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The adventures of the Mel

Tordi Garh (part two)

INDIA | Wednesday, 13 January 2010 | Views [4245] | Comments [4]

Getting up in the morning I felt like SHITE but I was still excited to go and meet the villagers of Tordi Garh. We had a briefing where Paddy instructed us that we were not to buy anything or give anything to the locals (tips, pencils, whatever) because they wanted to make sure that the village stayed untouched by commercialism. In a wonderful symbiotic relationship, we benefit the locals by bringing in job opportunities (to help look after us), allowing them to practice their English, and allowing the kids to have their photos taken – they loved it! We got to see first-hand the way that they live and not be hassled in a negative way about anything.

 

As soon as we stepped foot outside we had a few kids tagging along looking at us, smiling shyly and waving, ‘Hello!’ Moving along the kids got more and more brave, many would run up to us, say ‘Hello! Photo?’ and grin broadly for the camera before reaching for it to see themselves in a photo, laughing hysterically at themselves and each other. Some of them were real photo junkies – one little boy was incredible – he wanted to be in every photo possible, pushing his way through. Some would argue that this is a negative commercial effect, and perhaps they might be right – but the smiles on the kids face make it very difficult to argue this. One girl was quite shy but would pose for the camera and would look at the photo in sadness…until she saw herself and then her entire face would light up like what she had seen was a miracle. The smiles….they were just gorgeous, genuine and infectious. I could have stayed there for so long.

 

We walked around the village for a couple of hours, interacting mostly with kids – particularly when we bumped into a whole group coming from school – apparently it had closed because it was too cold! They practice their English; ‘Hello, what is your name?’ and we spoke and exchanged names as best as we could. It was just the most amazing experience. I’m not quite sure how anything I am going to see is going to top this! The women were also curious and mostly happy to see us, though not quite as earnest as the kids. They hung back in doorways and brought out their beautiful smiles when told ‘sundar’ which apparently means beautiful. They were, as always, dressed in vivid colours that just radiate throughout the dilapidated village. The men were not quite so forthcoming, but quite happy to have their photo taken whilst they carried about their business, many eager to greet the prince who had come with us.

 

We walked past buildings with love hearts on them, which apparently is an open invitation to a wedding. With the love heart you have the names of the engaged and other necessary details. Rather than sending out personal invites, they paint this on the walls of their house to invite everybody. Laundry hung across the facades and monkeys scaled the walls to glare at us for disturbing the peace (hey, it’s the kids that are noisy, not us!). We watched people making pots and looked at the hospital and the local market. The kids followed us everywhere we went. We discovered that they found the concept of taking photos magical, and let them take a few photos with our cameras – the joy and excitement on their faces!! It was just incredible. *sigh of contentment*

 

Eventually we had to head back, which I was quite grateful for because at this stage I was feeling quite ill. I had a nap whilst everybody had lunch, and then we were off to Jaipur! Not sure when I’ll update again – after Jaipur we are going on a camel safari, so you might not hear from me for a while. I’ll try to update again ASAP – it’s kinda hard with so many things going on! Hope you’re all enjoying the heat – that’s one thing you’ve got on me. I would kill for a long hot shower right about now!

 

Peace out!

 

 

People of Tordi photos 

 

 

 

Comments

1

Can't wait to see the photos Mel - smiling kids bring infectious joy.

  Sally Jan 13, 2010 7:58 PM

2

thank u so much for loving tordi.....im so happy dat u like my place.....

  siddharth singh Jan 22, 2010 7:24 PM

3

Thank you for your write up. It was a pleasure to host you.

Hemendra Singh Tordi Garh

  Hemendra Singh Apr 1, 2010 12:16 AM

4

I stayed at Tordi Garh last week and I couldnt agree more with this last report. It was such a welcome break from the bustle of the cities. Lovely place, lovely people.

  shona morrison Nov 26, 2010 10:18 AM

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