While riding early morning from Narsipatnam to Lambasingi I stopped at a village for breakfast. There was a table set out outside a hut along the village road and an old man was making tea. I asked for a cup of tea and something to eat. The old man pointed to the tea and then said something in his local language that I didn't understand. I made the sign for food and he turned to his wife who was standing close by. She pointed me to a bench outside their hut, asked me to sit down and went inside the hut. After a few moments she emerged with a place of idlis and chutney which I enjoyed along with the tea.
After I was done I asked the old man how much I owed him and he replied with "5 rupees". I knew I was in one of the most backward areas of India, but 5 bucks seemed too less for a plateful of idlis with chutney and a tea. I showed my astonishment using sign language and the old man pointed to the tea once again. I pointed to the empty plate of idlis and his wife said something which I again didn't understand. But it seemed that they were charging me only for the tea.
I protested and pointed to the plate once again and they both smiled at me. That was the moment I realised that theirs was merely a tea stall and they had given me some of their own breakfast, which meant there would be less for their family to eat that morning.
I stayed quiet for a moment as I wrapped my head around what had just happened. I then reached into my wallet, took out some money and handed it to the old man. He refused to take it, but I insisted and after some pleading he finally gave in.
As I rode up the ghat to Lambasingi I couldn't stop thinking about the old couple and the life lesson I learned from them. You haven't truly given until you have given till it hurts.
This post seems to have gone viral on social media and many have asked me for the location of this hut so that they can stop by and meet the couple. Here is the location on a Google Map.
0 018 minutes ago
Giving out a message to all of us to look at ourselves the same! Beautiful just the way we are ❤️ That’s the magic of himalayas, it is beautiful the way it is and every way it is.
At times you see those mountains covered with all snow, other times you see them slippery with that snow melting and there’s a season you also see them all green where even those pine trees look mighty amidst those mighty hills.
Yes, does speak just that we need to understand it’s language.
Before I fully move on from India stories, I wanted to share our Jodhpur adventures with @coxandkingsusa. The first portrait was taken during our tour of the spice and vegetable market in town. We had just gotten out of our rickshaws, walked a short distance and turned the corner into the market from a street that almost felt deserted there was so little happening — and after we turned the corner, the difference could not have been more pronounced; it was an immediate deep dive into sensory overload and an immersion into organized chaos. And yet, this gentleman and his vegetable stall caught my eye right away. I don’t know if it was the vibrancy of the green, which along with blue is one of my two favorite colors, or if it was the intensity of his gaze. But he saw me see him, I immediately communicated that I wanted to take his picture, he said yes and I did. After I showed him the photo, the brightest smile lit up his face and he seemed so happy. I don’t know his name but I will always remember the way his face lit up toward the end of our interaction. Afterward we all found ourselves absorbed into the market’s ebbs and flows and only a few other instances to take someone’s photo occurred before we went back to the hotel. I’ve included them here; the last of which, the man with the bags of flowers, resulted in my being gifted a rose more fragrant than any other I’ve ever encountered anywhere in the world. I even packed it in my luggage going home and though the rose crumbled in transit, the smell of it is still on the scarf I wrapped it in. It’s embedded in that fabric just like the smiles of the people we met in India are forever imprinted on my heart and in my mind. Thank you for this tour #coxandkingsusa 🙏🏼 #hostedtravel#sponsoredtrip#IncredibleIndia#PortraitsOfIndia
An early morning stroll on a gloomy monday morning in some inaccessible villages of east Khasi hills in Meghalaya presented me with a galore of kids! Like dozens of them, and they were so playful and agile that it was almost impossible to get your focus right when you try to get a picture of them!! And this is one kid who chose to play hide and seek wit me! Would put up his hand the moment I point my camera at him! As much as it was surreal to get fooled around by toddlers who could barely walk, it made me wonder what’s with these many kids!! .
Though not much info is available on public domain to present exact numbers, but it’s true that Meghalaya has the highest population growth rate in the country. On par if not higher than Bihar!! Each family would have a minimum of four kids! Yes, it’s true that Meghalaya is not a populous state and it’s other development indicators like literacy and healthcare are fairly better in comparison to other northeast states but that doesn’t take away the fact that these kids grow up to become adults in no time. They need opportunities, they need resources, and I wonder if these tech savvy millennials won’t chose to live frugal lives like their ancestors? Is the administration ready to handle this, should they not be controlling this alarming population growth? At the same time, is this the brute force of young energy that this region is waiting for.
So, I wonder what’s this kid was trying to tell me with his hand gesture. Stop this penchant for kids, or don’t show this side of our story to the world. Or simply telling me, don’t worry, we will figure our shit when we get there! 😀
0 1234 minutes ago
"Partir au bout du monde et s'y sentir chez soi " . Inde . Kudle Beach gokarna 🙏🇮🇳💛☀
SOMANATHA SWAMY TEMPLE (PAZHAYARAI VADATHALI) | ADITYA CHOLA 1 (870–907 CE) | KUMBAKONAM | TAMIL NADU
Something interesting to note is that, the temple's structure looks very similar (a mini version) to the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram with a chariot shaped front mandapam. May be RajaRaja 2 could have planned the structure of Airavatheeswarar temple having the model of Somanatha Swamy Temple as the base.
Note: Check my yesterday's post to find the similarity.
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