A working mum doing the best she can
Okay, so there I was complaining that we hadn’t had hot water for five nights.
Then I remembered this little girl. And all of a sudden, my hot shower seemed unimportant.
But let me tell you how I discovered her.
We’d been to the Mehrangarhg Fort and marvelled at the enormity of this amazing structure, standing at about 130m above the city of Jodhpur on the precipice of a cliff.
I will never, never comprehend how these amazing fortresses – built to keep out the enemy from advancing on foot, or charging ahead on elephants – were constructed up to 600 years ago.
From the Taj Mahal, built by 20,000 workers over 22 years from marble transported by more than 1,000 elephants…
…and inlaid with 28 different semi-precious and precious stones…
…to this Merhrangarg Fort with proportions so colossal Rudyard Kipling called it “ the work of giants”.
It is only right that it is acknowledged today as the finest Hindu fortress in India, a great complement considering there are a lot, and my dear teen is convinced I want to see them all.
The carvings alone of the palace inside the fort are enough to blow you away.
How did they do it?
The fort overlooks Jodhpur’s famous old blue city.
It is believed the Brahmins, the priestly class, began painting their houses blue to set themselves apart from others. Neighbours from other castes began to copy and the tradition has been maintained.
On the way back from the fort I noticed a worksite where a group of men and women were building a stone wall.
I asked Prakash to stop.
It fascinates me that although Rajasthani women must veil up after marriage in front of their fathers-in-law in the home, and in front of male strangers on the street, they are considered equal enough to work on construction sites and cart bricks, or wet cement, on their heads.
And as I watched this stunning woman walk, I saw her stop to wipe the sweat off her brow in front of this tiny child. This tiny, tiny little girl obviously in “day care”, was sitting placidly on an empty cement bag…
…while her mother laid the cement.
It was Christmas Day. Not that that mattered to these Hindu women. To them it was just a normal working day, the end of which would probably never include a hot shower.
My first world problem in this amazing third world country was quickly put into perspective.