Once upon a time, people went on vacations and took something called “slides.” Shortly after they returned home, these now knowledgeable former tourists rushed to develop the slides so they could invite friends, acquaintances, and the occasional unlucky stranger to join them for light refreshments and a “slide show.” The host loaded slides into a “carousel” (a fancy word for “round”) projector. He (it was usually a “he”) then stood by the screen with a pointer and regaled his guests with tales of foreign lands, or, sometimes, Disneyland. Long-suffering spouses were seen rolling their eyes. As a child, I was dragged to many of these educational evenings.
I took over 400 digital photographs on my recent trip to India. The good news is that I am not going to post all of them here, but I will offer a few samples. And I’ll let you know when I have more photos posted on Pinterest.
To begin, I offer shopping venues (at least it’s a change from my traffic reports):
This is one of the many roadside vendors displaying his selection of men’s trousers and shirts.
All sorts of things are available at roadside stalls — foodstuffs, shoes, clothing of all types, toys, tires, scrap metal — various branches of the English Wine Shop located all over Agra.
In contrast, this modern store specializes in kitchen utensils.
I purchased a microwave dish for cooking idlis, a dish using rice flour and often eaten for breakfast. The store was jam-packed with anything and everything one might need for preparing or consuming food. It was unusually well lit. One interesting fact about Indian stores (with certain exceptions) is that all items are paid for at one central cashier near the entrance. One can shop throughout the store; assured that purchased items will magically appear at the cashier’s desk as you leave. If you purchase a substantial number of items, they can be delivered to your door.
In contrast to the more customary Indian store, there is a recent shopping experience available at a store called Easyday. I could not help but notice it’s resemblance to Wal-Mart. Indeed, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. provides technical and management support for the retail chain run by Bharti Enterprises. There are over 200 Easyday stores throughout India.
Can’t beat those “Everyday Low Prices” — no, wait, in India, you can.
And while we’re on the subject of global marketing, I must mention those global Golden Arches.
Ronald MacDonald cheerfully encourages Easyday shoppers to pick up a Happy Meal on the way home. Or better yet,try a Masala Grill sandwich in either vegetarian or non-vegetarian (chicken) versions.
Purely in the interest of research, I tried the chicken. Although I’ve never actually eaten cardboard, the comparison did come to my mind.
But, India is more than shopping.
It is the Taj Mahal.
I was on the opposite side of the Yamuna River, facing the back of the Taj Mahal when I took this picture.
There are religious festivals
I took this picture on the final day of Ganeshchaturthi, a festival honoring Lord Ganesha. On the last day his image is immersed in a body of water to symbolize his rebirth. These worshippers were going to the Yamuna River. In olden times, the images were made of mud, but now they are fashioned from papier-mache and other substances that do not bio degrade as well.
There are ox drawn carts—
Mothers shading their children –
And, of course, monkeys.
Have you been the victim of a parental slide show? Or, have you shared your own digital photo collection with friends?
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All Photos by Author. All Rights Reserved.
Sandra Wagner-Wright is the author of Two Coins: A Biographical Novel and Rama's Labyrinth. Both books are available in digital and print editions at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and Kobo. Rama’s Labyrinth and Two Coins are available as audiobooks.
Sandra blogs weekly about topics related to her travels, writing life, and the incongruities of life in general.