Women like the flowers
Ah yes... with the absence of my mobile phone, thoughts are pushing and shoving for pertinence. You can't overlook Indian women. They are colorful like butterflies, although the circumstances aren't easy. How terrific it looks, when that many-hued woman, agile like an antelope, slips through between cows, litter, generally speaking between filth and stench. Her beauty remains untouched though.
I don't want to write a poem in their honour... because I don't know those women, I only walk by. Only sometimes we exchange looks or have a brief chat. I dare to say that you can read much from the body language and their chores and I undertake such a mission. With strength of their bodies (which are often filigree) they can carry great burdens. They do it in many ways. On head, shoulders, in the front, in the back, attached to the forehead. Sometimes it seems unnatural. Hard work is in a way written into life of most of them. Close to Nepali borders as well as in entire India it is common to see girls with shovels and wheelbarrows. They stir the ground and then carry it on their heads to the right place. A picture from the 60's. C'mon - women to tractors! But the motivation and idea are different. In India it is not about equality (although you can polemize). It is about the way they perceive the role of women in the society as well as a simple necessity. Nevertheless, the burning sun makes this phenomenon a bit more dramatic.
There are visibly less women. Sometimes it seems there aren't any in the crowd and only sari blowing in the wind here and there mark their presence. When you choose some side streets, you'll have the chance one in a million, to see them in their natural environment. They bustle about the houses, they feed, cook. It's the average, nothing extraordinary, they do it in a peculiar, covert way. I mean not only sari, but the way they slip through – elusive. Even when they laugh, they do it half as loud as we do – women from Europe. Except the women from the bus to Pokhara, who laughed till their sides ache for 5 hours. They chortled, so we started chortling. Elderly women have history written into their faces. So miningful that you are afraid to look into their eyes. It is impossible to say how old they are, because local women age apparently sooner. They are either young or already old. Sun, work, conditions of life, traffic fumes and clouds of dust wreak havoc. India are a huge country, and people's features in each state slightly change, each border means more variations until the set of people's features is completely different. Thus, each word of mine is a resulatant of my observations and attempts to understand. It's definitely an unobjective and unfortunetely incomprehensive set of thoughts.
Concerning women there are two constant features that link them to one another. Beauty, both physical and internal, and children, who are the attribute of a woman in the number of two or more. Hanging on the neck, sleeping in the arms, hanging onto the mother's scarf. A woman with two little girls got in the bus from Gorakhpur to the Nepali border. Pushed and poked because there is of course no room in the bus. Without any question she standed humbly in the end of the bus with one child in her arms. I took in the second girl because I couldn't look at that scene anymore. The travel took two hours – the held child fell asleep and I was only thinking how the mother's arms must have hurt, not to mention her legs... It is standard here, it isn't even a prelude to the extreme. For me they are heroines, not complaining about their fate, brave and strong. Like most mothers in any case. It is also common that many elderly women seems to be left alone.
Not only women. A vast number of people, apart from having nothing, have disabilities that preclude moving from point A to point B. When we walked down Nepali streets (dark streets I have to add) suddenly, out of nowhere, a boy jumped under our feet. We understood it later, because in the dark the boy seemed to be an ape. He moved on his hands and jumped under people's feet, because otherwise, I think, he would be completely unnoticed. Terrifying, isn't it? But this is the truth. And what is his reality like? Seen from the perspective of our ankles?
On the matter of the life of Indian women – it is hard to grasp it, so it is only an introduction, a prelude, a foothold – a great field for more possibilites for all inquisitive people:)
- End of the road
- My Indian Family
- Phantom town - Khajuraho
- Tea variation
- Women like the flowers
- I sat by the Ganges
- Evening - trekking outfit
- At 5 am
- No route to Leh
- Paper conflict – Jaipur
- One rupee
- Marija from the desert
- I feel like a king – a bit dirty, but still a king!
- The very disorganized expedition