Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tutting into Osyian

Today, we had a challenge to complete.  The entire Rally for Health group had to survive a 66 kilometer journey, as we drove our own rickshaws across the Indian state of Rajasthan.  We planned to stay outside of a rural village called Osiyan.  There, Rally for Health will run a clinic for two days.

The Billboard in the Background is an Advertisement Announcing our Free Clinic. 
I was woken up early in the morning and packed my bag half asleep.  I felt like a zombie operating at such an early hour.  After all of the bags were packed we still had to wait for the rickshaws to show up.  In about a half-hour the rickshaws finally pulled into the intersection by our hotel and it was time to start decorating.  I don’t know why we keep decorating these rickshaws.  It seems a little silly.  I mean do it once and leave it.  Still, it was a little more fun than it was a pain.  We soon had the rickshaws rigged and ready to go.  A local driver was to take us to a starting point, out of the busy city,  where the American and Indian Rally for Health team would drive the rigs. 

Tutting along in rickshaws was very interesting but probably not very safe.  Mom and Dad drove safely, but others did not.  One of the young Indian doctors took a turn driving.  I do not think this was a good idea.  He swerved back and forth, clowning around and not paying full attention to the road.  Well, if you goof off when you are driving a rickshaw... not good.  He lost control of his steering and made a sharp turn off the road, then turned back through the line of rickshaws ending in the opposite ditch. We were all worried, but thankfully there were no casualties!

Out of the rickshaws we saw several exotic mammals.  We mainly saw goats, pigs, cows, camels, and ox.  The landscape, though, was mainly barren open space.  Rarely, we saw small communities with a variety of people carrying pots, riding camels, selling vegetables, or just hanging out.  We probably saw half as many cows in the street as we saw people.  It felt like ages, but we finally arrived in the village of Osiyan. 

We ate lunch at a local restaurant with good rice and curry and great chapattis.  The kitchen was outside next to where the villagers would sit and eat.  The Indians running the kitchen were mostly kids.  They roasted the chapatti with a pair of tongs and a fiery grill.  The young boy would grab the chapatti with the tongs and hold it over the grill.  This got me thinking, you could probably bring a batch of dough to a camp fire and have a blast trying to cook it.  We ate a satiating meal and drove to our stay for the night.

We arrived at a big building with a group of local dignitaries waiting for us at the entryway.  They greeted us and gave us a the traditional tika blessing as a welcome ceremony.  Tiki is when a local Hindu man dips his finger in die and transfers a streak of red die between the eyes with his finger tip.  He sprinkles flower pedles on ones head and places a flower neckless around ones neck.  From there we proceeded into a large courtyard, around us were forty rooms where guests were intended to stay.  This building is owned by a wealthy man who is one of the main dignitaries of his community.  The large courtyard is where Rally for Health will be running a clinic for the next two days.
Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!  


  1. Great pictures Rohan. You're also becoming quite a wordsmith! Very enjoyable reading sir!

  2. Know what would be really cool? Popping a wheelie in a rickshaw. Or hitting a ramp at high speed and trying to get airborne. Both of those would be really, really cool. Driving a rickshaw into a ditch? Not so much...

  3. Thank you Andrew! Peter, you will have to ask the Indian man how fun it was (:


  4. My grandson, the flower child!! You are truly blessed! Love, Grandmalish

  5. excellent stories.. I am enjoying you being in India to share vs. me being there! I know it is exhausting and over stimulating.. in a great way..
    I bet you never slept so good!
    I wish I had traveled the world at your age! you are a very fortunate young man.. this year of traveling will nourish your soul with wisdom you may reflect on for your entire life!