Dienstag, 25. Januar 2011

Children in the Plains

We are sitting in an open jeep, 80 kilometers outside of Jaisalmer. The road continues straight up to the horizon, left and right of us is nothing but plain land and bushes. But then we take a left and a set of grey stone houses appear out of nothing.

"This is my village", says the driver. "Come, we´ll have a chai and you will meet my kids." A moment later we sit in one of the stone houses on something that appears to be a bed. Giggling, the children of the village gather at the door, trying to catch a glimpse at their foreign visitors. They are shy at first but soon come closer. Sitting there we wonder how these people live here. Close to the border of Pakistan, surrounded by hardly arable land, with little cattle and at a safe distance from modern society. And clearly we are an attraction, a not so common change in their daily routines. The children stare at us with wide eyes, excitedly pose for pictures as they see my camera and come after the jeep, running and waving, as we speed off half and hour later. Moments like these are precious, because they give insight into a world that one normally does not see, the rural India, where still more than two-thirds of the population lives.