Deogarh with a side of peace and quiet

Trip Start Jan 12, 2008
Trip End Oct 01, 2008

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Today we set out for a 6 hour drive from Jaipur to a little town called Deogarh deep in the country side.  We stopped twice with the urging of Surenda, our driver, once at his sister's house and once at his house.  Both stops were great as we got a good feel as to how actual lives are led and not just that everyone in India knows how to try and scheme on tourists.  His sister's family is a military one.  The father of the house comes home twice a year, from what I understand, but there are actually 3 generations living in this 2 bedroom apartment on the first floor of a 3 story building.  The grandma seems to take care of her grandchild while the mother does the house work and cooking.  The kids are in school and the father is off serving in the military for 4, 5, or 6 months on end.  They serve us tea and biscuits, which I later realize was probably not a good idea for my stomach.  Mom leaves them with spare yarn and needles so they can make something for the newborn baby she scarily adores the entire time we are there!  What is it with women and babies?  They still scare me!!!

Moving onward, on a road that can only be described as a footpath crossed with a semi-paved street that hasn't been repaired since 1923, we arrived at Surenda's house in time for his wife to offer us food.  How can we say no?  My stomach wants me to say "F*&k no!" but I can't stomach saying that as I'm sure that would be the same as slapping her in the face in this culture.  Anyways, we say yes to a small snack and get a large feast.  It's actually quite good but spicy is an understatement and I run through my water bottle before I get half way done with my food, but don't dare accept any water from the tap.  Surenda's house is modest.  His wife and kids commute between this small village and Udaipur during the week so that his kids can go to school there.  He has 2 daughters, Paula's age, who speak better English than he does but clearly inform us that they are destined to get married after the 12th grade and become house wives with no other real alternatives.  They were amazed that Mom was a doctor!  (Side note: today more than one person asked if my Mom and I were married... I'm not sure if that's a compliment for me or for her, but the people asking the question were clearly not too perceptive, to put it nicely.)  As for Surenda, he works 6 months a year as a driver and relaxes the other six months.  Sounds like a cushy life style until you walk into the outhouse, after excusing yourself around the baby buffalo seated outside, and have to shoo off the four or five geckos sitting on the "toilet".  We gift a bottle of rum (that I had picked up in Madagascar) and give his wife some money for making us food and taking us in. 

We make it to Deogarh around 4 finally and find our way to our hotel which turns out to be a converted fort/castle/awesome house in the middle of a lake!  This place is cool!!! 
It's quiet as there are only 4 rooms on the property and the family that runs it lives in one of them.  The views are expansive and the atmosphere is perfect for relaxing, which is much needed as it seems that I have relapsed to not feeling so hot today.  A little reading by the lake and a nap while Mom takes a walk and I'm ready to eat again, I think. We have what would be a most romantic dinner and enjoy a little time fireside before crashing like the tractor trailer we saw on the way to Jaipur!
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Where I stayed
Deogarh Castle
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