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Thursday, November 24, 2011

India, day two

Delhi Day Two

I had a driver today. Nice guy. Not a lot of English and the day was one of those where I ran up against the wheedling again in full force. I know, I know, I know. I can just walk away (and in one instance I did, but mostly because I didn't have any cash on me...jeezis.)

Afterward, was The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Temple. Parts of it are quite lovely, but some of it is pretty kitschy. Photography is not allowed inside the temple itself, but the various recesses for Krishna, Ganesh, et al are actually quite beautiful. The kitschy part is the park with its animal statues and these machines which I didn't use, but that looked like the kind of thing that dispense fortunes for a couple of rupees. If anyone has any ideas what they are, let me know.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Krishna and Arjuna 1

Krishna and Arjuna 2

What is this mechanical wonder to the lower left?

So the day was full: after a quick ride through the Indian Parliament complex, I hung out at the Lodhi Garden which houses the last of the Lodhi Dynasty for all intents of purposes, one of the most magnificent mosques around and gardens replete with fantastic avian life.

Pics of Parliament:

Pics from the Lodhi Garden:

Bara Gumbad mosque

Bara Gumbad tomb 

Bara Gumbad mosque
There's also a lot of bird life in the gardens:

blue rock pigeon and house crow

closer up

feedin' time

green parakeet

common myna

I really didn't want see much more in Delhi. I would have been content to just sit in the garden all day and relax. But even that was interrupted with a guy asking for money; he was “fundraising for a school for blind children”. WTF (“Why the”, not “What the”) did I do it? I don't know. It's not generosity on my part; I really do think I have a guilty conscience. 

When we got back to the hotel, I paid my driver 500 rupees, and then my heart broke. He didn't ask for more, but he kept looking down. I was under the impression he was ashamed and didn't know or didn't want to ask, but I sensed that this man had much in his life that visibly seemed to be crushing him. I doubled the deal. A thousand rupees isn't much, by the way. But little amounts add up.

Hopefully, they add up for the recipients.

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