Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Better Day In Jaipur

Jaipur Kite Festival

Ok people.....just when you are ready to jump off of a roof, things get better. That is so India for you. Today my driver that I met yesterday took me to a few touristy places which was actually quite fun. This was after I told him no bullshit, no handicraft museums, nothing, or I would ditch him.
He promised to behave. So, today I got to ride a camel, and hang around with monkeys, and met a very cool vendor who sold me some tshirts and a painting for a really reasonable price, no bargaining needed. Last night, I begged the powers that be to turn this around because a roof I do not want to jump from!
Ok so, the driver is a drummer with a broken drum. So, instead of paying him, I told him, why don't we just get you a drum. So that we did! No amount of money could equal the smile on his face when he got that drum in his hands!
Then you guys, you are not going to believe this....Aslam look me to his home to meet his mom, and dad, brothers, sister in laws, and I lost count of how many kids I met. In Jaipur in January, they have a giant kite festival and so all the neighbors, who, not surprisingly, are all related to Aslam, are all on the rooftops flying kites and trying to knock down each others kites from the sky. Everytime a kite is hit, whoops and cheers go up from the rooftops!

On the grandmothers rooftop, we flew kites for an hour and I took about 25 photos of the children. They wanted me to dance for them, so I did. Of course, ALL the neighbors came up to meet me, and it was overwhelming, but I knew that this was a special moment, to be the only "foreigner" as they say, in that neighborhood, and everyone knew about it.
Then Aslams mother, whos name is Piji,
cooked rice and potatoes for the entire clan. Since I was the guest, I ate first and had the most. Now, I have been in India long enough to know, that I had to accept the food, and eat as much as I could, even while 10 little faces stood by my waiting for their food. I almost cried, but instead, I ate.
Now this entire family lives in a tiny three room house, a slum by anyones standards, but it was immaculately clean. This house was brick, no furniture at all, except for charpoys, which are handmade Indian beds, tipped up on their sides so that they could move about in this tiny place.
So there I sat, on a charpoy, 10 little angels sitting around me, waiting, pulling each others hair, fighting to be the one sitting next to me.
Finally after I was so stuffed, the little children took my plate and ate the rest of it. Again, I was the honored guest, and as much as I wanted to not eat so they could have more, I had to eat.
I am now at my hotel and I really need a bath...guess what? The water is ice cold...argh!
How can I complain after being with that family? I cannot.
I have been invited back to that families home tonight for a drumming session with the new drum! I am NOT going, I am exhausted, but at same time honored!
This is the way of India, one day you want to jump off the roof from horror, and the next thing you know, you are flying kites off the roof instead.
I am...just....so touched.
Laters, betas!


Blissfully Wed said...

This feels like one of those "I was meant to be where I am right now so that I could read that" moments.

What you share is what we all need. Thanks for posting your beautiful experiences.

lime said...

wow, what an amazing experience you had. how great that you got the guy a drum and spread such happiness in so doing. i know what you mean about wanting not to eat for the sake of the kids. been there, done that. thanks so much for sharing this. how touching.

Seamus said...

I'm so glad to hear that things turned around for you! :)

Rebicmel said...

Susie girl you should really write a book of your travels with the pictures you took, make a photo copy and send it to all you had contact with. What a wonderful gift to bestow upon some one. Be careful kiddo and try to find a bit of joy or humor in each occasion.

sis said...

WOW! Pretty cool, I'm so glad it worked out for you . I knew you would be able to make it, always the survivor. Love Sis

S said...

HI everyone I am ok!!! And yeah, I think a little food, and a little prayer works wonders!

Love Susie

Leesa said...

This is beautiful, what an experience.