Thursday, October 15, 2009


My neighbor always has beautiful designs for the Hindu holidays. It's Diwali, our second one and crackers (fire) have been exploding every night for over a week. There are more every night. On the actual day they start as it gets dark and go on for hours. All kinds of fireworks are added and the sky is sparkling in every direction. As missionaries we are banded from leaving the house in the evening hours. Our first apartment was on the ground floor so we only heard the noise last year. This year we are up high and will be able to see in every direction.
Flowers play an important part in all these holidays and actually in everyday life.. We have a flower lady across the street from our bedroom. The only lady in the picture with gray hair. Every night she strings flowers and then a couple of other ladies go and leave flowers hanging on the door knobs of regular customers. (You can get milk in a little plastic bag in the morning and fragrant flowers at night.) Big holidays like Diwali demand more delivery woman and you can see them gathered around and ready to work.

Once day in the late afternoon the big Hindu man who lives beyond that wall and garden came out of his gate and started an augment with the flower lady. It was a hum dinger. He flung his arms and his face got puffed up and sweat drippy and the flower lady made one remark and then just sat there. the man gestured to the flowers spread out of the sidewalk, he pointed to her old wooden cart. He did not like her there. He wanted his street neat and orderly. Never mind the huge pile of dirt, trash and rocks on his corner. It has been there since last year. His maid sweeps the street every day and just adds to the mound.

What was the outcome of this confrontation? Another maid came up and began to yell at the man. The flower lady just sat there. The maid yelled louder and louder and so did the man, but after a half hour of yelling the maid won and the man retreated to his house. The next day the flower lady was gone. Again, day after day she was no longer on the corner. I felt so bad. I asked an auto driver what happen. Good news. Her daughter had just had a baby. In a few days the flower lady was back on the corner. She knows who I am and often makes an effort to catch my eye as I am leaping into an auto and taking off down the street. Her smiles tells me that we both know that she won the big argument. She learned from her great countryman that peace is the best weapon of war.
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1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Wow you are starting on your seconds of Indian holidays. That is exciting.