Rajasthan 5 | bellsandtrance's Blog
Subject: Rajasthan 5
Thank god we have left Agra,the very stinky city. People and babies sleeping in the dirty streets.
We are driving toward Jaipur now also known as the pink city, it's so nice to see the countryside, there are green and yellow mustard fields on either side of the highway. There are many beautiful green trees and it's very peaceful, except for our driver Milap, who is hooting on average every 5 minutes now. Dotted along the road are little huts ....tractors, big black buffalo, and ladies in saris with copper or silver pots on their heads. .
There are many trucks here all hooting behind us of course. They are all decorated with flowers and stickers and anything actually ( dolls, material, statues)
We stopped at yet another fort built in the 16 Th.centuary, massive and beautiful, this one had three palaces inside, one for each of Akbar's (his grandson built the Taj) three wives, one was Christian one was Muslim and one was Hindu. The Hindu wife received the biggest palace as she was the only one to give him a son. She also had a separate wing for her kitchen as she was a strict vegetarian. Really over the top!
They also built a monument for an elephant that used to live in the fort. We saw the stone they used to tie it to, this elephant used to stand by the entrance and it would stomp on anyone who was to be punished and kill them of course. How gruesome, can you imagine what that must be like? His monument is covered in elephant tusks and stands a couple of stories high.
The 4 kids now have Indian names. Declan is Hanuman who is the monkey god, it's really funny because he is eager to give everyone a demonstration of his monkey skills...he he he. Stella is Kali the goddess of anger because she doesn't want anything to do with any locals. Neville is Raja as he is the big boss(that's what he thinks) and Cate is Lakshmi who is a beautiful Goddess who sits on a lotus flower. The people really love Cate here, she is a celebrity.
Some Indian people have told me that colour doesn't matter here in India. This is not true as everything depends on your caste and religion. Although India is a democratic country where anything goes, there is still a lot of pressure from society to conform to what is expected. For example it is a social taboo to marry outside your caste or religion. There are four castes here, the lowest being the street cleaners who " eat the meat of the pig" the highest is obviously the rich elite who chilled with the British. People look different depending on which region the come from...obviously as it is such a massive place. There are Indians who are very dark skinned. Light skin is considered very beautiful. everywhere are adds for creams and ointments that promise to make you faire. There are Indians who are blonde and blue eyed from the north. There are Jewish Indians. Some look just like the Arabs. To be honest I don't even know what they all look like as we have only seen a needle in a haystack, but it is very interesting to realize they can all look so different from each other and still be one nation, a bit like South Africa I suppose.
Anyway we spent the whole day driving though the countryside and I must say it's really beautiful (you still see a lot of poverty) but the whole atmosphere is more relaxed. We arrive in Jaipur at seven and book into our Sheraton hotel. We are on the 5 Th. floor and the view is stunning, twinkling city lights as far as the eyes can see.
Will catch up tomorrow.
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