“A sudden need to write again, but very tired so maybe able to get very far…
I really havn’t written much, at all, about the past recent adventures and feel that some notes must be written and then I can look at it later and remember!
Puskar Mela and so many meetings…the French couple, some mates from Goa, a friend I last met with the Kalash!, the young couple from Delhi (a growing friendship), Pat and the camel fair,Goindi, Mushhti, Narpath, Camel, the ‘events’ with the tailor,the young Sadhu,the old Sadhu, my chai shop wizard, Darvinand, Veeru and the silver shop, the Sunset cafe and the Lotus Hotel, the ‘Pakistan’ connections, the climb up to the temple, the non-existent dessert party with very good looking French dude, the Pushkar stories, the vibes and the sad feeling in the heart of the town, Pushkar’s tourist sickness, the falling water table,long walks in the scrub,the roof top restaurant, the wild glaring weddings (the wedding of Narpath, December 4th), the Sikh family ‘Govindas’ and the gift of a tape..Kalasha grr(songs), pudjah with the Brahmin ‘cha-cha’, crying for my Granny, peacocks and coloured turbans, the crazy jam in Darvinand’s chai shop, ‘Hari Rama’ again, an audience of two,stoned, sadhus! Surviving a ride on an Indian ferris wheel, the lechy men, the moody mela shop keepers and the mela prices, some stupid argument over a map, piglets and ‘helpful’ children, over spending, a beautiful glass room and thousands of monkeys. a conversation with a really honest soul over looking the mela mayhem. An artist in love. A yellow lungi and a big white shirt with a hairy head. Superb person. A rave in a tourist cafe, no atmosphere, a dead one. Listening to the wonderful cassettes of the Kalash tribe. Fire crackling. Smoking, chatting and remembering.”Foucault’s Pendulum” and the bizarre feeling that Umberto Eco has experienced the same kind of ‘understanding’ as me. He gives a kind of warning, that completely resonated with me. Don’t make too many connections, don’t create a Plan, or become the ‘holder of the secret’, no ‘baba’dom come messiah syndrome for me!….
(just popped out for some cigarettes…wow…what an experience!..where was I?)
….I truly feel that I am in danger of that kind of mental slip, creating something hyper-real if you like. It is good to have everything in proportion. It is good to have a spiritual reason for travelling (it has become what I think of as work!), but maybe it is time to give all the ‘awareness’ a rest and just let it all go. Hopefully it will just be there in the back of my mind and have become my way of living, without this trudging through my consciousness all the time…”Lub, lub, lub..” (the Indian for “Blah, blah, blah…”)
Then there was the climatic culmination to our stay in Pushkar. Our friend, he had become a good friend, and hotel manager, went crazy somehow and stabbed someone 4 times (private Indian business…sounded as if it was in self defence) . He fled to the dessert. Poor family. Distraught. No nice goodbyes to Narpath…and I suspect…no wedding either. It was terrible leaving like that.
I left with my new friends for Chittogargh Fort via Ajmer.
Uneventful train journey. Tanga through the night. Tanga man become a friend. Meera Guest House, chai drinking, florescent light India hotel. The bicycle day and the incredible fort. The largest in the world. Vultures and deserted minarets, in rotting towers. Great walls, custard apple trees and very friendly people. Huge reservoirs with ghats, green with algae. Cheeky children and incredible views. Sitting in silence with old men, (the badly timed beginning of my period!), the change of hotels, from the city to the fort guest house,another world up there, the exasperating tailors and drunken rickshaw passenger, more monkeys, 100 temples, a flock of great moustaches, our own wee kerosene stove for cooking, beautiful clean rooms (12 rupees per day!), Bilwa Daramsala, the beautiful family, the prickly burrs on bare feet, no light outside the toilets,the gift of some gobi, sweets and milk, the tomato lady, sunsets and tin whistle in empty, fairytale palaces,the Brahmin cow that liked my cooking, getting my hair ‘Rajistani’ braided by my friends, using rags (mad looking mane of fabric!), the strange custard apple collector, the deserted lake. Lizards and butterflies, the short-cut through the fields, the loss of my blanket and slow gentle days.
The bustle of leaving. First a long walk then we got a lift. Tea in the marble factory owner’s house then the wait for the train. A hard seat, carriage journey. The smarmy Indian intellectual, the Udiapur rickshaw hotel-hunt, a really touristy hotel and a non-spicy Indian meal. The amazing puppet show and late night smoking. Chatting, with the young manager of the craft fair, about puppet making. Not an exciting place. Dances with cymbals, tribal painted dancers not dancing. The tight rope walker/jumper, the clay, the reaction of the road workers to my new hair, embarrassing discussion about sex with a young Indian guy, blanket shopping, rickshaw to station. hassle(no reservation). Chaos and grabbing a seat. Used a porter.
Then the cold realization that I had left my bag in the hotel. SHIT. Furious and hlaf crying exit. I told my freinds to go on and I would come on later. Stomping and weak. Refunded ticket, no patience, out of control. Calmed down. Went back to say a better goodbye “See you in Diu!”
Back to the hotel. Drinking men and marriage making, quick food, the possibility that there might be a night bus to Ahemdebad…”Slowly, slowly bus….wait there…wait there…”, on the bus, a sly, groping Indian guy ,at it, all night, dug my nails into him at one point, he soon stopped. (There is nothing worse, on a night bus journey, than when you are trying to sleep and an Indian guy is pretending to sleep next to you. You are lying there with your eyes closed and a ‘pretend’ sleep heavy hand ‘accidentally’ falls onto your thigh, then a finger waggles slowly, caressing your breast, leg whatever. I cannot understand what they are trying to achieve! The pelvis pushing when standing on crowded buses also infuriates me!).
Ahemdebad was, as expected, an industrial place. Could not find my friends, they must have caught the connecting train to Patalina, much rush and confusion (this is Gujurat! No Hindi!) and another bus to Patalina, where there were only two hotels. No sign of my freinds there either, maybe they had stopped in Seehar..?
And now I am in a dreadful hotel in Patalina. Interesting only in its remoteness. A tourist like me, travelling woman, alone, (with the crazy hair!) has never been seen in these parts it seems. Crowds of 50-60 are usual, while drinking tea. Good folk, but very curious. Opposite the bus station, very noisy fan and buzzing fluorescent light. But feeling fine and glad of the time to try and scrawl all this down. This feels like real India now and I feel very vulnerable. Learnt some Gudjrati, putting up with all the staring and wondering where my friends are….
Tomorrow I’ll leave for Diu. 4 bus changes then a boat, I’ll see how far I get. I will visit the Jane Temple tomorrow and then chalo! (go)
Missed out loads of mini adventures.
My strange non-committal feelings about the world around me. Over thinking.
The reality of a one way ticket.
Feel like finding a phone to phone Dad…