Amazing Sights

There is no place like India for standing on the street corner and watching. Every few seconds you see something that makes your jaw drop. This is not the most restful place in the world, but it is the most interesting I have experienced.


Yesterday in Hyderabad I saw two sights I will never forget. In the morning I visited a pipe village–a hidden place on the outskirts of the city where fifteen families live–and have lived for decades–in head-high sewage pipes, damaged goods from the next door pipe factory where most of the adults work. The sections of pipe lie side by side, like mobile homes lined up along a main street. The back and floor are bricked in to make a room about six by six. In front a slightly larger room–6×8 or so–has been added on, crude bricks stacked up and mortared, a layer of tin placed on top. I interviewed one woman who had been living there with her husband and children for nine years, and expected to stay for the rest of her life. Otherwise, she would have to pay rent, which they could not afford. An Operation Mobilization pastor, Bangarraju, showed us around and introduced us; he has been visiting the pipe village since ’96, has gotten its children into schools, brought weekly medical care, and introduced savings schemes. Many of the residents have become Christians through his witness; everyone we saw treated him like their favorite uncle.


Sight #2: In the late afternoon, while driving to the airport, I looked into the sky and noticed some kites flying. Then I began to look more carefully, and I saw more–then more, then more. Literally hundreds of kites were flying, all along our route–there must have been thousands and thousands all over the city. Occasionally I would glimpse the kite flyers, standing on a flat roof or on an overpass. I remembered The Kite Runner, of course. Hyderabad was celebrating a great festival, which set the kids free from school.


Something about a kite speaks of freedom–the way they whip and twirl, and dance in the sky without anything to hold them up.


3 Responses to “Amazing Sights”

  1. chosenrebel Says:

    Abraham Lincoln once said that books serve to show a man that the original thoughts he thought he had weren’t so original after all. I think travel to different cultures has similar effect on our worldview.

    And yet, the need for the Savior crosses all cultures.

  2. David McCall Says:

    Tim, You do such a great job of noticing and writing about the great diversity of life and living in our world. The “Pipe People” and “Kite Kids” of India. Do you think either could happen in modern day America? People being allowed to actualy live in pipes and kids standing on roof tops without some parent or neighbor hollering at them?

  3. thefishbythesea Says:

    the pipe village people and the pipe village pastor rival one another for resourcefulness. i wonder how many of the pipe people have been registered in the new identity card program. imagine the address they would give: pipe house 24 at the pipe factory.

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