Sometimes I forget this about India…

At the Wagah border with Pakistan

I love India for her so-called faults as much as anything else. I revel in my adopted country’s chaotic, imprecise, ad hoc, ecumenical, communal, fraternal, bureaucratic, inefficient, relaxed, whimsical, anything goes, nothing goes nature.

I can argue they’re not really faults at all. Yes, India has a load of problems. And, yes, some of them are exacerbated by the above characteristics.

But perhaps these character flaws, these rough edges — that’s what I’ll call them — may very well be completely, inevitably, undeniably unavoidable when you have 1.2 billion people trying sort out their lives, both individually and as a group.

There are plenty who will say India’s democracy is a sham, that it’s broken, that it’s a hoax, that it needs to go. I’ve said such things in passing and those are certainly arguable, if not truly defensible, viewpoints.

But whatever needs or doesn’t need to happen in India, we must remember she constitutes the biggest experiment in self governance and actualization in the history of sentience. To that alone, I say Jai Hind!

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City lights

Amritsar at night

A bustling night bazaar in Amritsar, yet away from the market, the city and countryside are pleasantly dark. India remains short on power and nights outside the major cities can be low-light affairs.

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Temple kabutar!

Pigeons!

My ongoing obsession with pigeons. These come from the Harmandir Sahib complex. It was a hot afternoon and pigeons need to drink, too.

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Chai, chai, garam chai, chai garam, garam chai…

Amritsari masala tea is dang fine

A charismatic chaiwallah whips up a batch with pomp and circumstance. Spicy with plenty of kali mirch and elaichi. Accha hei.

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Chalo bache, puja karo

Idhar aao beti

The Golden Temple is an all-ages pilgrimage site. And the kids are pretty damn cute. See below.

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Marching faithful

Prayer hip shot

Amritsar’s Harmandir Sahib — more commonly known as the Golden Temple — sees a steady stream of pilgrims who come to Sikhism’s holiest grounds to pray. It’s a nonstop flow of worshipers.

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Contemplating faith and beauty

Man and temple reflect

A man pauses at the Golden Temple, the Harmandir Sahib, in Amritsar. The beautiful complex of white marble, reflecting water, glistening gold and marching pilgrims is Sikhism’s holiest site and something stunning to behold.

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Kebab week, Vol. 7

Some like it hot

In honor and memory of the Khan Market Aap ki Khatir branch, this week I devote the blog to a series of kebab-wallah photos from a trip with friends to the Nizamuddin location.

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Kebab week, Vol. 6

Roti

In honor and memory of the Khan Market Aap ki Khatir branch, this week I devote the blog to a series of kebab-wallah photos from a trip with friends to the Nizamuddin location.

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Kebab week, vol. 5

Pyaaz

Every good kebab needs onions. Lots and lots of onions.

In honor and memory of the Khan Market Aap ki Khatir branch, this week I devote the blog to a series of kebab-wallah photos from a trip with friends to the Nizamuddin location.

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