In the factories of India, one would expect to see the women in drab work clothes, with little or no adornment, but in Northern India the women who quilt and sew wear all their jewelry and their sari's are always colorful and neatly pinned. Even the Dalit women who sweep the floors are in their sari's and adorned.
I realized when I saw these beautiful women that they are the true embodiment of Shakti. In their regal attire, they defy their own banal existence and the drudgery of working in a factory. They flaunt their brightly colored and bangles in defiance of the grey environment around them.
That is the paradox of Mother India which most westerners don't understand. In the mud and filth of India comes out a riot of life, music, dance, color and complete defiance of the material reality which surrounds them. On the banks of the Ganga in Varanasi, you have a carnival of life whirling around you, with hundreds of pilgrims, Sadhus. merchants selling everything from eggplants to Shiva statues, tour guides-total pandemonium, yet at the same time the cremations are going on and families and loved ones are mourning.
The Ganga itself remains strongly tranquil. When you watch the spectacle of life and death on the ghats from the vantage point of sitting in a little row boat floating on the Ganga- there is only peace. Neutral and timeless.
These women working in the factories in their beautiful sari's are a reminder of Shakti. The creative feminine spirit of the universe-always beautiful, full of color and light. Eternal and indestructible!