The Birthday Pocket-Pick at the Temple.


On a special day, to Kalka Mandir temple for a birthday blessing, feeling generous, to give to the beggars outside, share a good day with them. More than beggars watching the wallet taken out, a few rupees given, eyes on the wallet and its pocket, a lapse in concentration in the crush outside the temple. Feeling hands touching, go to buy a sweet offering to be blessed…wallet gone. Of all places outside a wonderful temple, one of the oldest and most revered, one of the oldest crimes, pick-pocketing, twice in a few days. Lesson learned, feeling stupid, annoyed with self, no happy birthday just a lesson on giving. Hope somebody really needed, poor family to feed, but most probably just a bad person, a gunda.

As folklore in India says, something owed to person in a past life has been given back.


Day 27 – High Street.

High Street

Its the main street, it has a market, it has many markets, fish market, chicken market, goat market, ladder market, clothes market, street food market, and the fruit and vegetable market, Govind Puri High Street.
Lively, choiceful, fresh, to the extent live chickens will be butchered for you as you wait, fresh to the extent some fish is still live and there is no smell, fresh to the extent the veg is ripe and full and gloriously colourful and so tasteful. No supermarket blandness here. Fast food freshly prepared, healthy and safe to eat. Everything needed for living in one High Street.
Before long, the laws changing, big Western supermarkets soon to come, Tesco and Walmart biting at the heals of politicians, tradition replaced. High Street may disappear, livelihoods gone, vibrancy gone, diversity gone, taste, flavour, quality, choice, what else? Gone.
Watch out Delhi, lessons learned by big business, not learnt by small business or everyday shopper, the empty shops and blandness of British High Streets may come, hope may appear, the same campaigns, the same great spirit, the same imagination to bring people back, to recreate tradition, to create new ones and make vibrant once again. Repeated in another corner of the world. It is a hope, Govind Puri High Street will not disappear, will not go the same way as many, will not become victim to mass, uniform profit. Bedford, England, this weekend, shows how if the unthinkable happens there is hope for Goving Puri, India. Not just hope but success.