October 20, 2010:
I went for a walk this morning in a nearby park. Parks in India are crowded, like every other public space. One can't escape the sheer numbers of people here. But, much to my delight, along with the morning joggers and walkers were bold and beautiful peacocks strutting their colors on the lawns! They're supposed to stay within an enclosure in the park. But they're birds and of course they're going to fly over the wire fencing! I also saw dozens of beautiful spotted deer - such a treat. They, unlike the peacocks, naturally stayed within the enclosed sections of the park. In addition to the fauna and flora, were small informally-gathered groups of people practicing yoga on the lawns here and there. And there was one large group of about 35-40 people who were engaged in laughter therapy where you get together and just laugh out loud for an hour. That's supposed to release the euphoria-producing endorphins in one's body. But the best image for me was that of an early morning motley group of peacocks, parrots and pigeons pecking away at seeds that someone had scattered for them along the long-abandoned ruins of a mid-fifteenth century monument that stood right in the center of the park. India never ceases to amaze me; life here reminds me of a complex jigsaw puzzle in which diverse people, different life forms and myriad activities are harmoniously juxtaposed, co-existing in close proximity, heterogeneous and yet part of a homogeneous whole.