Hey, I got myself to serious troubles as I haven't written anything for some time and now I have no idea what to say first... Should I mention the story with Google being blocked last week in our 'university'? Or the travel to Pakistani borders, to Ganges, or some horrible stories with night travels in buses? Let's see. I'll try my best to keep it short (-:
Well, what about Ganges? I saw it in Hardwar, which is the first holy place from the source and it was quite clean there. Though, I would consider touching water down from there... Hindus from all around the India feel like bathing there and throwing the ash from the bodies of their relatives to the water. But then Rishikesh, an hour north, at the edge of Himalayas, the river was already pure (locals were drinking it without hesitation). I did the river rafting there and it felt like playing football in the church. I didn't think a holy river can be that rough either!
The best thing though happened in Mussourie, which is a hill station with beautiful views on the highest Himalayas. Here I had really big problems with my eye, it was all red, I looked like a one-eye pirate probably and it was very uncomfortable. And what would happen in India? In the forest behind the town, right when I passed by some monkeys and the poor quarter, I met a magical woman who gave me medicine which helped me immediately. This is the truth story. Ask for more info if you don't believe (-:
Well, then Amritsar, Golden Temple. The Sikhs’ most sacred place. Also Mr. Obama was to visit it but then it turned and he didn’t. But we did. There was also a memorial on the spot of the 2000 massacred Indians by the British and it was very strong place with certain atmosphere. I as European didn’t feel very good there, though locals were still asking me for taking pictures with them and smiling like nothing ever had gone wrong there. I don’t understand it.
Another thing hard to understand is the Indo-Pakistani borders. As Punjab was divided by the halves in 1947, many people feel like borders are too artificial. So at the borders they make a very nice ceremony every day to remind the unity (?) of Punjab. Still I don’t know why they shout “Hindustan” and “Pakistan” on the sides and not “PUNJAB” at both of them…
And finally, Happy Diwali! The biggest India holiday, yet I haven’t been able to fully understand what it is about. It is a religious holiday, though every religion but Muslims celebrates it, however for different reason. But I haven’t noticed any special celebration apart of terrible noise all around the country from crackers which children were throwing all week long. Yet, I spent the day in the desert (close to wonderful city of Jaiselmer) at sand dunes and that was amazing.
The experiences from last few weeks wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Deshnok Temple. Listen, these people there worship rats as the holy animals, they feed them and if they cross your foot you’ll be lucky. Would you believe that? Check youtube for some visuals, just to say I am glad I wasn’t lucky enough and didn’t have any closer relation with any of the local animals…
Well, that’s it for today, I feel like doing a chronicle. I’ll try to be less chronological and more random (chaotic?) next time, the way we all like it.
HAPPY DIWALI!!! (-: