The drive from Delhi to Moradabad, India or vice versa takes roughly, and I say roughly, with a deep sigh, roll of the eyes and a good wrap on a piece of solid wood, 3 hrs. Yesterday this journey was a solid 7 hours. Why you ask?
Well it was a full moon. Doesn’t that explain it all?
Full moon ceremonies and festivals were in full swing yesterday morn as we sipped muddy coffee at the Best Western in Moradabad. (Yes, the BW does live on).
The Ganges River, mighty, historic and ever proud, stood between us and Delhi or more exactly, our next hotel room and a somewhat decent nights sleep.
The locals use this occasion (full moon) for a festival which starts at sunrise at the Ganges. A cleansing bath. A ritual. ALOT of people in one place in India!
A giant giant giant traffic jam of enough epic proportion that cell phones are ringing everywhere with status update of the “jam”. We were told repeatedly that the” jam would be cleared” by 3 at the latest. We left lovely Moradabad at 3 and happily trucked down the bumpy path…
for about an hour. Past the token golden arches (yes the very same). Past the traveler dhabas (think American truck stops, like Happys, but with squat toilets & “weight loss” meals).
Then we hit the jam. 2 lanes in each direction quickly became four lanes in any direction. Throw in a few tractors, motorcycles, cows, shepherds, and roaming crowds amongst the cars, truck, lorries or buses and it was a street party. Snails pace…beep, beep, honk, honk, rattle rattle …
Then, we finally, came to the mighty Ganges…we crossed the river almost in slow motion or so it seemed…like getting to the party 5 hrs too late but the scent, the taste, the sounds, the sights were just hanging on in a last attempt, to not disappoint you. I smiled. I knew the road ahead was no better and that a mattress and pillow were far in the future. I didn’t care. I was part of something more than me, more than my work and more than this paragraph will ever tell.