Monday, May 6, 2013

India mornings

If I don't get up at 4:30AM to write my blog I am done for.  I don't have a lot of energy and most of it is in the early morning.  Why you might ask?  I just don't know.  In my NYC single days I'd just be getting home around this time.  At least one day a week I stayed out very late and I was a master of sleeping in, especially on weekends.  I got a letter from my second job, warning that if I continued to be late I would have no job to be late to.  I was never late for work again but I still loved to sleep in.  Now however, and for the past 50 years, everything has changed.
I learned to love the very early mornings in India where I couldn't wait to see the street in front of our house wake up.  First, one would hear the haunting sound of morning prayers from the temple down the street. It was mystifying and thrilling as man reached out to God, in a voice breaking the stillness just before dawn.  Then the feathered ones would start with their morning songs.  As I stood near the gate I would see animals, cats and dogs and monkeys,  pass silently and individually through the streets and trees and over the tops of buildings.  Soon after I would come out, Jaya Auntie from next door, would appear with morning coffee for me.  I would stand, smoke, drink coffee and absorb the morning.  A few minutes later my dear Mummy, would bring me a second cup of coffee. ( I will tell you more about these two remarkable women later, in another post.)  As the morning got started the milk man would come to deliver.  In the early days he brought his cow and milked her fresh for each family.  In later years he brought heavy plastic bags of milk, pasteurized fresh from the dairy. After the milk delivery the street vendors would come with their carts of every conceivable fruit or vegetable in it's season.  Always there would be coconuts, onions, bananas, coriander leaves and tomatoes.  The ladies from each house would come down and purchase, when the vendors would call out, what in particular that household needed.  The street traffic would then pickup with school children in their uniforms and people walking dogs. People began to race in all directions to hail buses and auto rickshaws. Bicycles, motorcycles and scooters, would begin to fill the streets. Cars, trucks(called lorries), and others, like donkeys, cows, and bullock carts would also join the now overfull narrow streets.  Back then there were no sidewalks where we lived so people walked by the road on the footpaths, or in the road, which was of course very dangerous but all too common. It was now time for me to go in the house for breakfast.
India made me love the early mornings and since then I cannot sleep late.  I always feel like I am missing so much. 4:30 is still very early though here in Phoenix.  If I am writing on the computer, however, I can still see the sun come up through my window, and I still do have my ever present coffee.  The magic of the early morning has never left me and I do my best, and perhaps only, work at this time