Published: December 9th 2009December 9th 2009
For more of my photos, or to buy my book, please visit www.nickkembel.com Within a sandcastle fort, a cow meditates, possibly on the trade-off she has made being born in India,
“I will not be slaughtered, but I must eat trash to survive”.
A passing Canadian tourist-pilgrim borrows the moment with a digital imprint, to be nostalgically revisited in times to come.
A three-legged dog drags a dripping sock out of an open sewer, visibly proud of his discovery.
A Green Man illuminates at a wide intersection, implying permission to cross.
Simultaneously, a mass of vehicles lunge forward full throttle, nearly trampling any pedestrians who have fallen for the Green Man’s seemingly twisted prank.
A seven-year-old boy poses for a photograph, at his own request, and follows it up with a curious business proposal,
“Buy this pen. Ten Rupees.”
The pen is broken.
A young mother, employing the same tactic, beckons to the camera.
Cheap fake silver anklets that chime when the wearer walks, very good price.
Three fat boars with leopard spots sift through trash accumulated on the shore of a muddy bathing tank.
(I tire of hearing those two words).
Warning: Persons lacking interest in Camel Safaris might be treated with suspicion and malcontent.
They milk those beasts too!
Camel Milk Parlor, ice cream available, pistachio flavored.
Second Warning: Strong possibility of prolonged, parasite induced vomiting, post-consumption.
Flocks of delicate antelope frolic under clear desert skies.
A black cat pounces on a green cricket.
A green gecko pounces on a black fly.
A bull chews on a plastic bag.
Without nearly getting killed by a mad rickshaw driver, a journey incomplete.
Paneer Butter Masala, Garlic Nan Bread, Cardamom infused Chai, Mango Juice, Saffron Lassi.
If that doesn’t sound like heaven to you, then you are not human (or possibly lactose intolerant…).
A sign, “No Spitting”.
The sign does not read, “No Urinating”.
A man urinates under the sign.
Upon completion, he spits.
(I remain baffled at the manner in which Indian men pee on the street, squatting not standing, without getting it on their pants somehow).
An oily Ayurvedic massage complimented with sweet soothing sounds of Hindu devotional mantra,
“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna
Rat Feeding Time
Rat Temple, Deshnok
Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Ram”.
Night train, 4am, sleeper class: a chai-wallah prowls the aisle with a mantra of his own:
“Chai. Chai. Chai. Chai. Chai. Chai. Chai. Chai. Chai. Chai. Chai. Chai”.
Nobody is buying.
Twelve Indians sleep on the floor outside the bathroom.
The bathroom door bangs. Bangs. Bangs. Bangs.
Elaborate gem scams involving free drinks, false generosity, and planned deceit.
Government approved Bhang Lassis.
A final warning: be careful with the Bhang Lassis.
Possible side effects include induced hysteria, immobility, and hospitalization, post-consumption.
Twenty-nine rats drink from a pan of sour milk, flavored with breadcrumbs and pellets of feces.
Sacred storytellers; it is good luck if one runs over your foot.
No shoes allowed.
Rich overweight tourists from New Delhi toss some trash onto the earth.
Emaciated street people toss some trash onto the earth.
Bedroom price includes hot water bucket for bathing (a good price).
A troop of monkeys race across the roof, diving through the air and plunging into a leafy treetop.
Don’t forget to lock your balcony door.
sadhu cups his palm around a simple clay chillum and intakes mouthfuls of hot charas smoke.
A tourist takes a photo and the sadhu demands a coin.
A beggar with an eye patch.
Another with an open, fleshy wound.
One more with no pants.
And one more with stumps for arms.
And one more with a baby drinking from her breast.
And so forth.
Freshly squeezed fruit juice.
Floating palaces and immense, stately forts.
The view from the top is breathtaking.
The smell from the bottom is breathtaking.
The most colorfully adorned women in the world (I am rather convinced).
Kingfishers (the beer, not the bird, not the airlines) on rooftops with a view.
It’s always about the view.
A Blue City, a Pink City, a White City, and a Golden one too.
Turbans a mile long, give or take a few feet.
Nose rings that connect to earrings, gold.
Holy lakes that are mostly dried up.
Loose fitting hippy gear that is mostly for this holiday.
Black stuff when you blow your nose.
The ever-present scent of urine.
Scarves that become bedding.
Old City markets that bustle.
Paan splotched sidewalks.
Trance music with sitar.
Fingers that smell spicy.
Enlightenment for sale.
New-age eco tourism.
Sunsets, sand dunes.
Koreans in sarongs.
Wallets that empty.
Dusty dirt roads.
Eyes that pierce.
India. For more of my photos, or to buy my book, please visit www.nickkembel.com
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