And now for something slightly a bit lighter...
Some of the signs that I saw over the past few months of travel (mainly between Lalitpur and Delhi with a dash of Mussoorie and Mumbai thrown in).
We start at the public facilities at Lalitpur Railway station. I had passed them many times, but recently looked up and there was the old urdu-style word for women still in use: "Zenana" (the men's side used "Mard"). The lady in the accompanying plaque helpfully points in the direction of the ladies loo. Her facial expression seems to indicate that she may be unhappily waiting in line.
We move next to the bright lights and big city of Mumbai - and that too the the posh n plush suburb of Powai. At the heart of the Hiranandani mini-city is a shopping complex. We had gone shopping and I had misplaced my wallet (it was later found safely at home). Thinking that I may have dropped it, I was retracing my steps when I looked up and saw the following shops cheek-by-jowl.
If you want to be successful, you have no further to go than your local coaching centre. This gem was seen on an early morning walk in Okhla, New Delhi.
I for one do not want to have a failed life!
The idea seems to be that my inherent talent is likely to be stifled and snubbed because I don't know the 'trick' that will unlock the gates of success. Clearly our friends Vital Math are willing to help you (for a sum of course).
Help is also present in an ancient form of medicine.
In India we still have a form of healing with the gospel writing Dr. Luke most probably practised two millenia ago. We are talking about Yunani (or Unani) medicine. Yunani is Hindusthani for Greek. Dr. Luke was culturally Greek and probably practised a form of medicine similar to what writers such as Galen summarised. The collapse of the Roman empire meant that most Greek medicine was lost to the western world, but the Islamic writers translated the Greeks into Arabic and it spread East with Islam.
And so though I don't know Urdu, the helpful English phrases helped give me a quick insight into what this Yunani practitioner is staking his (her?) credibilty on. The poster was stuck on one of the pillars upholding the metro railway near Sukhdev Vihar in Okhla.
I am not sure what "Regimenal Therapy" is (perhaps Regimental Therapy), but the pictures of 'cupping' show that blood-letting is still in vogue in some parts of our country - even in the capital it seems.
The steam bath looks interesting, but what really caught my attention was the advertisement of leeches. We know that doctors are sometimes called 'leeches' - more often than not by disgruntled patients who have had to shell out a pretty penny for their therapy. But to see that we still have practitioners putting leeches on people to drain off excess blood is fascinating.
My final sign is one of my favourites. Just outside Mum's home in Landour. A sign that rest lies just ahead.