With the darkness of night returns the unseen and the imagined. Again I am reminded that the bright temple I pass on the road stands for just one of the four religions born in India; that the cow that bows its head to eat from a bowl of greens left out for her is the embodiment of the marriage of Hinduism and Indian lifestyle; that most greeting and parting phrases invoke the name of a deity, though just whose name it is depends on the specific religion.
And now I wonder whether it is not all imagined, but just masked behind the coexistence of the ancient and the modern in everyday life here. The deep-set roots of this spiritualism do quietly pervade many aspects of life, I am certain. The difficulty, now, is to be able to see beyond what is apparent, and truly discover these underlying currents that have made India as we know it to be.
I replied, “Hare Krishna!” in a voice stronger and more fervent than I would have thought myself capable of a minute earlier. I was much obliged to man, for his spontaneous salutation immediately brightened my mood. I rounded the corner, and walked down the darkening lane to my home.
Sam Aldridge is a Rotary Exchange student from Milford. To read more from him, visit thebarodasagas.wordpress.com.