Halfway to Something

Beware: Existential ponderings ahead. Also: Cows will eat your car.

It would be easy to write about how amazing this whole experience has been (and continues to be), and I plan to (though I caution that any plans of mine tend to be delicate, mercurial things). But to focus only on the beauty of this land and the positive highlights of farm life would be dishonest, in the sense that it would not be telling a complete story. And I attempt to write honestly.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said ‘A man is what he thinks about all day long’, and I believe that. It may be our actions that create an image of us in other people’s minds, but it is our intentions, our thoughts, that color our own days; not what we do, but how we feel about it that shapes our perception of our own, current existence.

So what have I been thinking about during all this? Shit, a lot of things. Continue reading

This post is 2.5 pictures long

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. They do not, however, say anything about the accuracy of the stories said words tell.

As I prepare to upload 6 photo sets from my time thus far in India to the FACEBOOKs, it seems a good time to address what I hope many people who use any sort of social networking site or follow any sort of media source already know: That a picture painted by a series of photos can, frequently, be a less than accurate portrayal of how events actually transpired.

First, a quick catch up from where we left off: Departing Rishikesh with our newly serviced bikes and heading towards Vrindavan for Holi.

Holi is a Spring festival in which Indians celebrate the coming of Spring, the miraculous escape of Prahlada, the burning of Holika and the general awesomeness of Krishna and his female counterpart Radha. They celebrate this by hurling ‘gulal’, a colored powder, at each other. They also hurl colored water called ‘rang’ and, my new disdain, colored foam (which wouldn’t be so damn evil except that it’s scented, and its scent seems to be ‘rank’).

The drive there was long and hard and contained another 3 repairs: Sheila took a tumble during a railroad crossing and busted her mirror from the hand brake. Hrithik snapped a piece off his exhaust that required an. . .interesting welding job. Another tumble down a dirt road knocked another screw from the exhaust mount (In case you’re wondering, no, bikes are not supposed to fall over this often. But then, that’s when you’re driving them on roads, as opposed to collapsing mounds of dust). We’ve been fortunate, at least, in being rather close to a mechanic each time we’ve busted up the bikes. Though that may have less to do with luck and more to do with the sheer number of bikes and prevalence of shitty roads in this country. Continue reading