India - Day #14 - Delhi
11.10.2007 - 11.10.2007
Strangely this second visit Delhi feels different. I am not sure if its the veneer of local wisdom we have picked up or just that there are more tourists in town this time, but we are hassled immeasurably less.
We went to a local drinking hole called De Gem near the train station end of the Main Bazaar at Pararganj. It was very cosey indeed. In fact so much so that the waiter plonked us down to share a tiny table with two other dudes who didn't appear to know each other anyway. We immediately struck up a conversation with this guy wearing Indian style clothing. He turned out to be a 59 year old ex-pat from Jersey UK, named Graham.
The more we spoke to Graham, the more our mouths dropped open with disbelief. At the age of 28 he had dropped out of society and come to India to walk the land. Quite literally. He spent 7 years just cruising around India by foot. He never paid for anything, nor stayed in any hotel or ate from a restaurant. The local villagers would squabble with each other over who would feed and shelter him. Sometime he would just sleep in caves.
Graham had just arrived from a cold and dreary London, where he was working as a painter decorator. He certainly was over his job and he comes to India whenever possible, usually each year. He was very keen to head up north to a town made famous by a visit by the Beetles, 6 hrs from Delhi where the Ganges river is clean and clear (how that is possible downstream from Varanassi I'll never know), to cleanse himself of Western society's contamination as he put it.
He certainly painted quite a different picture of India than what we had experienced. Probably because he gave all of himself to India. He had many more stories about girlfriends, wifes, family and the friendly south of India. It was just a mind boggling experience talking to this man of the earth from Jersey.
Though he was quite inspirational, he still didn't manage to change our minds about leaving India. Today we are going to check out tickets to Thailand. Maybe I can reset my karma there