The red moon was rising, its reflection bleeding into the water. Hussain Sagar Lake makes our very own Ulsoor look like a pond. It stretches 30-35 kms around and the only waves are made by our boat, gliding through.
In the distance the Buddha was growing. And getting more impressive. Having bribed the boatman with a ciggie, we got to ride up front away from the munching families and cuddling couples. One of them came up front and thrust a tiny camera into my hands. They wanted a Titanic style photo taken. I obliged.
As we docked the size of the Buddha statue became more evident. Standing on an island in the middle of the lake it stood 17 meters tall. Carved by 40 sculptors from a monolith, and weighing in at 320 tonnes, it had to carried 60 kms by a massive chariot with 19 wheels.
I stood in front of it overawed and said a silent prayer, in surrogate for all the Buddhists I know.
With the peace, the magnificence and artistry, there was enterprise. Photographers by the score were haunting the island, asking if people wanted instant pictures with The Buddha. Intrigued, I followed one of them to the side of the island. There by the row of giant spot lights, were a row of photographers bending over their pint-sized printers. Wait. Printers?? Exhibiting rare ingenuity, they had plugged into the wiring of the spot lights and abracadabra presto, instant DTP. Bravo! So the printers whirred away, and the tourists cooed as their instant memories were handed over and everyone lived happily ever after.