My little Bro travels through India


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This is way off topic.. But sorta interesting to me anyway..

Have a read:

I was sleeping at the Bombay train station the other night and i get woken up
by some kid asking for money. I dig curiously, and sleepily through my pockets
to find like eight rupees for which the kid has no apparent excitement
for. "One thousand rupees sir?" No fuckin way.

I close my eyes and soon thereafter I hear his little voice; "message?
message?" What the fuck, can't anyone get a little sleep around here, to which
he replies by rubbing my legs. "Message!!!" No, i don't want a massage from
you. little punk.

So, all is well, my bags are tied close at hand and perched atop them is my
brand spankin new pair of FLY glasses. I wake an hour later to find that I no
longer own a brand new pair of photocramatic, dope-ass, bomb-as-hell glasses.
Frustrated, full of fire, I tried to laugh it off, but sleep would not come,
so, i went searching.

This kid is sitting on the curb merrily whistling a lil tune, totally
oblivious to the fact that a enraged, six foot six giant was hungrily lurking
in the shadows. I grabbed his shoulder to find him nearly jumping out of his
pants. I made little faces, trying to convey the message that i wanted my
motherfuckin glasses back this motherfuckin moment. He tried to explain,
firstly, that he didn't have them or that he threw them away. to which i
replied, "I'm gonna kick your little ass." Surly, with a little muscle and the
bogus promise to reward him with "One thousand rupees sir" I eventually coaxed
them out of him. After a scolding g my mother would be proud of, i caught
another four hours sleep in the thick of Victoria Terminal.

So the moral of the story; hmm, what was it again. Oh yea, sleep with your
eyes open or you'll find that someone took them.

I just took three trains: one from Goa to Bombay, at which time "the glasses
incident" occurred. In hopes of finding some companionship, I pushed all my
chips on the chance of an inside Girl Draw in Agra.....another 24hour train.
No luck: I showed up in the wild west of the Taj to be greeted by a man whose
soul objective was to make me as comfortable as I could be. No joke, like Raja
in Bangalore, this man took me where I needed to be in style and graciousness;
when I go back with me mum I will have his number ;-) This morning I boarded a
general class train to Delhi. A fucking madhouse. In an attempt to find some
room to place even one of my ass cheeks on a solid surface, I took refuge in
the "disabled compartment." You know, being tall is not a "legitimate"
disability; well, the police officer didn't think so at least. What he did
believe in is the power of fifty rupees, which I served up in return for
general comfort.

Alas, I sat in the doorway, smoking a little sometin I rolled up when the man
beside me stuck his feet out in an attempt to change positions. Hence, we had
our first disabled passenger on the disabled train. Warm flesh and bone is no
match for cold steel and the force of a train. I heard his bones pop, saw his
flesh opened to the muscle tensing beneath. He will be lucky if he walks
anytime soon. I knew not what to do but medicate him with homeopathic and
listen to him wail for the next four hours to Delhi.

Life here, as you can well tell from snippets of an ordinary day, has yet to
slow down. The streets are still crowded, the buisness of the world
continues at an undaunting pace; though i am here looking on and keeping open
to the moment, I can't imagine what life will be like at home......god knows.

My mom shows up today; im going to give her a full orientation into life in
India. A few days in Delhi, a few more in Varanasi, Saranath, Boyd Dya and
thennn.... If she wants the mountains, we'll go hiking, if she wants the

Hey all, I love you, I'm thinking of seeing many of you in the comming weeks.
That statement in itself is something of mirage; i'm not sure if it Really

Love and live it up


Well-Known Member
I'm confused... is that excerpt from your bro?

I did a really neat report on the country when I took a class in college (Poverty in Developing Nations) which greatly spurred my interest to get there one day. One day I hope to make a trip there.

Well good luck to his travels.


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I'm confused... is that excerpt from your bro?

I did a really neat report on the country when I took a class in college (Poverty in Developing Nations) which greatly spurred my interest to get there one day. One day I hope to make a trip there.

Well good luck to his travels.

Yeah. He has been over there for a while. He has been having some crazy times. Thought I might share.



Great stuff. I love reading vagabound stories -- and it's refreshing to hear one from the "dick American" perspective (no offense meant) as opposed to the usual "I love everyone because we're all the same" view.
"Little Bro"....

At six foot six, "little bro" sounds kinda funny... Thanks for sharing, Jason... I always love hearing travel stories, especially from distant cultures...



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Here is a bit more::

From a jagged coastline spattered and battered by both waves and great
swarming masses of monsoon madness, hello from the coasts of Goa India.

I am feeling great. Recharged, detached, alive! How I came to be in this
place and none the less, this mind frame, is journey that takes me from where
last left you; the couches of the Halbe residence. I don't know how I did
it, how i packed up a life full of home cooked meals, great company and a
nearly life size model of a cathedral to construct for the plunders and
wonders of the open Indian road, but I did, and here's the story.

Parting ways with Aarati and her family was bittersweet. i was leaving luxury
and comfort to do what I came here for; the unbelievable possibility of Indian
travel. Even leaving, my new family put me on a deluxe bus complete with
three quarter reclining seats and truly frigid AC....acclimatization back
into the madness i figured. my bus arrived a full two hours late to pick me
up and I shivered my way, seven hours to Aurangabad. Really, this dusty town
is a booming jump-off to some of the greatest creations i have seen; Ellora
and Ajanta Caves.

Dating back to the fifth century, Ellora is a cluster of thirty four Buddhist,
Hindu and Jain caves dating back to the fifth century. Amazing. The worlds
largest monolithic sculpture (made of a single stone) is a temple shrouded by
the cliff walls that it was once chiseled from. Big: i mean big, big enough
for masses and masses of Indian tourists to run from one suspended room to the
next as if in some prehistoric fun house. Inscriptions and carvings on every
imaginable surface followed me three hours the opposite way to the strictly
Buddhist caves of Ajanta. Here I really fell in love. The simplicity of
devotional carvings dating back to the third century Before Christ, the long
stretch of caves barley exposing themselves to the valley gorge it occupies
in an attempt to hide the chambers lurking within. Wonderful, and less

That night, I caught yet another bus to Bombay in hopes of finding a train
ticket anywhere else.

You see, I have come to hate Bombay. I try like no other to keep a good
attitude about places and people, but i just cant imagine why i would want to
try to like Bombay. I have been bamboozled, slept on the streets, been
doused with monsoons, ripped off again and seen little to show but nearly
empty pockets and the chance to see a good bollywood film. Just as I
arrived, i hopped a city train to get to the other side of town. Alas, the
train system in Bombay is one in which 9million people use each morning, yet I
was the one singled out by the railstaff. sure enough i was one train
station past my intended target and was fined four hundred rupees; big bucks
in India. On top of it, i had to take a taxi uptown to get to my target
destination, so i came into the city feeling a bit, peeved. None the less, i
booked a train and spent my day watching bollywood films and visiting museums;
not a bad day for any such hostile traveler.

I was supposed to travel thirty hours cross continent to visit my dear friend
and teacher Tlaloc, but things just didn't sit right. We were intended to
visit one of India's most tremendous spectacles, the Juggernaut Festival in
Puri. where devotees drag two hundred foot tall towers made of wood through
the streets. Due to the long travel, the lack of accommodations and the fact
that i don't know if i could handle a full onslaught of Indian CRAZINESS, i
chose a place I said I would never visit; Goa.

For eight months of the year, Goa is what hippy dreams are made of.
Unbelievable beaches are crashed down on by the Arabian Sea, a border of palm
tree hills extend in the most brilliant green my eyes have seen. In the late
sixties and seventies it is said that every starstruck adventurer knew of such
places as Anjuna Beach and the markets of Old Portuguese Goa. Since its
arrival on the international scene, Goa has made a rather frightful turn
towards tourism with the barrel pointed directly at backpackers. The result
is a beach community that is peppered with bars and night-clubs, restaurants
and organic cafes, resorts and back-door guest homes. most of all, hawkers.
you wanna buy some cheap plastic beads? Come to Goa, you'll get em'. But I
had also heard tales and rumors of the amazing beaches, the amazing churches
and the slow pace of life, so, I took my chances on a rumor and a one way
ticket to Goa.

Life here is vastly different than the rumors, but you can see the fossils.
Every beach is lined with bars that are tightly wrapped up in coconut leaves
to protect them from the devastating storms that take over July and August.
I've lucked out; the weather is cool, no one is here, the prices are
(somewhat) is good. For four dollars a day I rent a scooter
and bomb all over and in between beach towns hustling people at pool and
watching others paraglide overhead. I've met a few sweet people, but mainly
i have found peace within myself.

I have been reading a book entitled "Age of Kali" by William Dalrymple, a
famous "travel writer" who has spent twenty years examining current issues in
the Indian Subcontinent. One of my biggest issues with the Living Routes
program was that we were avoiding most of the unrest that makes up India. No
doubt, living in Auroville was sublime, but it left me and others wanting
more. Many of us examined the issues by going out and putting ourselves in
the heat of the action, but we had little to no exposer to the underlying
causes in our classes. "Age of Kali" illuminates these issues of catse,
religion, politics, over development, overpopulation and the general
that has risen to the crumbling of Indian culture and landscape. A MUST read.

What else? Ah yes, one last story; mom, stop reading.

Aarati was sweet enough to take me out on the town when we were in Pune a few
weeks ago. We were jetted to the center of town to meet up with one of her
childhood friends. After uncomfortable standing on the roadside, a small lory
rolled up encompassing the most beautiful young lady. whoa. Sitting across
from one such person while sitting at a hookah bar is tough business. I tried
like a doosey to not make a fool of myself. Thanks for the support Aarati.
Anyway, when the meal was over we hiked up town to visit another friends home
where we watched soccer till three in the morning. From the back of the
motorcycle, I told my buddy i would love a cup of chai (seeing that anytime is
the right time for chai). Up we pulled to what seemed to be a residential
home, but i could hear pool balls knocking within; YESS! Low ceilings,
crowded and thick with smoke, this place was from a dream; i was approached
within the doorframe to play. A bet of 100 rupees ($2.50) and the bill was
put up and we got to work, battling until the fifth of our best of five
series. Half way through the came, the lights shut off, a occurrence i am
too used to now, but this one was accompanied by cries of, "Police, police."
Shit, now I've up and done it. Indian police are NOTOURIOUS for beatings and
bribes, the Bombay area police taking away honors. Just days previous I saw
two cops beating a tie-seller senseless and take his money - plus a few ties,
so my mind was aback at what to do. In the mass of people i was shoved into
a tight corridor that lead up two flights of stairs. at the top, the door
was locked as was the door upon the last fleeing Indian barged his way in.
Silence. Snickering. My heart beat in my throat. The eighteen year old
college student i was with nearly shit himself thinking of what tool his
conservative Seik parents would use to beat him. Five minutes went by before
i could see out the window a large gray police van lurched up to the back door
all ablaze in "Pune City Police" icons. The next ten minutes were some of
the tensest moments i have had here, but i wouldn't trade them for the
They left, probably bribed my the owners of the house and everyone non-
chalauntly and the kid prodded me to finish up our game.

Hey kids, I'm out. I leave this with you

I was hanging with a Goan boy I met the other day and he started speaking
Hindi with his friends for more than five minutes. With nothing to do, I
listened on, carefully trying to pick out bits of the story I could
understand. Manu looked at me and asked, "You know why we speak our language
in front of you? So you don't forget where you are. You are welcome here,
but never forget who's home your in."

Love and live it up


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Since yo asked:

to those upon the shores of my mother, falling into the sea of my father,
climbing the hills of my brother and nursing the breast of my sister, hello from
Pune India

It has been some time since i have written to many of you and for others it has
been but a minute. none the less, you can be assured that my life has been
turning turning turning. Currently I sit under a fan upon a great table
downing loads of water watching the European football championship. I am in
good company to say the least. I am living with my good friend Aarati, an
amazing woman whom i work and play with in the Amherst area. Her family has
taken me in and made their home my own, a sentiment that has made me feel as
though i was in my element for a change. How i got here is a long story that
words can only begin to explain. by and by i will try and try.

To most, i left you in Kathmandu Nepal wandering the streets of the city's
tourist sector and watching days go by with my British friends. After being
bamboozled for a bit of cash, watching Maoist regime riots bubble up and hiking
in the shadow of Mount Everest, i took to the road towards the a secondary home
of India. From my rooftop perch i could see streems of black smoke rising from
the road ahead. Our bus slowly limped to a stop behind countless other busses
and i climbed down to see the matter. More Maoists making more malarkey.
After six hours of delay i was delighted to feel the road starting to pass under
our wheels again. I napped under the mid-day sun atop the bus as we came down
from the mountains and into the heat that accompanies India.

I took the opportunity to spend three days at the border of India in Lumbini
Nepal, the birthplace of Lord Buddha. Here, each prominent Buddhist country
has built a monastery to both honor their guru and to flex their monetary
prowess. No doubt, countries such as China and Thailand have elaborate
displays while countries in distress such as Sri Lanka and Tibet have modest
crumblings whose disposition is just as well. After hot days of biking and
napping in the home of Buddhists, i moved closer to the border, where i was
again snookered for cash from the newly appointed Nepalese "democracy" for
leaving their newly formed country. Just over the border is Kushnagar, where
Buddha died and was cremated, i resided as the only tourist at the Tibetan
temple. I sang songs to the monks at night after long days in the sun touring
temples and monasteries.

A short train ride to Varanasi awaited me where i fell in love with a beautiful
woman whose slumbers where an opus of desire and awe for yours truly. Though
she spoke not a word, we caught eyes time and time again. I left her a photo
that i took in Delhi.

Four days in Varanasi saw not much. I was tiered. It was unbearably hot. I
ended up waking at five each day for morning puja and returning to my room upon
the conclusion to escape the heat; again at sunset i would venture out to catch
the night puja. Mangoes like whoa. Charas. Sleep. Cricket. Rest.

A plane trip to Bombay where i found hotel rooms starting at 2000 rupees, a
stark contrast to the 150-300 that i normally pay. Though I was forced to take
refuge there for one night, my business in the wild city of 2o million was to
stay with a family whom i met in the Himalaya. An aspiring artist Ranadeep
alongside his wife and child Oishi took me in with loving arms and showed me
bits of the city. Amazing rides upon trains Packed to the brim, national
museum of modern art, kabobs, Elephanta Island and more money swindled. Its
never ending!

A short four hour bus ride in AC (with legroom!!!!) put me where i now stand.
I am here in Pune, doing nothing and loving it. I bought some new glasses,
i've watched three soccer games and four cricket matches. Life is good.

Next I head to Ellora and Ajanta caves, home of the worlds largest monolithic
caves, then, a cross-country train to Puri Orrissa to meet my teacher Talolac
for the "Juggernaut" festival, where 2oo foot carts are dragged through the
streets. Then on to Kolcutta, my last stop before picking up my mother in

Enough about my travels in the physical plane, alas, it is only half of my
journey. While countless amounts of energy have been spent on getting my body
from one location to the next, i find myself spending many a calorie on my
mental expansion. It has not changed me in ways i would have ever thought but
no question, i have changed. Though i have changed, i am not sure as to how.
I have had time, to think, to wonder, to get lost in my brain while being lost
in the backstreets of dirty cities or the polished marble floors of temples. I
have heard the sound of my thoughts be drowned out by the sounds of music
playing and children laughing. I have had days where i would never want to be
anywhere else, ever, while there have been days where i find myself wanting to
be anywhere else. Why? I wonder sometimes why we have been cursed with the
ability to explore our minds yet not the skills to conquer those thoughts. Why
it is that I have come here. No doubt, i am blessed to be here, doing these
things and going to these places, but what is it that i am searching for? I
find myself blank, without ability to write songs or put into words my journey.
I have found so many things yet am constantly finding myself being lost.
Though i have received countless letters from friends upon aMerican shores whose
woes know no end, i look forward to looking back at this adventure with a new
perspective and a change of scenery. Through all of this I keep a constant
reminder in my mind that i am Here Now, that my adventures have not ended but
only begun, that my perils are those that have been shared by countless others,
that i am not alone. I am not alone. I am not alone.

I have so much to say yet i know not everyone can read all of this. I have so
many people i love whose attention i am blessed to have had for these moments; i
will not try my blessings any further. this is my time to depart and rejoin
life here in the wild world of this subcontinent, but know this; i am sending my
love. receiving words from your shores is a massage for my heart and i urge
you to take the time to tell me of your life, of what pulls on your
heartstrings. no matter how ordinary it seems, even the most subdued story
tells a tale.

I look forward to telling tales over a cup of tea
love and live it up


Not-So-Venerable Asshat
Good stuff


Very cool stuff. My wife's from India, and most of her family still resides there. I went for our wedding and some of the stuff in your brother's stories bring me back to the trip. It's a super-interesting, super cool place. Still very wild and rough around the edges.
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