I am sitting in my beautiful room right now, the ceilings high, the floors marble, the fan blowing. For the first time since arriving here, I have closed the windows. A violent windstorm struck up about five minutes ago, pushing huge sheets of dust off of rooftops, whipping up waves on the normally still river, and sending whirls of decorative debris into the air. You don’t realize how polluted a town is until there is a storm. Looking out the window, I see garbage dancing merrily on the invisible coattails of the wind, lifting higher, higher, higher. It dances past the colorful minarets of the ashrams, yellow plastic bags, pink slips of paper, and spirals further up, dotting the hillside in an impromptu rubbish dance, a collective rising of garbage. Most of the paper is white, and as it lifts up and away from the town and into the hills, it looks like a million tiny ghosts floating up to heaven. The sky is an eerie white. Thunder rolls threateningly somewhere to the south.
Only the cows remain unaffected, munching on grass, whipping their rope-like tails. In their immense size and weight, they have nothing to worry about. They’re not going to be blown away.