Back on track
Trip Start Oct 08, 2007
18Trip End Ongoing
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I long to be clean. I am always dusty, I want to clean my ears and grow my nails long and get away from all the insects crawling everywhere. Somehow, bucket washing doesn't do the same job somehow. I have however been able to develop a much needed 2nd layer of hard skin on my feet through sheer determination to lose my so-called Westernized 'softness', walking barefoot as often as I can...
I have come back to the school this week after celebrating diwali festival, (the festival of lights) in Allahabad. Crazy crackers and fireworks are set off and everywhere is decorated with lights
Also the language was frustrating for me as they couldn't speak much English and I had to try to gesticulate or use the few Hindi words Ive managed to pick up. It is this that annoys me sometimes because I want to talk to everyone so much...the family were so sweet though and I felt a real part of the group. Archana claims that in a previous life we were sisters. I believe she is in fact an angel on this earth.
She read my palm. It is now the 3rd time I have been told (by different people in different countries) that I may not live past the age of 35...well we shall see...well i know you can't beat destiny... :)
Yesterday was a terrible day for me at the school. I had this horrible pressure headache that makes you feel impatient and grouchy and I started the day off badly by allowing the students out for games in the grounds which turned them these small, wiry, excitable wild animals for the rest of the day. Then in one class I marched a really naughty child down to the Principal thinking she would give him a good talking to but instead she beat him down to the ground and then after slapping him around for a bit she finally kicked him. I think I was so shocked I couldn't speak at all and I believe I cried more about it afterwards then the poor kid did at the time. It's normal practice...
That was definately painful to watch and I feel disgusted with myself for allowing it to happen...by my own 'principles' I should have stopped it. I couldn't look him in the eye today...
I think this entry will be too long for you to read if I am to describe everything and all that has happened over the past few days so here's a list for you to create your own pictures...
-through an open shutter, Archana's mother singing and worshipping her gods, her face lit by candles.
-a procession of carts heaped with colour co-ordinated fruits.
-some carts stacked with rainbow coloured bangles.
-lonely wandering cows kicking up clouds of dust.
-piled high, the beautiful multi-coloured saris.
-people and people and people.
-glinting jewellry, ornate bags and sweet-coloured flowers...-
-kajol-ed babies in mothers arms
-a network of people dishing out food.
-flies swarming round the rubbish dump
-goats picking out food from a bin
-a man with a burnt leg, wheeled by a man in a gold turban
-a man with the longest, whitest beard
-a lotus flower..
-throwing up spectacularly over my balcony...
-dropping my washing onto the flat below me...
-smoking secretly and illegally outside my room...
-drinking chai by the open fire in the hut of a student's home...
-singing every song i know just to maintain their interest...
just when I think I can't take it here any longer something or someone comes along to completely rock my mindset...a bit like the crackers that one neighbour (near Archana's home) threw at me which exploded right beside me and made me jump right out of my skin and almost into my next life...I do feel here, its a complete world away from what I used to...
Today, after my singing class one student told me that no words could express what he was feeling about the song we were singing. He told me that when he sang this song it was like he was standing before the gateway of heaven with his arms outstretched. There was so passion in his face that at one point he had tears in his eyes...I think its moments like these that make me realise there is no place I would much rather be than here...