Disclaimer: I have tried to recreate the events, locales, and conversations from my memories of them. The below-expressed views, opinions or analogies are personal and may not be in line with the widespread conceptions. Please go to Motorcycle Diaries -> India: Ocean to Mountains (or Click here) to check out the previous events.
Date: 25th August 2016; Route: Khajuraho – Nagpur
“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything – Plato”
I found some self-satisfaction early in the morning when I saw some dead cattle on the road, I wanted to run over them myself yesterday, but someone else had already avenged for me (yeah, I am an asshole at times). Anyway, when we reached in the perimeter of Khajuraho, first thing I saw was a naked man walking on the street and behind him, there were few gentlemen marching, and I have no idea what the fuck they were trying to do and I didn’t even stop to ask, I just closed my eyes for a couple of seconds and tried to erase that image out of my memory; I looked straight and rode on. That image still haunts me at night.
“Khajuraho temples are famous for their Nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures. Most Khajuraho temples were built between 950 and 1050 by the Chandela dynasty. Historical records note that the Khajuraho temple site had 85 temples by the 12th century, spread over 20 square kilometers. Of these, only about 20 temples have survived, spread over 6 square kilometers. Of the various surviving temples, the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures with intricate details, symbolism, and expressiveness of ancient Indian art” – Wiki
Khajuraho was very well maintained. When I was exploring the temples, I felt, people who sculptured it must have had crossed their sexual peak and would have been at their erotic best to slice those figures. I remember there was carving where a naked woman was trying to seduce a dragon, yes a dragon, not a man. Now you know why people give you that “naughty boy” look whenever you say that you have been Khajuraho. It was fun to watch how the various statues were portrayed with respect to sexuality. When I was coming out of one of the temples, I saw a couple of guys, clicking each other’s pictures at the gate. I waited for my turn to take a picture. As soon as they saw me, they moved on. I told them to relax and take their own time to click the snaps. One of them asked me “Oh, so you are an Indian!” (Where the heck do people of North India think I am from? Pa*istan! At times, people make me believe that I really look like a terrorist. WTF man, do I?)
I replied, “Yeah buddy, I am from Kerala”. And we started talking. They were natives of Khajuraho. He asked me if I understood the meaning of the sculptures. I said, “Not really, I was just trying to figure out what the sculptures were trying to depict”. Then he started explaining, damn, the way that guy was explaining brought my curiosity back to history. It’s really interesting to know that even people from such remote areas have vast knowledge about India and are aware of its culture more than the so-called enlightened urban inhabitants.
After talking to them, I felt, unlike the popular belief, only around 10% of these sculptures represented sensuality, the rest of them were displaying various aspects of daily life of potters and farmers at work, musicians composing, women dressing up, etc.
There were only 3 days left, the plan was to reach Nagpur by the end of the day, then to Hyderabad on the next day and then to Bangalore on the day after. The ride was almost over. As per the plan, it was time for us to ride towards Nagpur. And after 26 days, I couldn’t resist my urge to listen to music anymore. I pulled out my earphones and plugged them after a long time. God, I missed my earphones. I was singing and dancing to the tunes of Eric Clapton. If I am ever having a bad day, the only thing I need is my motorcycle and my earphones; and it’s more than enough to bring back that smile on my face.
As we were cruising towards Nagpur, it started raining badly after 6 PM. We had no choice but to halt 200 KMs from Nagpur. Anyway, we had an additional buffer day which we could utilize in case the weather got worse the next day.
P.S. I was trying to bring a closure to my trip diary before I turned 27 which happened a couple of days back but I couldn’t help being a procrastinator 😛
So the extended goal is it to finish it by end of this month, if not; 2017 for sure!