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       Buffalo in Benares
Happy cow of Benares.
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Here are some more images from India. I only wish I could also convey to the viewer the intense fumes of incense which seem to be  everywhere throughout the subcontinent! It´s a vital part of the experience, as odours speak directly to us and for most of the time inspire us. Then it´s all the noise. Apart from the many ashrams I´d say India must be the loudest place on  this planet! It can really blow your mind sometimes, even in the smallest of towns where traffic like in the big cities often turns into a roaring, beeping, honking congestion of battered down cars, crates, carts, rikshaws and all sorts of bizarre looking vehicles.    

Jaipur

Diwahli in Jaipur, Rajastan. There are decorative lights everywhere and fire crackers and home made bombs detonate every now and then frightening us half to death.

Sihliguri

Rikshaws in Silighuri, West Bengal, just a mile from the very foothills leading us up to Darjeeling and the lower Himalayas.



Wholy cow

Holy cow of Varanasi. Not always friendly which my wife was often to find out, whereas the buffalos showed us a much friendlier mood. Outside one of our pensions in Varanasi they filled up the entire alley. The landlords who ran the place joked about it saying to the poor beasts: "No I´m sorry, we are full tonight!" Where upon the traffic jam of cattle swayed their tails a little and gazed idly at us for a moment. On the roofs of temples monkeys create havoc by jumping up and down in order to aggravate dogs who always turn raving mad. There´s a constant vendetta going on between these two species of primates, in the alleys, on the streets and on the roofs.

Woman workers

Woman labourers in Rajastan. Photo taken from the train as it pulled out of a station. As anyone can see they were happily taken by surprise, something which we were too. For who has ever seen such a well dressed team of workers carrying concrete powder by a building site!


    Taj mahal

Taj Mahal seen from another angle. Notice the  immaculate ornamentation on walls and portals! What other mausoleum in the world displays such an indulgence in bringing out the fine arts in architecture!

  Boy thief stirring milk

Young boy stirring milk by hand (or arm) to make it become thicker. The reason most likely being for it to be used in cooking (instead of using cream or craime fraische the way westerners do) or for preparing dairy based cakes and goodies, something which is widely popular during religious festivities and other high occasions.


      Temple in Kanchipuram
In Kanchipuram, one of India's many holy cities, there are hindu temples built in virtually every direction. Some are painted in bright, exuberant colours while all of them display numerous big and small statues featuring characters of the Mahabarata, the Ramayana or other religious scripts. It´s perhaps a bit odd to a Westerner that sacred places like these are sometimes infested with commerce, by clergymen selling all sorts of holy articles at regular prices and then topping it off with a surplus of fees and commissions, atleast one for every need!

Temple
Most South Indian temples are well maintained with all their little statues and sculptures painted in gaudy, bright colours such as this one in a suburb near to the city centre of Chennai (Madras).


In front of Taj Mahal

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TRAVELS!
Sadhu with elefant

A sadhu collecting funds for an elephant mission to the Himalayas. The photo was taken in Calangute, Goa which means his party will have a long and tiring way to go before they reach their goal.

Bathing by the ghats in Varanasi

Bathing (not at Baxters but) in the Ganges. It´s early in the morning, we´re on a tour taking us along most of the coastline of Benares (Varanasi). He who rows us around keeps putting in pan into his mouth which is a mixture of dehydrated milk, beetle nuts, spices and tobacco or sometimes stronger stimulants. Men often find it hard to speak as their mouths are full of saliva, which turns a bright red from these substances.





On the way to work

Men on their way to work, Tamil Nadu. Each morning they sit like this for hours and then in the same way home again. And the most amazing thing about it is that it doesn´t bother them in the least, or so they told us!



Senai

A senai played by the constructor himself.
Photo taken in Varanasi in October 1997. Later this instrument  was used on several In the labyrinth recordings, at those occasions performed by yours truly as well as I could.


Wedding dinner

Carina being treated to a luxurious South Indian meal on a wedding party at eight in the morning. All sorts of spicy dishes were served one after the other along with chutneys and different kinds of roti (bread) on banana leaves, our only option being to take it all in with our right hands as there were neither fork nor knife around.  All guests seemed bright and cheerful though most of them would most likely have been partying all night! Which was not the case with us since we attended in the evening, then took a nap and returned in the wee ours of dawn.


Wedding
At the same wedding in Kanchipuram, at this occasion Carina handing over some paper money to the couple which was more of a symbolic act than that of really donating cash.


Kids in Kanchipuram

In Kanchipuram of Tamil Nadu (down in the south eastern part of India) kids line up, like all over the subcontinent, to get caught on camera. My wife Carina can be seen standing at the far end of this perfect constellation holding an umbrella and wearing a supporting bandage to protect her neck after the whiplash injury which she received during our motorbike accident in Goa. The last part of our journey was really hard on her since most of the roads in India  are quite disastrous and nearly all of the busses have warn out suspension. Standard for truck and bus drivers is to just hammer it out and race at full speed over all the rocks and pot holes! For passengers it´s more or less a sensation of being suspended in mid air while getting a thorough beating to your lower end!