Monday, January 22, 2007
Yesterday, when I went to go find this Idiyas Art Gallery I ran into a typical day in India. After locating the phone number of the gallery (which turned out to be a mobile phone) and then finding someone who spoke Hindi to take down directions to get there (of which the best I could get was the general area and "then look around.") I got into an ancient yellow taxi. He dropped me in the appropriate area and I located the street the gallery was supposedly on without too much difficulty. I walked the whole street, but saw no sign for a gallery, so I double checked the address: 15 Dover Lane. OK, I'll look at the street signs and find 15. 15 had a massive metal gate across the drive way, but a tiny little door about maybe 3 and a half feet tall. So naturally I got down and crawled through. Inside the gate I found a group of Indian men playing cards on the ground and a security guard. So I asked him about the gallery that was supposedly here. He didn't speak any English, but seemed to understand "gallery." So he took me to a small, unmarked, locked apartment. He opened the door and turned on the lights, and what do you know, there was the gallery. Keep in mind that the gallery was listed as being open every day of the week in the newspaper. Then after an utterly hopeless conversation with the guard, the unspoken agreement was that I could see the gallery if he got to follow a meter behind me and stare at me the whole time. It worked out and he even let me take some pictures. I particularly like the one of the alleyway. Anyway, that's how it works in India, you get what you want, but it's not necessarily how you expect it.