Sensory overload are the two words that best describes Pune. I wonder if the noise ever stops? Pune is very loud, horns honking and beeping, dogs barking, noise everywhere all day and all night, and the traffic is crazy! There are a few small cars, motor scooters, rickshaws, bicycles, and people going in all directions all the time. There seems to be no traffic rules, but there are traffic rules….I believe most participants just choose which ones best suit them. Oh, and people do not have the right-of-way! I’m getting pretty good at dodging everything to make it across the street. Every once in a while to add to the traffic, you will see a couple of pigs, cows, camels, goats, and even an elephant walking down the street. It really is total chaos, and always entertaining to observe. My typical “westernized” brain has a hard time computing it. Yet somehow, they seem to make it all work. Stray dogs are everywhere, which is sometimes sad to see as they don’t always appear well cared for. Once again I recognize that priorities are truly the possessions of those that live in the environment, and shouldn’t be judged by those just passing through. Pune has a high pollution problem, very dusty, yet there is a fragrance of spices that fills the air continuously. It’s monsoon season now so the rains (almost daily) help to clear some of the dust from the air. It has been raining a lot lately, and the streets fill with water quickly. I recommend rain boots if your visiting RIMYI during the monsoon season, because you’ll find yourself walking in muddy water puddles as the rain pounds the ground, and all while carrying heavy bags of groceries. Meantime, the crazy traffic and loud honking and beeping continues as you maneuver your way though the street, and once again you can’t help but think of how pampered you are back home. Yet in all this, no matter how worn down the house might be, or storefront, and no matter how noisy or crazy the surrounding environment is, there is always a beautiful altar present inside homes and stores for prayers, and you always see the children outside, climbing trees, and playing games…they know how to play.
Wednesday – Women’s Class with Geeta today, Back Bend Week. What can I say, she’s amazing.