I've been cooped up at home, dealing with the side-effects of my new medicines, one of which is feeling totally spaced out. As a result, I haven't driven my dear little car for about a month. So for yesterday's visit to the doctor, I travelled by auto-rickshaw, and that gave me the opportunity to look around me as I went to the doctor's and back. Not just see, but LOOK. And that gave me a lovely little bunch of snippets. Kind of like picking wildflowers, except that this is India, and the pickings are, well, Indian.
I read some interesting signs and graffiti:
"Waterproofing the nation since 1955" (proudly displayed above a small and rather nondescript establishment)
"MINDBLOGGING OFFER!" (on a shop that sold car accessories)
"We needs a republic in Nepal" (a thin sad scrawl on a wall)
I smelt some interesting smells:
The sweetness of pastries as I passed a bakery.
Somewhat disturbing and hugely overpowering odour of alcohol as I sat in the doctor's waiting room. Brought back memories of vodka.
Cigarette smoke (always delicious but not so pleasing when I am stuck in a waiting room and daren't pop out for a fag in case my turn comes up while I'm out).
Stale urine as I walked down to a bookshop after I finished with the doctor (pretty standard in this nation of men with small bladders and bad toilet training. I'm learning not to walk too close to the wall-end of pavements. )
I saw some interesting people:
A little old lady seated pillion on a scooter, resting her head on the broad shoulders of her brawny son, at a traffic light.
A Hindu priest, robed in brilliant saffron, beard, beads and all, with a nice suede pair of loafers on his feet (no socks).
Children (well, they're just plain interesting no matter what they do).
Why I am sharing this on my blog, I'm not sure. Perhaps to point out that life, even the mundane parts of it, doesn't have to be boring. And to remind myself that inspite of the inconvenience, bumpiness and pollution I encounter in an auto rickshaw - as opposed to driving myself comfortably in an air-conditioned car) - there are silver linings everywhere.
The side effects of my medicines should wear off in a few more days, and I'll soon be back to zipping around everywhere in my car. Or will I? Perhaps I should be taking an auto rickshaw once in a while, just to capture some of what I'd miss when I'm at the wheel.
I've just realised why I'm putting all this on my blog. If I'd been out picking wildflowers, I'd have come home and put them in a bowl of water, to enjoy for longer.