Sat Sri Akaal: 4350km

“People always ask me when I am going to come down from the clouds. Never. I like this view.”

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Imagine you are sitting on the back of a motorcycle, riding down a winding dirt foot path through fields of rice and sugar cane. All you can see in front of you is a bright orange turban, as the driver is a friendly Punjabi (Sikh) man, the kind of grandpa any child would be lucky to have. To your right are a few teenagers jumping into the largest pile of hay you have ever seen, and to your left, at least twenty ox grazing in a field. Now let’s back up a bit so I can tell you how I got here.

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The man in the orange turban, Surat, escorted me out of the area after my encounter with the not so friendly Indian men, and en route, invited me to his house. Like the other Indians who have taken me in, his whole family was curious and generous, and treated me straight away like part of the family.

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They own acres of fields of rice and sugar cane, as well as a few fields of mango trees and vegetables, and at least ten cows. They live on the farm with a few other families (relatives of some kind), and a few servants who help in the fields.

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Though they do have an indoor kitchen, the women normally cook outside over an open flame (using cow dung as their fuel).

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And like always, it was the children who were my favorites.

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This family was Sikh, a religion started in the Punjab region (Eastern India and Pakistan) in the 15th century by a guru, though they now have ten. There are about 30 million followers which makes it the fifth largest organized religion, a fact that surprised me since I hadn’t realized it was so large. I have found the Sikh to be my favorite people in India, and because of is, I am much more willing to trust them.

The family then passed me on to some of their relatives who lived 50km down the road, and I spent another two days with them. To my relief, the sixteen year old girl spoke great English as she was in an English medium school (a few other members of her family spoke a few words as well). This made it a lot easier and more enjoyable for me since it does get tiring after a while never understanding what people are talking about.

One of their servant’s children took a liking to me, so I spent a lot of my time outside with her.

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7 thoughts on “Sat Sri Akaal: 4350km

  1. Shrine, I am enjoying your travel blog so much. I was relieved to see that you found a welcoming family after your encounter with leering men. Stay safe!

  2. It is said that Heaven is here & also Hell is here.Sometimes circumstances make the things difficult .But I am sure you have all the courage & smartness to be away & come out of that.After reading your “unfortunate encounter” of a bitter experience,I feel happy to read your this better experience.Your blog inspires me a lot.

  3. I just felt that i have to point out that, the experiences you have had are mainly in north Indian villages, like you should probably know by now, India is very varied! the thing you have to realize is that when you travel across the country you will have to go through villages. What you say is very true and the way the men behave is accurate but it is flawed in one way, which is, it does not represent the cities which make up a good part of the country. especially south India, which is more safer and more advanced, even in the villages! so please if you ever visit India again come down south! you will have a much better time without looking over your shoulder every now and then. The north is a bit rough and the men are more likely to make advances since the standard of living is harsher.
    Here in south india the women are free to work and many of them work in corporate offices. no one even uses cow dung as fuel since everyone has Cooking gas or electric induction ovens! cow, and hay are mainly seen in villages as thats where the agriculture work is done I really want you to have a look at the cities so you would know india is not as backward as it is in villages!
    Please check out the cities too! you would see were not all bad!

    Im emphatic here because in general the media, including the big names like BBC and NatGeo often just ignore the cities and harp on how bad the villages are! so popular opinion is that india is full of cows and the women stay inside all the time. and that’s only half the story as those are the traditional villages of the north.

    I am not saying what you have experienced is false! I can only imagine what you might have experienced! We have a long way to go…we are still a developing country!

    • I actually much prefer the villages. My favorite home stays were by far in the smallest villages, where everyone were farmers. It was unfortunately in the cities where I encountered my troubles,and where, as here, villagers came to help me. I do know India is extremely diverse, and obviously this is not a reflection of the whole country. If you read my past articles, they all talk about the amazing experiences I have had in the villages, with the farmers, and even in a small slum.

  4. Pingback: 180 Days and Counting | A Wandering Nomad

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