Shirdi, Ahmednagar Dist.

"Let's go to see Shirdi Sai in his court/assembly"

The queue to see Shirdi Sai's idol

The faithful can wait for hours in the dust and heat.

Lining up for the generous devotees.


Mobile phone chargers have now become an essential service like drinking water taps or clean toilets.

And finally an advertisement on a bus that uses the drawing on Chetan Bhagat's latest best seller - Two States. Promoting interstate marriages on an inter-state MSRTC Bus.

NH3, Mumbai - Agra Road, Dhule (Dhulia)

CD Motor Powered Chai Making Stove.

Meet Sri Bapuji (whom I met on Gandhi Jayanti) who runs a chai tapri next to the toll gate at Dhule (locals call it Dhulia) on the Bombay-Agra highway (NH3). His home-made charcoal stove, fanned by a tiny blacksmith's blower, is powered by a PC CD Drive motor and powered by a Rs.10 battery that lasts a whole day. Bapuji constructed this stove himself.

Earlier, people used the tape recorder/player motors. But the CD Drive motor is more energy efficient.

Sarangkheda, Nandurbar Dist. (MH)

Coal/Charcoal powered stove. With a blacksmith-style blower.

About 40% of India's energy needs are met by coal. Even the sticky, sweet chai made in tapris in North Western Maharashtra on the banks of River Tapti/Tapi is made using these coal (or charcoal). A friend who is originally from Amethi, UP, was telling me that these blower stoves are common across the central belt of India, along rural crossroads that do not have too many customers. Coal and charcoal is way cheaper than Kerosene or LPG, the popular fuel in urban India.

Manoj Kumar Goswami Road, Shirdi

Some of the deeply religious think that there is no law beyond their belief. Like this devotee of Sai Baba who prefers this number plate that says, Sai Malhar to the law of the land.


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