Writing the journal as I travel in the bus
Legend has it that on completion of the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan ordered that the hands of the project’s craftsmen be chopped off, to prevent them from ever building anything as beautiful again. Some even say he went so far as to have their eyes gouged out. Thankfully, no historical evidence supports either story.
These are the words that ring in my head as we leave Agra today.
Our bus is spacious and cool. As we sit in comfort I have my iPad propped and organ recital no 3 in D minor for oboe and organ moving through my headphones. Wonderful music, interesting scenery as we travel on our way to Jaipur.
We stopped at a local market and bought supplies, cookies, bananas, and wonderful snacks with a name I don’t understand. We added money to our ‘kitty’s party’ and the young man on the bus just keeps us supplied with snacks for the various journeys. A good deal all round I think.
When we stop of course we become the object of interest. We collect the shampoos, soaps and lotions from our hotel rooms and give them to the children and women who approach us. Other times we’ve given fruit and snacks. Somewhere in this area there are people experiencing shampoo and soap from the Taj Palace for the first time.
We drove past markets, made up of small wooden structures, the roof of palm leaves would barely keep the rain and relentless sun out. Packets of unknown morsels hang from the roof in strands of color. Bananas, fruit of all kind and the occasional cow or buffalo along with the goats, dogs and camels and 100’s of motor bikes.
Out in the country there are small houses rush houses set in fields of millet and corn under the shade be a lone tree. One wonders how they manage in the heat of the day and in the rain and floods of the monsoons.
Our expert driver negotiates his way past trucks, tractors on the eucalyptus lined highway.
Driving in India is an art, a game of chicken and when someone decides to drive on the wrong side of the road. You just shut your eyes and they go past you… (the wrong way)