It’s early, too early. Tuk tuk, bus station, rice dish in a newspaper for breakfast and a long wait for the bus. Chi and more chi awakens me. Raj, our guide, is on the bus and the mood lightens. We’re off to see some Baba’s and villages and stuff out in the sticks, this is all I know. Random but I like it. I’m relaxed and comfortable. Although I trust Raj, I’m still a quietly pessimistic as to why a 43 year old business man wants to take us out to see his hostel. Either way lets enjoy his hospitality and see where the path leads me. I like him, but India makes you suspicious, from experience, you think everyone has an alteria motive, usually involving rupees.
The bus stops and we jump in a jeep to take us to our hostel. It’s quite obvious we are in the middle of nowhere, few people speak English. If we loose Raj, it’s going to be fun to get back on the beaten track. Intense staring and giggles from the locals greet us. We end up in a hostel run by Raj’s boss. We settle into our room. In the garden, a music video is being filmed.
We visit Raj’s hostel which is currently being built by a team of Indians. There are stables with a huge array of beautiful horses, a lake and some prime smoking spots. Raj and his side kick Vishel love to smoke. It is their passion. There are a variety of different tobaccos in India and I’m being shown each and everyone! And when smoking is not allowed. they have a variety of chewing tobaccos, which I’d like to add are disgusting. Tom gives his advice to the builders on where the electrics should go in Raj’s new hotel.
Back at the hostel, we eat a thali. The music video is still being shot. We exchange nameste and smiles. Before we know it, we are dancing with the two guys and a beautiful Indian woman. We pose for pictures. This place is surreal. We spend the rest of the evening, chilling out in the garden, reading and feasting in the restaurant. I am inspired to start this journal of my experiences. This diary was started today. I need to share with others my whirlwind adventure. This is only the beginning.
I’m high on life. High. But questions are flying around my head, who is Raj? Why has he brought us here? He takes us on tours, paying for taxi’s, drinks and food. India makes you suspicious, everyones smiles and brief friendships must lead to them selling me something. Maybe he is a drug baron and he wants us to be mules. Realistically, I think we may be his guinea pigs of a different kind. He plans to open his hotel and maybe he wants to see wether we like his plans, his quality control experts? Who knows, I like it, I like it all. I firmly believe in creating your own luck, you write your own future, but this seems like destiny. I have met these English guys for a reason. Destiny walking me down a path and I’m enjoying it. I’m relaxed and at peace. No timetable, no phone, no Internet, no marking, no planing. Just chi, temples, smiles, forts, dodgy roads and the experience of a lifetime.