I am so grateful that wind has blown the smog away. Delhi is the most polluted city in the world, but not while I was here. And rather than being the predicted 90° it is cool and lovely! I only hope that all the smog didn't blow up to the mountains where I am headed now.
I had to try to get on line before leaving Delhi. Theoretically the WiFi should be better here, but who knows what factors are preventing my connectivity today. For those who think that technology will revolutionize societies around the world by providing easy information and education, the infrastructure still needs to be built. In a country where infrastructure for roads, water, and housing is lagging behind, putting emphasis on technical infrastructure may only reinforce the disparities of opportunity.
That is the extent of my assessment of this country. I might only add that it is unfortunate that in the present political environment the wealth of diversity is being undermined, not recognizing the multiple minorities that make this such a vibrant country. My hope has been that I have opened some eyes in America to the fact that the face of India and its cultures are very diverse. A minority may still equal a higher population than in other countries. More Muslims in India than in Pakistan, for instance. Over 2 million Christians constitutes a minority. The other wonder of India is that this diversity typically lives in harmony, side by side. It is only politics that divides people, using religion as a divisive tool to destroy the peaceful coexistence. But this evil is pervasive all around the world. This is why I am inspired by grassroots movements that help build community and collaboration. We do not have to succumb to the powers and principalities in the air.
So in Delhi I said farewell to my fellow travelers, my Dad, Kay and Wolfram. The next 4 weeks and 4 days I will travel alone. Not really alone; staying with friends who live in India. Five days in Dehra Dun, 2 weeks in Mussoorie, 5 days in Ranchi again, and a final week in Mumbai. Much of that time will be to process and write about the information gathered.
Last night I had a wonderful visit with Leyla, a distant relative. She is the great great grand daughter of Doris'cousin. The branch of the family that went to St Petersburg, Russia. She came with an Indian friend who is also researchIng his great great grandparents, Sikhs from pre-partition Pakistan. It was interesting sharing our common heritage journeys. It is facinating to me how wonderful it is to meet and hug a distant relative for the first time, and feel like we have known each other a long time.
I will be traveling and visiting India, with my Father. Our primary destination in India is Ranchi, Jharkhand. We will also visit other towns and cities in that north-eastern region as well as other places in India.