Thursday, May 22, 2008

Interesting day in the neighborhood

Nemaste (hello) from India!

After our day of visiting the Hindu temple, the University, a Buddhist monestary and Sarnat Megan and I decided to walk around the neighborhood we were staying in before we went to a musical concert. I wanted to buy a Buddha replica for a friend who collects them so we stopped in a little shop we had passed on the way back from town. After we walked in, it wasn't long before we found ourselves being asked to follow the owner farther into the shop to see his "best work". We followed and found ourselves in this small room with a mat on the floor surrounded by shevles upon shelves of varying sizes of Hindu gods, buddhas, and animals.
I looked around asking prices and trying to convert in my head while he showed me Buddha after Buddha. Finally I chose one and paid. While I paid, we all turns out 21 people live in his house! He lives with all seven brothers and their wives and his mother, his sister, his wife and son, and lots of pets. He says that they all run the business together. He really is a wonderful craftsman and was fun to talk to.
After we finished talking he asked me if I liked the mark on his arm, I told him that I did and he said he would make me one...what? he was going to make me a tatoo?, he wanted to make me a necklace with the same symbol. A gift he of charge. Now that is something you don't hear too often in India. We are always trying to be sold something. He makes my gift explaining that the symbol is "ohm" (like what you say when you are meditating) and that is good luck and it is his blessing for me. He asks for nothing in return (at least not from me) and we go to leave...again. Before we can, he asks Megan if she would like one. She says she has no money and he, free of charge, my gift. She accepts and he makes another one just like mine. As he gives it to her, he asks what her gift to him is. cricket...we have no gifts...what have we just accepted and what will happen if we don't find some sort of gift...
Well, we obviously made it out of there because I am writing this so we must have found a gift right? Well, I gues we did if you call 52 cents American money and a small tube of paint Megan bought off a little boy today a gift, then we came up with one. So...lesson learned...don't take gifts if you don't have gifts to give in return. oh well...just another lesson learned in India! :)

p.s. you have all read how crazy the driving is EVERYWHERE...well, here is a quote directly from our driver today: "To drive in India you need three things: Good horn, good bag, and good luck." Where good luck is the most important one...haha. Oh yeah and by bag he means air bag!

No comments: