Pune

Obviously an old city with a sprawl that has grown in recent years. Where the Jewelers is in the old part of town, you have to cross a very grey looking river, with detritus far below the bridge that carries cars, rickshaws and a separate span for the trains. The highlight are the kites circling catching the updrafts created by the disparity in temperature between the water and land. Then the spell of the old town is upon you. The streets narrow, twist and turn – it’s all twisty in the new part too, but much less so and the main thoroughfares are all in straight lines. The rickshaw drivers are experts, well the reliable ones are. The dizzying organization that Indians employ in traffic is at the same time terrifying and amusing. Each person in charge of a vehicle – vehicle handling is a good way to put it – has only to express an intent to occupy a space up to 6 inches ahead of them and this is a second by second negotiation. They know the size of their vehicle to the millimeter and then a few atoms beyond its boundary and drive as if they, their vehicles are also atoms collectively expanding and contracting as space and the solely advisory traffic signals will allow. That humanity can be so finely tuned, it is not chaos by any means, that human brains can operate at such a high capacity for such a simple task as moving A to B is astonishing leap forward in our development as a species. 

Tricia AmheiserComment