India, Day 7 - Escaping Monsoon Floodwaters
Going to my next location on Sunday afternoon, I was happy to be on the move again for two reasons. The first reason? It meant that I had been in India in a week and nothing had gone wrong. Unlike so many other, similar trips to the country, my journey was proceeding according to plan. That was good, and it put my mind a little more at east. I loved my first hosts, but I wasn't in India with the goal of staying in any one place for too long.
The second reason was the flooding. The rains had not been torrential, but they had been steady. As close as I had been to the mountains, rain and runoff had gotten together and wreaked havoc on the local landscape. The water table had reached the saturation point, and pleased with itself at this feat, was creeping up still higher to invade bottom story rooms all over town.
My elevated seat aboard the Bolero gave me a good view to photograph the floods as I left town. The further we drove away from the mountains, the drier conditions became. Flooded and potholed streets gave way to better-maintained highways to take us southward, and instead of sodden ground, we were treated to the aforementioned sights of farmers spreading their corn out to dry on the roadways. India is a country that never fails to show visitors something new and interesting at every turn. That day, a drive of two hours made the difference between floodwaters and roadside threshing floors. Contrasts like that always remind me of a moment a year ago when a street vendor saw my friends and I taking in the spectacle of costumed and bedazzled beggar children outside of a temple. He laughed in a knowing, chortling sort of way and called out "Incredible India, am I right?"