India is such a big and diverse country. I had seen so many “unusual” sites on the Travel Channel; the temple of the Rats where the pious let rats climb all over them and if one bites you it’s good luck (hope you have your rabies shots). I have seen some crazy paint wars and other unusual things. But, when I arrived in India, I never could get over some of the crazy representations of the different Indian Gods. The blue girl with the long tongue & the elephant headed God are unusual, but what’s up with the decapitated foe in the one photo? We’ll get back to that later… I came across this unusual man and his “following” of spiritual “groupies” that watched and adored his every move. This guy was playing with mercury. Yes, I’m talking the dangerous heavy metal. If you look on the small white saucer, you can see about a half pound of the stuff. I remember reading that just inhaling mercury fumes can give you brain damage. I looked on with morbid curiosity as this man played with the mercury with his bare hands. He took tree sap and rolled the mercury into it. He rolled and rolled until the mercury and the tree sap gelled into a large metallic drop. It looked like a metal bugger that the Terminator would sneeze. He held up his creation and offered to hand it to me. I refused and probably stepped back in fear. All of his “worshipers” looked to him for his reaction. He laughed at me as though I was a scared child and popped the mercury bugger into his mouth. His rag-tag band of followers applauded with wide smiles on their faces. Apparently this man attached these mercury buggers to leather straps and sells them as necklaces. Thanks no, I don’t need cancerous-child deforming heavy metal buggers around my neck. He said, “Big power! Big power!” as he held up his metalic-nasal creation urging me to handle it. “Thanks no, I’ll pass.” His “followers” looked at me as though I were some pansy-ass and snickered and sneered. “Hmm,” I thought, “Well, at least my kid won’t be born with 3 eyes…”
Yes, the cows are everywhere. But, what is more entertaining than the “Holy Cow” is watching the dog and pigs come out after dark and clean the streets. This cow seems to be watching the dog’s handiwork as they clean up the mess that he’s made…
What can I say for this photo? It’s cute; the puppies are waiting for this nice Indian man to finish clearing the dishes so that they can “clean up.” If this was China, the man would have a stick and a rope and would either whack the dogs for immediate dinner, or lasso them for later… Enjoy your luck my Indian K9 friends and be thankful that you don’t live about 900 miles to the east…
Ok, back to the first photo. Am I crazy for saying that the first photo was a bit freaky? I’ll let you be the judge. Check out the video below and realize that these are wall calendars for Children’s rooms. Think back to when you were 4 years old and had a vivid imagination. Imagine looking at this ticking time bomb on the wall at 0100 while you’re sleeping, its head rocking back and forth. Think you’d be able to sleep? Not me!
But, on second-hand, there is a cultural gulf here. Perhaps Indian kids find these wacky God manifestations comforting. How can I say? Solbeam does a super job of pointing out how things look from the other direction; in this case, how an Indian might see Western culture:
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