The drive from Delhi to Agra takes about 5 hours. In traffic that translates to about 7 to 9 hours. Halfway through our journey to see the Taj we asked our bus driver to pull over someplace where we could stock up on fruit for the long ride. This is where we ended up:
Despite its looks, the fruit stands here were incredible. I had a pomegranate that I am still dreaming about. Seriously, it sent me into a surrealist Dali-like state of mind.
I have been preparing a post on the solid waste management problem in India, which anyone can see is a huge problem. Admittedly, I’ve missed out on many of the best opportunities to immortalize these waste areas in photography. Most noteworthy is the culvert in the center of Madurai, a golden opportunity lost. More on that in another post…
In addition to buying fruit I decided to document some of the life of this place, the name of which I never came to know. Before I could snap any pictures, some guy pulled up in his car and started waving at me. I was standing by a drainage ditch about to get a shot with the fruit sellers in the background, and I thought he was upset about something I was doing. As it turned out, he just wanted me to take a picture of him and his friends, for reasons unbeknownst to me, as he only spoke Hindi and I only know nine words in Hindi. He made the international sign for snapping pictures. I humored him:
Ok, dude. Now you’re in my blog. Congrats.
Back to the scene…
I thought the only appropriate way to document the experience was through some covert videography. I tried to keep my camera inconspicuous by holding it at my side and covering all but the lens with my hand, which explains the perspective. The footage is a bit bumpy since I was walking, filming, and dodging rickshaws, motorbikes and everything else, all at the same time.
Notice at the end of the video how I turn around abruptly. Well, that’s because the bus that dropped me off was no longer there. I didn’t worry too much, as we had a failsafe in place, a numbering system to account for everyone (there are 17 total in our group). I’m number 15, pandra. Anyway, a short walk revealed the bus was parked further down the road.
If anyone happens to know the name of this place, please inform.
The police were notified by the company of our travel guide that we were going to the Taj Mahal, and in light of the recent bombings in Mumbai and other past incidences, the police provided an escort for a lengthy stretch of the way to Agra.
I wish I’d been able to capture a street view of some of the wilder scenes of traffic congestion. Here’s a small glimpse of what I saw through the bus window upon entering Agra.