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Love Hejiba sambalpuri folkpop music video online!

2 March 2012

ahoy,

our first post in over a year here.
finally an update on the Sambalpuri folkpop music video that we played in > well, mostly Ness with a grand leading role! ūüėČ
Someone has recently put it online on youtube (where else ofcourse, even a musical souvenir quickly becomes viral in this modern world). Ness wrote about that experience in this earlier post (only in dutch, sorry).

Lo and behold, the video by the hospitable producer/actor Ajay Das, from inner Orissa, India. Enjoy!

Enkele vergeet-mij-nietjes…

6 December 2010
by

Op reis ontmoet je veel mensen, heel veel… en sommige van die ontmoetingen zal je niet snel meer vergeten. Hieronder enkele van onze bijzondere momentjes met bijzondere mensjes.

Sritana & family
Nauwelijks in Kathmandu geland, ontmoeten we op onze eerste avond de jonge vrouw Sritana aan een kraampje. Ze nodigt ons uit voor een chai bij haar thuis, die we uiteraard graag aanvaarden. Haar huis is niet meer dan een kamertje van 3 bij 3m groot. Hier leeft ze met haar man en dochterje. Het dochtertje is ziek en ligt te slapen op het bed, √©√©n meter verder staat het kookfornuis waar haar man de melk voor de chai aan het opwarmen is. Het is duidelijk: dit gezinnetje heeft het niet breed, maar ze hebben een groot hart, want ze stellen zelf voor om voor ons te koken. Het eten is simpel, maar smaakt ons enorm. Tijdens het koken valt alle stroom in de stad uit, de eerste van vele ‘powercuts’ die we meemaakten op deze reis. Bij kaarslicht wordt de sfeer in het kleine kamertje nog een stuk intiemer: terwijl Sritana haar kindje de borst geeft, staat haar man te koken en praten we over allerlei dingen. Mooie momenten. En zo snel we haar ontmoet hebben, zo snel verdwijnt ze ook weer… maar niet uit ons hart.

Abhishek
Op onze eerste treinrit in India – tussen Varanasi en Kolkata – ontmoeten we Abhishek. Hij is een 20-jarige student Tourist Management met een enorm grote interesse voor talen. Hij kan zelf een mondje Duits en Frans. Het is een ontspannend, leuk en lief gesprek en na een uurtje scheiden onze wegen al… maar de rest van onze trip reist hij ook een beetje met ons mee, niet enkel in de tekening die hij voor ons maakte in de trein, maar ook in de regelmatige lieve nieuwsgierige mailtjes die hij ons stuurt waarin hij naar onze reis vraagt, wat onze plannen zijn, wat we meemaken, of we gezond en wel zijn… Abhishek zal het zeker goed doen in de toeristische sector, niet zomaar een praatjesmaker, maar iemand met een warm hart.

De tekening die Abhishek voor ons maakte, waarin hij ook zijn talenknobbel illustreert

 

Sunil & Suno
In Kolkata ontmoeten we Sunil en zijn zoontje in onze ontdekkingstocht door de stad. We krijgen een triest verhaal te horen, over hoe hij vanuit Varanasi naar de stad Kolkata gelokt werd voor een mooie job als bootsman, wat achteraf een leugen bleek. Het betere leven waarop ze gehoopt hadden draaide dus al snel uit op een hondenleven op straat en dat al 4 maand lang. Het geld is op, een job vindt hij hier niet, zijn kinderen kunnen niet meer naar school, hij heeft een oogziekte opgelopen door de weinige hygi√ęne.
Hij vraagt ons hoopvol, maar vrijblijvend of we 2 treintickets naar Varanasi kunnen kopen, zodat hij weer naar zijn thuisstad kan gaan en zijn oude leven weer kan opnemen, dat zijn kinderen weer naar school kunnen. Zijn verhaal klinkt heel erg oprecht, we beslissen hem te helpen en wensen hem het allerbeste toe. We beloven dat we hem gaan proberen opzoeken in Varanasi op het einde van onze reis, in de hoop dat het hem en zijn gezin dan weer beter vergaat.
Had hen heel graag teruggezien in Varanasi vorige week, maar het theestalletje waar hij ons naartoe gestuurd heeft en waar ze hem allemaal zeker zouden kennen, is dicht en gaat slechts in de avond open… wanneer wij onze trein moeten halen. Helaas. Hopelijk gaat het goed met hen.

Bijaya & family
Op een dag is het staking, staat de trein waar jij in zit daardoor voor onbepaalde tijd stil en ontmoet je Bijaya. Een apart figuur, dat is ons meteen duidelijk. Zo met zijn zonnebril op, zijn autoritaire houding en het constante bellen, lijkt hij niet meteen benaderbaar, maar eens we aan de praat raken, is het best wel een gezellige babbel en worden we uitgenodigd om hem in Balangir te komen bezoeken en ook zijn vriend Ajay Das (die van de muziekvideoclip) te ontmoeten.

Stoere Biyaja met zijn onafscheidelijke zonnebril

En zo komen we in Balangir terecht, waar Biyaja alles voor ons regelt en on als VIP wil behandelen en we leren er ook zijn lieve familie kennen, die maar een heel simpel leven leidt. De moeder van Bijaya is een tenger kaal vrouwtje – ze heeft al haar haar verloren door een ziekte – en doopt mij meteen tot ‘dochter’, schenkt mij een tiental churi’s (= glazen armbandje) en een rode bindu op mijn voorhoofd. Ze tatert constant in het Oriya tegen mij, ik kan haar niet verstaan, maar ik merk dat ze blij is ons te zien en ons te mogen verwennen met chai, koekjes of grote porties eten. Bij ons afscheid geeft ze mij een lange stevige knuffel. Het voelt heel erg warm aan. Mijn Indische mama.

De papa van Biyaja

 

En de mama... onze indische mama

 

We zijn heel dankbaar dat we Bijaya en zijn familie hebben mogen ontmoeten. En ook omgekeerd. Want hoe stoer Bijaya, onze Balangir-broer, zich ook mag voordoen, bij het afscheid in het treinstation, zie ik toch maar een jongen met een klein hartje. Hij wil ons graag bedanken, maar zegt dat zijn lippen bevriezen. Ach, woorden zijn niet nodig. We vergeten hem sowieso nooit meer. Dag broer.

In het computercursus-bedrijfje van Biyaja, AIMS, samen met zijn lieve collega Tapaswini, die het ongelofelijk leuk vond om mij te mogen ontmoeten

 

Sujit (Banti) & family
Banti en zijn familie zijn enorm goed voor ons geweest, zoals je al kon lezen in de blogpost van Seb (deel 1 & deel 2). Hier gewoon nog een extra ode aan Aunty… die mijn gezelschap heel erg op prijs stelde, en omdat ze tot haar grote spijt geen engels kon, haar waardering uitte in het vernissen van mijn nagels, het opplakken van Bindu’s en het kammen&vlechten van mijn haar. Zij had er merkelijk plezier in, dus onderging ik het allemaal maar zonder morren. De traantjes die bij het afscheid over haar wangen rolden, zeiden genoeg.

Aunty, neefje en ik

 

Seb & Banti (Sujit)

Inder, Sandeep & Sabby
Sinds de vorige India-reis is Inder een goede vriend van Seb geworden. En ook op deze reis voelde ons bezoekje heel ontspannend aan en zo hebben we de kleine deugeniet Sabby ook leren kennen. Fijn om deze lieve mensen te mogen kennen. Hier het verslag van ons bezoekje in oktober, door Seb.

Stephan & Hema at Telluris
Onze momentjes bij de NGO Telluris gaan we ook niet snel vergeten. Veel bewondering voor de sterkhouders van dit project: Stephan, Hema, medewerkers en de Munda-tribals uiteraard. En heel heel heel erg binnenkort zou er ook een kleintje moeten bijkomen… We wensen hen alvast veel succes met hun kindje en het Telluris-project.

Vergadering met de Munda-tribals, Stephan op de voorgrond

 

Tulsi Vivah Purnami time; ritual sea baths and candle boat immolations in Puri

4 December 2010

While we were in Puri, there was the Tulsi Vivah fesitval on Purnima (full moon), the ending day of Hindu fasting as part of the 4 month Chatur Mas fasting period. Yeah that’s India for you, full of holy festivals and connected rituals. Being a Hindu definately isn’t easy! ūüėČ

Most people had already stayed up all night outside at the famous Jagannath temple where a big stage was set up with musicians playing holy bhajan songs. I happened to pass by there on my heavy Indian cycle (in my search for more Orissa folkpop) and got told all about Tulsi Vivah by a friendly music shop clerk. All thanks to him, otherwise I wouldn’t have known about what was to happen at the beach early next morning.

Everyone who stayed up all night would come down to the beach from 4am(!) onwards. Talk about a night owl holy session into the early hours. Yeah, what might for us be like a late weekend night out is here done for Hindu rituals. This ‘puja’ was about offering little boats with candles on them to the sea of Bengal. Some boats were made of papi√®r mach√©, some in a natural way from the bask of a palm tree, real nice too! Ofcourse we just had to participate and do this special boat puja, so we got us some nice palm boats and a bag of orange flowers. I woke up around 5am (as our hotel was just a 1min walk from the beach) and got down there in the early dawn. So much people, surely thousands! And this was just on the *quiet* part of the Puri coast, as the main pilgrim beach is 2 km’s further up and surely much more crowded. The shopkeeper wasn’t lying when he said that easily up to 500.000 people (if not more) would do their puja here this morning. Ok, enough written about it. I’ll let this photograph serie and little comments speak for itself.

our palm boats nicely decorated with flowers, candles and purple/pink sails

a friendly family helped to make a nice sandy temple flower hill for us

looking at other people's boats in the candlelight

our boats already got waved over after 2 secs in the sea; no boats survived the sea over 10 secs

more family scenes

waiting for sunrise?

dawn at sea and candlelight effects

beautiful contrast, the light of dawn was so soft and warm

all washed up on the shore....

lifeguards posing....

...while folks got washed away.

sun is coming out

pic after I had to pose for Pinki's mobile phone (girl in red)

sea view through their eyes

and finally the sun!

till next post, we still got some up our sleeve.

Telugu folkpop; tribal independence beats and beyond

2 December 2010

Hi all,

We’re not really enjoying this sudden switch to the fierce, snowy cold here in Brussel, brrrrrrr. Ness is sick with a heavy cold and jetlag. Why did we come back? Anyway, here another Indian folkpop post of collected music on our trip. It’s all Telugu in this one, artam owtundaa….. avunu / kadu? Let’s go!

Telugu is the (quite difficult) language of Andhra Pradesh, the biggest state of South India and it’s the cultural divider of Dravidian influences to neighbouring states (Dravidians are the “original” Indians since old times). Telugu culture has its own movie industry, movie music and folkpop music that reach deep allover South India. Time for some Telugu music and its rapid beats for those with quick feet and 3 lungs.

Here some songs I got off an mp3 disc with about 150 Telugu folk songs from the tribal Telangana part of Andhra Pradesh. After some little web research on Telanganga it seems that most of the songs on this disc is about the wish for an independent Telangana state. Political folkpop indeed. The message will be lost on us but our bodies might react better to the beats.

unknown artist- Yenukamundu Chusudendi

some smashing glass, gun shots and bomb in this one, wha!
unknown artist – Uru Telangana

unknown artist – Janedu Betthedu

The second Telugu folkpop mp3 disc is without a political message (I think) and ruled by female artists. Most of the songs on it have been digitalised to mp3’s from grainy cassettes. The cassette industry is still big in local folkpop scenes, so it’s normal for releases to first appear on cassette and only later on cd or mp3.

Chinnikayalu Pandinaye – Vayyari Bhama

Janapadha Sogasulu – Track 1

The 3rd cd goes boyond the folkpop category and into modern day Telugu movie (filmy music) times, gone with the traditional clothing and such. The sexy front cover says enough right? Here you get tougher produced beats, advanced recording techniques, fusion of styles and presto; a sound to rival the Bollywood sound, which is exactly what it does.

Subbaravo Subbaravo track 3

Na Mate Vintara track 4

ok, more posts will still come up here, with photo’s, words and music. We might be home but still traveling a bit in our mind.

Vishakapatnam; beaches, dhobi wallah’s and delicious dosa’s,

30 November 2010

So yeah, a bit of backtracking to Vishakapatnam in Andra Pradesh state.

Vishak was a relatively calm coastal city (not bad for 1,3 million inhabitants!). A lot of Indian tourists all coming to splash themselves in the sea, sit on sea rocks and taking pictures at Ramakrishna beach (known as RK beach). This also included us as we were the exotic folks that everyone wanted to take a picture with. Hordes of young boys and men crowding around us, especially to get on a picture with Ness. It got a bit too much and we escaped to a nearby sea temple of all gods (& religions), where we found refuge and Ness was met by a sweet woman who gave her gifts and kind spiritual talk. When we then walked into a themed corn restaurant (all food made with corn!~) where kids were playing Nintendo Wii’s, Playstations etc in comfy rooms. Such a bizarre hypermodern Indian holiday place to find ourselves in, in heavy contrast to our more natural adventures of the past 1,5 month. For fun’s sake, we played a bit of WWF wrestling before the young clerk noticed us and came to check. “Oh, we have pay for this?” and we got away with playacted naieveness.

Rama Krishna beach, or RK beach.


boys in wet clothes sitting on rock in sea, waves engulfing them

Andhra Pradeshi’s are a much different style of people compared to Orissa and the northern/eastern Indians, truly South Indians with their Dravidian-Australoid genes and language, totally different from the Hindi roots; like yes/no is avunu/kadu,
and not haa/nahi anymore. Also kind of funny when it came to talking English with them, which wasn’t easy. What was funny too, was that the girls here were much more outspoken than girls from Orissa and rest of northern India. Quite some young girls came to talk to us and giving nice compliments about our hair and eyes -so exotic to them- whereas normally it were always men coming to say these things to us.

sign at a kiddy play park, for real!

November, it’s the wedding season and you get to find many weddings taking place allover India. Also here in Vishak, right around the corner of our hotel. It was just early in the afternoon and people had put a classy party tent in the middle of the street. I already knew that avoiding weddings in India is impossible as a tourist and soon enough some guests dragged us in. Just for fun. The party was in full swing with the young bride and groom posing for photographs while receiving money gifts from family and friends. What better than to do as locals do and participate by taking some snaps and signing the gift book, “with much happiness from Belgium” and our names, as what must be an odd foreign entry along the long list of Indian names and Telugu scripts.

bride & groom


shiny wedding bangles

Later in the afternoon we went to beach of Rushikonda, a magnificent beach stretched along a bay of green hills and surrounded by tropical trees. Good time for some dipping into the sea and enjoying the views of the Bay of Bengal, looking across the horizon of the sea waterline with Burma somewhere invisible on the other side. It actually was just a few days after
Aung Sun Suu Kyi had been released from her Yangon home emprisonment and as Vishak lies almost on the same line as Yangon, it was a perfectly placed moment to think about her freedom. So close in my thoughts, yet still so far off in the distance of this vast sea.

Rushikonda beach spheres


But ofcourse our short time in Vishak wasn’t without a special adventure. Earlier that morning we had given a big stack of laundry to an elderly dhobi wallah (laundry man). But that was before we had to buy our sleeper train ticket to leave that evening already, because no trains to Puri were available for next 2 days. The dhobi wallah had told us that our clothes would be ready the next morning, so we had to go back his stall to get the clothes back before our train would leave, whether they were washed or not, or still wet. Ofcourse by good Murphy’s law his shop was closed and -as we were informed by the biker workshop guys next door- he wouldn’t open again until next morning. Luckily, one of them knew that he lived nearby with his family and instructed a cheeky young kid to bring us there. We got taken into the dark small alleys behind market street and suddenly we were in a hidden world of small family homes and where people sat in front of their house. Everyone we passed was surprised to see some white folks walking around and following a young boy. At the home of the dhobi wallah we were received by the man himself and I offered my best possible apologies in unpractised phrasebook Telugu. Not only was our laundry there, but it was washed and almost dry, such luck. We got invited into his small, cosy house to sit down and meet his wife and children. Soon enough we got a cola bottle pressed in our hands for which they had a young kid sent out to fetch for us. Indian hospitality truly comes with a big heart, even for customers who come knocking at your door unexpected and by their own fault. Could you imagine people giving the same helpfull service in our western world after closing times or in such conditions? I don’t think so.

posing with the dhobi wallah family

Food in Andra Pradesh was super! We ate a lot of crispy cheap dosa’s (south indian pancakes with spice ‘n’ chutney for just 25 eurocents per plate!) and some great Andra Pradesh veg & fish thali’s. These first days of good South Indian spheres made us hungry for more, so it was a pity that we had to leave already and go back north to Orissa, to the tropical Puri coast. Not bad either. Sure we’ll come back again in the future and do all of South India.

More pics below. Next posts about Telugu folkpop, Puri and some other loose ends.

yummm, Andhra veg thali served on palm leaf



going for a skinny dip

Onderweg…

27 November 2010
by

Onderweg zijn heeft iets apart, meditatief bijna. Terwijl je de momenten van de afgelopen dagen/weken/maanden in gedachten verwerkt, maak je je ook weer klaar voor het nieuwe. En soms maak je je hoofd ook gewoon helemaal leeg. Daar kan je best wel wat tijd voor gebruiken en daar zijn de indiase lange treinreizen ideaal voor.

We hebben er op deze reis al heel wat achter de rug. En ook voor de terugtocht richting Delhi zitten we nog heel wat uren op de trein. Het stoort mij in elk geval niet. Ik geniet van het landschap dat langs ons heen schuift. Ik zie hoe vrouwen in bontgekleurde sarees in de blakende zon de rijst staan te oogsten. Ik zie lachende kindjes zwaaien naar de voorbijrazende trein. Ik hoor het oh zo vertrouwde diepe getoeter van de trein als we weer een dorp, stad of overweg naderen. Door de treingangen lopen mannetjes met nasale stem hun eet-en drinkwaar aan te prijzen. Ik denk. Ik luister naar muziek. Ik dommel in. Ik denk nog meer. Ik schrijf. Ik zie hoe het licht steeds zachter wordt en hoe de avond valt. En dan is een ander deel van die lange ritten aangebroken: het slapen. Het wiegende karakter van de trein en de regelmatige hartslag waarmee hij over de sporen bolt, brengen mij tot rust en al snel vallen de ogen toe. Ik vind het heerlijk. En als je de volgende ochtend weer wakker wordt, ben je meestal ook al dicht bij je bestemming aangekomen. Al slapend gaan de uren snel.



En nu zijn we onderweg naar huis. Bijna zit de reis en ons visum er op (ook al breien we er na een weekje rust in belgie, nog wat italie en nederland aan vast, omdat we er niet genoeg van krijgen). Want ook dat hoort bij het reizen: thuiskomen. Het totaal andere kader plaatst alles opnieuw in een ander perspectief en dat maakt ook weer nieuwe ideeen en energieen los. Tot snel.

Lost & safe in the Malkangiri mess part 2; retreat from Bonda hill, cockfights and Naxal strikes

26 November 2010
On the¬†second full¬†day of our Malkangiri family stay, we decided to go make the drive to the Khairput area for¬†the¬†weekly tribal haat (market). The area is especially known as the¬†prime territory of the¬†¬†Bonda people , a half-naked tribe who live in these remote hills and who attend the markets in the surrounding area. A good chance to get deeper into¬†a different¬†tribal zone. First we stopped at another dam project at Balimela¬†(yep, our hosts really love dams and just needed to show more of their professional life). The dam area was¬†indicated on a big sign as an eco-tourist area, where one could rent pedalo boats, motorboats¬†or jump on¬†a jet ski. Perhaps not as eco friendly after all, except for the first¬†option. So we went along, did some jet ski driving in our -gulp- eco supporting ways, took pics of funny animal statues and saw a caged python, next to caged albino rats.¬† Indian ecotourism, it surely is a different stroke of eco-ism which only¬†baffles our tight western mindset but at least it’s a start, ¬†right?

our posse, smile!

 

So, finally we were on our way to the Khairput area for the weekly market, if there still was one going on since it already was past midday. We arrived and the market had slowly started to dissolve and merchants leaving. No sign of the Bonda. When asked, some hindu merchants opened their bags -what, they’re in there yeah?-, they showed¬†us Bonda jewelry, ornaments ¬†and bead necklaces. Oh right, merchandise without the people themselves, how realistic. We bought some used necklaces, still the dirt and perhaps the boldy smell of the previous owner on them. Real indeed.¬† We then made a decision to go to Bonda hill, where several Bonda villages are. Passing the Khairput main road, a few Bonda women were standing at a water pump, looking stern and half naked. It felt stupid to stop there at that location unnatural to them. The road up to Bonda hill was steep and narrow. After 2 km’s the road just stopped and became a path. We walked and quickly came at a big pond, which was a holy spot filled with holy carps. “You kill or eat one, you die by curse!” our hosts warned.¬† Fair enough. So we fed the fish most of our tasty butter cookies and crackers. Our hosts got carried away and gave all our cookies away. Bummer that.¬† They also went for a dip, as a dip into this water and into the holy cave means good fortune. Sure enough. When it came to the point of going up Bonda hill, it suddenly seemed that walking 5 km’s to the village would take long time (as we got here later cos of the eco tour) and our hosts were actually a bit scared of going to the village. “They can kill you with poison arrows you know!” Yes I know that, but only if you laugh at them, make fun of them of show no respect. Just to explain Bonda violence; it can come very sudden and by¬†intuition.¬†Affairs like a Bonda¬†father killing his son cos his son took a cup of¬†liquor before¬†pa’s turn, are quite normal to them. We could understand that Sujit and co weren’t too eager for meeting the Bonda’s, who as he put it ‘might ask us for much¬†money if we want to leave the village’. The whole time at the pond, there was a small Bonda man who had already asked Sujit for money to take us there, which somehow triggered the fear of distrust. Me on the other hand, no fear at all, but what do I know of local affairs? So we retreated back home in order to be on time for the tribal folk festival, to see some staged folk music at most.

 

Before we made a stop at a little village where the weekly cockfights were being held. Our hosts had already told us about it, as they had a prize rooster in the garden that could fight a mean match. Undefeated in 5 matches. We could be all Gaia or Greenpeace about it like typical soft western folks, but for what use? It’s their culture , not ours so it was only interesting to see what was going on, what it ment to them. Arriving at a small patch in a field, a fenced ring was built for the matches and some roosters where going for it at each other, both armed with a little knife strapped on their back toe claw. It wasn’t as vicious as one might believe; when one rooster would back down, retreat or bleed on a sensitive spot, the fight was over. It’s no use to let a good fighter cock be killed if it could be prevented. One rooster did get a serious jab right under his wing and bled to death in a minute. The people around were all making bets on the cocks, which is the point of these matches. Also a local brew was being sold, called *solop* (almost pronounced as salope, haha), which tasted just like the rice beer in Nepal or the ili elsewhere in tribal area’s, except that it was made of palmnuts. Hmm, palm wine, so I tasted a cup before we went home.

girl with prize cock

and the dead cock

On the way home just outside Malkangiri we saw a group of Bonda women being dressed in yellow dresses. Aha, to perform at the festival! We got out to look at their preparation but their were quickly hushed back into several jeeps by a smoking manager, himself not a Bonda ofcourse as the way it goes. Weird, Bonda women in fabric sari dresses instead of loose palm tree leaves, surely an invention to make them safe to the prudent hindu eye?

The festival itself, except for the Bonda women playing twice, it wasn’t too interesting. Even when we got a press seat right at the front, we were ok to gt back to the family home by midnight.¬†Next day we had planned to leave, but because of a Naxalite strike we had no other possibility than to stay. As the Naxalites like putting mines at blocked roads with cut trees, it wasn’t worth the gamble so we stayed an extra day at the hospitalbe Biswar & Chakraborty family residence. It was a nice lazy day in which we heard that someone in town had been killed by Naxalite rebels. The victim was said to be a police informer so it seems hepaid for that with his life. Choosing the side of authorities in this region isn’t a wise move, one better stays a-political.

The day after we finally could leave, to be back on the long road to Koraput and onwards to Vishakapatnam, in Andhra Pradesh state, which took us a hefty 14 hours to get there.¬† The 5 hour long bus ride from Malkangiri to Koraput was again amazing, this time all in day light where we could see all nature surrounding us. At one moment there was a tribal family standing next to me, with a tribal infant stuck in a forest of adult legs. I signaled his father that he could put him on my lap for some fresh air, so I¬†got a little boy to guard. He wasn’t even scared of me as I was afraid he might start to scream seeing this weird bearded whitey, but he mostly looked the other side as all was normal. Goodbye to Malkangiri and so much thanks to the Biswar & Chakraburty families for their help, hospitality and guidance. Auntie’s emotional tears said enough. Also some fresh¬†idea’s have¬†come up,¬†with Sujit suggesting that we should begin an NGO in the region to help the remotes¬†tribal communities, surely to be continued coming new year!

We won’t write much on our relaxing days in Puri, which were wonderfully lazy and tropical. Now and Varanasi, the Ganga has receded and the ghats are whole again, fill with life and crazy baba’s. Tomorrow night we’ll fly back home, but we’ll still post some extra’s this coming week.