The Drive.. from Jaipur to Ranthambore
Yesterday we traveled through the countryside of India, and I was able to sit up in the front of the bus with the driver and his assistant. In case you wonder, it indeed takes two, if not three people to drive a large vehicle through the roads and streets of India. Part of this is due to the craziness of the traffic, part of this is due to the condition of the roads at times, and part of this is due to the wild assortment of comrades and vehicles who share the road. As India was once ruled by Britain, cars operate with a right-hand side steering. This in itself takes a little getting used to.
It was an amazing experience to see the countryside from the view up front. Yes, there were a few scary moments, as traffic moves quickly, and there are many diversions to deal with when driving. These include camels, motorbikes, bicycles, tractors, jeeps, sheep, goats, cows, people, pigs, and many other things. It was an adventure.
I must say that my experience as an observer and photographer was very moving, yet it is difficult to explain why. I am so taken with the friendliness of the people who greet you by waving, even as you lift the camera to steal a shot of their everyday motions. The animals have no fear, and there were many times, that I thought we might run over a pig or two. My overall impression is that life just flows here, with little worry of time and schedule. There seems to be an air of contentment; no one seems to be in a panic about getting from point A to B.
As I watch the scenes that pass me by, I note that color is everywhere. It is mostly witnessed in the clothing worn by women. Vibrant and cheerful saris abound; we have been challenged by our group leader to find two women wearing the same fabric.
Below, you will see a collection of photos, taken from my up-front perch in the bus. I have not edited them, nor cropped. This is exactly what you get, going anywhere from 20 to 50 miles per hour. There are truly some thirty-second shots…. As I either hung out the window, or shot through the front or side from inside the bus cab. You will witness ann assortment of the following;
* Children herding goats
* People loaded on top of buses, in carts, or whatever else might carry them
* Camels plodding along with a rhythmical lope.
* Young boys on motorcycles, sometimes three per bike.
* Women wearing saris, riding side-saddle on motorcycles
* Women carrying a load of goods on their heads
* Men, squatting in their resting position, socializing and observing those around
* Cows wandering the streets, feeding upon whatever comes their way
* Highly decorated transport trucks and buses.
* Women carrying goods on their head
* People working in the fields or on the road
* A wide assortment of transport modes, far greater than you would ever see at home.
This is not Interstate 5.
I will place these images separately, for a closer view, for those who want to scroll.