Second day in Jaipur
Yesterday we arrived in Jaipur and were greeted with the usual welcoming for the local rickshaw drivers. We managed to shoo away a dozen rickshaw drivers before finding our hotel on foot. The hotel is very popular so we had to take one of the more expensive rooms which was beautiful and still incredibly reasonable compared to Mumbai prices. We were exhausted and had both come down with sore throats so we decided to rest for the day.
Today we took our first trip into the city and decided to skip the attractions and just walk around. We toured the old city of Jaipur and as we were making our way back we met a nice man named Ravi and his friend Gorav who we ended up going to lunch with. A simple lunch turned into an invitation to the neibourhood where Ravi teaches music, Hindi and English to children for free. Upon arrival we walked through a maze of narrow laneways and were mobbed by friendly children who wanted to know our names and shake our hands. It wasn’t until I climbed up a sketchy ladder to a rooftop and looked over the expanse of tin rooves held down by rocks that I realized we were in the middle of a small Jaipur slum. We met more people and were treated to traditional Rajastani and Sufi music (with dancing children) and were invited to dinner with about six other Indian men. They bought everything at a local market, cooked everything in front of us on a small propane burner. We had mutton garam masala which is a Rajastani style of lamb curry. We ate of the floor in a circle and as always in Indian style: with the right hand using roti (flat bread) to scoop the food. Everyone was so friendly and so interested in us and in showing us their community. Ravi explained to us about how this was a gypsy music community and about how they plan to build a school for the local children, funded by concerts and donations.