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    All These Colors Tour: India Part 19

    Tuesday, October 2, 2012
    Kolkata, India

    Looking North on Chowringhee Road near Lindsay Street in Kolkata, India.

    I wanted to check out the Indian Museum today, but it closed at 4:30 pm, and I got going too late. Instead, I walked over to revisit the Hanuman Hindu temple next to the water tower at Esplanade that I found a few days ago. I was returning to grab some photos and videos of an insane, gory mural on the wall that I missed last time because it was too dark. As I made my way along the massive Chowringhee Road, the sky opened up and dumped a torrential rain. Even though I pulled my umbrella out of my back pocket and deployed it quickly, my legs still got soaked. Someone needs to invent a new kind of secondary umbrella you wear around your waist that flairs way out to keep your legs and feet dry. As I trundled past the Lindsay Street area, I shot a bunch of video clips of the massive, churning crowds that completely blanketed every street and sidewalk.

    Just a small part of some intense shopping bustle near Lindsay Street in Kolkata, India.

    Everything–including me–was soaking wet, hot, steamy and sticky. I forgot how far away this area was from my hotel, and realized I could have just got on the subway down by Park Street and rode it up here, because I wanted to give my legs a rest today after that long five-mile walk yesterday. As I trained my camera on the mural at the Hindu temple, three clean cut young Indian men with short hair, collar shirts and slacks watched me, then approached and asked why I was shooting photos of Hindu gods, if I was doing some kind of research, and why I was in India. I told them I was just a tourist here to learn about and experience a bit of India’s culture. They were super friendly as we chatted for a minute, and told me to enjoy my visit to the country.

    A gory mural on the grounds of the Hanuman Hindu temple near Esplanade in Kolkata, India.

    A couple of minutes later, I exited from the back of the temple area to see if there was anything interesting around there. Out of nowhere, another Indian man who was kind of chubby with short balding hair, also wearing a collar shirt and slacks, walked up and started grilling me about why I was shooting photos in the temple, what its name and purpose was, what the god’s purpose was, why I was in India, etc. This guy came across as a very arrogant and angry man–the polar opposite of the trio I had met moments before.

    Since when did dinosaurs become part of Hinduism? Hanuman temple near Esplanade in Kolkata, India.

    Like the pissed off rickshaw guy a few days ago, I think he was just offended by the sight of a tourist shooting photos in his neighborhood temple. (It was funny that the Hindu priests inside the temple didn’t care at all.) When he asked me where I was from, I told him I was born inside the Earth’s molten core. Of course, he didn’t get that non-joke, so I followed it up with Madagascar. He asked, “America?” “No, Madagascar,” I repeated. After a couple of minutes, I grew weary of his ranting and just walked away to let him stew in his own pot of anger. It’s strange how I got served up the full-on yin and yang of Indian personality today. The fast approaching dusk reminded me that I had a date with the World Wide Web.

    A shrine and mural at the Hanuman Hindu temple near Esplanade in Kolkata, India.

    Roll over photos for captions.
    Words and photos ©2012 Arcane Candy.

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