IMPRESSIONS OF INDIA, the North, ……. keeping it going .. Off the grid, out of the mist. In the circle of women friends. Royal stories.
Exotic mysterious. Another world. Off in the distance and extreme up close. There is a mystery in the air, trees coming out of the mist, buildings with unique structures silhouetted against the sky. Full moon, hazy yellow sun ball of light.
Busy. Hazy. Surreal. Almost out of focus … Poor air quality, mist, smoke and smog.
Masses of People. Hard working. Content and smiling. People wanting to please others. Peaceful. Tragic deformations, intense eye contact. Poverty, filth and tragic. Untouchables. Royalty, history. Caste, artisans and ancient ones. Descendants of change.
Brown barefoot and some with sandals. Women carrying items on their heads, using no hands. The body is a vessel of manual labour. Scarves. Bright coloured adorned women with grey clothed men.
Chiseled features, black hair, deep eyes with big smiles. People wanting to be close to us, have their picture taken standing close. Beautiful sarees, prayer shawls.
Sacred animals wild and tame. Dogs, monkeys, cows, Brahma Bulls, horses, peacocks, water buffaloes, chipmunks, green parrots, large dark birds of prey, chickens. Beasts of burden pulling carts of produce. Snowy white egrets.
Chanting. Haunting music and bells, sounds of prayer. Music of India heard on the streets. Honking of cars, tuktuks and people, airplanes overhead.
Spice markets, scent of incense, florals, urine and dust. Vehicle exhaust.
Crowds of people on the roadways, on sidewalks and in doorways and businesses. People walking and carrying goods. People in rickshaws hauling heavy loads with strength of their legs. Gentle mothers cradling babes in their arms, holding hands with children close by, walking behind the men. Heads covered and shawls draped around covering shoulders and breasts. Skirts long to the ground, bright red can be seen from a distance. Single worker in the fields. Some carrying water jugs or large loads of sticks on their heads, some on knees working in the gardens and fields. Colourful, it tells of the hard life of rural women.
Green and orange and white flag waving with pride. Tents and cardboard huts for homes, clothes out on the line. Stacks of rooms where people stay, hundreds upon thousands of new apartments being built in the suburb area outside of the center. Town center in old area is busy and crowded, bodies touching as they go about their business. Men working in shops of countless varieties. Selling sarees, spices, textiles, food stuffs, clothing. Bare necessities of life. Jewellery adorns faces and necks. Henna designs on hands and feet.
Palaces and structures of ancient times, poetry in marble. Preserved and visited historical monuments, forts, palaces, temples …. a time of Royal reign. The Taj Mahal took my breath away.
Crisp cool foggy mornings. Sunshine through haze as day warms up.
Cricket in the fields. Dust. Cows. Pigs. Garbage, goats. Bicycles. Herds of men standing and on bikes, driving. Some with colourful turbans, many in white or grey tunics and trousers, loose fitting kind of wrapped fabric instead of pants …
Piles of dung and refuse. Water buffaloes tethered.
Vehicle . Donkey carts. Small roadside cooking fires. Camel on highway. Pulling cart. Pig families nose down in the refuse. Tractors hauling massive loads overflowing the top and sides, three times the size of the vehicle …amazing sight. Sometimes two lanes, with three or four vehicles side by side sneezed on to narrow roadways to avoid collisions. Avoiding cows, dogs, people on roadways, honking to indicate passing on right … Or left!
Mustard plants. Colourful flowers on green leafy trees. More bright yellow mustard in the rural areas.
Elephants wandering down the roads with their masters. So exotic to see such animals and sights.
The soft airy texture of pashmina and Kashmir, the beauty of silk. The bright colours of India. The feel of the quality between my fingers and around my shoulders. Ahhhhhh …. !
Desert oasis, peaceful. Birdsong, white egrets, birds of prey. Bright coloured flowers. Out of the mist. Sand dunes, sunsets, sparse vegetation, windstorm in the distance. Camels and camps spotted in the desert vista.