katrinasadventures' Travel Journals

katrinasadventures

  • From Massachusetts, United States
  • Currently in Jakarta, Indonesia

Fall 2009: Northwest India

Join Katrina as she shares her adventures, stories and feelings throughout her journey across India's spiritual land. Traveling with a consortium of New York Schools (Hamilton, St. Lawrence, Hobart and William Smith, and Colgate), Katrina will spend time in various locations, such as Musoorie, Delhi, Jaipur, and Varanasi.

Smore Delhi and Agra

India Agra, India  |  Oct 09, 2009
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Tues, October 6th

            This semester I am working on an independent project that will compare agricultural rituals in villages that use Green Revolution technology and those that still use traditional methods.  I hope to do case studies in Rajasthan villages to compare the change in festivals and spiritual practices of traditional versus monoculture farming.  I tell you this because today the group expected to go the AIIS (American Institute of Indian Studies) to do some research.  We were told there was a library there.  Little did we know that the library was only for art and architecture and that the bus ride was over an hour and a half.  This seems like the ultimate Indian experience to expect one thing and show up to find something else.  We were toured around the museum’s music, art, and architecture archives.  This organization held records on some buildings that had been damaged by warfare (especially in Afghanistan) or natural disasters.  In one incident, the French told Afghans to preserve a certain building for its historically context and the Afghans bombed it just because the French had told them to preserve it.  Overall, the institute was beautiful, but it was not helpful at all for my IFP.  At least we were given free lunch. 

            After the hour bus ride back, we adventured to the crafts museum of Delhi.  This place was amazing!  It displayed products from each province in India.   For instance, there were beaded shoes for the Punjab and tie-died textiles for Rajasthan.  The exquisite detail of wood carvings, metal work, and paintings were incredible.  There was one room that showcased a traditional way to decorate the honeymoon room for a couple on their wedding night.  The colors were magnificent with bright yellows, greens, blues, and reds covering the walls in the forms of spirals dots (see photo).  There were also traditional puppets, jewelry, puja candles, doors, windows, statues, toys and baskets.  Outside in the courtyard there were stalls of villagers who sold the traditional crafts of their region.  From jewelry to bags to pashminas to paintings, the options were incredible.  I can’t say much about the sellers, though, they were a bit aggressive.  As soon as you walked by, they would call you out and request that you sit down and look at the goods.  They take out all of the clothing from the plastic wrap and tell you what you would like.  This style of selling is not unique to the craft shop, but it was exaggerated there.  Also, there was a group of small men from Gujarat who performed traditional dances in stylish garb and head masks.  The head masks were intensely decorated with beads and peacock feathers and stood almost a foot high.  The performers did back flips in these head masks and danced symbolically to represent good over evil. 

After our cultural experience, we walked to a beautiful palace where we viewed a contemporary Indian dance.  The performance was funky!  The highlight was when the guru, an 80 year old man who wore a kurtta that looked like pajamas, of the dance yelled “STOP THE FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY” in the middle of the dance.  The beginning of the performance consisted of a group of men dancing around someone in a plastic wrap bubble, which I believe was meant to signify a lotus flower.  Basically, the performance was a handful of shirtless men in puffy pants (like MC Hammer) crawling, hopping, skipping, and clapping around the stage.  The speakers were incredibly loud, probably due to the fact that most Indians are deaf from the massive amounts of honking on the streets.  The night ended with a few close calls in the rickshaw home. 

 

Wed, October 7th

                        Another day in Delhi, another day of shopping. At times I find it hard with this program since shopping takes up such a large component of our free time.  I recharged the Vodophone, got some more bottled water (it’s hard on my consciousness when I am relying on bottled water since the tap water tastes like antiseptic), and invested in a USB device that provides me with slow internet.  Today was very exciting in that the famed activist, Vandana Shiva, came and spoke to us.  She is the leader of the organic movement in Indian and is known for her lawsuits against large, global corporations (Monsanto).  She is very charismatic and passionate about humanity’s responsibility to the earth. She elaborated on the farming suicides that are wrecking the countryside.  Due to the debt cycle that the expensive Genetically Modified seeds put them in, the farmers feel they have no choice but to drink pesticide spray.  Often the wives do not know anything about the debt that their husbands are in and are helpless after their husbands kill themselves when their lands are taken away from the creditors.  Almost 200,000 famers have committed suicide since 1997.  Currently, Vandana is working on support for these wives, since the government is in denial of these suicides.  They blame psychiatric problems and alcoholism.

Next, Milly, Jori and I snuck in a little gym time in the afternoon.  The gym was pretty decent, with a few tread mills, ellipticals, and weight machines.  The men there were not shy about staring at us while we ran on the treadmill and lifted weights.  I think those men had a little bit too much testosterone in their systems.  Yet, it should be noted that the environment in which they spent their workout time consisted of mirrors and posters of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime (what large man boobs he had) covering the walls.  The men did not seem to be very excited about working out.  No one was bench pressing, which was a shock compared to American gyms.  Recently, I read an article stating that it is genetics that does not allow Indians to hold much muscle on their smaller skeleton structures. 

            As the sun was setting, we visited a middle/upper class temple.  The temple was humungous with beautiful red and yellow paint decorating all the decorative statues, such as bells and elephants, on the structure.  This place was a great one for recognizing Hindu symbols:  

Om (Aum) – the most important Hindu symbol, often used as the emblem of Hinduism.  Aum, also written "Om" and called pranava, is the most important Hindu symbol. Its prolonged intonation is associated with the primeval sound through which the universe was created. It is thought to contain all things. It consists of three syllables — a-u-m — which are sounded progressively from the throat to the lips. The three sounds are considered to symbolise many items, but perhaps most importantly the three states of consciousness – waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. The entire symbol represents the fourth state, which is the awareness of one's own spiritual identity. Aum is the most important mula (root) mantra and is thus chanted at the beginning of many prayers, mantras, and ritualsHands in prayer – a sign of respect for the sacred, that which is dear to the heart.  Hindu people greet each other by placing their two hands together and slightly bowing the head, whilst saying Namaste or a similar phrase. They adopt the same posture when greeting the temple deity or a holy person. Thus when greeting another person, a Hindu is offering respect to the soul within (atman) and also to God within the heart (Paramatman).Lotus (padma) – symbol of purity/transcendence. Growing out of the mud, it is beautiful, and though resting on water, it does not touch it.Conchshell – used during arati: one of the four symbols of Vishnu. The others are the lotus, club and disc.Swastika – an ancient solar sign considered to invoke auspiciousness.Trident (trishul) – the symbol of Shiva; often carried by Shaivite sannyasis (renunciates).Kalasha – coconut circled by mango leaves on a pot. Often used in rituals such as the fire sacrifice.Cow – symbol of purity, motherhood and ahimsa (non-violence).Lotus feet (of guru or deity) – touching the feet of superiors shows an attitude of submission and service.Dipa/lamp – symbol of light.

 We stayed for the dusk prayers to listen to the drum and the Indian box accordion, bharati.  The priest rang would ring a bell in front of the Lakshmi statue and then wave a flame around her.  Later, he came out with the flame and we made sure to bath in the warmth of the candle in order to receive our blessing from the Goddess.  I was in a lot of back pain during the ceremony.  I don’t know how people can stand and hold their hands in prayer position together for so long! In fact, my back almost gave out with the pain of standing in that position.   So, I repositioned to a nearby pillar in and found myself being stared at intensely by one of the temple visitors there (a man about the age of forty). 

 

This evening, we hit up the town and went out to a hotel “club” nearby.  When we arrived, around 1030pm, the place was deserted.   The “club” entailed a small, wooden dance floor with a nicely lit bar.  The drinks were quite expensive and some girls (no names mentioned) drank almost 2,000 rhb worth of cocktails.  Eventually, a few couples migrated into the room and were thoroughly entertained with our American techno dancing styles.  I am pretty sure we were the highlight of the month for the bartenders and security guards.  The way they stood with their mouths open or in a grin was entertaining in itself. 

 

Thurs, October 8th:  Last day in Delhi

For our last day in Delhi, we received lectures.  A man named Ananda Lal from Jadavpur University in Kolkata talked to us about Indian theatre and culture.  India is the most cultural diverse country in the world.  Unlike the United States, India’s population allows these different groups to include millions of people.  Part of the reason that there is so much diversity in India is due to its language preservation.  There are twenty four recognized languages in India and twenty two official languages (recognized by constitution). Art in Indian is wrapped up in philosophy of reincarnation, Maya, Lila, and interconnectedness (Indra’s Net:  A net of jewels that signifies the connectedness of all facets of life, ancient notion that resembles the night sky). India is unity in diversity.  Indian literature is unified, but the constitution has proved that Indians are plural and dissimilar by the very fact of language alone (twenty-two).  The professor told us a few stories that were relevant to Indian philosophy and art:

Story Time:  Narada Story:  A man named Narada was fed up with the illusion and deception that he was meant to believe in through the Hindu mythology.  So, he called up Vishnu and asked him what Maya (the illusion of the world, magic around us) was and why he deceived humanity so much?

Vishnu told Narada that he would tell him, but that he was too busy to do it now.  Yet, Narada would not forget the issue and kept insisting.  Eventually, Vishnu gave in and told Narada that before he would elaborate on the matter he needed some water for his throat.  Narada unhappily obeyed and went in search of water.  After a few days, he encroached upon a small village next to a river.  When the villagers saw Narada they welcomed him with open arms and insisted that he stay for some tea and food (this is still done today in rural villages) and get some rest.  Narada was bent on his mission and so tried to politely decline.  The head of the village insisted on Narada staying and so Narada eventually gave into the offer and sat down for a meal and drink.  The food was brought out by a beautiful girl, the head villager’s daughter. Narada was fixated on the girl’s eyes.  The eyes looked so familiar to him, but he could not recognize where they were from.  After Narada’s meal he was prepared to get the water Vishnu needed and leave, but the head villager again insisted that he stay because it was getting dark outside.  Narada reluctantly agreed and stayed for the night.  When he woke up in the morning, he forgot what he was meant to be doing in this village.  Narada liked the village and decided to stay for awhile in the peace of the hamlet.  The time came one day when the head villager decided that Narada should marry his daughter since there were no other eligible bachelors around.  Narada gave in and married the daughter with the familiar eyes. 

They started a family and lived a happy life in the village.  Then, one day a horrible flood swept the province (similar to the floods in southern Indian today, which killed over 200 people due to the late monsoon rains).  Narada caught onto a sturdy branch and was able to survive while his children and wife were swept away from the village.  During these horrendous floods, Narada lost consciousness.  When he awoke, he was staring into the eyes of Vishnu.  These eyes were the same eyes as his wife.  Vishnu simply stated:  “This is what Maya is!”

 

Kapla Taru Story (The wishful thinking tree):  There was a large tree that grew outside of a small village.  This tree was old and different from all the rest.  One day, a group of kids were playing around and pretended that the tree was a Kapla Taru tree.  They asked for a wish and the next day the toy and sweets that they asked for appeared.  The kids were astounded and went back to the tree to ask for more objects.  As the children grew older their wishes changed to cars or partners. 

                A disabled kid who often hung out with the group of friends that found the tree also wanted to get wishes granted.  However, because he was lame whenever he tried to travel to the tree it would be past dark and the tree would lose its magical power. So, the poor kid never got a chance to give a wish.  As he grew up with the kids in the village he noticed that the wishes lead to more wishes.  The happiness that the children experienced when they first received the gifts would disappear and turn into unhappiness when the object would get old or break.  After the original happiness of material objects vanished they experienced the opposite emotion.  When you wish for things, you yearn more.  You are never satisfied.  (This tale is still told in rural villages, but not so much in urban areas where it is most needed… it seems those who have wealth do not appreciate the morals that Hindu myths provide)

 

Shakuntala: This play tackles philosophical notions of reality, as well as play acting.  There is a total absence of scenery because this is part of the Indian philosophical reality that this world is not reality.  In traditional forms of dance or theatre, objects are imagined.  It is the reality of the mind.  For instance, picking flowers is done by plucking the finger tips, also known as a mudra, a sign, a gesture, or a look that signifies something else.  India uses nonverbal language, as seen most evidently in an Indian classical dancer.  The idea is not to present reality and not make things familiar to the human reality, but to transcend that.  The art forms do not deceive the audience by showing reality.   Shakuntala is villager that moves to the city to become the queen of the kingdom.  When her husband, the king, takes a trip to the forest, Shakuntala is cursed and her appearance is changed.  When the king comes back he does not recognize her and calls her an imposter.  The kinds appeals to a goddess and removes her from the earth.  Eventually, the king understands what has happened and searches in vain for her.  He eventually searches in a heavily ashram and reunites with her.  Indians do not believe in tragedies.  It s a Western construct because it means that you do not have faith in a divine intervention that stops these things from happening.  There are sad incidences, but the play ends in happy resolution.  Shakuntala is a form of nature and what the king does in her domain is deprivation.  This play symbolizes respect for nature and Shakuntala symbolizes the raping of her resources.

On another note… Contemporary dancing, younger generations get together and often dance Bhangar (harvest dance, Sikh) and Garb.  The ease of these dances is why they have become so popular.  Bhangra consists of raising arms and Garba entails hitting sticks together.  Film has appropriated many of these dances and made it simpler.  Indian dancing reveals social repression at work, since you never see an Indian break loose.  Music is for mind, not the body.

                Fine arts are a part of daily life.  A ritual meal, hand looming baskets, there is much aesthetic quality that goes into daily routines, incorporating designs, motifs, symbols, etc.  The cosmological display of art and life is appreciated, but unnecessary in day to day work.  Art is supposed to be a part of daily living: “one wonders how many villagers would understand the purpose of a framed painting on a gallery wall, especially since modern artists drawn influence from European artists”.   Debate: what is so Indian about contemporary Indian art?  How Indian is it if artists are western by training?

Recommended Reading:  Gora by Tagore

 

Half way in between the lectures, we had a quick bite to eat and celebrated Sharada’s birthday.  Sharada is an older Indian woman that coordinates the program.  The celebration included a DENSE chocolate cake.  To me, Indian cakes represent a country trying to be another country that they are not.  India tries to mimic the American cake, but they just don’t quite have the hang of it.  The cakes are usually a little too dry… maybe it is because they do not use egg because it would not be considered vegetarian. 

After the long day of lectures, we had some more lectures and discussions.  This next discussion went over the future travel plans, as well as expectations for how the women were meant to act in public.  We are not supposed to talk to any men, especially those that approach us.  It is considered disrespectful for a man to talk to a strange woman in public.  It is quite difficult to ignore all men though, because they are very persistent in asking where you are from and how you like India and what your name is.  At some points, Sheila advised us to YELL at people, especially if they touch you.  Sheila has mastered this form of communication when she is out and about.  There are various times when I will be walking with her and she will begin obscenely yelling at people “DON’T TOUCH ME!  GET AWAY FROM ME!”  Overall, I think that her reaction to some incidents can be a little bit excessive, but it is true that women must put up a “front” when they go out in public here is India. 

            On the way to Sharada’s house (she is the coordinator of the program) to get some books for our independent projects, we were having difficulty getting rickshaws.  At one point, a taxi driver came over and was “flirtatiously” trying to get us to get in his cab.  At one point he put his arm on Sheila’s shoulders and…. “GET OFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF ME!!!  DON’T TOUCH MEE!!! NEVER, NEVER AGAIN!”  It was like a soap opera. 

            After a while, we got a rickshaw and made our way through the smoggy streets to Sharada’s house.  We looked through her selection of books, and me being the book lover that I am, ended up having to wait with Sheila and Cynthia.  We ended up watching the opening performance for the annual cricket tournament.  The tournament this year is based in Bangalore and the acts for the opening included musical performances (from Shaggy and some other Western rock stars), a light show, acrobatics, and Tibetan sword dance.  It was bigger than the super bowl! 

            Finally, the teachers were set to go and we got back to the hostel.  I joined my fellow peers out at a Hookah bar in Defense Colony.  That was a bad choice because I was really tired.  We loitered about the streets waiting for rickshaws.  At one point, Hannah, Fernando and I were the only ones left, standing on an island in the middle of the road waiting for a rickshaw.  A bus filled, I do not exaggerate when I say filled, with men came to the stoplight near us and every single set of eyes on that bus just stared at us while they were waiting for the green light.  They were literally hanging out of the bus staring.  Even the bus driver was looking at us.  Even when the light switched to green, the bus was just sitting there watching Hannah and I as we tried to wave down a rickshaw. 

            After a tough negation, we got the price down to 80 rupees and wandered down to Defense Colony.  The hookah bar was very Western with its menu selection and set up.  When we got into the restaurant we walked up to the hot, third floor.  There were some groups of Indian friends chilling, smoking and enjoying each other’s company.  We eventually got a nice spot on a couch and ordered our food and three hookah pipes.  We got vanilla, green apple and strawberry.  I really did not like vanilla. Hookah is an interesting drug in that it makes you really light headed and ruins your lung capacity.  I personally do not think that it has a purposeful existence for humans.  It is intended to make you relaxed, but it just made me tired and irritable… maybe my brain is telling me that it is a temple and should be treated with only the top puja offerings… hmmm.

 

Friday October 9th:  Agra

After Anna and I slept through our 5am alarm, we raced out of bed and ran to catch the bus that would take us to the train station.  The Delhi train station was crowded once again during these early hours of the morning.  This time, though, our train was already waiting for us on the platform.  We loaded the Bhopal Shitabdi Train to Agra and gobbled up the breakfast that they provided while getting in a few minutes of shut eye.  Two hours into the trip Shield yelled that we were approaching our stop.  We all jumped up form our seats and waited in line to leave… yet, we still had another 20 minutes before our stop… oops. 

When we arrived at the Agra train station there was nothing particular that stuck out.  However, this city is quite aggressive.  There were many beggars and sellers trying to hassle money out of you.  Another aspect of Agra was that it is the hub of tourists.  There are so many white people at the monuments that you forget you are in India sometimes… especially at the Taj Mahal.  Overall, Agra is known for having a bad reputation for hassles, touts, crazed rickshaw drivers and sundry scams.  I understand why.  Our tour guide, a rather large woman, was quite useless. She was paid a fixed price, but then forced us to spend money on tickets and rickshaw drivers that were supposed to have been included.  We ended up spending much more than anticipated (Sheila was quite angry).  Essentially, the tour guide would talk to us for five minutes about the area that we were at.  These five minute synopses would always include three details: (1) Akbar had three wives one was a Muslim from Turkey, the other Hindu from Rajasthan and the third was Christian from Goa (2) Akbar created a new religion that encompassed symbols from all religions in the area at that time (3) the buildings that we were viewing had symmetry, which means that whatever was on one side would be on the other.  She then would sit around while we explored the area on our own…  Whenever you would ask the tour guide a question she would repeat the information that she had just stated.   Also, while we were traveling from one point to another she brought up the option of the group going to a play on what times were like during the Mughal area.  There were some people thoroughly interested in it and she said that the third tier ticket options were about 250 rhbs.  A couple hours later she told us that the only ticket options were 500 or 750 rhbs.  She essentially wanted to make a profit off of the ticket prices.  The price deterred us all from going to the show…

Our first stop was Akbar’s tomb, which is a huge, beautiful building that follows the Mughal architecture patterns we had seen and would see thus far.  There were four intensely decorated gateways at each cardinal point.  Once you entered the complex there were smooth walk ways to greet you, as well as magnificent gardens and fountains were the water used to flow.  The Mughal architecture emphasized a “pattern of paradise” for their magical with beautiful engravings of marble and other minerals in the red sandstone walls.  In the gardens here, there were Indian deer/antelopes wandering and frolicking about.  While we wandered the premises there were a bunch of Indian school kids that wanted to take pictures and follow some of the girls in the group.  They were so excited to see white people.  Another highlight of the tomb was these two women who would wander around the premises and tell people about the acoustics of the building.  I saw them nagging two other tourists to give them money, and so when they approached me to tell me to stand in one corner so that I could hear the person perfectly in another corner I bolted.  The sandstone was pretty amazing in this ancient tomb and I was very awed with how well the Mughal made their buildings… unlike the houses today.

Next was the Tomb of Itmad ud Daulah, also known as the Baby Taj.   In this place I was purely fascinated with the gardeners.  Women in beautiful saris were hunched over the grass chopping it with spears and scissors.  The gardens were quite big and the day was hot, so I was impressed with their patience.  Scissors are a great way to sustainably cut your lawn…  Any who, Itmad ud Daulah's Tomb was built before the Taj Mahal. A number of its stylistic features, inspired similar features of the Taj Mahal.  These features include a tomb of white marble tomb surrounded by a formal garden and the use of inlay work in marble to create floral or geometric designs,

Last for the day, and by time, at around 3pm we had gone without lunch and the tours were dragging a little, we hit up Agra Fort.  The hunger fact was hitting all of us.  But, we were still amazed with the size of this city.  Then again, we only got to see 25% of it because the rest is still used by the military.  This fort is the most important fort in India. The great Mughals Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb lived here, and the country was governed from here. It contained the largest state treasury and mint.  We roamed around the beautiful palaces and admired the amount of detail that the Mughals had.  I enjoyed the sauna of mirrors and the prison that Aurangzeb set up for his father.  Aurangzeb arrested his father, Shah Jahan, the constructor of the Taj Mahal, so that he could rule over the kingdom.  So, inside the Musamman Burj, a colorful, marble structure with a foundation in the middle of it is where Shah Jahan spent the last seven years of his life.  He could gaze out to the Taj Mahal from his location across the river. 

After the day of touring we went back to the hotel—Pushing our way through the hagglers and sellers who “had good prices for necklaces, bracelets, and bindis, of course.  After getting my fix of Amanda Beal (that young American actress) in a movie about finding her dad, I wandered downstairs for an Aryuvedic massage. I had an hour to kill before our 8 o’clock dinner and figured that my muscles needed a little relaxation from the awkward positions I had been sleeping in on the bus and train rides.  I managed to barter the 35 minute massage down from 2,000 to 600 rupees (which is a ridiculously expensive price).  I requested a woman to do the massage, even though a man would have provided a deeper massage, which was what I craved.  I was a little surprised that I was asked what gender I wanted because I assumed it would be improper in India for a man to be alone in a room with a naked woman, even if it was part of a job. Once I was in my skivvies the women essentially rubbed me down with some oil.  I didn’t notice anything Aruyvedic about the massage other than the woman would trace distinct lines on my feet and hands to follow my bone structure.  She massaged my stomach and chest, which was new…

Dinner was a fiesta with lots of Indian food and pasta.  The only highlight I can remember from the hotel’s restaurant was that the platform that we ate on rotated.  There was a small view of the Taj Mahal from the restaurant and so the place moved so that everyone would get a chance to view the famous structure.  At times it made me a little motion sick with the jolting…

For this adventure, I forgot my toothbrush, which was a hassle… but I made sure to wear the same blue kameez that I always wear while traveling!  

 

Saturday, October 10th:

Taj Mahal is essentially the symbol of India.  In some ways I understand why, but in others I am a little hesitant on why people are so enthralled by this monument.  I think that it deserves recognition, but does it have to be crowded like it is all the time??  At the Taj I got sick of being a tourist. People were obnoxious, taking pictures, not wearing the right attire as seen through their improper saris, short shorts, T-shirts, etc.  There seemed to be a lot of superficiality around.  Although, there were a lot of couples, which was kind of cute since the tomb was based on love for a spouse who died during child labor.  The place took 22,000 people and 22 years to build… yikes.

The last stop on our intense Mughal tour was the Fatehpur Sikri (City of Victory).  Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years (they ran out of water). The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid.  I have never been harassed or heckled so much in my life at this mosque area.  For some odd reason, vendors and sellers were allowed on the premises of the mosque section of the heritage sight.  The first place we walked into was a tomb that was built for Akbar’s priest who had predicted that Akbar would have a son.  This tomb was beautiful, but it was crowded to capacity.  On the way out of the monument, an imam, who was guarding the mosque area, was chasing and throwing sticks at a boy who wanted to sell visitors his marble souvenirs.  We kept walking around the area and onto the old mosque.  There we were practically assaulted by guys who wanted to show us around.  They were clever and made sure that each individual in the group had a “guide”.  I told the man I did not have any money and he insisted on showing me around still.  After a little tour of the mosque and then the vendors around the area he showed me his family’s little station.  Essentially, these men would not let us get away without a fight.  They persisted eve as we ignored them, or spoke Swahili, or told him that we didn’t have money and would not pay him.  At one point Anna was asked to buy a marble elephant and when she said she didn’t have money he interrogated her on how she got into the place and how much her friends had.  On the way out a man passed by Anna and I yelling “No good for nothing tourists”!  I was glad to get out of there…. We explored another part of the premise and this one was much more relaxing.  IT had a beautiful set-up with structures that used to be temples, churched, market places, hospital, ect.   After that entertaining outing, we were on our way to Jaipur.  It took us about six hours to finally get to the hotel.  The night was spent in the luxurious Megh Niwas Hotel.  Before and after our late dinner we had the opportunity to jump in the pool that they had.  That was glorious!  Life was good!

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