“Hello, welcome to India, would you like to be in a Bollywood film tomorrow?” “Well I don’t know….um, yeah, I guess we would.” And so it begins. The truck in this picture had just been driven though a glass window into the set of a dirty club, we are the extras dancing in the background. We were all thinking there would be digital effects and sugar glass, however when the director said action the truck came flying through. After the shock of the explosion we look up to see one man bleeding profusely he ended up needing stitches, the glass was real and we are thankful to be alive.
There were times of being taken advantage of that left us cursing yet we would soon forget our worries as a man with bright henna orange hair would be petting a cow in the middle of the freeway, or a sip of spicy chai would fill us with comfort. Still, after just a few days we were ready to leave and so we set out by train into the interior. Every romantic conception of the India train is true it is absolutely amazing. Our first night we were sharing bunks with a Sikh/Krishna family on their way to worship for the Diwali festival, they were going to the temple we’re the Hare Krishna movement began and they were ecstatic, the joy and excitement that shown in their faces was incredible and challenged me in my own attitude towards worship. Entering the countryside of India was a breath of cool fresh air, literally.
Since we left Mumbai every day has had it’s own amazement and difficulty. The travel days have been extremely difficult and tiring. The hagglers are ruthless and we have quickly learned that staying a tight group is very necessary for our own well being, the hours that we spend in the big cities for train connections have definitely hardened our skin and run ins with child slaves and illicit sex offers tire our spirit. Yet at the same time we have had almost divine connections with places and people, again the word ambiguous describes our experience. The first day we were invited by a couple of school teachers to visit their school in a nearby village we took their offer and spent the day with them attending classes and touring the village, it was incredible.
Our second day we ended up in one of the Rasput lost cities called mandu the civilation dates back to 900 a.d. and the ruins passed through Afghan and Mongul empires . Here we were invited to a Diwali festival for dinner we were the only non-Indians attending and it was so great to find ourselves right in the middle of a very vibrant Indian community.
Now we head for Varanasi an intense spiritual capital in India were they burn the dead to the river God. We have heard the atmosphere is intense in every way but that it should not be missed. This is especially a time for prayer for God to speak to our hearts and protect our bodies and minds. It is a bigger city so email should be accessible and I can be more diligent with the blog. Until then, here are some beautiful faces from India.