Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Namaste Sirs!

Looking out at the Humayun's tomb
"Good morning to you sirs, Namaste". Those were the words that came out of Mr. Ajay, a local guide that my hotel had arranged to take my business directors and myself for a day tour around New Delhi. "Welcome to India, gentlemen", He continued with a warmest of smiles. "And as they say it during the TV commercials: Incredible India". Honestly, what the guide said almost made me crack in laughters. However, after seeing Mr. Ajay's sincere face and his positive presence, I held back. Who knows, I thought to myself. Maybe it is incredible.

That was the start of my week in India with two of my business directors, Jay and Dennes, both of whom has never set foot in India before. We were there to attend an international coal conference that is held annually. Since the first day of the conference does not start until the evening, I thought it would be a great idea to treat my directors to some sightseeings. We left the hotel in a limousine that was arranged by the management to make our travel less of a hassle. The limousine, mind you, is a nice, compact Toyota Vios. Not much of a limousine. And, since my directors and myself are not exactly small men, definitely not much of a space either! "Nice and comfy, right sirs?" Asked Mr. Ajay from the front passenger seat. As I let out a sarcastic smile, Mr. Ajay told the hotel chauffeur to step on it and be on our way.

"Mind you, sirs, the way we drive here can be quite the experience. On the road, we need to have three things only", explained Mr. Ajay. "First, we need good horns. Because they will only take notice of you when you honk at them". True, I thought, as I realized how in most cars out there on the road did not have any side view mirrors. "Second, you need good brakes. With it, you can definitely avoid accidents", continued Mr. Ajay. "And there are many accidents here in the roads".

"Lastly, and this is the most important", said Mr. Ajay, "You need good luck!". As he said that, suddenly a car next to us was hit from the back by a Bajaj, a three wheeled vehicles that they have in India. "Oh my God!" My director Jay let out a little scream. As we sat there in the car waiting for a fight between two drivers to ensue, we were surprised to see that nothing was happening. If that was in Indonesia, a fight would have definitely occurred between the two drivers. Then I began to wonder if it was really just bad luck that had caused that accident. And not bad brakes or bad driving even.

There were two places that I went to see that day. The Humayyun's Tomb and Qutb Minar. Both had a lot to offer to tourists such as ourselves. But what really struck me was Qutb Minar. Hopefully the guide was telling me factual story of this place. But according to the guide, this place was a mosque that was also a Hindu and Jain temple. And back then, they were practicing their respective religions and beliefs in harmony. If this story was true, it would be truly amazing to think that people in the past had put aside their differences and chose to live harmoniously.

At that time, it struck me that there is more to India. I became intrigued by the country and its history that can be considered very ancient. Humayyun's Tomb provided me with a number of stories where the structure was built for the Royal family of the Mughal emperor. To be honest, I kind of like the idea where you are being buried with the rest of your family in one place. Looking at how big my family is, perhaps it would be a good idea for us to consider building a tomb like this.

Yeah.. I wish. That would have been very awesome though...

The awesome Qutb Minar

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