Progress in both Indias

"So," asked one of my friends, "what's changed in India since your last visit." The answer is a bit complicated. It depends on which India you are talking about.

This is a village I tend to visit every time I go back to India (it's near where my parents live). What's new in that village in the past two years? A water tank and a children's park (the splash of blue in the photo), both abutting the village's fresh water pond.
The pond remains the source of drinking water for the village, and the rules about what people can do in that pond (no swimming or washing, for example) are still in place. The water remains untreated -- hence the rules of conduct -- and water comes out the pipe for only a quarter hour or so. However, it is progress. The women of the village no longer trek to the pond to collect fresh water. Instead, they wait by their taps early in the morning. The childrens' park is the first park in the village. That splash of blue is the first slide these kids have encountered. That too is progress, but it is bittersweet. Traditional games, the games you can play with nothing but stones and sticks, are the casualty here.

I encounted the other India in Delhi, the national capital. Since the last time I was there (two years ago), Delhi now has a new international airport, a bunch of limited access highways and a greatly expanded metro system. This is the southmost leg of the metro, in Gurgaon, Haryana. The station's still under construction, but the trains are running.
I'm sure Delhi has a few new water tanks and childrens' parks too.
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