And Sometimes You Just Cry
Konarka Travel Blog› entry 18 of 67 › view all entries
I cried today. It was bound to happen. Iâ€™m in India after all. I recall crying a few times while traveling solo through China in 2006 although I canâ€™t remember exactly when or why.
Today I hopped on a bus to Konark, a town roughly one hour away famous for its UNESCO site, the Sun Temple. Itâ€™s a stunning, large stone temple dedicated to the sun goddess, Surya. Itâ€™s also known for its erotic carvings that decorate the outer walls. My guide gladly pointed out the depictions of lesbians, threesomes, standing 69s, and bestiality (WHAT?!?!). Iâ€™ll admit, for my first encounter of historic, erotic art, I was entertained.
After leaving the complex I decided to check out the nearby Nine Planets Shrine.
I didnâ€™t want pay the 50 rupees for a blessing, but I had one thrust on me anyways by the monk who followed me into the shrine despite my protests. Then, when I went to make a small donation, another monk pressed me to donate more. He SHAMED ME into donating more rupees! Then the first monk demanded that I pay for my blessing!
I left very angry about being corned like that and soon afterwards I decided to turn back to confront them for using such tactics.
It wasnâ€™t about the money.
I was angry that they made me feel guilty when I had nothing to feel guilty about. Visiting the shrine was free and I made my first donation voluntarily. Even a local girl who saw what happened told me afterwards that I shouldnâ€™t have had to pay anything.
I told some of the monks still at the shrine that I didnâ€™t like how two monks simultaneously pressured me for more money in the name of their religion. I also reiterated that I clearly said several times that I didnâ€™t want a lamp or a blessing but it was just thrust on me as I was standing there.
A different monk then went into the shrine and came back with my 50 rupees. He asked me if this is what I wanted and then gave me half of the cucumber he was about to eat. I think he meant it as a peace offering. I took both, said thank you and walked away.
I didnâ€™t get very far when the overwhelming urge to cry forced me to sit down on a ledge next to a tree. It just felt good to cry. And I ate most of that cucumber. It made me feel good too. But I gave the rest of the cucumber to a cow that had wondered over to where I was sitting. It was scavenging for food in the garbage that littered the ground. I figured she must have been more miserable than I was at that moment.
Yeah, sometimes thereâ€™s just cattle walking around.