Some years ago, some youngsters were messing around on their motorbikes late at night on the empty Old Airport Road that passes several military compounds. When they were stopped by the police, they dismounted and scattered in all directions. One youngster leapt over a wall and into the garden of the local commander’s bungalow. When challenged by a guard, he kept running. The guard shot him dead.
One of the multitude of things that attracts me to India is that often one can see something which remains unchanged over many thousands of years alongside something that has only come into existence very recently.
There is no better place to experience this than on the open road. Bullock carts share the highway with the latest models of automobiles.
In market places, goods are weighed on scales if a design that would not have seemed unfamiliar to people many hundreds of years ago, but the merchant prepares a computerised bill.
You can talk to a scientist who is making ‘cutting edge’ discoveries. During a short conversation, this person will switch with great ease between modern and ancient concepts without any problems.
For me, one of the great joys of India is the seemless coexistence of the past and present in everyday life.