Wednesday, November 25, 2015


We packed up and hit the road for about a four hour trip to Jaipur. It was finally a freeway and a smooth ride. Along the way, Naveen, our Hindu guide went into great and hilarious detail about Hindu culture and arranged marriages. He and his two brothers all had their marriages arranged by their parents. Two brothers never even saw their bride until after the wedding when they lifted the veil. Holy crap! Naveen was a bit luckier and a bit more defiant as he met his future bride a few times before, she was weeded out of 6,000 applicants and was actually chosen by the Hindu priest after he did the horoscope. VERY VERY important to be compatible horoscoptically. Also, same class, which was extremely number one in importance. Quite a "Bollywood Tale" in real life, and he could have a second career as a comedy writer.
Along the way, we saw trucks hauling huge hunks of white marble from an area about 60 miles away. We saw many camel caravans who had left the Camel Fair and were returning to their homes. And yes, they walk them on the shoulder of the freeway. But the MOST interesting thing we saw was a naked Jain monk walking with his ontorage, barefoot, in one lane of the freeway. The Jain's are one of the oldest sects of religion in India. They Are off the wall devote, non violence to everything. They are ultra   strict vegetarians, and will not eat any plant that grows down in the ground, as carrots, potatoes, etc. only plants that grow upwards. The monk believes he needs no clothes as the universe is his clothing. Well, we were a bit shocked and we pulled over to let them pass us, because we wanted to look closer...oh, I know. Anyway as they passed us they waved to us to join them! So we got out and went over and THEY wanted to take a picture of US! Standing with them! Then the priest threw holy Ganges water on us and they resumed their pilgrimage. I am NOT making this up. Every day, something strange happens to us in India. When a Jain monk feels his time on earth is over, he just stops  eating until he dies. The government is fighting this practice, but in fact with over a billion people in the country, there are many things to worry about.
I have included a newspaper page which is just one of 4 in yesterdays paper. The parents put ads in the paper for "hard to match kids" and hope something will happen. India really is a developing country in so many ways, but here the Indian traditional ways still prevail. Very strong culture with the old ways. Still very machismo and poor women struggle unbelievable.  China is developing much much faster in all ways. Very interesting. 

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