February 24th, 2010 – by: tocca
3 Idiots (Varanasi)
Before arriving, the only thing I knew was that cows were sacred animals in the country. I still don't really how it happened to be... But I found it quite funny to see them everywhere. To wander around in narrow streets, and to see a cow coming out from nowhere. To be in rickshaw in the middle of a traffic jam, and see all the vehicles zigzagging around still cows, like they were not even there. To get to a small court by night, with bunches of bustling kids playing loudly around a still cow, running around and jumping above it while it keeps on ruminating peacefully. Everywhere, they all look so still and calm that the world could fall apart, they wouldn't even move an inch.
And actually, it seems like all the animals, camels, elephants, and others have the same calm as cows.
It's quite surprising, in cities where streets are always busy (1.2 billion people do have to fit somewhere, huh ?) and noisy (with cars/bikes/rickshaws/trucks/buses always horning). But when I think about it, I realise that despite this apparent human excitation, people are almost as calm as these animals. Yes, on the road they spend their time horning and driving as fast as possible, but when they stop, they look peaceful and they can wait for hours. Yes, in the queues (to buy a ticket or enter a bus), they all try to pass before each other, but soon as they are inside, even without a seat, they can stand hours and hours quietly, without complaining. It's like they're hiding an incredible patience behind this apparent restlessness.
Elephant Festival (Jaipur, Feb.
Along with the fact we had a CS host in Jaipur
, this festival was the reason we chose Jaipur as a first destination for after my girlfriend's arrival. We're not that used to seeing this kind of animals here in Europe, so hey, why wouldn't go and see painted ones ? So here we went ! Expecting a parade, and some stuff like that... But attending to something quite different. A mess. An incomprehensible mess. People and elephants everywhere in the stadium. Guard telling people of the audience not to go in the middle of the stadium with the elephants, but people going anyway. A "elephant soccer" match with people running in the middle of the "soccer field", shouting when the elephants were "running" in their direction or shooting the ball towards them, premises of Holi Festival with people starting to paint each other (mostly tourists), TV cameras coming one after another and interviewing you about all that... Well, in a word : India.