of deep poverty and big numbers ... so many people so long in such close proximity has dragged everything down and it is proving extremely hard to drag it up


Poverty and numbers...

and by up i mean



less time consuming

less poor



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