just as the bible [my lp guide to rajasthan] prophesised, the Brahmin ‘priests’ of the pushkar lake where pilgrims go to bathe led me to the waters to make a puja [prayer] for me…
said priest, who was wearing a dirty white wifebeater singlet and a tatty towel around his waist, began the holy ritual by washing my hands with holy water from the holy lake. next, he made me repeat some prayers calling upon Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, et al to save my soul.
he then, joined by another wifebeater clad ‘priest’, attempted to fleece me of my life savings [US dollars or euros OK, no doubt travellers cheques too] under the reasoning of ‘the more you pay the better off your family will be’.
clearly not happy with the 60 rupees [$2] i offered, they asked me where i was staying. in return i asked them why they wanted to know this [as it clearly wasnt small talk]. and suddenly they didnt seem to understand my english enough to answer my question.
we smiled and thanked each other for our donations to the gods/holy services and I was left sitting by the lake contemplating the meaning of life [which was actually how amazingly good the hot chocolate brownie with icecream and hot chocolate sauce I had recently eaten, had been]