Laki’s Grandfather

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       In Khajuraho we met a few boys around our age who, when they witnessed our love of Indian food, decided it was their responsibility to give us an authentic  experience making chapati. On our last day Laki brought us to his grandfather’s house in a village a few kilometers outside of town. The house had the exceptionally clean feel that I have noticed in smooth mud and clay based structures in North India. A modest home with a simple, mostly outdoor kitchen, Laki’s grandfather’s home was the perfect place to spend the afternoon beneath the shady branches of Neem trees, peeling and chopping aubergine, peppers, potatoes, garlic, onion, and tomato and roasting them over the fire as the chapatis heated on the embers underneath. This simple fare tasted as fresh and delicious as the most elaborate spreads I’ve had in India.

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Khajuraho Temples

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       The Temples in Khajuraho are known because of their sexual carvings, as the Kama Sutra Temples. The walls of the many edifices depict elaborate scenes of  women engaging in sexual acts with men, dragons, and other erotic beings. The one I found most seductive I would not have seen on my own. Marina, Katie, and I rented bicycles and rode out with some new friends to the farther Eastern Temple where our friend Aashtosh showed me a massive wall of carvings. About half way up the wall was a 2ft carving of a woman in an upright sexual pose with a large, intricate scorpion crawling up her leg. She was remarkably preserved, and her body language spoke through barriers of time and spirituality that represent a past I am fascinated by. I don’t think our obsession with sex is modern, temples like this teach me again and again that the world has always been wild.

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