16 January 2006

kite festival, jaipur

I was blogging you just didn't know it...

written on Saturday January 16, 2006
So without any access to wireless internet for the last week or so, it's been a bit difficult to blog with any regularity. dialup just isn't the medium for blogging (or anything else for that matter). Just goes to show you how the IT gap is still incredibly wide--in a country like India with IT supercenters, it doesn't take much distance from a major metro area to lose broadband. Jaipur has 3 million people and yet our hotel has one computer with a dialup connection. And so I am blogging in the dark.

Today was the annual kite festival in Jaipur, a celebration of the full moon in January. It's one of the most amazing, calming, heart-opening things you can see. We climbed up onto the roof of the hotel at dawn (which was late--around 7 ish) and watched the kites floating above the city--kids and adults letting them fly from their rooftops. a sea of little square kites, off into the distance in the morning haze so that you can't tell the difference between the flocks of birds flying across the horizon and the kites themselves. At sunset, back in the hotel, I was looking for a bit of alone,non-people time, and so I went out on the roof by myself and sat and watched the kites, watched the sun sink down, and just enjoyed. Of course, it being India, there's no way you can ever be alone, and me being a white woman on the top of a roof, there was no way that I wasn't going to be engaged in conversation. In this case, a young girl from the adjoining roof, Deepika (aged 5, we established) chatted me up, asking all the usual questions and introducing me to her two brothers (one older, one younger). The family was clearly wealthy, as they had a house in central Jaipur, and she was very sweet. Her mother offered me gajar, which is a cookie-like substance that tastes of honey. So my rooftop retreat turned into a cultural experience, as usual. India is great that way--always someone friendly around wanting to make sure your stay is a friendly one.

The woman on the trip who reminds me of my aunt Shelley told me that I am, apparently, the spitting image of her niece in all respects, from appearance to personality, so I guess great minds and great personalities think alike...the group continues to be in good spirits, with the only complaints being, basically, not enough time for relaxation. As it is India, and as you can see that my attempts at solitary reflection and relaxation were pleasantly thwarted, this should not come as a surprise, but there you are. You need a vacation from one of these vacations after it's all said and done.


Kate said...

The kite festival sounds amazing. You brought me a little bit of peace just describing it.
Glad things are going well!
Love, Katie

Transient Gadfly said...

In Seattle it's rained for like, 27 straight days now. That's, like, practically a monsoon. They have those in India, right? Which is where you are, right? So that's like, all sympatico and stuff.