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- Subject: Snapshots
- From: "Roberta Jenkins" <robertajenkins@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 08 Jan 2005 00:56:03 +0900
Still in Bodhgaya, no plans to move on for a few days. Loving it, not
only the town, which is quietly frantic, friendly, diverse, ultra-rural,
full of history (and damn good food). New friends, already familiar, as
if known always.
Plus my Delhi belly is back, and I just want to curl up into a little
ball for a while more.
Went out to the cave where Buddha passed his isolation (how many
years?). A long bicycle rickshaw ride along a battered country road
(alongside a wide, completely dry riverbed), in and out of villages
(dung-fuel patties drying on every vertical surface), expansive, arid,
starkly beautiful and harsh. Hour walk across the river (where an
enormous rib-cage full of ravenous dogs was all that remained of a
water-buffalo, beside which a group of men carried a dead body wrapped
in pale yellow silk over their heads and into the horizon), rice-fields,
mud-huts, "mountains". Ride back with 11 (!!!) Indians on a single
moto-rickshaw, past the overturned and smoking remains of a similarly
overloaded contraption. Long afternoon of steamed spinach and cheese
momo in a deceptively large, fabric tent, sticky sweet south indian
coffee, napping, laps around the 2 thousand year old stupa (packed full
of chanting, robed monks), silver plates of cool chai flavored mala
(like gulab jamun, but softer, white, less sweet), scent of incense,
The chicks in the village where my guesthouse is located
are dyed inexplicably, fluorescently pink. They sit on the back of the
skinny, tethered cow, which licks them endlessly.
Twin kidds so small they still wobble, brown with white knees, chasing
sand coloured moths in and out of huts built of sand.
Children the colour and sheen of coffee beans, naked but for a silver
bell on a black string low around bulging bellies, playing in the dust,
A one legged bird scrabbling for remains beneath the chai stall, perfect
in its imperfection, lightening fast as the crippled beggars in the
square around the stupa, impaired, yet so, so capable. Playing games
after the tourists have gone, legless races after silver offering bowls.
Discussing the nature of the mind in near-perfect English over shared
lassi at the curd stand on the corner, watching the moon rise over two
thousand years of history.
peace and love - roberta