Sunday, March 10, 2013

Of people..

The Kumbh mela is a riparian festival that has been going on for millenia. What better symbolism to the Kumbh than flow. And we found that our entire trip (all of 4 days) was about 'flow' as well.

First a gentleman offered to drop us off to the bus stand at Lucknow, much of the chagrin of his fellow traveller - so we bade goodbye and went off on our way in a rickshaw. But that, perhaps was the harbinger of things to come - that in general, people are helpful.

We reached Allahabad and realize that the bus conductor forgot to give us change and just as we were about to give up, comes a rickshaw wallah offering to take us to the bus. We woke the conductor up and collected the change - and invited the rickshaw wallah for tea at 130 in the night - which he was grateful to partake.

Another rickshaw chap in Allahabad insisted of coming along with us expecting nothing in return. Ditto for the rickshaw driver in Lucknow who was very happy waiting for us and driving us around the city. We had a great experience at Sarnath as well.

Varanasi, of course, was a class apart...We received some interesting fundas from the proprietor of Kedareshwar sweets near Cantt on how cows are being grain instead of grass and how that affects the quality of milk.

A wrestler in Allahabad, a few other 'pehelwans' who thought Bangalore was Chennai, a school teacher, couple of sadhus and then some...

All along the way, we met various people who were curious and helpful - and that in general has been my experience across much of the country too...

'Assume goodwill' when it comes to people. And of course, to go with the 'flow' - our big learnings from this entire exercise.

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