Tuesday, September 19, 2006

India Afterthoughts: The Streets

It's been almost a couple of weeks now since we returned from India. It's taken me this long to begin to absorb the experience.

India is a society that's both heading headlong into the 21st century, and retains a feel for its long and complicated past. I felt at times that the streets of Delhi, at least from my western point of view, seemed to be a chaotic mixture of several centuries of tradition and technology. Masses of people along with animals, bicycle pedicabs, motorized pedicabs, and modern vehicles (not to mention wild animals in the form of cows, yaks and assorted smaller creatures) form a constantly moving tapestry regardless of painted traffic lanes or any attempt at organizaiton. The roads are chaotic, but new flyover roads are being built to rise above the chaos. The wildly divergent architecture also ranged from the ancient to slick, futuristic office buildings. Malls are rising to serve the rapidly expanding middle class. I suspect that by mid-century the streets of Delhi could be largely unrecognizeable.

I think of the kids we worked with - next to indendence, this has to be the most exciting, promising time in their country's history - what a great time in which to grow up!

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