Monday, February 12, 2007

Journey Back to Northern India

Namaste to you all, I'm just adding pictures on this post and will write plenty in the next few posts. I'm slowly making it back to where it all started nearly five months ago, boy that's gone quick.

Here's some more pictures.

This is the view from my guest house in Varkala, I loved the place the beaches were clean and this time the water was as well.

Another view from the little beach just in front of my guest house.

Early one morning a group of fishermen were pulling in their huge net, Balazs was helping them for about half an hour, I finally got there towards the end, thank god it was pretty hard work, perfect timing again lol.

As you can see there were quite a few of us and unfortunately all we got were a few plastic bags and a couple of very small fish, but it was still fun and that's the main thing.

This is some of the accommodation you'll find in Varkala, these bungalows were only set off the beach about thirty metres.

Ah another sunset, this is off the cliff over looking the main beach.

This was taken from the train, the mountain range is the Western Ghats, we were heading to the very southern tip of India.

This picture was taken at sunrise in a place called Kanyakumari, which is the furthest most southern point of India. Kanyakumari is the point of confluence of three oceans - the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Sunset in Kanyakumari.
Another picture of the statue by day.

Statue by night.

Oh what a cute couple, Pam and Trev spending a lovely afternoon watching the sun go down, with their favorite aussie mate.


AHHHH!!! yep folks I finally did it, I cut all my dreads off and it ain't a pretty sight lol.

They call him the butcher, do your worse son. Mohawk inspired by Trev the punk.

Oh who's a pretty boy then, I met this cold, stone face woman at Auroville, lucky her eyesight wasn't so good lol.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

South India

Namaste to you all, I'm well behind on my posts so I'm going to show you mainly pictures for a few of them. There's one story though I'd like to share with you, while we were in Bangalore getting Frank's camera I witnessed a very strange experience.

Frank was in the camera shop purchasing his camera and like anything in India it takes a hell of allot of time. So I went outside for some fresh air, just as I was going to sit on the steps, right in front of my eyes, bang! an old, poor man was run over by a truck. Well as like any person your first reaction is to go help. A few Indians gathered around the man as well as the truck driver, he wasn't moving at all. I was just about to cross the road when a very well dressed and spoken Indian grabbed my arm. 'don't go over there' he said, squeezing my arm at the same time, 'why not?'I said, 'my friend you'll be in more trouble then you could ever imagine, especially being a foreigner', 'what do you mean?', 'my friend he is a fellow countryman and there's no way I'd go over there. The police when they come will try to pin it on someone, that truck is a government truck, If you or I went there, they would try and get as much money out of us as possible, that's how corrupt the police in India are'. 'But surely they couldn't do anything to us, we weren't driving the truck, so how could they possibly do anything?', 'this is India my friend the police can do anything they want, do you think it's easy for me to stand back?, well it's not but it's not worth them taking all your money, keeping you in the police station for god knows how long, then my friend you'll have to go to court and so on, it never ends'.

By this time some men had picked the old man up and lent him against a tree, they pored water on his face, then suddenly he moved. Next thing they all quickly dispersed leaving him there. We could hear the sirens coming down the road at this point, I turned back to the man,' I feel bad for not helping', 'how do you really know what happen?, how do you know he didn't want to kill himself?, he's very old and very poor what sort of life is that, every minute of everyday people just like him in India walk out in front of moving traffic to end their miserable lives, you cannot fathom what they go through'.

The next thing Frank came out of the store, I explained a little of what occurred, the man slapped me on the back and said, 'you cant save them all my friend', and walked off. As we started walking away an ambulance pulled up, I don't know what happen as we walked away, it didn't matter I felt ashamed, gutless, it played on my mind for a days.

It also reminded me of a story that two English people told me when I first got to India, they told me about a story that happened last year in England in the tube. They said that a group of people wanted to prove a point on how closed off English people had become. They told me that the group carried out three mock rapes in three separate train stations around London. You know the sad thing about it was nobody stopped to help any of the women, they just walked on by. I don't know but I think they said that maybe only a few people called the police.

Later on they stopped some of the people and asked them why they didn't help a woman who was obviously getting raped.'They all replied, it's not worth getting involved'. I'm not judging myself or these people or anyone else here, but boy we have become a very lost lot of people. Everybody has become so isolated, so cut off from each other, I cannot change a single person in my life other then myself and I know no matter what the consequences I will never, ever walk away again from a fellow brother or sister.

Here are some more pictures of my adventures.

We arrived in a little town called Ooty, its situated in the mountains of Tamil Nadu. It certainly was a pleasant change going back into the mountains, the air was crisp and the countryside was very green and lush. The highlight of Ooty is to either get there by this little train or leave by it, the train makes it way around the countryside, giving you some wonderful views of the landscape.

Ooty is surrounded by tea plantations, it's also well known for its delicious chocolate.

Me playing with my camera on the train journey.

This is Fort Cochin, as you can see the seafood on Fort Cochin is plentiful. Its very cheap, you can select from many types of fish, prawns, crabs and scampi, when you do there's restaurants right near the markets and for a few dollars they cook it straight away.

After Cochin we traveled further down south, this part of Kerala is well known for its waterways. We caught this ferry from Alleppey to Kollam, which is about eighty kilometers, it took about eight hours.

Alleppey is full of canals and every type of boat you can think of, from floating restaurants to speedboats. Sorry guys but the disc with some wonderful photos of Kerala has a virus and I cant open it anymore, hopefully I can add some more photos in the future.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Travelling Through India

Namaste to you all, I think this sign says it all. I found it on a wall in a little town in the mountains and I thought it would be appropriate to start this post off with it. It's a quote from that great man Mahatma Gandhi. To me the last sentence is very important, for as they say what we put out to the universe is what is reflected back to us. I've been witnessing how people react around me, Indians are very in tune with what type of person you are and how to act around you. I've been doing a little experimenting with this over the past couple of days. So when there's a few Indians around, I've being acting playful and joking allot with them, they truly are like children, they start coming out of their shells and play up as well, its great fun. Then I've had a few moments when it all gets a bit too much and I raise my voice or get angry with one of them usually its the wrong one(meaning I dump all of my energy on to the last person, instead of maybe speaking up to the first person), It's so easy to see if we give out love and act in a happy mood then this is reflected back to us. If we act in an angry, negative way then the universe reflects this back to us. Remember we are nothing more than mirrors or magnets if you like, that constantly with our thoughts, words and actions receive from the universe what we give out.

So how do we find a more peaceful, happy way of being. First don't make angry, negative, jealousy, guilt and fear wrong. These emotions are all part of us, remember this law: WHAT WE RESIST WE ATTRACT. Yep unfortunately this is a universal law, so every time we try and avoid a person a situation and so on that person or thing will come into our lives in some form or another to help us learn again what we already know and that is to love unconditionally everybody and everything in this universe. So when we push down those so called negative emotions they don't go anywhere, they're still there and they will constantly be rearing their heads so we can love and accept that they too are part of us and by doing this they too will reflect back to us love. Find ways to let that anger, negative and fear out, go punch a boxing bag for a while before you go yell at your wife, husband etc and I bet that the energy will have dissipated, then and only then can you talk rationally without having to rant and rave to get your point of view across. There's many ways to relieve pent up emotions, doing exercise is one of them. By doing something physical it helps release these emotions out of your body and makes you feel lighter in a way. Screaming into a pillow or screaming in your car with the windows up is also a good one to do. Find your way and I guarantee you'll be feeling allot better in yourself.

Well over the past couple of weeks I've covered allot of ground. I've seen the biggest monolithic statue in the world, laid on some of India's most beautiful beaches and ventured through huge bustling cities.

Here's some more pictures of my adventures.

Here's the feet of the worlds biggest monolithic statue, it's built in a small town called Sravanabelagola. The town is made up of mostly Jain temples, the statue is also from the Jain religion. The statue and most of the other temples, are about twelve hundred years old, they have actually carved the statue out of one huge stone.

As you can see he's quite big, that's me at the side(when I'm talking about big I mean the statue for all you dirty minded people, lol)

This old fella is the main man, he gives you a blessing and leads all the ceremonies.

Jain statue.

Small shrine outside the statue complex.

Sorry about the next photos, I've been trying for a week to do a post, but in Tamil Nadu the internet cafes have computers from the eighties. They either don't have the programmes for me to do my work, or they're that full of viruses that they are slower then a snail. This is the best I could do.

This is the Maharajah's palace in Mysore, the Portuguese built it for them to try and win them over for trade. We were lucky, every Sunday evening they turn on all the lights, it even looks more spectacular.

This is the palace by day, we weren't aloud to take photos from inside, words couldn't describe the expense and detail they went to.

The palace is surrounded by a huge wall and gardens, there are also four temples within the complex.

The temple lit by night.

They had a festival a few days before we got in Mysore, nothing escapes the festivities lol.

Ah the sweets, in every town, just about on every corner is a sweets shop. They have every type, every flavour and every colour.

We stopped in a small city on the way to Cochin, I was dying for an omelet and this was the only restaurant open at the time. They didn't have a clue what an omelet was, so I asked could I go to the kitchen and cook one. Well all the giggles and smiles came out, they couldn't help me enough, this is what the true Indian people are like, they love to help you in anyway.