Down Under with Linda Blair

Trip Start Dec 18, 2013
Trip End Jan 03, 2014

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Where I stayed
Haveli Kalwara

Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Monday, December 23, 2013

Craving for Noodle Soup
There wasn't much to write about today. The Delhi Belly had me so sick that I was bed ridden the entire day. I wouldn't even dare to leave 30 mins without any access to a toilet bowl. It was that serious. Every medication I had on me was washed down with lots of mineral water. 

Luckily Sanu came to check on me as I didn't get to go to the money changer with him last night. He was very concerned and look more worried than me. His extraordinary words that made me felt so much better was "You are my guest. Now you are ill. I feel very bad. I must get you well again, so that I can be happy." I almost blurbed out that everything went downhill last night from the moment I drank his chai but it wouldn't make any difference, so I kept my peace. 

Sanu attended to me very well by making me toasts and egg omelettes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In fact, that was all the kitchen could prepare. The thought of having curry from the streets was not at all appealing. For once I crave for noodle soup, virtually non-existent in Jaipur and perhaps even Rajasthan.

Down Under with Linda Blair 
As I slept periodically through the day, I was basically retracing my meals and trying to pin-point a possible cause of my belly suffering. The suspect at this point was the chai I drank last night because the effect was almost immediate. Second suspect was my second lunch of butter chicken curry and naan I had at M1 road. The guesthouse's wifi finally worked at 2pm and I called home to mom. 

After resting for the entire morning and afternoon, I decided to step out of my room for a bit of wander around the backyard. Funny enough, the sun was out and after many days of haze, today was the first with clear skies and good sun. I had to reschedule my itinerary to exclude visting Bundi (5 hours bus journey) tomorrow in favour for a 3.5 hours bus ride to Pushkar instead. You know, play safe and don't try to push my luck especially when my bowels were having a Linda Blair moment.
Tragic Kingdom
Ample time on the bed meant I was recounting on the days before. The single most striking conversation I had was with Sanu about the caste system in India. This subject bothers me deeply. The very fact that a religion dictates the social status of different castes, leaves a awfully bitter taste in me. My understanding of the caste system grew greatly with Sanu's detailed explanation. Although identified as an important feature of their religion, I still cannot accept that it is abused to discriminate against lower caste groups. 

The lowest of the castes is treated as untouchable by the higher castes, ostracised and prevented from being treated as equal. But Sanu tried to convince me that this caste system works. It allows society system to be more effective and everyone has a role. "Well, not when one is condemned to be an untouchable!" I protested. He coolly exclaimed "You see, that's where it works..the upper castes can earn better karma by helping the lower castes." I was just stunned by that statement. 

The caste system is legally outlawed in India but its toxicity carries on in everyday India even as we speak. So poisonous that even the untouchables resign themselves to their fate. Some may say that as foreign traveller, I am in no position to be critical or judgemental about a traditional culture. Please wake up. For the people fighting to demolish this caste system once and for all in India, as a fellow human being, I salute you!
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