As I drove through the Rajasthan countryside, I wished I knew more about the context of what I was seeing. It’s easy enough to guess about a person that happens to cross your path for a brief moment, but I wish I knew how the person thinks, what values s/he holds dear–that sort of thing. For example, I wish I understood more about the myriad of temples all along the roadside. Who built them? Who tends them? What kind of wonders in daily life do they ascribe to the deity? What kind of loyalty do believers offer? What part of their income would a family devote to religious observance? Is there a difference between the older generations and the current?
Small temples dot the roadsides and colorful gods keep watch.
As the countryside showed more green, the farms seemed more prosperous. I wondered who lives in this lovely farm (below) and if they’re happy. I loved the bursts of deliberate color throughout India. This apricot house seemed particularly pretty compared to some of the drab, barren, dust-blown villages we’d passed earlier in the day. I wonder what the family’s story is.
This elderly man plied his trade of entertaining by-standers with his monkey at one of the unlikeliest intersections of the road. His difficulties were multiplied with a little monkey who didn’t seem interested in doing any tricks despite his owner’s gentle coaxing. Just as we pulled out after the red light, the monkey finally scrambled to the top of this slippery little pole and the old man smiled. Success! I saw him hold out his hand for our money and felt very sad that I couldn’t give him anything. But throwing money from a rapidly moving vehicle doesn’t work.