Post from May, 2005

From Egypt to India

Sunday, 1. May 2005 23:44

One of the first things that hit me when I arrived in India for the time – Mumbai in 2005 – was how similar to Egypt it was, or at least this one little part of it seemed so. Mumbai, a city of 18 million, and capital of a state of some 80 million was an Egypt unto itself. But it was the lush greenery with the lethargic humanity swarming everywhere on its streets among the animals, and filled out with omnipresent dust and humidity that did it. Coming out of the airport I felt I was going along one of the Nile irrigation canals near the Pyramids in Cairo. As we headed through those outer suburbs I could have sworn we were about to turn into Messaha Street in Cairo where I lived. India was a “wounded civilization”, as Naipaul had once said, but so too was Egypt. Both were one of the world’s first great civilizations, though its Indus culture which was contemporaneous with the rise Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia and Pharaonic Egypt on the Nile had subsequently “disappeared”, historians say, though perhaps it merely was absorbed into Aryan civilization of north India when the Aryan tribes moved in to establish the culture that today we call Indian. [...]

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