tirsdag den 20. marts 2018


5 March / Visit an Indian Doctor and Architect family in Agra
Alwar – Agra  199 km.

Throughout my MC.Rajasthan Journey, I have been looking forward to a reunion with the doctor and architect family Shiromany in Agra. On my MC.Uttar Pradesh Journey 2013, I had come into contact with Dr.Ashok through the organization 'Servas' and lived with them for 2 days which gave me a good insight into what values exist in this close binding family pattern as we in Denmark has left.

I called Dr. Ashok Shiromany a week before when they did not answer my mail. He had not read my mail but could remember me and I was very welcome.

The town of Fatehpur Sikri, 40 km. west of Agra, was built by Emperor Akbar and was the capital of Mughal / Mongul Empire for a very short period of 1571-1585. Shortly after Akbar's death when the city suffered from water shortage, it was abandoned and only this breathtaking and well-preserved Palace and Mosque Jama Masjid consisted, the rest is now only ruins and is called 'the ghost city', which is visually nothing. - The entrance gate to the Mosque and Palace is 54m high, the largest in Asia.

Servas is an international association found in more than 125 countries

Servas is an international non-governmental hospitality association found in more than 125 countries and run by volunteers. Founded in 1949 by Bob Luitweiler (Askov / Denmark) and his friends as a peace movement, Servas International is a non-profit, global, cooperative, cultural exchange network that brings people together to build understanding, tolerance, mutual respect and world peace. Like other hospitality organizations, it promotes world peace by promoting the individual person-to-person contacts. Servas means "to earn", in the sense of "earn peace", in the language of Esperanto. The organization was originally called Peacebuilders.

According to Servas 'articles of association, the purpose is: "to build world peace, good will, and understanding by providing personal contacts with people of other cultures and backgrounds, sharing the hosts' lives and their concern about social and international issues, their interest in creative activity and mutual responsibility for their fellow man. "

It is a rule that you only live with a host for two days, unless the host invites you to stay longer. Servas builds 100% on trust. You must be open, outgoing, considerate and interested in the lives of your host, attitudes and be willing to share your attitudes and experiences, because your hosts will ask many questions. You must be able to speak English or the local language.

Taj Mahal is like a dream a delusion that comes against you. This crisp white image vibrating in the bright sunlight is like a zen image on one's retina. It's really breathtaking to see Taj Mahal again. - I was then and now dazzled, of the white marble reflecting in the sunlight as it strikes one through the dark arc of the gateway, floating in the horizon, as a perfect picture of a dream castle from 1001 night's adventure.

Taj Mahal was built 1632-1647 by Emperor Shan Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz Mahal, meaning 'The Light of the Palace' who died in the 1631 birthbed. Shan Jahan had a desire to build a corresponding Taj Mahal on the other side of the river. It should just be black. It never became something when he died. The architect Ustad Ahmad got the right hand chopped when Taj Mahal was finished. This should prevent him from building a similar one.

The central part of the mausoleum is encircled by four identical minarets, which are built with a slope outwards so that in the event of an earthquake they will drift to the ground away from the mausoleum itself.

Big family Shiromany

My Serva's host Dr.Ashok Shiromany 69 years. He is a medical doctor and, together with his now deceased wife Dr.Sunita operated the little Shiromany Hospital with room for 30 patients since 1980. After the death of the wife 2015, the youngest son and doctor Dr.Amoi Shiromany help his father to run the hospital

Behind the hospital building in a large 1-story house, Dr.Ashok live together with the eldest son Dr. Aseem and his wife Dr.Anjum and their 3½ year old son Anyan. They are both dentists and run a clinic located right next to the hospital building. In the other half of the big house live his older brother Shashi 83 years. He is an architect and has one of his sons living with his wife and they are both architects. Dr.Ashok youngest son Dr.Amoi lives in an annex's residence.

Now I'm not just one among many, now I'm the guest

It's incredibly nice suddenly being a guest. Everyone is interested in one. Now you are not just one of many tourists at a random guest house. Now you are 'the guest'.

I enjoy this private accommodation after so many small and many times impersonal rooms.

It's a very hectic work program everyone in the family has. Therefore, they have home help, providing all the practical things like cleaning, cooking and shopping where some merchants come directly to the door by bike to sell some of their vegetables and milk.

As a guest of Serva you receive food the first evening but are so committed to do the cooking the other evening. In this family, with their many housekeepers, it will be a bit difficult as I then make them unemployed and they will not understand my action at all. I can also sense that the family does not think about them or know Serva's rules.

I also do not have much energy to take on the task of making dinner, I drove to find a store that sold Indian delicatessen sweet and bought 1 kg. as a gift to the family. Florists were impossible to find. In this way, I bought some freedom.

7 pm. There is the and newspaper reading. Four different newspapers on the terrace with sweet thai and sweet bread. Not real breakfast for me. Shashi study the main news.

The value of their harmonious big-family

During the dinner we had a little talk about the political structure in Denmark and India, as well as the global situation.

It was nice to feel the positive activity, presence and care that existed between the two generations. Where family life and work life in one way go up in a greater harmonious whole. This natural connection is worth gold.

The sons had difficulty understanding that there are very few families in Denmark who live 2 generations together. In Denmark, over the last 60 years, the state has taken over many of the family's financial obligations, which applies to all social aspects. Support for education, medical care, childcare, support for single parents and care for the elderly and many other social services. There is no more family that has the obligation. This allows the elderly to manage themselves and that the younger can afford to become the master of their own house. The back side of this is of course that some families slowly dissolve as there is no direct moral obligation to take care of each other.


Common morning meditation, prayer and singing

Dr.Ashok and his brother and several others have a common prayer session every morning and evening that help strengthen their unity and their own faith. The sons go a little less in these prayer sessions.

The family's house altar

I was invited to attend the two brothers daily morning prayer and singing-sitting in comfortable armchairs. They have practiced this together now for 65 years. As a rule, there are more participants. In the evening, they make meditation in front of the house altar, filled with different gods and visual images of the gods chosen by the individual members.

During this chanti where the two brothers half-fairs and singing, their mobile phone calls. they answer loudly, the other goes on. The housekeeper speaks, another cleans the floor. The big german shepherd rages violently by a housekeeper, but the messy rhythmic song continues.

It's like anything else in India, there is no fixed code on how things are going to happen and everyone fits their minds and accepts each other's attitudes and thus maintains their own focus in the midst of the chaos. It become to much for an untrained tourists, influenced by too many sensory impressions that make us lose the orientation opportunity.

There german shepherd's dog, like last time I was here, keeps the Rhesus monkey living on their roof in chess by tbarking heavily, to keep them from descending into human height where they want to enter the kitchen. Therefore, all doors in the house were always locked from the inside, otherwise they are good at opening the locks. This rhesus monkey show her young how the shepherd dog's reaction pattern.

Privat building

Shiromany Hospital

Indian family excursion at 11:30 pm

Dr.Ashok has a consultation at his hospital every day between 7 - 9:00 pm, therefore they eat at 11:30 pm and lunch at 3:30 pm. So everything is displaced in the family. So it was over midnight before it got quiet in the house.

The last evening at 11:30 pm, after dinner, the family wanted a family trip to the local ice cream bar. They asked me if I wanted to participate in the excursion. The little one 3½ years jumped out of joy, that was something he loved to do with the family. So all 5½ people were stuck into the car and drove to the local ice cream shop. The streets were pretty desolate. So there was not much that could interfere with or distract the community of this small family.

The youngest brother wanted me to see Taj Mahal also from the other side of the river where they are building a park. In this slightly dissapointed sunshine weather cut into the finest white ivory, Taj Mahal is even shaking  from a distance.

Behind the Cultural Center's open air scene, Taj Mahal is seen in the sunlight

Architect Shashi, would like to show me a project he was working on. So I drove on my MC. after him on his scooter through Agra streets, to the edge of the city.

He showed me the foundation, the beginning of a construction that would become a Hindu Cultural Center. It should become a cultural venue for all religions.

The most amazing thing was that just behind the Cultural Center's open air scene, you saw Taj Mahal flicker in the sunlight. The cultural center was located so there was a complete view of the Taj Mahal. There was no other houses or construction planned, so there was nothing but trees, nature and barbed wire that affected the free view of the Taj Mahal

The audience would clearly see Taj Mahal in the backround when they listened or saw a performers on stage.

He could or maybe he would not show me the drawings of how the final Cultural Center would look. The drawings were in his studio. I was rather curious to see if he visually wanted to renew the architecture of temples and cultural centers.

So I called his building for The Secret Temple. But he kept saying that it was not a secret temple, but a temple for all. But for me who could not see the final result, it was secret.

He did not know when the construction would be completed. They were dependent on fund support to complete the project.

Architect Shashi at 83, with Taj Mahal in the background

My ear becoming more and more red and tender

The first night, I was bothered by very little mosquitoes when I was going to sleep. Many mosquitoes  had come to my room before I closed the window.

Through my earplugs I could hear the mosquito sum when it was just over my ear. Then I clasped my hand brutally against the uninvited guest and my ear. I clasped and clasped for a long time. My ear iwas becoming more and more red and tender. I feel like a 'human' killer. - I'm exhausted after a tiring day of highway driving so I fall asleep.


In Delhi, before taking on this MC.Rajasthan Journey, I received this white alabast plate with Taj Mahal as the motive of Mohinder Paul Singh Puri, who is an active member of the Servas organization, but unfortunately I can not accommodate me as a guest. He had for the fifth time invited me to eat in Delhi.

Simply symbolic, Taj Mahal has become my flattering zen image of India this time

More human traffic jams in this small town of Agra

8 March / Again, I hear the monotonous drumbeat
Agra – Mathura  60 km.

Just across from my hotel window in Mathura, I find that there is a wedding in the big hotel. The drummers have begun. The parade is about to start the groom in the carrot. I fear the worst that now they will play all night. Fortunately god showed this time grace. After their long loud parade through the city, they stoped the music and enjoyed the buffet. I got a deep life-giving sleep.

11 March / As expected, I stuck in one after the other traffic jam in Delhi
Mathura – Delhi  166 km

I came to Delhi late afternoon, I did not want to experience this trafficy noisy city longer than necessary. Today, Sunday, I have to hand over my green MC. return, and tomorrow I'm on my way home

- As I expected, I was stuck in one after the other traffic jam, where you like the other Motor bike has to snuggle between the cars and struggle with the other bikes to get past each other and through the traffic jam. Pedestrians try despair to get through.  

With my big luggage, I have to take care not to take too much chances where there are big holes and uneven side discounts. It's like being on a MC.motorcross training course.

I'm sure it's not just me getting exhausted, even though I'm sitting on a hot noisy MC. with  a heavy jacket, two jerseys, a shirt, a safety vest and scarf, with hundreds of noisy engines around me in 36 degree heat.

Through the noise, you signal your presence and location in the street scene

Now it's the noise of all the noisy horns that get me on my nerves. It's like a swarm of noisy bats, who register each other via the sound. On the major roads there is the MC. and cars that use their horns incredibly aggressive. Some use the horn constantly so that the energy makes one move according to where the sound comes from.

In the narrow market streets, the people walking can feel without hearing the motor or horn  that you are behind them, so they just step to the side and I slide past them. All senses are sharpened here in Delhi. It is probably what trickes us tourists, always having to be ready.

It must be difficult to be older, weak or just want to live a little longer. When you see 5-year-old children trying to cross the highly-trafic streets, one's thinking goes on, this is a crazy world.

My MC.Rajasthan Journey has reached its physical end
After delivering this deep green MC.Royal Endfield 500/350cc model, that has been a perfect partner, on this MC.Journey but sometimes a bit too heavy to dance with. I do not have the raw strength anymore, I must acknowledge. So here I am mentally and physically exhausted laying at the hotel bed, after a long MC.Journey as an active tourist.

I'm sure if you've been on an active holiday, knowing the great of lying on your back and  just enjoying yourself, hearing familiar songs and music that make way for one's sensitive mind from the computer's technological components.

Explain to the liberating sense of having completed a demanding activity, volunteered by yourself and one's efforts have been successful. It's a great enjoyment. Although noticing how all the small fibers in one's body slowly release the excitement and brain cells give in to the enjoyment of tones from a well-known world.

On this trip there have been no cafes or restaurants or places besides one's hotel room, one could sit down and enjoy a thai or coffee and work on my Blog. No one's visual aesthetic soul has been bombarded with decay and waste.

I still have two reports I need to complete. But now I have mentally allowed myself to enjoy this last day of my Journey lying on my back. Think and reflect. I do not need more sense impressions here from Delhi, now MC.Journey has reached its physical end. Tomorrow, I'll take the plane back to Copenhagen. Late in the afternoon I will be 'home'.

A mirror image of thousands of gods

This acceptance The Indians have each other's different attitudes to life, law and order, are a reflection of the thousands of gods found in Hinduism and all the other different religions. They have good and evil, learned to accept and tolerate the differences when there are so many people living so closely together.

I still feel like a tourist here in India after this my 5 MC.India Journey. It's hard to become part of this chaos when traveling as I do. I can not make strong enough roots

Bjarne v.H.H.Solberg 

Artist & Scenographer
+45 30230036

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New temples shoot up in the horizon