Wednesday, April 29, 2009

<3 India.

I'm having a Love India day today. After a great, fast-forwarded few days in Mumbai, I'm happy to be in lower-key Jodhpur. We're still constantly hassled by...well, everyone (in good ways, like shaking hands 10786 times with Teh Randomz, and bad ways, like being followed by bulls (almost gored today! scary!) and street children and street people and people selling everything (mostly weed, which, um, no thank you (though a bhang lassi is high on my short list of Illicit Things to Do Before Sunday))), but the city itself is beautiful, as is our guest house. We visited the magnificent sandstone fort today, from which one can see a delightful landscape of blue buildings. Our gust house is beyond charming and comfy and cheap and only a little bit teeming with termites.

On Mumbai: I imagine (and this only exists in my imagination, I know) that Mumbai today is Manhattan in the pre-Giuliani, grubby days of yore. People sleeping on the streets, in the parks, behind dumpsters (the magnificently mysterious and not-as-horrible-as-you-might-think-but-still-uncomfortable slums don't fit into this trope, but are obviously worth mentioning); middle-class kids playing cricket on lazy Sunday evening streets; a delightful mix of countries, people, socioeconomic brackets, histories, and architectural styles. Like Kerala, I wish I had more time to spend there, to unpack all the hidden suitcases of lives and legends (the luggage in Varanasi and Agra and Delhi, however, can remain tightly sealed, please).

Tomorrow we leave for a trip into the desert, via camel and Jeep. We're staying in a house there and will be cooked for; we'll sleep on the rooftop under a "canopy of stars." The next day we're spending some time at an NGO aimed at "empowering Untouchable women and girls." After that, a 1st class train will whisk us away to Delhi, from where we will depart for the US early Sunday morn.

I will be in my parents' house, in the beautiful guest bed (the softness of which I have dreamed on many nights), in less than one week. Somehow, that is both more amazing than the Taj, and more terrifying than being followed to my guest house by a bellowing pack of street dogs.

1 comment:

阿牛 said...

Thanks, I've been wanting to visit India for a long time and I enjoyed this string of posts!