Living by Giving through India (Ch. 29 – Collecting the Essence)


After a delicious coconut rice breakfast Ananda asks if I’d like to take a shower. I agree but don’t realise that i’d have to collect the cold water from the open water pipe sticking out of the ground up the hill first. His son Arun comes with me and shows me what he does every morning to get water. My appreciation for running water is quickly redefined at this moment.

After a very ‘fresh!’ morning shower I’m ready for our day. Ananda has kindly offered to take me on a morning ride to Hosept train station to collect my ticket for Mysore tomorrow. He doesn’t have his own motorbike so he’s borrowed a motorbike from a friend in the village to help get us there. We travel for 30 minutes enjoying the Indian countryside and each others company until we start getting closer to the big city. The traffic rapidly increases in insanity, mountains of humans are piled up on every road! Where is everybody going? What is everybody doing?

Something which catches my attention is how almost everything looks like it’s ‘in construction’; nothing other than the temples appear to be finished. The roads, the houses, the buildings everything open and or broken. I would love to take an Australia occupational health and safety officer through rural India, I’m sure they’d blow a fuse!

We arrive at the train station and again, I am given a strange form of priority as all of the Indian people naturally allow me to move ahead of the ridiculously long line. I’m hoping to get a first class ticket to potentially meet some of the Indian upper class but all the trains for tomorrow are fully booked. We try the bus station and Ananda helps me get the bus ticket leaving later tonight to Mysore for a special price of 350rupees ($6 or 4.20€).

We return home for lunch and I decide to show his family my videos from the work I’d been doing in Barcelona. The family are shocked and surprised to see the work that I’ve been creating with the people, the whole idea of travelling to live in another country is very far from their daily consciousness, then to do something like hugging strangers blind-folded or coordinating hundreds of people to have water fights in foreign terrain is a quantum leap from what they imagined most people did while travelling. Arun the son, is so impressed he runs out of the house and down the road to borrow a friends usb stick so that he can keep the content to show his friends.

Lunch with Ananda

Lunch with Ananda

After this moment Ananda needs to go back into town to work and I would still like to explore a little more of Hampi before my bus ride later tonight so I pack my bags, graciously say goodbye to the family and Ananda walks me to the bus station. He not only walks me to the station, he also waits for the bus to arrive. I am blown away by Ananda’s constant stream of selfless giving and sharing with me that I think one of the best ways I can give a small portion of something back to him would be to offer to pay Ananda and his family. Even though he paid for many things such as the motorbike, the petrol, the food and drinks he politely says no, “I am your friend and to receive payment from friend for hospitality wouldn’t be right.” He says.
I am filled with a profound sense of pure love and acceptance; we are both on the same level. The bus arrives and as i’m waving Ananda goodbye a man dressed as a colourful Guru with beady eyes behind a big grey beard jumps right onto my arm.
“Ahhhhh!!!” he says as if having just struck gold.
My eyes open, “Hello cheeky!?”.


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