Life & Business

Indians are a spiritual people who feel, it seems to me, absolutely not material. I think they’re just not cheating on their heads: they’re sewing things fast, horribly, they’re probably thinking that if they tear up, something new will just happen. They build houses without cranes (although the houses are not very high, each of 4 to 7 floors): they build forests from bamboo and forward, manually …

Seeing what they were ironing in the laundries of the street, I honestly was shocked: it is a cast iron old cast iron, in which hot embers are deposited. Therefore, mainly caressed men. In homes, of course, they have electric irons, but as they explain, electricity is expensive and in laundries, it is necessary to iron a lot. That’s why they use old-fashioned coals, it’s cheaper.

Sewing machines, also antediluvian, installed in many stores, are immediately sewn. This is probably why everything is so poor.

It seems to me that Indians do not have an adverb “fast”, the verbs “hurry”, “be late”. They do everything slowly, quietly, with feeling (even if sometimes I can not say with what …). An American who lives here and has a home said, “Better not look at how they build, it’s better to see the end result.”

In particular, slowness and slowness manifested themselves in their workplace. To buy bottled water in the store, you can defend yourself for about 10 minutes without queuing at all. I say, “Water, please.” He looks at me, says something to his merchandise, discusses something, leaves, walks along the bench, speaks …

At first, I waited patiently for the turn to reach me, but I realized that it was useless. Then I scream from time to time “Sai ram!” To remind you that I’m still here and I still want water … Or maybe it’s a special revolt against our western haste …

In fact, such a slow, a little haste, I would say, a constant feeling, I learned them.

Quickly, they do only two things: they talk (with friends of the same dialect) and drive. Road traffic is just a song of some kind! They make a lot of bicycles and motorcycles, auto-rickshaws ( micromobiles with a roof without doors) are common and only in the ashram pedicabs (a tent for bicycles). Cars run, but they are very few per capita. Basically, all cars are small, narrow, so you can go on their narrow roads. And even the ladies drive on motorbikes!

Goods, products are transported in large and small trucks, as well as in trolleys, either manually (imported) or pulled by two oxen or buffaloes. The first – white with a bump on the back, and the second – gray or dark without a bump. The women always carry the load on their head: the bags are simply placed on the head and the baskets on a special support. Of course, it looks awesome!

The movement in India is left out. There are no rules of the road in Puttaparthi villages ! For this reason, on the roads and streets, all drivers honk constantly, that is to say about half a minute, the driver finds it useful to indicate what it is and be wary. The noise is indescribable. At what signals even early in the morning on empty roads, apparently just in case. Do not just honk inside the ashram, it’s strictly forbidden, you can not even call the bike. Often traffic on the left suddenly turns right, but after a while, everything stabilizes and sets in place.

From the road markings, I saw only a discontinuous strip of separation in the middle of the road with hammered reflective squares. Road signs have not been observed. I have not seen the traffic police either: if there are no rules, there is nothing to violate.

Cellular is not entirely clear. You can buy a cell phone number only informally. Officially, as I understand it, there is a profi – work certificate. In other words, not a word has been said about it on the Internet … Well, you come to a small shop, an Indian gives you a number that looks like him. A SIM card costs about 100 rupees. You can also deposit money on the account of the same Indian or any other vendor of cellular communications. They transfer money from their number to yours, taking a commission. That pay not only the tourists, but also the Indians themselves, on which the number is decorated quite officially.

There are no payment machines here, at least in Puttaparthi . On the purchased numbers constantly come SMS advertising and receive local calls with Indian music. All this looks very intrusive! Just like the peddlers of street vendors …

In general, the Indians in the shops located just in front of the ashram (mainly Kashmiri immigrants) focus of course on trade, income-producing, foreigners who lose money. Their behavior is very different from that of other Indians found in the streets of the city, where all institutions built by Sai Baba (stadium, schools, university, planetarium, etc.) begin.

Merchants I take photos at their request or without requests. A young man from their door fired in the light of God to photograph, so he was embarrassed, did not know what to do, how to behave. The next day, apparently grateful, he invited me to Raji’s Muslim party at his home! I was a little surprised, I had to refuse. The next day, the feast was visible in the streets: everyone was dressed in elegant clothes, mostly white, many shops were closed, people were agitated, cutting fruits, etc.

The boys, taking pictures of them, are at attention, in some adults, the faces become bluish, probably, they are afraid. When you observe it, it becomes funny: after all, they observe the same thing with us when we find ourselves in an unknown situation.

By the way, the stairs of their houses are often incredibly narrow, sometimes 50 cm high.I ask you how you get objects, furniture? He turns down a cable from above in the street and lift it in the air with a cable! In general, we have repeatedly raised the subject “The mind can not understand Russia”. It would seem that India, too, means, should be similar, but no, everyone is different … Even at the time they have their own “Indian”. For example, when she left, Dasha went to close the storage room. I go down in 20 minutes: she swears with Sevadals . He says that the storage room is open, but there is no responsible person and he is told: “He will probably come soon, it’s our special Indian time”. Although there should be no break at this time according to the baggage room schedule. Most likely, it meant either an extra break or something else, I did not go further,

In Puttaparthi , “business”, as locals say, is bad. After the death of Sai Baba, many foreigners who lived here for a long time or permanently packed their bags and left. There are very few foreigners who come for a moment: the ashram is half empty, if not empty (compared to previous years). So many merchants are already closing their stores and looking for other places. Those who have shops in Bangalore too, many are close, they say it’s expensive there. When, at the call of the merchant, people pass his shop, he wrings his hands and shouts that his business is over. On the one hand, it’s ridiculous, on the other – tragic.

I think for the same reason they are so boring. In the hope of attracting people, they immediately gather all the Russian words that know: “Hello!”, “How are you?”, “Thank you!”, “Come in, look! Just look, no need to buy !!! “,” Yesterday, you said you would come tomorrow, come in! “Once, I even heard” Hello! “and” Good afternoon! “. It is clear that such active harassment does not like, in my opinion, not a single stranger … Anyway, these Russian words with a haunting intonation on Indian soil seem simply obscene. I did not like him very much. I always replied in one word: “Sai Ram!”

In the evening, before the closing of the shops, the streets turn into garbage dumps: the waste of the stores are thrown directly in the street. All night, he is lying in the street and cracked by beggars, dogs, pigs and perhaps monkeys join … And it is only in the morning at 7 o’clock that “special” people sweep it: rake in baskets, as they bear fruit on the head take away. The dust is amazing.

And the yards of the houses are often strewn with debris all the time. You look like this from a window in a room, and there, the playground, probably intended for parking, is filled with debris … But curiously, with all this, there was no feeling of dirt, for fear of getting dirty, I’m not disgusting, not just at the ashram, the streets of the city went barefoot.

Motorcycle trip to Sri Lanka
Traveling in India on a motorcycle