24.09.2009 - 27.09.2009 35 °C
It’s just before daybreak and the city is quiet, I can see a herd of cows huddled together under the local street lamp. A pack of stray dogs mooch past, keeping up their nightly pastime of meandering the streets looking for food and fighting with other packs.
As the day begins to break, the women start coming out of the houses with buckets and jerry cans, to fill them with water from the local hand pump. The first few women often pump an extra bucket of water, to help fill the adjacent trough, for the cows that are looking on and the other animals that will pass through the street during the day. With this activity the cows start getting restless and begin to wander back to their daytime street positions throughout the neighbourhood, where they will feed on scraps of food the households throw out for them.
Women also start appearing on roof tops to hang out the daily washing. You can also hear the beginning of men coughing and spitting, as they clear their throats and teeth. If you are in the countryside you would also observe people squatting, side by side, in the fields performing their morning ablutions, oblivious of the others nearby.
People sit in out of the way places, saying to themselves their daily prayers. Up until this point hardly a word is spoken. Then there is the wail of the local mullah reciting the morning prayers, which resonate over the whole neighbourhood.
More people start appearing on the street and the sound of chatter can start to be heard. Shops start to unlock and lift their roller doors getting ready for another day of business. Char sellers; start firing up their burners to get the first brew of tea on the go. With the sun up the shops start doing their first trades and the traffic in the street intensifies. Children in their school uniforms start appearing in doorways, giggling and engaging in playful banter, while waiting for the rickshaw or tuktuk that will take them to school.
From this time till sunset the sound of talking, horns, and music are continuous accompanied by the sights of all kinds of traffic, from bicycles right through to small trucks and even the odd camel or elephant. This morning ritual occurs in most towns in India.
Udaipur is no exception, it is a very peaceful city set amongst low lying hills and 3 or 4 lakes. It often has a breeze blowing through it, keeping the temperature down.
Mt Abu on the other hand, can not decide whether it wants to be a mountain resort or Disneyland