Already the boarder in Sanauli pointed out the differences between Nepal and India; more people, more dust, more hectic, more street vendors (for various goods) and more cows. Apart from that the two countries leave a relatively similar impression in the lonely travellers mind. There is maybe one more thing, the name "George" as a negative association in India, due to the former British King, named George as well. I kept emphasizing that my name is written without the "e" at the end and that I am a Swiss citizen, not related in any form to the folks from the rainy island. Not willed to dig deep in the British-Indian history, I will keep this topic away from this entry, nonetheless, some things are very aparent in India and therefore will make it into the blog.
In Sanauli we caught a bus to Gorakphur (similar to Sanauli, just bigger), where we changed our mode of transport to train. Overnight we drove for some eight hours towards Varanasi (former Banaras), where we arrived in the morning hours while the holy town was just waking up. Contrary to the city live, we did not feel like waking up, the bumpy train ride could not offer a decent and required amount of sleep, so we recovered that for a few hours.
We saw lots of corpses being cremated, we saw people washing themselves and their belongings in the Ganges, we saw baby bodies disappear in the brown river with a stone attached to their legs and we saw others brushing their teeth with the very same water. You can say and think what you want and I do not want to spend too many lines on the topic of religion, but think of it; how much good could be done on our world with the power that some religious leaders hold? Why e.g. don't the Buddhist monks teach that littering is no good (and why do they do it themselves in some cases?) or why doesn't the Catholic churche finally pluck up some courage and end the ridicolous questions around the topic of contraception? Seriously, you can belief what ever you want, but at least in some cases one should also belief in science. And don't get me started on the topics of tolerance and diversity.
Enough about that, here are three other things you can enjoy in Varansi, apart from all the holy ceremonies and sights. Delicious Lassis, some truly good silk shops and true Indian movies:
|A good Lassi comes with a fly on top|
|Pappu & me with some of his silk|
|Lootera, currently a hit in India|
On the way to Delhi, there was enough time to include a one night stop in Agra, where we could visit the famous Taj Mahal. Stunned by its beauty we spent quite some time around the Taj, she must have been quite a woman, Mumatz Mahal - why else would anyone errect such a temple for one single Lady (especially if you are Persian and muslim)?
|Can't Taj this, dum dumdumdum (know the song?)|
|The Taj is not the only beautiful thing in Agra...|
Well then, then we arrived in Delhi, went out for a delicious last diner acompanied by some beers and then my days in Asia were numbered. The brand new top notch metro brought me alongside slums and garbage dumps to the international airport. The ride reminded me of the various contrasts that India has to offer; e.g. when walking through Varanasi it is hard to belief that the very same country also has a astronautics programme running...
Sitting in AY022, somewhere over the Kashmir mountnains, I listened again to 'my travel song'. "Rotted on the Vine" by Ian Fisher. Endless thoughts went through my head, goose bumps and more than cliché emotions came up. Here is the trak: Rotted on the Vine - by Ian Fisher. Song begins at 1.50.
And here is another, sort of teaser for the upcoming time lapse movie; a merge of self portrait 1 and 102.
keep it up, GH.