Hampi Day Three
Deepak, my local friend, took me to the Anagundi village to meet with the local organization in town. In Hampi, there is only one organization that is run by the NAME organization. In the village, there are about 2,000 people living there and the local craft of the village involves using banana fibers to make anything from paper to purses to earrings, to carpets. I met with the director of the site and she was educating me on how the NGO runs and who to contact about volunteering. This is an option for me, but I want to look at the website to see the types of volunteering they offer. It seems like
The women were all sewing away at various crafts. A small craft takes about a day and half to make. Families and children are welcome to the center and there are training courses available for any village member interested. It is beautiful to see this craft bringing unity to women and their families.
Deepak and I go sit in the Sri Ranganatha temple and talk about our religion. He is very interested in how I travel alone and maintain a budget during traveling. He has never been to the US and has no desire to go and I fully agree with his choice to avoid US. His conversation is pretty typical, but what was striking was his words, “God is in everything.” God is in the water, the food, the smiles of his children, the home, and especially guests. This is true and this confirms my thoughts yesterday that God drives behavior in India (for those that are religious
We head up to the NAME HILL AND BLANK CAVE where we have lunch with the two swamis that are there. We enjoy some rice and mixed vegetables, which I always love the broth of this dish. The swami says, “Do you like it?.” I respond, “Yes, I like it.”
He responds with, “No, you do not like it.” I get tired of saying I am from America and people just making the assumption I will not like the food. For the record, I LOVE INDIAN FOOD and I LOVE SPICE-the more the better.
We went off to the lake where tourists were swimming and jumping off the cliffs. I was not allowed to do either of these things because Deepak was worried something would happen. I find when you are with a local you have to respect their concerns, doubts, and worries. They are just worried about something happening to the American and them being held accountable, which is very understandable.
Another thing with Indians is that the average Indian is just uncensored and clueless, especially when it comes to women. Please keep in mind that I am talking about local Indians (many who are from villages, even cities, but not well traveled). I have heard a variety of things from Indian men comments being: my hands are old, my hair should be worn differently, I look old or my twenties etc. Deepak tells me I look fat and I look older than 32. With this comment, I am upset, but I am mindful of how clueless Indian men can be.
We head to the lake where there are buffalos bathing in the water, exotic birds, sunflowers, and more monkeys. It reminds me of Colorado in the US except Colorado is more rustic and does not have the countryside full of greens like Hampi and it is just different overall.
Near the lake, we race to the top of the mountain like two kids. He talks about his love for cricket and his dreams to one day go to Europe-France, Austria, and Germany specifically. He shows me a few more temples and then drops me of because he has to get back to his family.
I decide to stop by the restaurant with my local Punjabi and Nepalese friends-the place where the guy who tried to hit one me came from. When I came by, he immediately ran the opposite direction. The guy totally switched his story, which is common and told them that we had a nice time talking and I agreed to see him the next day-false! He also told them that he ran into a light post because he has a bruise on his chin. I thought I missed his face, but it turns out I made it ha! My Nepalese buddy felt really bad and said I can order whatever I want. I plan on ordering what I want after they sent me walking home with that weirdo. I sit and replay my Punjabi power moves and we all laughing hysterically. It is funny until someone gets tough with me.
I hitch a ride back to my guesthouse with another local friend who owns the jewelry shop in town. He is from Pushkar in Rajasthan and I tell him I am very excited to be heading up there. He drops me off and I can tell my his facial expression and his lustful stares into my eyes that he is interested. As he just sits on the bike staring at me, he asks “Is your father a gardner?” Of course I respond with “No.”
He then says, “Because you look just like a sweet flower.” Oh boy weird pickup line number 107. He asks if I want to go see a Hindi movie with him and I decline because I have plans with my Mr.Taliwood and his sister. We part ways and I hang out with Chini- Mr. Taliwoods sister. We sit together swinging in the hammock talking about boys and marriage. She says that the Southern Indian boys are bad looking, but have good hearts. The Northern boys have big egos and bad hearts. I tell her that I do not like Southern guys and I have a feeling I will like the Northern guys-the bad boys with the bad hearts- Priscilla’s type since 15 ha.
Mr. Taliwood is working to fix a water pipe as there is no water and no electricity in their guesthouse and actually in the village area. This is common for India and in my guesthouse they do not have running water-they just collect it each morning from the lake.
Since he is busy, I head back to my guesthouse to have dinner with my family. I sit down and speak with Shakar. He reminds me of a special needs kid I worked with in California. He has some facial deformities, but cognitively he is just fine. His sister makes me an extra spicey dal with chapati rice and pineapple juice. As I am eating and listening to some Hindi beats from his phone in comes the swami from the top of our mountain and he is completely drunk!
I shake his hand, bow down, and introduce myself. He is mumbling stuff I can not understand while sipping on a Coca cola. Lunch with a seriously committed swami and dinner with a drunk Swami-oh India. While this swami is talking to me, my nose is running from the dal. It is so spicey, but I just keep eating I love it.
After my spice fest, Mr. Taliwood comes by on his bike and says, “Lets go.” I said, “Where?” and he says, “Come on lets go.”
I do like his spontaneity and I do like our childish relationship acting like two kids-punching one another and making fun of each other. He is actually a pretty cute guy, but I am just not allowing myself to like him as I do not want to be involved with men just a waste of time.
We are driving there super fast and I wonder why he is rushing and then realize he is trying to impress me. We climb up to the rock and lay down and watch the stars. This time he is getting a little bit closer than yesterday. I just sit and lay in his arms with the bright stars and the silence. It is nice just sitting and enjoying peace with another beating heart. The silence breaks as I mention going night swimming and he agrees. We drive down to the water and I dip my feet in. The water is a perfect temperature and there is absolutely no one around. I say, “Okay lets go in.” And he says he can only go in naked because he does not want his stuff wet. I think to myself that he is creating such an excuse and I know his intentions. He tells me if I am not comfortable I can just go in solo.
I stare at the water and I stare at him. I am feeling attracted to him and I want to take off my shirt and pants and just jump in the water. When we joke around and push each other, I can feel how strong his chest and arms are and it makes me feel excited and tempted. I just stand there letting the minutes pass by and waiting for the impulsive side of me to just take off my clothes and go in.
The grandma side of me comes out and I tell him, “Let’s just go back.” I can tell he is disappointed by his voice and the ride home where he is speeding like a maniac. Writing love stories for movies, I think he created one in his head for me and him and it just was not happening. Way to go with the self discipline and self control Priscilla, but the temptation will present itself again and maybe things will take a different turn.
Arriving back at my guesthouse, the family is all sitting and watching a Kannada movie. The mother is so happy to see me-her face just glows as she sits up looking at the 10 inch Zenith television. Shankar and his sister sit on the table while Nesha lies asleep in his sister’s arms. Shankar is trying to translate the movie to me and I make jokes about what is happening. This is a perfect Friday night for me sitting with this lovely family.