Left Rishikesh at 6 am. What really hit me hard: went upstairs to yoga room to look for my neti pot and saw all the neti pots on the shelves with the names of people I’m going to miss.
Another horrific 6-hour taxi ride from Rishikesh to Delhi with one miracle: I didn’t throw up. Spent the rest of day with my host, Suman, who showed me around Delhi. Delhi has 12 million people and is polluted, I know, because I almost lost my breath a couple of times. Went on rickshaw ride and visited one of India’s largest mosques (Jama Masjid) and one of India’s oldest markets (Chandi Chowk), both dating from the 17th century. Tomorrow the Taj Mahal.
The metro in Delhi is pretty clean and has women-only passenger cars, to protect women in a city dubbed the rape capital of India. There is a controversy regarding this policy, especially in light of the fact crime on the metro has markedly increased. The larger problem is believing that the problem goes away by huddling people in one safe space, whether that be a gated community, a school exclusively for gay people, or women-only passenger cars. The solution is not to withdraw into a safe space, but to strongly expand and enforce the message of justice and dignity for all. For once and for all, the rape culture must be taken down like the walls of Jericho and every form of dominance dismantled.The light must be spread and not cower in a corner.