Where mist meets mountain top, so sits the early morning Nasik sun. The same sun that warmed the nations of the northern hemisphere just a few hours before, the same mix of glow orange and miracle white.
It is the sun for all, but this morning, for me, it is the startling, moveable and changeable glow which – as I look out from the taxi window – oversees the 16th fastest growing city in the world.
What heat it will it generate over Nasik today and in the days ahead?
What light shall it bring to those who know the one true God in Nasik, and those who only know gods here?
Beneath the early sun sits the morning mist, light and still, hiding in amongst the trees, adhesively merging forest and glade.
Beyond the forest lie the foothills, fifty shades of green and the backdrop to much of the city.
As it did yesterday, and for centuries before, the commanding Godavari river sees some early rising bathers looking to cleanse themselves from the previous days pollutive impurities.
As it wends its path into and through the old city, the accompanying small Hindu temples stay motionless, dead to all but those who think that they can bring life, which is most people here, those who ply their trade in the streetlife hustle and bustle, in the vibrant chaos and colour that is great and glorious India.
Behind the temple area is the fruit and spice market, a grid of crimsons and chai, masala meets Maharati. Cross legged women and family men sit amongst the lettuce and mango, while opposite, the rich orange, green and white spice store is charmingly seductive to the eye.
Above it all, God watches over. And I recall those beautiful words of the Psalmist.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
The sun seems higher now, and brushes the mountain tops.
Morning has broken. The city awakes.
Another rich day in the poor lives of Nasik’s millions, begins.