Well I decided I would walk the 30km trip from Jaipur city to the Saharia organic farm where I would be volunteering. This was partly for the experience of moving slowly through the transforming environment of crazy city to tranquil countryside, and partly to investigate the hospitality of passing traffic. The walk was hot and heavy with the temperature somewhere in the 30s,but enlightened me that on this particular day, a solitary western roadside trecker was not a desirable companion for the passing indian driver.
The farm was a beautiful green forest of lentil plants, henna berry, medicinal armla and mosquito killing neem trees with around 7 families living in a scattering of mud, thatch and concrete huts within the walled boundary of perhaps 25 hectares. These families formed a simple, seemingly content comunity of farm workers,women and children all living together in a loose routine of short moments of hard work amongst long slow shady periods of chai tea drinking, laughing and joking. Perhaps my experience of their life was not the usual as the boss had just left for a month in Kalcutta so they were away from his comanding rule and watchfull eye. Five other foreign helpers were there on my arival. They told me that once the boss left, imediatly the new man in charge went into the bosses house, sat on the couch and turned on the tv where he seemed to remain for the duration of my stay. Us helpers slept in simple mud huts and had running water and a candle light for showers. The day started with sweet milky tea at 7.30 followed by an hour and a half of work weeding, ploughing or white washing before a breakfast of wheet porridge or fried rice then another couple of hours work before luch and in the late afternoon. The workers would spend a few minuts working with us before disapearing to I am not sure where. Their english was poor though they were reasonably friendly. I did not leave with the warm hearted feeling I recieved from the farm workers I stayed with in morocco though. One afternoon my job was to follow suresh with a 40kg sack of wheet grain on the back of my retro single speed bicycle down a sandy road to the flour mill. The wheels became tractionless in the sand and the sack fell off multiple times but eventually I caught up with Suresh at the small milling shed. Another afternoon was spent kicking a ball around with the farm boys. My foreign woker companions left soon after I arrived so I had a lot of time alone to relax, read and ponder. I took my day off work to visit a nearby town where I was invited into a school of young adults and asked to give a lecture about a topic of my choice off the cuff. So using simple english which they could not understand I did my best to explain the obscure memory techniques I had been learning from my book written by the world memory champion. Later in an attempt to buy an icecream I found myself at the back of a cafe scetching a picture of the owners deceased father as requested. The man had died only 2 months earlier in a road accident so I felt a little pressure to get it acutate. In the photo he was sporting the usual stern pose
found on walls in indian homes reserved for loved ones. He had the addition of enormouse piercing eyes and a look of shock implying that perhaps the photo was taken at the second before his fatal accident. Dinners at the fam were india spicy vegetables and allways chapati. I ate sometimes next to Suresh the cook who likes to eat in a squated position while farting and panting painfully from the extra chilly he must have added to his plate.