holy streams

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Year 2012. It was Christmas day. My professional duties forced me to stay in India. It was the first time in my life I spent Christmas out of any family member company. At 7.30 am I was on the road to work – a journey that took about 1 hour through villages and roads that have not seen maintenance for ages – and asked the driver to do it slowly and take different ways because for me it was 25th December and although my duties forced me to say back my mind still didn’t accepted it and wanted to enjoy a ride through different villages and roads to get distracted with a different sightseeing. The pick-up came to a suddenly halt when I was looking at  my iPhone reading Merry Christmas messages from my family. The noise of the brake brote me to the reality of the road, we were on the entrance of a small bridge just outside a village, a bridge barely wide enough for two vehicles at the same time. A herd of cows were coming in the opposite way taking almost the whole bridge leaving only a gap the driver didn’t risk to take. When I ask him why not going slowly through the gap on the left side he look at me from the rear mirror and muttered; you don’t wish to risk your life, right? If I coincidently scratch one of these animals, he said, I might get in trouble but maybe I could manage if I would be alone. However if a religious radical sees you inside… he might assume I did it because you forced me with disregard for their creeds and believes…. it is better not to think of the eventual consequences, just remember you are in the country side. Then, I said, I will leave the pick-up and slowly walk over the bridge through the pedestrian narrow passage.

Middle of the bridge I stop to breath the scenario the river offered to me. The slim layer of fog still remaining  suspended over the water gave to the landscape a mystic value to the temple further down in the holly stream. I was strangely filled with emotional joy and despair at the same time, perhaps because it was Christmas… and although the view was fascinatingly beautiful I was still missing something or someone.

//jb2014