INDIA. Road with notes.
Somehow in the presence of one of the Indians who arrived in St. Petersburg as part of the official delegation, a conversation was concerned about one of the religious sensations: the stone idol of the ivory god Ganesh was incomprehensible to drank the milk brought to the temples and the milk supplied to him. Essay about it "Miracle Ganeshi" Then appeared in a representative journal "India", leaving in several languages, including in Russian, and caused a rather live reaction from our compatriots, inclined to fall into religious exaltation of the oriental direction. Sri Chinmi, Osho, Krishna, Satya Sai-Baba, Sri Aurobindo, Nikolai Roerich – a list of names surrounded by a magic aura of penetration into the highest secrets of the Universe, can be significantly expanded, but it will lead us aside. Moreover, a high-ranking Indian official responded to "Miracle Ganeshi" Pretty phlegmatic, giving him a very earthly explanation: thick-walled cups from porous clay, in which the milk was committed, could be absorbed, bypassing every E mystical reasons. – In general, I am somewhat surprised and amuse all these conversations, "he said, – a mysterious country, a mystical country. Country as a country, go and look. And we were with my wife drove. . It is said that the end of July is far from the best time to visit India, especially her big cities. Our first impressions confirm this opinion clearly. If someone does not know what nostalgia is in its extreme, physiological terms – go to India in the middle of the summer: a quarter of an hour in the center of Delhi is enough to make the rainy and diverse November St. Petersburg to see the land of the promised. The dazzling white, hanging in the zenith, the circle of the Sun, learningly survived and noddered the stationary area; The seller of coconut pulp pushed a flat boardboard on two huge creamy wheels with wooden knitting needles, making his way between trays and canopies and water water from the watering can be fading, unfolded on the boards, goods; Black and skinny as a ribbier, leaving his tricycle "crew" Used on a lined with an egg-yellow cafeter of a mobile, wiggy, stinking faded oil, pyroid boiler, and a souvenir bench, shining dim cheap glitter. Outside the windows of the car in the dusty chain floated dark-mounted faces of the guarage of the order, armed with heavy carbines of the elephant caliber; Surrivened to the glasses of wrinkled, covered with some gray plowing friction of the physiognomy of beggars; flashed in the crowd of dark, tight wrapped sikh chklam; Molds were shaking, exhausted by heat and searches of Cedokov and Motorikshi; Lucky gray cow, drowned by the Municipality of the Wall in a pile of garbage from the wall, melancholy was engaged in cheekbones, twisted in the jaws of a crumpled newspaper.
Our driver, a saturated thin Indian, made his way in this stream with the dexterity of the automotive slalomist, delicately trimmed the neighbors and up to millimeters fit into the space between the crowded bus and sulfur bumps, shaped in a dilapidated miniature van, composed of used advertising boards.
The guide, turning to us in the insertion, the dark palm pointed to the shcherbaty friezes and the columns of bulky architectural monsters, erected by the methodical British during the heyday of the colonial era – the beginning of the twentieth century – and deserted, wild species of these buildings with knocked glasses for some reason caused the image in my memory luxurious scenery erected for the filming of the monumental full-length series and abandoned after the end of work. The car stopped, the guide swallow the door. Beyond the rare iron lattice in the hot lilac chain was floated and severe monumental proportions of the presidential palace; The step of the terrace was widely led from the court area to the Cremation Places of Mahatma Gandhi – Square (approx. 70×70 m) pad fenced high stone wall. At the entrance, remove the shoes, we go barefoot on hot, paved stone, tracks. Granite stove, eternal flame, covered with transparent plexiglass cap. – Here it is cremated here, "says our guide," the ashes dispelled over the sacred rivers: Indo, Gangom, Jamina. – And the people standing and watched? – Yes, the guide meets. And begins to talk about Mahatma Gandhi. That he wandered on the roads as a simple dervish, in a rubish, leaning on the staff. He taught, preached. He said that the highest achievements of technical progress will not bring happiness to the Indian people, that a person should work with his hands, resorting to the services of machines and mechanisms only in the most extreme case. Then, traveling in India, we will see all this, we will see the baggy stuffed on the forests of buildings under construction, women dressed in the sari iridescents and rainbing trays with bricks on these forests. In Mahabalipuram, a small village on the shore of the Bangale Gulf, I tried to take a picture of one of them, but she, holding a tray with eight installed on the head (! – two crowns at least) bricks, put out the lens revealed palm. Hotel serving in which we stopped, manually washed underwear guests. It cost this service two rupees per item. 1 dollar – 35 rupees. Looking at the diligence of these M Alchishek, we asked the Ramesh admin at the administrator, why the hotel would not get a washing machine – is it really expensive for them? – No, "Ramesh replied," we can completely afford to such an acquisition, but what we then will take our staff? I also started with manual washing, cleaning, everything went away, and now I can do any job: make wiring, fry fish on the lattice for visitors of our restaurant, repair the motorcycle on our rolnage station. Etc. Somehow, we sat on the gallery in front of the door of our number (wide bed, two concrete shelves in the corner, a shower, a large three-bladed fan under the ceiling, one hundred meters to the edge of the surf – two hundred rupees per day) and considered a bought in one of the sculptural stone chambers Workshops Figure Krishna, playing flute. Elegant statuette of green marble height of sixteen centimeters cost us three hundred rupees. Two days were traded, left, returned, waited when the master graduates from the morning prayer in front of a miniature altar in the dark corner of her huts: a dozen of bamboo pillars, covered with a special way of intertwined coconut palm leaves. Finally, the master immersed his fingers into a cup with a sacred ash of Vibhuti, spent his palm in the face, leaving three wide gray stripes on the forehead, and approached us. Started trade. – Two hundred rupees goes? – No, three hundred eighty! – Two hundred twenty? – Three hundred seventy! And so on, until they agreed on three hundred. Ra Makh, inspected our purchase, said that we still overpaid, but a little, rupees thirty. – How? – I was surprised, – the master said that he spent two weeks for this job! – Not true, – Ramesh objected, – such statues do not do here, they are brought from the south for sale. Mahabalipuram – a place of resort, tourist, and in season Trading here is pretty boyko. In our hotel – Lakshmi-Lodge – live even on the open terrace for thirty rupees per day. Generally Lakshmi Lodge – place inexpensive. Number of ours, but on the first floor, costs one hundred fifty rupees – less than four and a half dollars. For sixty-seventy rupees in a restaurant at a hotel, you can quite well dine: Potato fries, Doles, Masala, Puri, Fried Coconut Fish, Boiled and Fried Shrimps, Coca, Tea. Special variety of local, in this case South, the kitchen does not differ. Rice, Omelet, Potatoes, Fish. Some village restaurants offer roasted shark – portion costs about two hundred rupees. Fish row in a small local market is not rich, catches are small: two or three dozen fish, rare of which reaches the length of the children’s elbow. Local fishermen go to fishing with dawn, hours at five in the morning. An hour after three or four of their boats, compiled and associated out of five-six-haired palm logs – the nose of three or four pointed dies is attached separately – return to the shore. Fishermen Essurance – on the Motor, those who are victory, row long thin board. The wave makes a boat on the sand, the fishermen pull the nets, woven the bags of the bags with a catch, fed a long rope under the stern and, throwing it through a strong stick, raise and belong to the stern away from the shore. Somehow I suggested that one of the fishermen help in this matter. In response, he not only disadvantaged, not only suggested that I ride on my boat, but also invited us with my wife to my lunch, assuring that he had in his house we would give up the freshest fish all over the coast. The proposal was made, the fisherman received a hundred rupees of the advance for the purchase of vegetables and spices, and in the hour of the day I was already waiting for us near the hotel to spend on my hut. I must say that when watching local hygienic customs, lunch in a fishing hut appeared to me a somewhat risky event, so for the prevention of possible troubles, we drank a hundred grams of brought cognac for the prevention of possible trouble "White stork". The fisherman led us into a small plastered camork, where there was nothing but a pure reed mat on the earthlings. We sat down on this mat crossed legs and, waiting for the ordered lunch, entered a leisurely detailed conversation. Fisherman, as, probably, all fishermen of the world, complained about the scant catches, on the high cost of boats, for hard work and incorrect incomes, said that his sons would never go to his footsteps, and that he, father of the family, attached to These efforts, giving children appropriate education. The wife of the fisherman brought and put on a mat before us two metal dishes with roasted fish, seasoned with patterned mugs of tomatoes, elastic onion rings and leather slices of small, with pigeon egg, lemonciles. We fined were separated rather bony "coconuts" And, providing a piece with lemon drops, sent it into his mouth, carefully larch the tongue a little bitter fish fiber. Talked about themselves, about St. Petersburg, about Russia. Fisherman Why was it convinced that over the past eight ten years, our life has changed to the worst. Why? – Because earlier the Russians went to us often and in many, whole groups, and in recent years anyone – you are the first, – Rybak replied. We agreed and not, they said that earlier they came to them organized, on trade union trips, and we travel by ourselves, which used to be impossible on our internal polic and reasons. So in something our life really became worse, the trade unions had soused because of the general industrial crisis, and in something better, freer. So dinner passed very cute and diplomatically until the final calculation when the fisherman stated that the seasoning fear cost him in the extra fifty rupees over the agreed, so in general our dinner is not two hundred rupees, but two hundred fifty. But here we strongly protractedly protested, gave the fisherman to his hundreds and, thanking the hostess and dried drying with the owner, returned to our Lakshmi Lodge. There was an unpleasant precipitate on the soul, aggravated with the thought of inevitable meetings on the shore and the villages of the village. But the fisherman turned out to be unlockped and, faced with me in the evening of the same day at a little grocery lavety, began to happily harm my hand and clap on the shoulder. He seemed to me not quite sober, but not at all angry. Of course, the local population looks at the Europeans-tourist as a source of income, but in this glance, no halves feel, no enclosure before yours, let it not be very plump, but still – in local concepts – a voluminous wallet. For illustration I give some numbers. A decent monthly earnings in Delhi is the amount of eight or ten thousand rupees. Manager of the packaging shop and packaging fragile sticks from sandalwood sawdust – the city of Mysore – earns up to two to three thousand. Boys, manually counting these wands and with machine-gun speed throwing them into cellophane bags, get from six hundred to seven hundred rupees per month. Sit on the floor of a small, gloomy drunk aroma sandalwood, camorks, laughs, scales pearl teeth, and with an emphasedly artistic violence in transparent packaging bundles of brown velvet rays. The same who came across our compatriots did not immediately recognize Russian subjects in us, referring to their past experience. – Russians do not speak English, – stated us – Russians travel only by large groups. We answered that the country has changed, and other Russians will come to them and will come and will come and will come, different travelers, the pilgrims, businessmen, free travelers, small boxes, students, students, artists and wealthy tourists who have decided to leave the habitual comfort of European resorts for the sake of new uncharted sensations.
And all this will be, will. There are biblical beggars at intersections, bus station and roadhouse. Skinny, black, bone scorched and dried with a dazzling and white equatorial sun, wrapped in a dazzle rag around the bony sackers, they will stretch to you canned palms and look at your eyes. You can turn away, pretend that you do not notice it, but better serve a coin or bill in one or two rupees, and he will go away, thankfully nodding you.
However, ask, poke, extort in one way or another will be everywhere. Will be bargaining for every rupee, every word, thing or service, whether it is a penny ring, a trip to the elephant, a tour of the Palace of Maharaja or the right to visit the temple into closed, as indicated on the visitors table, time. There is nothing offensive in this, humiliating for pride – here so accepted. And because Ricksha, the holder of a haberdashery, shoe or jewelry shop, otherwise, just the street passerby addresses you with such, it would seem innocent and the courtesy: where did you come from – Sounds Briefly "Came From?" – And the first time you visit India – believe me, this person can move not only idle curiosity.