The quintessential poor quality/broken loudspeakers that are indispensable to all gatherings in India have started up. Gonna have ‘em blazing 24/7 during the festival. Today all we’ve heard is “Hello, hello, hello Omkareshwar” repeated over and over. Perhaps this is the Indian version of Good Morning Vietnam. We headed back into town later on to check out more photo opportunities and I realized I was very hungry, so we stopped off for a couple of aloo parathas (potato pancakes, of a fashion) and watched the world go by. As we sat munching on our savoury snacks and observing the endless stream of pilgrims walk past, I noticed that Indians really, really like garish colours – from fluoro green Rajasthani turbans bobbing about in the crowd, to extreme orange henna hair colouring (amber sunrise for men?) on older gents who were shooting the breeze with each other in the marketplace and comparing moustaches, to neon blue and pink painted Shiva and Ganesha statues that adorned the parikramar route. India doesn’t do subtle.
On our return home, the walkway to the ashram along the river had filled up with beggars (considering that the walk back to our gaff from town is about thirty minutes that is a lot of beggars). The monkeys and goats were also out in force stealing traders’ wares and offerings made to shrines and said beggars. I had Nix’s monopod in hand ready to mete out punishment to any that tried it on with our bags. Interestingly mela means “dirty” as well as “festival” (may have different spelling in the case of dirty, but sounds the same when spoken). Very appropriate ;) When we returned I opted for the easy option of a shower and crashing out whilst Nix soldiered on to Sangam to get some sunset photos of devotees. Apparently I’m going to be accompanying her on a 4am photo mission to the ghats. It will no doubt be an experience. And if life’s not about experiences what is it about?