eldest son tosses clay pot
lucky to find a few hotels with wonderful courtyards or balconies, which
are an oasis away from the hectic pace in
The most I spent was 1100 Rs ($24) and the least 30 Rs ($.66) for
the roof of a hotel in Jaisalmer in the Thar
It was so warm that I didn't use a sheet or a blanket until the wee
hours when the wind picked up. I
normally pay 200 Rs. On one
occasion, this was a top notch super clean new hotel, another was a pit.
I traveled to: Delhi,
(Taj Mahal), Jaipur, Pushkar, Jodhpur,
and Jaisalmer (camel safari).
The camel safari was my favorite activity.
As the camel stands up, you feel like you'll go straight over his
head. It's a combination of
his height and the motion. We
rode out to a sand dune and watched the sunset.
Our camel driver and his cook prepared our dinner on a campfire.
The cook and his friend sang us songs in Hindi, as we fell asleep
under a blanket of stars. I
loved seeing the silhouette of the camels after sunset and during sunrise.
(holy water) to be the most interesting place.
Without seeing it, I think it would be difficult to understand.
I'll give it a go... many
people come to Varanasi
to die. They have a strong
belief in the holy water – purify their soul.
They also believe in reincarnation.
There are two types of cremation – electric (500 Rs) and wood
(3000 Rs). Five are not
burned, since they have achieved nirvana – will go straight to heaven:
priest, mother carrying a child (child purifies mother), death by
cobra bite, leprosy (afraid others will breath the ash and get sick) and
children under 10 (innocent – no lies or cheating).
These are tied on a stretcher with rocks and dumped into the
With the cremation process, the eldest son shaves his head, all but a
tuft. They first dunk the body
(water), put body on river bank (earth), put body on small pile of wood,
and put a few pieces on top. Next
straw and walk around the body counter clockwise five times to reverse the
five elements "come from ash, return to ash." They
light the fire near the head – with some you see the face (wind, fire),
they watch the body burn for 3-hours chanting, singing or talking.
There is no sadness and no tears or the spirit (5th element) cannot
leave. Most local women are
not allowed to watch – used to jump in with the husband.