Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Horn concerto

I'm in my hotel lobby (where I get wireless access) listening to a horn concerto, ie. horns of every description: car, motorcycle, bus, truck, bicycle, rickshaw? Some do these riffs, up a few quick notes, down again, or a repetitive tattoo, half note blasts, quarter note toots.  Do rickshaws have horns? I'm not sure, although I've found something peaceful about riding in them, autorickshaws, that is. I've seen bicycle rickshaws, too, but none pulled by human power, thank goodness. The rickshaw drivers are famous for taking you to markets you don't want to go to, but I've found if you're firm, they're great. I just came back from coffee (where I parted with my travel mates; they went to a market). I caught a rickshaw back with an old guy. We got stuck in traffic because of some kind of royalty (from Singapore? or was it Oprah who is in India for the Jaipur literary festival?) coming through in a cavalcade: loudspeakers clearing the road, horns blasting. Dogs, cows, goats, pedestrians and all of us had to move over and sit for a while. There in the back of the rickshaw, I could watch it all unfold.
Volunteer at Sikh temple
In spite of the noise, the chaos, I've felt peaceful here. I think I mentioned the feeling of surrender when I was younger and travelling in a wildly different place from what I knew. But yesterday as I actually listened on my ipod to a Mozart clarinet concerto, my dad's favourite piece of music, and the crazy traffic horns provided an accompaniment that made me laugh out loud (because they kind of matched), I tried to identify this peaceful feeling, different from that feeling of surrender. And I realized it's gratitude.

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