7:05am:If the traffic isn’t beeping and hooting, then the dogs are singing their own chorus!!!
What on earth!! Somebody is drilling outside our door and smashing draws of a chest in and out …..what…is …going…on???? Where on earth am I?…..
………….I roll myself out of bed, my top is completely twisted and my arm is sticking out of the neckline……omg, flip, I just remembered …..I AM IN INDIA! OMG!!!
Walking zombie like towards the bathroom I attempt to peer into the mirror (I am blind without my contact lenses)…..probably a good thing 😂……the bathroom has a lot to be desired; the shower door is encrusted with brown dirt, along with the plastic,bubble bathroom mat with has foot imprints. The toilet paper looks like it has been recycled!- as if people have gathered cut offs and felted, then pressed together to make this hard strange paper. Hunny, here there is not such thing as “Andrex extra soft ” you are lucky if you get toilet paper at all!!!
However I need to pack my bag, get changed and get breakfast in an hour, and now it’s 48 mins!
8:10am : I settled for silk black high waisted trousers, a blue and white tie-dye net top, silver cycle necklace, trainers and my long black, relaxed trench coat.
We visit a Muslim and Seike temple.
The Muslim temple is stunning and open roofed-made from red stone.The three of us walk bare foot dressed in flower print kimonos, chatting and absorbing the beauty and heat. A dust coated man lingers beside us , staring and swaying…..suddenly he grabs my hand, and kisses it…..and in broken English says, “sexy-iest”…. immediately I pull it away….that’s enough of that!!!! We hurry away to the opposite side of the temple, laughing …I quickly wash my hand with antibacterial…….gosh I feel rude. However, later when we are putting on our shoes again, the same man is peering over and rubbing himself…..I feel sick…..”omg just pretend to be oblivious to the situation and he will go away!”
Later we have the opportunity to emerge ourselves within the Sikh temple ,an audience to food being created, where the woman roll bread and huge metal pots of lentils are cooked. ( this temple serves over 20,000 people with free food a day). We sit within the ceremony, listening to he music and absorbing the ideals of the Sikh faith. They do not worship any gods, but a book of teachings and morals, their faith is about being a good person, following these morals and dedicating their life to them.
11.00am We are now with the tour group and wondering through the back streets of Delhi. A young man, a street kid called EJazz is telling us the story of the streets, and history of Delhi’s past life.
Swerving through mostly a male populated areas, all wearing colourful mix-match of 60s, 80, 90s past fashion clothes. The scenery compliments their (in western eyes) strange mix-match fashion choices. Bright billboards hang everywhere, and cupboard sized shops explode with items, like suitcases bursting at the seams!!! Gold, silver, metal and plastic jewellery; fuchsia, gold and ruby baskets; yellow and orange plastic flowers hanging on string and food….so much food. Smells of Indian spices of cardimon and warmth, fried food and the thick dusty fog mix and dance throughout the air . We are in aladdins cave. Wire, electrical lines in black, blue, green and red cascade like vines overhead, twisting and knotting from building to building. Trees built into old partly delaperdated Muslim buildings, creating shadows and a beautiful contrast between nature and man-made. (They believe that you should never harm life, they worship trees, so when buildings are constructed, the tree is never harmed.) Beautiful!
Men are everywhere, so many men, sitting, waiting, looking. Or doing odd jobs, like banging metal bars to oblivion or bargaining and shouting curses to each other. Most just chill, silent,relaxing on motor bikes, chairs, or the dusty floor ; or crouching in a frog like position, so close to the ground they could lick it, droning away at odd jobs or sleeping in tuc-tucs with their dusty bare feet and black hair the only way to distinguish them. We walk through ancient buildings so close together that if one desired , you could climb from one window in one building to the building opposite- or shake hands with a person in the opposite building. A man to the left is ironing clothes on a fabric covered table , using a heavy coal fuelled, black metal iron and barganing with a customer over price for his work, and to the right, drawing placks of all the Hindu gods line the wall. ……..haha I bet you guess that this would be a sacred place…..no….this was placed to stop people relieving themselves on the wall !….how nice haha
1:30 A clad iron,red metal gate. Ejazz rings the bell and we enter to meet the kidss at the Street Kid foundation -Salaam Balak – these kids are all where living on the street, and now this foundation is taking care of them, giving them he opportunity for an education and giving them a start in life that they need. (Ejazz is now 21 and graduating soon, and his dream is to become a professor) . We ventured up the narrow stone staircase to meet the kids. About a dozen nosey eyes peered down through the red metal hatched floor (a Muslim building creation -which meant that light could flood the whole building – you could see from the top level all the way down to th bottom level.) The children stood, their feet and toes clutching, balancing on the red metal flooring , it was incredible seeing their happy faces; most introducing themselves, shaking our hands, and craving to be in photos. …….is it bad, my goodness I felt awkward….I wanted to talk to them properly and help. I felt like we where frauds taking photos with them, we hadn’t earned their trust, or sat, and investored any time in them. However all of them, par one, loved the attention. This little man, stood, solemn, staring, no emotion, like those water appeal adverts on tv. He held one hand in a t-Rex position, and didn’t smile or change his expression. He wore a too-short thick knit jumper and some oversized trousers that dragged and split under his feet. I looked at him, my god he looked like he had gone through an ordeal, my heart broke !!,
India is incredible, I wonder how these people keep smiling through everything. They are so strong and don’t seem to cry about their lives, but change it, and take what that have and run with it.