Of drums and elephants

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The wedding party breaks up

On a recent evening while I was transcribing in my room, drums exploded outside my window (hit play above). They echoed through the neighborhood here at Tutti Chowk, Paharganj, and by the time I got down to the street, what I believe was a marriage procession had turned down enough alleys that I couldn’t find the drum gang and only heard the banging in the distance.

After a few minutes, the drums disappeared entirely, but the painted elephant convoy, marching through a crowded night market a few hours later was evidence it must have been a good party.

The mahouts (elephant drivers) were barely paying attention as the beasts lumbered along on their own. Tourists took photos and even Indians, who are far more used to this sort of thing, gawked a bit.

There was a brief altercation with an impatient rickshawwallah who insisted on cycling past despite the crowds and the animals’ girth. The elephants won that battle easily.

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