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Posts from the ‘India’ Category

people of varanasi वाराणसी

“Benaras (Varanasi) is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together!”  –Mark Twain

Once, a long time ago, I worked for a theater director as her stage manager.  One of her axioms was “Comparisons are unhealthy.”

Specifically, she questioned whether one actor’s performance or method was better than another.  She claimed that each was different and better understood that way.

Alana, I believe, did not want her actors to wonder what their fellow actors might say or think or do, but instead to focus on what he or she needed to do.  The actor must concentrate on the battle of the roll he or she is playing and not on the words or the actions of others.

India is the most surprising country I have visited.  I have visited five continents and many countries, and I believe India has been the most surprising, the most unusual, the most mystifying.

“. . . crammed perspective of platforms, soaring stairways, sculptured temples, majestic palaces, softening away into the distances; and there is movement, motion, human life everywhere, and brilliantly costumed – streaming in rainbows up and down the lofty stairways…”  –Mark Tain  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

But wait, there’s more!

the camels are coming! the camels are coming!

“When I take action, I’m not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt.   It’s going to be decisive.”  –President George W. Bush

“I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”  –Jesus Christ

“If one commits the act of sodomy with a cow, an ewe, or a camel, their urine and their excrements become impure, and even their milk may no longer be consumed. The animal must then be killed and as quickly as possible and burned.”  —Ruhollah Khomeini

“The Campbells are coming Ho-Ro, Ho-Ro! (repeat)
The Campbells are coming to bonnie Lochleven
The Campbells are coming Ho-Ro, Ho-Ro!”  –old Scottish folk song, “The Campbells Are Coming”  [Camel cigarettes were promoted, prior to official release at the turn of the 20th century, by an advertising campaign that included “teasers” which stated that “the Camels are coming.”]

My dad smoked Camels.   I have never smoked them or any cigarettes.  Not even a Camel.   I did like the Camel cig packets though.

While in Chandelao, India, a small village outside Jodhpur, I saw many camels, but did not think about cigarettes when I saw them.  Only now, as I peruse my photographs of India, do I think of those cigarettes.  I have an excuse.  At one time Joe Camel, the mascot, was more easily recognizable than Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny. (Click on a photo to see more.)

But wait, there’s more!

frescos on walls in the streets of udaipur, india

Walking through Udaipur, India, the city of lakes, can be a visual surprise.  India has color.  It is in the clothing.  It is in the art.  It is in the frescos, painted on the outside walls of ordinary homes.  You can walk through the narrow streets and turn to the right or left and see vividly painted figures, most of them in motion, on the walls.  Seeing these frescos will wash away any dust that you may have picked up as you meander through the streets.

What you see here, someone wanted you to see, made you see, demanded that you look, the vivid colors grabbing your attention.  (Click on a photo to see more.)

the work of giants

Once upon a time, a very long time ago indeed, a fort rose on a hilltop.  Its dimensions were colossal, so big that even tourists today are impressed by it size.  Rudyard Kipling called it “the work of giants,” and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis said of it, “I have just seen the eighth wonder of the world.”

The Mehrangarh Fort, or “Mayurdhwaj Garh,” or formerly Chintamani Fort was built in the 1500’s  by the ruling Rathore dynasty.  Because it was constructed from the local red sandstone, it is known as the Red Fort, too.

But wait, there’s more!