Trip Start Aug 21, 2006
57Trip End Feb 13, 2007
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The charmingly messy streets were shared by rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, bikes, motor-bikes, pedestrians, cows, bulls, oxens, buffalos, camel carts, sniffing pigs, and wandering dogs. It was like having a safari by walking on the street. In temples, the "wildlife" species futher extend to monkeys and bats. The air smells of dust, mixed with sugar and milk from the hefty sweet shops.
We visited four or five temples on Dec 4th
We then entered the temple and found a large group of both Indian and foreigners sitting on the floor, singing and clapping hands. At some point, a man stood up and started dancing as if in ecstasy. He was soon joined by two other men. The drum beats quickened, singing voice increased, and the whole crowd went high. It was quite an enchanting atmosphere. We talked to a lady devotee at the information center. Her sincerity was out of question. Tears rolled in her eyes when she mentioned the name of Krishna.
The next morning we took an autorickshaw to Mathura
I have always struggled with my feeling about the beggars. My heart turns soft when I see them, but there are so many that it is just impossible, and also unwise to satisfy each of them. I gradually developed some standards: I would give to the handicapped, but definitely not to children. When followed by beggars outside of the temples, we discovered that a sincere "Namaste" with folded palms and a bow was well received and respected by most beggars. They would retreat quietly. And once we gave some prayer beads to an old begging lady. She was very happy, as well as concerned whether we were left with none ourselves. This is India...