I laughed at that. He felt that enlightenment was a handicap in modern life. The mini bus bumped and careened merrily along. Jai bumped into me on the double seat we were sitting on and I could feel his hard cricketing muscles. This guy was one of the hyper fit pieces of sports equipment existing anywhere in the world. I had seen him fielding and he could jump six feet straight up and three sixty degrees sideways. Many sports photographers had captured him sailing through the air trying to catch a rocketing cherry, the red cricketing ball of traditional cricket.
I was already floored. I too am a crazy follower of cricket. There was nothing romantic here but a real fan following. He had been protesting his innocence in the entire match fixing matter. People felt he had been stigmatized by the current president of the cricketing board because of an old argument over team selection when Jai had been captain of the national team for some time.
The road was lined with leafy trees which blocked the strong Sun as we neared them and unlocked powerful rays when we passed them. The number of people was amazing. We really do not see many pedestrians in Canada. It was remarkable to see the trudging people, the buffalo carts, the noisy scooter rickshaws, people on bicycles, tractor trolleys loaded with gigantic heaps of straw covered in a flimsy cloth waiting to burst on unsuspecting bystanders at anytime,camels and even an elephant reverently followed on foot by Hindu monks. The tiny mahout sat calm and collected near the elephant’s head as if meditating.
I saw a strange cart. It was a diesel engine fitting on to a four wheeled flat bed and equipped with rudimentary steering and breaking. This was a Gadda cart. The engine could be used to power cane juice extraction machines and there were many roadside sellers of sugarcane juice and Kinoo (a kind of Orange) juice.
“Kinoo juice and vodka can be a deadly combination if you want to get drunk” said Jai informatively. There were giant trucks, little trucks, three wheeled iron contraptions with demented drivers who seemed to be on a death wish journey. This was Haryana and the youth had a lot of misconceptions about their physical strengths. They were the kind of folk who believed a rushing truck would just bounce of their body. So the driver had to keep an extra watch out for frequent cyclists and the three wheeled scooter rickshaws who just chose to turn right into the path of the minibus. I just closed my eyes. I was sure someone was going to get killed in this shopping journey.