I ended up meeting the unlikeliest of people in Meerut. A member of the largest muslim family in old Meerut who invited me home for tea; I met a cheery man who writes software, and and whose wife runs a school; a weaver who dreamed his sons should live out the dreams he once had; a son whose only hurdle to a better life was his pride; another son who sought a better life here itself, as a doctor; a family of caretakers who lokked after a church for nearly a hundred years; a generation of craftsmen who migrated from Sialkot to Meerut and began a successful cricket company; a man who once had a cricket company and now manages a hotel.
I can't believe all this happened in fewer than two days. And I haven't even gotten to the Jama Masjid on top of the hill, the bullet by Mangal Pandey's men that stopped a clock and froze in history the exact time that the Indian war of Independence began, Ravana's father-in-law's home, and the epitaphs of the fallen of 1857. More later.