Friday, January 4, 2008

Jan 4: Unusual stop in Dhaba(part 2 of 2)

I end the day at a small town called Murka. It has a dhaba, which is
where I am staying. I intended to stop at a place called Mau, but
villagers here advised me to stop here. They tell me that there are
jungles from here till Mau. I've anyway been riding since morning with
little joy, so stoppimg is logical. This is the first time I have
stopped at a dhaba ever, and it's an experience. Folks here are
rather surprised that I am single, inspite of being close to 30 -
here, marriage happens much before 20. I had seen many young school
going girls with sindhoor on the parting of their heads and figured
out the same, but here is confirmation. There surely is a good
relation between general level of education and age of marriage. That
said, I am happy to see lines of school bound children in Uttar
Pradesh. It's a sight I sorely missed in Bihar. We've also been
discussing other things like the caste system, women's education and
many other things under the sky. Talking to people over a fire,
umpteen chais and idle chit chat make for an interesting way to end
the day.

One aspect of staying at an open place like a dhaba is the safety of
the bike, bag and the expensive contents. One needs to be a bit
discreet about what one has. I've used my mobile and made sure
everyone knows it's in my pocket. I've lent my cycle pump to a local
to fill some much needed air in his tyres. Not taken out my camera,
neither my GPS receiver. The less the locals see, the better it is for
everyone. I'm very comfortable with the people around me, but people
come and leave at night - and it's them who shouldn't get to know
about the gadgets, so...

I am lying down on this bare charpoy and going to make use of my
sleeping bag in a little while from now.

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