|The Kids of Rajasthan|
|The Shepherd and his family|
Once i said hello to the kids and got my obligatory photo of them we walked over to wear the shepherd was walking amongst his goats. He spent some time milking some as his kids ran around chasing the poor goats that got a little too close. I nailed one of my favourite shots as the guy stood up to walk out his gate. I caught his eye and pointed to my camera and asked if i could get a photo. He was patient enough to let me get just the perfect shot i was after. I don't want to be a tease but I've decided to exhibit my photos and this one stands as one of the best so I'm keeping it close-hold for now! Trust me though, it looks awesome!
Some of the people in these parts seemed desperately poor but were always smiling, welcoming and genuinely interested in hearing stories from me. Once we left the shepherd villages we drove to a lady and her family who made textiles and other ornaments mostly women wore including the ring that sits on their heads to help balance the water and other stuff they carry all the time. It's fascinating to me that they can carry such heavy loads and still walk the vast distances including over the desert areas. It's incredible.
I got a quick photo of the old lady making the head rings and spent some time watching her granddaughter making chapati in a corner outside the house. It was interesting to watch how easily and quickly she did it. It smelled delicious!
|Making delicious Chapati|
We moved on to another family who I'm not totally sure what they did. They were easily the most friendly and quickly sat me down for tea. The father also got out a small white container and offered me one of what was inside. I'm glad i asked what it was to my guide because it turns out it was opium and sugar mixed together. I declined. We drank tea as he then went back inside and fetched his family photos. There were photos from his wedding, which happened when he was 8 years old. He and his wife lived with their respective parents until they turned 18 and moved in together. It's always intriguing to hear more about the way the marriages are done here and listening to them and seeing both of their happy, smiling faces and the pride in their family had me wondering more about it all.
|Making my tea!|
I met a german lady a day later who had also been thinking about it while she was traveling. She said there were certainly pros and cons to both the arranged marriage system and the western system of choosing who you marry. She argued that an arranged marriage was usually done through two families who got along well and knew each other. She was convinced that a lot of friction can come in relationships in western countries when people are married but their in-laws don't get along at all. It was a great conversation, but we were both not convinced an arrange marriage works despite the obvious examples we'd run into all over India.
After the photo albums were put away we moved along to an old couple our guide was really tight with. He'd become like their own son over the years of him bringing groups through the villages. They were extremely poor and while they survived in this rough area, they had never flourished and only just got by. He would bring them medicine when they needed it, which she probably needed when we visited because she'd been stung by a bunch of bees or wasps and her arms and legs were swollen. He assured her he'd be back the day after to bring something to help. It was hard not to be impressed. She and her husband were happy to pose for a few photos and before long we were on our way again.
We stopped in villages that specialised in pottery and rug making before we got back on the road.
On the trip back to our car we stopped for deer who crossed the road in their dozens before we met up with Sudarshan for the drive to Ranakpur. The first part of this day had turned out as good as i could imagine. I'd come to meet the people of India and today I'd done just that.