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Published: October 24th 2008
Another early start as we made our way by local coach to the middle of rural Rajasthan where we stayed in a former fort now converted into a beautiful heritage hotel.
Sitting back window wide open allowing the breeze to cool me down as the morning heat shines in. I drown out the noise of the locals and continuous beeping from the roads by plugging in my music and loosing myself as I gazed into the fields of rural India. Amongst them were beautiful women dressed in gorgeous colourful saris tending to the crops whilst men worked on construction sites or in the roadside stalls. Children ran free and happy as they played on the street or bathed by the lakes.
I did however snap back into reality on several occasions when our crazy coach driver became impatient with the slow moving traffic and decides he’d literally drive on the wrong side of the duel carriage way! I don’t think I’ll ever forget the image of speeding trucks descending on us as they seem to play chicken amongst one another.
Although life seems physically tough out here it‘s also clear why so many of these villages refuse to accept
the modern way of life. Technology doesn’t always bring happiness and relief. Many are content in old methods of living and I can see why.
Once we reach the fort and wait for the midday heat to cool we stroll down to meet the local villagers and learn how they make a living and survive on the local produce they create. My heart was captured by the wonderful people. All so interested to meet and great us and unlike in the cities it wasn’t for our money. The children run out into the streets to have their pictures taken and practice their English. The women were proud to show off their fine art of making jewellery and the men at their clay and rug making skills.
I didn’t find the situation sad as one might expect. Yes they don’t have much money or high standards of living but they don’t need or strive for anything more. They are content. They have their basics and that’s all they need. The village has a local school so the children have the opportunities to learn and live a ‘better’ life but around half will be happy to continue on from their
mother or father’s trade.
That evening we enjoyed supper in the grounds of the fort whilst a local band played music and we dressed in traditional Rajasthan clothes and ate local food.
To add to the excitement of the day we had a visitor from a poisonous black cobra that had somehow slithered it's way into our quarters. Apparently this wasn’t something you’d see everyday and even those working there were intrigued but eager to remove him and place it back into the bushes. That’s another animal to tick of my list amongst the roaming cows, porky pigs, camels, elephants, wild dogs and cats, cheeky monkeys, lizards and goats that all lived amongst the people.
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