#10 – Jaipur #2 (Gaye)

Our days are so full that I am grateful for morning meditation that seems to give me the 'whatever comes is good' perspective that I need. Almost at every turn you come upon the contradictions in this India world. Often there are piles of garbage everywhere, can't drink the water and then you will come upon brilliant architecture or scientific discovery centuries ahead of what our culture was doing around that same time.

At almost every turn you come upon the contradictions of India.

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We visited an observatory called the Jantar Mantar monument. It is a collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments, built by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh, and completed in 1734 CE. It can tell time within 2 seconds of correct time, do complex sun calculations, give astrological information. Completely beyond me!

What was not beyond me was the visit to a jewelry factory! We watched raw stones being cut and shaped and then entered this fabulous show room. As many of you know rings are my weakness. I had the owner look up my birthday and time and through an astrological chart said that ruby or garnet was the stone I needed to wear. I love the intense red of the garnet and chose a beautiful stone and silver setting. The ring was delivered that evening. I love it! A wonderful keepsake of India.

After attending a spice market and prowling the street markets, we rested for an hour before our evening adventure.

At the home of a grandson of a Raja we sat on pillows learning about Rajasthani (the province we are in) cuisine and family culture.

We had a cooking lesson from both husband and wife (for the life of me I cannot remember their names). The food was so wonderful but more intriguing was the glimpse into family. The wife's sister took great interest in us as did Angel their three year old daughter.

I had a quiet conversation about arranged marriages, oppression of women, the challenge with mother-in-laws and being a mother/wife who works outside the home. The sister said many women begin their day at 4 am because every thing is made from scratch, including the preparation of the spices. As time goes on I come more and more to realize that being born a woman in Canada was a great blessing.

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