Monday, March 24, 2008

With the rich, with the poor.

Working on a project like “The most beautiful people in the world”, where the candidates themselves make the decision who participates, makes the team get into all kinds of different situations.
Especially in India.

Yesterday a comfortable and air conditioned Toyota with an impeccable driver appeared in front of the Hare Krishna Guesthouse to pick up two of the team members.
To bring them to a gated community where in a beautiful house Shipra Singh is living together with her partner Sanu and his sister.

Shipra is one of the most extraordinary women met in the last 9 months.
She is 27 years old and Managing Director of an Indian airlines company, Director of a steel company, an actress in art-theatre and very, but very beautiful.
With a warm and loving personality, highly spiritual, an open heart and tough in business like Alfred Krupp.
To witness her order food in a restaurant: it makes a man shiver.
To see her looking lovingly at her partner Sanu: it makes a man melt.
To feel her goodbye hug and kisses: it makes a man die.

Hence, hardly alive after this shocking experience, it can only sweetly be remembered the lunch on the sunny terrace.
The fascinating conversations with her and her super sympathetic partner Sanu.
The wonderful photo session: in filtered light with palms and blue spotlights.

Later that day, almost at midnight, the Indian writer Rajendar Menen showed another part of Mumbai.
He introduced the team to one of the many transvestites in India.
These men have a most miserable existence.
Coming out of their slum dwellings at night and roaming the streets begging for money or prostituting themselves.
Dressed in cheap female clothes, dirty saris and headscarves, smelling bad and looking skinny and unhealthy probably infected by the HIV-virus.

This is life in its most extreme ways.
And it is a privilege to be allowed to witness these different situations people live in.

But in the Fiat 1100 taxi back to the Hare Krishna Guesthouse a philosophical discussion developed between the team members and the Indian writer Rajendar Menen about how to explain these extremities in the world.
Why, for example, are hundreds of millions of children born worldwide in extreme poverty?
How to explain this?
How to understand this?
How to live peacefully and harmoniously knowing this?



Photos on this posting by © Marjolein van Veen 2008.


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