Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hanging Out At A Calcutta Bus Stop

These guys were having a very spirited conversation about something when I happened to walk past this bus stop in the suburbs of Calcutta, India, not far from the international airport. This was in February of 1999.

Although I couldn't understand them, they may have been discussing the cricket match that had taken place the day before, in which India lost to Pakistan, much to the chagrin of about 1.2 billion people. Although the match was a 'friendly', people still took the loss hard. You could have heard a pin drop in the evening hours after the match.

But on this day, these guys appear to have shrugged off the loss. They gave me friendly smiles as I walked past, and didn't flinch when I took this photo. As I walked away, I could hear them burst out in laughter. Usually when that happens, I assume that someone's making fun of me, but I didn't get that vibe from these guys. Not that I don't provide rich fodder for ridicule.

Afterwards, I imagined that these guys settled back into whatever they were doing before I walked past -- like sipping tea, watching the world go by, and talking about how India was going to kick Pakistan's ass the next time they met up for a cricket match.

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