Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Freewheelin' in India - Day 3: Smelly Delhi and the beauty it holds

After an up and down sleep in our humid box, we finally arose at 9.30am, the first fix of that morning kiss which I’d been yearning for, for the past twenty -three days. We packed and left to go and get some breakfast.

A German couple were complaining in the restaurant at how the second attempt of their order still had rogue pieces of plastic in it. Another group of diners left their table after witnessing the row, but we stayed as we’d ordered. Besides, every Happy Meal I’ve ever ordered came with plastic in it, albeit not mixed in with the nuggets, and usually in the form of a Disney character, but still.

We jumped in a rickshaw which took us on the crazy, anything goes roads, where cars and bikes constantly cut each other up, narrowly missing impact every few seconds, and the sound of screams and never-ending horns beeping filled the void left by the absence of any radio.
We arrived in Old Delhi, so we could visit the Jama Masjid Mosque, which is the largest in India, holding up to twenty-five thousand people, and spent a few hours checking out the local goods and laying in a grassy area.
Two cute kids playing with each other in the street gave me a priceless smile when I approached handing them some biscuits and a lollypop each. My heart filled with love at their amazing faces, I stroked their little heads and strolled on.
I found a shop selling my favourite kind of Indian tunics, and paid the equivalent of £15 for their most fancy, bejewelled baby, along with some trousers to complete the outfit. We found a park and took a few minutes to lie in the shade, escaping the intense heat of the 2pm Sun, staring across at the Red Fort.
We then entered the mosque, and paid to climb the tower for an amazing 360 degree view. The powerful breath from Mother Earth’s lungs cooled me completely, and I inhaled her sweet delivery as I sat with my bare feet hanging over the edge to write a poem. After a few minutes, I looked up to see that I was surrounded by others, and decided to make space for them. We descended the narrow concrete spiral staircase, hugging the wall to avoid those going up, and made our way back outside.
I went off to the loo, stopping only to photograph a goat, and to give a small boy my last lolly. When I walked back, the same boy was standing with his older sister, and baby brother, obviously wanting their own sweeties. I had no more, but took a few snaps of them, and produced a 50 rupee note, which the boy snatched from my hand and scarpered, chased by his screaming sister
I found Sarah, took a rickshaw back to New Delhi, ate a masala dosa, haggled for some hashish from a guy on the street, then went to get our bags and have a joint before boarding our thirteen hour train ride to Varanasi at 6.45pm. After a few hours reading, talking to Sarah about life and death and cuddling up on my sleeper bed, we laid in our separate spaces around 10.30pm, and let the train tracks rock us to sleep.

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