Tuesday, January 15, 2008

REFLECTIONS OF INDIA - GOLCONDA FORT
January 15, 2007 - Touring Hyderabad

HOLED UP IN HYDERABAD. While it's cold and snowy in Indianapolis today, it was 85 degrees and sunny where we were in Hyderabad, India this day last year. Our North American touring partner, Joe James, had a series of meetings during the day, so Bob Yardy and I decided to go sightseeing around "Cyberabad," so called for the many computer technology centers in the city.

ANTIQUITY EVERYWHERE. We toured the Nehru Zoological Park and Golconda Fort as part of our excursion. I'd wanted to see something of real antiquity (as if I hadn't seen enough of it on NH 7), so we were taken to this massive fort. Golconda was a centuries-long project built on a towering peak above Hyderabad by Indian labor for the outlandish desires of the Maharajahs.

A TIME TO BUILD. The fort was impressive in every way. But the realization of the corrupt power it represented and its cost in lives, servitude, and abuse saddened me. I climbed up the rock-carved stairs to the very top of the fort and then descended quickly. I walked back to our truck in silence. That day, I lost my fascination with ancient forts--whether in India, America or anywhere else. Indians have been building exquisite shrines to foreign conquerors and high-minded oppressors for thousands of years. Perhaps they can now build a society of freedom and creativity that is all their own.

Explore our 6-week, 2,000-mile bicycle journey through India, December 30,2006-February 8, 2007, on our blog (for daily posts and photos) and websites (to support Umri Christian Hospital).

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