Indians still selling Chai

HARARE - India is a cricket-crazy country and it would be extremely difficult to find a shop in the capital New Delhi that sells football paraphernalia.

Despite their conservatism, Indians want to have a good time and at night everything seems to come to a standstill in Delhi.

Like Zimbabweans, Indians are in the grip of an impending election that is threatening to boilover.

With the heat of the election, it seems life still goes on.

The Indians continue to sell spiced Chai tea on the streets and stream to mosques in long winding queues.
And the Indians have the liberty to freely discuss issues on national television and they, unlike us, agree to disagree in peace.  

A spate of rape cases has awoken a previously disadvantage and muted feminist movement and the country is on the edge as women take the fight to the State.

The whole world has watched unfolding disturbances and violent demonstrations in this rather conservative country as sexual abuses dominate discussions.

Women, who have been side-lined, are voicing their anger over continued and unabated rape incidents.

The Asian economic giant just like other third world countries is blighted by poverty. There is no middle class.

It is either you are rich or poor and the massive construction of flats going on may not benefit the ordinary Indian on the ground.

An advert screams: “An apartment at the price of a farm!”

One doubts whether the vendor at the Indian gate will be able to afford a farm or better still an apartment.

Given Zimbabwe’s crater-wrecked roads I could only marvel at India’s transport and in particular road network.

The public transport is still in working order and one can use the train to commute to and from work.
Indians love their motorcycles, they hoot at every turn and even their “Took took” (small mini cooper like models) are metered.

One can still use the chariot or rickshaw.

And you have to be an Indian to be able to stomach their food.

Indians like curry and they take it in spade-fulls. The food is hot and it takes some guts to go through a meal.

To them though, that spice bit makes their world go round, and their food tastier.

The advice from the restaurants: “Take it with a glass of juice and you are good to go.”
After all is said and done, bar the poverty, India is a magnificent country with beautiful cultured people who welcome strangers with open arms.

They have one of the biggest mosques in Asia that houses (according to officials) 20 000 people at one go.
There are 1 400 languages in India but English is the official medium of communication, while Hindi is spoken by the majority of the almost 1,3 billion population.

India’s history is usually traced back to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known fondly as Gandhi.
He was the pre-eminent leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India.

Employing non-violent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements across the country.

In India he was also called Bapu (“Father”) of the Nation; his birthday, October 2, is commemorated there as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and world-wide as the International Day of Non-Violence.

Asked to give a message to the people, he would respond: “My life is my message.”

A visit to this place is inspiring. It evokes feelings of the need to carry on with the struggle to free the world from totalitarianism, egoistic leaders and dictatorship in all its forms.

Equality and non-violence ring loud here. Many commentators have bemoaned the dearth of political leadership in Africa and blamed this for the poverty and deprivation that blights the mother continent.

The construction of the famous Taj Mahal began in 1632.

It all began in 1631 when Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal Empire’s period of greatest prosperity, was grief-stricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their 14th child, Gauhara Begum.

The Taj Mahal thus chronicles Shah Jahan’s grief, illustrating the love story traditionally held as an inspiration for Taj Mahal.

The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later.

Emperor Shah Jahan himself described the Taj in these words: “Should guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin."

Should a sinner make his way to this mansion?

All his past sins are to be washed away.

The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs; And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.

In this world this edifice has been made; To display thereby the creator’s glory.

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