In these few days I have lived a lifetime. Three friends and I took the train to come to Hampi, a village among 16th Century ruins in Karnataka.
We have been in many different situations along this journey. Starting on the train, to arriving and realizing that we were arriving in Hampi on the first day of the 500 year celebration of the king who created many of the temples that are the incredible ruins surrounding this town. (More on that later.) Crossing the river to the peaceful side and attending a Shabbat dinner, then Indian crowds of epic proportions as we crossed the river to the festival the next day.
This morning I was in one of the most sketchy situations that I have ever been in, as crowds pushed and shoved to get back across the river and police took out their sticks and started beating people. A police man raised his stick to me, it was very nearly out of control.
This afternoon I think we will ride bicycles to a nearby village, keeping it on the peaceful side before we have to leave tomorrow morning. I will tell more about all of it, but to start:
The train ride.
How I love Indian trains.
We got on the train just after sunrise and left Goa, traveling through the Western Ghats, a beautiful jungly range of mountains on the border of Karnataka, the next state over. We passed rivers and valleys, and as we came into the agricultural plains of Karnataka, we saw mango orchards, fields of millet, and groups of water buffalo. I sat at the door and took photos. Coming into Hampi seven hours later, we made our way to the other side of the river (by boat) and found a peaceful guest house. We arrived just in time to see the women planting a rice field, singing while they did it.
It made me think of seasons, of planting new things, and what hard work it is, but how much easier work is made with singing...
(To be continued...)