HAPPY DIWALI!!!

Diwali night in Pushkar! I am just so happy to spend all the most intimate family moments with my family at enigma cafe and miss my small family at home.

Pushkar – coming home

November 3. – November 6.

First days in Pushkar it is hard to calm down my restless european mind. It takes two days to get a new sim for the phone and the key for ravis farm where Suryananda (the caravan) and Omtatsat (motorbike) are. I don’t even have a padlock for the room these days because they all are inside Suryananda. Monday morning Ansu and me borrow chillies bike to get Omtatsat and some things from Suryananda from Ravis Farm. Omtatsat had been outside in the rainy season – the bike is in a condition that nearly makes me cry. I don’t even try to start. I quickly get the most necessary things from suryananda and we head to Bablu, my mechanic. Shop is still closed and when we call him he promises to be at enigma in an hour. In the meanwhile I organize my new sim and as Bablu isn’t at enigma three hours later I go to the market and ask Max to bring me to his workshop again. When we arrive there Bablu is sitting in the shadow drinking chai being surprised to see me before he remembers the phonecall.

Five minutes later we are sitting on his bike heading back to Ravis farmhouse. I quickly search some more stuff in the caravan but before I can even start I hear the engine running. Carefully, with half flat tires and nearly no brakes I ride Omtatsat back to Bablus workshop. He promises to cure her within 24 hours and even gives me his personal bullet so I don’t need to wait visiting friends who are a little out of Pushkar.

The first of whom is Rajendra. He owns an amazing Hotel near the goamuk temple (the baba in this temple would have been the second one to visit if I hadn’t surprisingly met him at the market in the morning) and we are friends for several years by now. We are both very happy to see each other and soon disappear in a room for peacefully drinking chai together. Suddenly Raju tells me he needs somebody to help him managing the hotel – if I want the job…? Listening to the details the conditions sound more than interesting. Still I don’t have any plans so I ask for one day to think about it.

On the way back to Pushkar I make a stop at Bablus workshop. My Bullet is nearly finished, I am happy not to be able to recognize her since last seen. I remember my first ride on this bike a few years ago. Compared to the 100cc bike I had been riding before she was so strong and so heavy. Nowadays my comparison is the KTM Adventure and Omtatsat feels rather small than strong and heavy. Still she is a beautiful Oldtimer and no bike ever will match her sound!

In the morning Ansu invited me to make a concert at enigma tonight as we had a lot of fun making music the night before at UTurn. I manage to get my instruments which are stored at a different place in the farmhouse and arrive at enigma at 8 o clock carrying the guitar and the didgeridoo. My voice is already suffering from singing too much so I am quite happy to have the didgeridoo for tonight. Soon the rooftop is full and everybody enjoys a lot. After we had finished an old guy comes up the roof. Asking if there was still somebody playing I reply joking we still take donations but at the same moment take the guitar to sing one more song.
After exchanging a few words he leaves again promising to bring his guitar in five minutes. My voice is already more than finished at that moment so I switch to the didgeridoo which is much easier to handle as I play it for more than 15 years compared to the guitar which I play for maybe half a year now…

When I make a break Loyd is back with his guitar clapping his hands telling me in his eyes the didgeridoo is the hardest instrument to learn. I disagree just to be happy all the more only seconds after he starts to play. Shortly after I have tears in my eyes. He is a master of singing and guitar and I am not able to get that stupid smile out of my face. I just sit and absorb the music that is touching and tickling my soul, sometimes singing with him sometimes just listening but being one with the sound every second. In between the songs we talk a few words and immediately start liking each other. He is a 72 year old british whos secret it is “never to have friends older than me!”. I want to learn from him and when I ask him how long he will be in Pushkar he replies: 6 months. A friend of his owns a first class hotel in Pushkar and he will be manager in the 6 months to come….

Delhi – Pushkar

November 2. – November 3. 2012

The first thing to do after touchdown is to change the simcard in my phone. No connection n the plane, no connection on the airport… What to do. Like always I am joking with the immigration officer who is making good fun of the people in front of me. Me he calls Mr. Ghandi…

Out of the airport I find out the metro is not working and the taxis are more or less all gone. Hopefully I find a Spanish couple who had already been waiting for some time to share a taxi to Pahar Ganj. At 9.30 pm I am in front of New Delhi railway station – train is leaving at 0.59 am so I slowly walk down the main market to visit my printshop for eventually making business cards. Shop is already closed so I buy a diet coke at the neighbors shop and start talking to the shopkeeper. I tell him about the simcard problem so we go to a shop of a friend of his. “Simcard expired” he tells me “number is gone you can´t get back”….. Kya karega… What to do…
We walk back to the shop where I had the coke and I take place on the step of the shop. At this narrow street I have to raise my legs for every bike passing by. After a little time I take out my guitar and start to make some music. It´s late already and in the narrow, echoing street there is not much traffic so soon I am surrounded by people. A Spanish guy tells me about his baba who is here too and invites me to the ashram. “No money – all share, if you just make music everyone will be happy!”. Sounds interesting and the baba, who is just coming down the stairs to listen to my music too seems to be an amazing guy. Time passes soon so I take some of their business cards and leave to the train station.

At the train station I find out the train is leaving from Old Delhi. Damn, what a stupid mistake! I never had a train leaving there so I did not even check the train station where to go! The guy at the railway station tells me to go to Connaught place to change the ticket and quickly arranges a taxi for me. As I thought there is no ticket available for the next 3 days. I ask for the price of a taxi to pushkar. 14.000.- rupees – haha good choke. After little negotiation on the phone we go to a travel agency next to the railway station where I get a taxi for 8500. Still expensive but it´s 1 am. At Vienna airport you probably don’t even get a drink at this time of the day. Surprisingly the driver arrives at the office before I even finished my chai.

Chalo Pushkar! Being incredibly tired by now I soon lie down in the back of the car more pretending to sleep than actually doing so. As soon as we are out of Delhi the driver takes a rest to sleeping on the front seat for some time. The next time I wake up we have a flat tire. I get up and we quickly change it together. Dawn is already coming and the area looks familiar. Batteries of the gps are empty but I am pretty sure we will be in pushkar one nap later. One nap later its foggy. Asking my driver where the sun is he replies there is no sun – we are in Jaipur now. Half the way to Pushkar only. We take a chai after Jaipur and go on. 100km before Pushkar we stop again. The driver wants to repair the tire. He jumps out of the car and is gone. After waiting for some time I get a chai which gives me a bad feeling because I can´t lock the car which is out of sight when I am at the chaishop. People at the chaishop want to chat with me and I do least possible not to be impolite and return to the car.
After some time the shadow moves away from the car and it becomes hot inside. I have no idea where the driver is. I have the phone number of the guy where I booked the car but my sim doesn’t work… What to do but wait – you are in india now so fucking get used to it I think and smile. “char puncher” – four holes, the driver explains his disappearing and we go on. Around 2 o clock in the afternoon we finally stop at varah ghat in front of Pushkar Lake.

Ansu is just coming up the ghat and both of us run to hug each other. It´s good to see there is a lot of water in the lake when we have chai at U Turn. I check in by putting my stuff in a room that is not occupied, buy a bunch of roses and make a walk through the market to say hallo to everyone. Same like last year the love I feel on this walk is not to be described. At Enigma I meet monica and ansus and manis mother who are as happy to see me as I am to see them. Mani is in Ajmer and will come to the UTurn later. At night, a lot of hugs and a belly full of chai later I come back to UTurn. Mani is already there and again I feel a lot of happiness and love seeing him again. He is my oldest friend in Pushkar and we have been through good and bad times together – it feels really good to sit with him at the rooftop again drinking chai talking about the past the now and the future…

When I go to my room later Mogli is just talking to my neighbor who is a little sick. “Delhi belly” she says. If I can help I ask and 10 minutes later we make a little digestive yoga session including some reiki at the end. After she definitely looks better and according to what she says she feels a lot better too.
Ap HariOm ghatam hai. – Now I am finished! What an amazing day. Thank you! Bolenath!

Vienna – Dubai – Delhi

HARIOM! Hello my friends! I am most happy to welcome you in my travelblog again. I really had a hard time to find a way to get a visa for Pakistan but hopefully this problem is solved now. So I am very happy I can say I will probably be on the road again making daily reports at the end of January. Today I arrived in Pushkar so from now on there will be updates again. Promise.
For now let´s start with the story of my journey to Pushkar which will offer some surprise already.

I left Austria on Thursday taking emirates airlines to india having enough time on my stop in Dubai to visit the city. Leaving from the new skylink terminal was extremely confusing and even worse – I wanted to get dinner at the airport with my mother before leaving. Unfortunately all restaurants at the new international airport in the huge metropolis Vienna close at 9.00 pm. Well all but one, and this was nearly sold out. I had a nice Rindsgulasch with Semmelknödel which was to be my last proper food until arriving in Pushkar. It was amazing!

For the flight I managed to get a window seat so I was most likely to be able to sleep all flight. But then a young mother appeared to sit next to me asking me if I would change seat with her small daughter who sat at the way in the middle. No sleep so but I was sitting in the middle of three couples – two of them being fighting all night. Friday morning at half past seven I arrived pretty exhausted in Dubai. Visa? On arrival and for free!

Outside an Indian taxi driver was waiting for me to show me the city. Some bargaining later I agreed to pay much too much having in mind that the trip will take much more than the 2 hours we had agreed to. Dubai is a crazy city. It´s like completely clean – even though its full of Indian and Pakistani people! I could hardly believe! And the skyscrapers are too big even to fit on the fisheye of my camera. Even the bus stands have air condition! I had breakfast (aloo parantha) went to an (Indian) barber to get rid of the fur around my head and finally bought a t shirt in an indian shop (which in fact had been most necessary because even the single warm pullover I was dressed with was much too hot here). I made friend with the driver quickly so the trip to the city took little more than 4 hours and I had only 2 hours left to wait. Back at the airport I soon was nearly freezing in the very comfortable smoking lounge. I took out my guitar and soon after I started to sing I was surrounded by a pile of…. Indian people!

I caught my flight in the afternoon and this time made the real deal with the seat! First row window seat! JAI HO! Even the service was much better than on the first flight the stewardess who served me being a very cute girl from Serbia who is living in Dubai now. I like Dubai more and more. Like every time I come to Delhi by plane I enjoyed the moment when the smell of delhi hits the passenger room a lot. It really feels like coming home!