Teaching Science to Monks in Mundgod, India

Inspired by the Dalai Lama, a team of his monks are now ambitiously attempting to share not only in the traditions of Buddhism, but to share also in Western scientific inquiry and evidence on the physical plane. The goal is to shape these already highly educated monks into science leaders. This is our journey to India.

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Day 7: Saturday December 5
posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 by David Barker

“Girlie Girl”
By Linda Shore

This is a story about the dogs of Drepung and one I named “Girlie Girl.”

If you are an animal lover, it’s hard to watch the dogs living and dying in the streets and villages of India. Dogs trot up and down the dirt roads and cement courtyards. They are the same mongrel dogs you find in Africa or Australia  – small, lean, curly tailed, prick eared, short-haired, and pointy-nosed. Mix together the genetics of all the pure bred dogs that man has ever created in a gene soup, and you’ll get these dogs. The dogs, like those everywhere in India, are in terrible condition. Many of them are so flea infested that they have scratched most of their hair off their bodies and are covered with infected scabs. Females with new puppies are usually the skinniest ones, having given up all their energy reserves to nurse babies. Packs of un-neutered males patrol the roads like urban street gangs. They will often viscously attack a smaller, more submissive male that has accidentally crossed their path and leave him with permanent injuries. One poor old dog that lives in the courtyard of my guesthouse has a shriveled, broken rear leg with a missing foot. Some of the Monks leave dishes of milk out for it. The poor thing just lies in the dirt all day and every morning I expect to see that it has mercifully died. There must be several hundred dogs in Drepung, and I bet half will die of disease or starvation in the next six months.

Sometimes you see a dog that seems to have made the best of things. I named my favorite “Girlie Girl”. She is a young dog in decent shape. Her grey and brown fur has no bald spots, she has a slight limp, isn’t too skinny, and her teeth have the pearly sheen of puppy-hood. Girlie Girl greets everyone enthusiastically, dog or Monk. If you acknowledge her, she will drop her head and wiggle her whole body. Elderly Monks often drive her away with their canes and she will politely trot away only to return after a respectful amount of time has past. Girlie Girl has two best friends. Her constant doting companion is a young, red, handsome male, over twice her size that she regularly beats the crap out of when he tries to mount her. I pet Girlie Girl’s boyfriend when she allows him close to me. Her other BFF is a young female with German Shepard markings who is also larger than Girlie Girl. The three have formed an odd pack, with tiny Girlie Girl as alpha leading the way with her tail held high.

Girlie Girl

Girlie Girl

G.G. and the boyfriend

G.G. and the boyfriend

Girlie Girl

A friend

A Friend

Another friend

Video of G.G. mauling her boyfriend:

Girlie Girl in Action

I feed Girlie Girl my hard-boiled egg every morning, which one of the elderly Monks really disapproves of. But then again, he has a slingshot and a bag of rocks tucked in his red robe that he regularly uses to scare off the ravens. I don’t think he likes animals. When I drink my morning coffee on the steps of the guesthouse courtyard, Girlie Girl will stay close by and gently chew my fingers. She will pull on my pant legs when she wants me to play. When I arrive at the guesthouse after my daily teaching sessions, it warms my heart to see her running down the road to greet me. Girlie Girl spends the night sleeping next to the old dog with the deformed leg, almost as if she knows he really needs the companionship.

I worry that Girlie Girl will get pregnant and shriveling away, cross paths with the pack of aggressive males, or that her limp will get worse and make her unable to care for herself. But I have learned some very important life lessons from Girlie Girl. She lives her life unconcerned about what might happen. Girlie Girl lives in the Now, and does so with all the joy she can find. She trusts everyone, yet watches her back and protects herself when the need arises. While I would love to scoop her up and take her back to Sonoma with me, I realize that the monastery is her home and where she is meant to live out her life, no matter how short that might be. I will miss her a lot.




Day 6: Friday December 4
posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 by David Barker

“Why Is This Important?”
By Linda Shore

Today I taught the monks about the planets in our solar system and taught them ways to help their students conceptualize relative sizes and distances. I showed them a sequence of some of my favorite activities. You use a hole punch to create a hole in some blue paper and then take the tiny disc of blue paper that is punched out and declare that this is a scale model of the earth. Since the Earth’s diameter is about 8000 miles across and the Sun’s diameter is about 800,000 miles – you “only” need to punch out 100 hole punch-outs end to end to get the diameter of the circle you will need to make to represent the Sun. Or there is the short cut – lay 10 hole punch earths end to end, measure the length of this line of tiny paper discs, and multiply by ten.

Scale of Planets activity

Scale of Planets activity

Planet scale

Planet scale

Linda explains it all

Linda explains it all

Scale of planets in Tibetan

Scale of planets in Tibetan

Earth model: You are here.

Earth model: You are here.

Sun-Earth

Sun-Earth

This was followed by an activity where I took the Monk’s outside and hung the large paper sun on a wall of the courtyard outside a temple. The paper sun was about 60cm in diameter. The Monks were then told to move away from the paper sun until the model sun took up 0.5° of their sky – an angular size equivalent to half the diameter of the nail of their pinkie finger held out at arms length.

The activity went great! When we were about 60 meters from the paper sun, we had the scaled distance between the paper sun and hole punch earth. One of the Monks gave me a little rock, the same size of the hole punch – reminding all of us that we are just a tiny rock floating in empty space. Another Monk found an even smaller rock to represent the Moon. It was a very powerful activity for them. Well, it was a meaningful experience for all but one of the Monks.

We returned to the classroom and I asked the Monks if they had any comments or questions. One Monk immediately raised his hand. He spoke in his native language and then the translator translated his question in English for me. What emerged came the Great Philosophical Question that has been uttered by millions of science students before him and will be uttered by millions of students after him:

“Why do we have to know this?”

“Great question,” I said. But I always say that. I added: “You certainly can live a long and happy life never knowing about the planets, the Sun, or their relative size and distance.” Then I did what every good science teacher does. I turned the question back to the class and asked: “Can anyone answer his question? Why is it important to learn about the size and scale of the solar system?”

When I have turned the question back to students in the past, I have gotten some interesting responses. There was the undergraduate that said, “Well, this isn’t important at all, but you need to know it to graduate from college.” There was the student that said, “If we ever travel to other planets for a vacation, you’ll need to know how long the trip will take so you can pack enough clothes.” But fortunately, the Monks have a much deeper understanding of why they are learning about astronomy. One raised his hand and answered:

“We are charged with understanding the universe and it’s origins and we need to be able to teach modern cosmology to others. But first our students need to understand their own neighborhood – the objects in the sky they are most familiar with – before they can really grasp the entire universe beyond.” I couldn’t imagine a better answer.

linda_teaches_good

“Mirror Play”
By David Barker

“Today,” I addressed the Monks, “we will reflect on mirrors.” (A couple of chortles but mostly groans…)

I showed them a piece of white paper, saying that this was a mirror, only a really bad one. It was reflecting all the light shining on it, but its rough surface diffused the light. Then a shiny mirror, which worked much better.

I had Tap Plastics cut me up 30 pieces of mirrored plex, and handed it out to the monks for our first experiment. We all looked at ourselves in the mirrors…I said, “Oooo, we look good!” One monk retorted, “Now I’m discouraged.”

Oooo, we look GOOD!

Oooo, we look GOOD!

Before I could say another word, I noticed they were off and running, trying facial symmetry, looking with the mirror over their heads, at different angles, putting two or more mirrors together. They were doing inquiry.

Off and exploring

Off and exploring

mirrors_3

We went through some mirror basics: virtual images, angle of reflection, ray tracing diagrams. Then we put two mirrors together and investigated corner reflectors. After that, Look Into Infinity, and Mirrorly a Window. Once again, the fundamental theme of the past week arose: Does Reality exist in the external world, in the mind, or both, and if so, how?. It was clear that a virtual image reflection in a mirror looks exactly like a real image.

Corner reflector

Corner reflector

Look into Infinity

Look into Infinity

Symmetry

Symmetry

Geshe Lhakdor explained to me that there are three conditions in Buddhist perception: The Objective condition, which is the object being observed, the Dominant condition, concerning the visual eye-brain network, and the Pre-Existing condition, which refers to our previous experiences with objects, people, circumstances. I thought, “Pretty consistent with our Western approach.”




Day 5: Thursday December 3
posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 by David Barker

“The New Abbot”
By David Barker

On our way to Classes on Thursday, we noticed the entire population of the monastery lining the main drag, all ages, holding flowers and white scarfs. The main entrance to the compound was transformed into a long arched corridor decorated with Tibetan and Buddhist flags, kind of like a Tibetan “Red Carpet” area.

procession_4

procession_5

fire

procession_2

procession_6

There was quite a bit of excitement, and our interpreters gave us the scoop: the former Abbott of the Monastery had just been promoted to a high position, a level just beneath the Dalai Lama. A classic case of Local Boy Makes Good, and everyone was there to celebrate his honorary return to the monastery.

We ambled up to the Gateway area to get a prime view. Shortly, a motorcade of three cars approached, the Tibetan Horns and gongs started sounding, and out stepped the Abbott, wearing a tall peaked cap out of Dr. Seuss. He was honored with white scarfs, and then proceeded down the arched pathway beneath a large yellow ceremonial umbrella. A very happy time for all!

See the video here:

Abbot Procession Video

“Spinning Disks”
By David Barker

David Presti had been teaching the monks about rods and cones in the eye, and now I had the pleasure of messing them up to help the monks get a better understanding of their functioning.

We started by making spinning tops out of cd’s and marbles that were hot glued into the center. With a simple flip of the fingers, the top spun beautifully and smoothly. We then taped cutouts of the Benham’s disk which is half black and half covered with black arcs.

Benham's Disc activity

Benham's Disc activity

discs_15

discs_1

discs_9

We spun the disks, and the Monks started to see colors. I was getting the feeling that the Monks had not done a lot of hands-on investigation, and were previously more comfortable being told what happens by an “expert.” Now they were trying a different approach, and they were taking to it with enthusiasm and curiosity.

With David P.’s help, we came to the conclusion that the red, blue and green rods don’t respond or “turn on and off” at the same rate, thus resulting in the different smears of color.

Next we tried the Depth Spiral, which, as it borders on the hallucinatory, is one of my favorite illusions. The monks were told to stare at a spinning spiral for thirty seconds, then look at their hand or another monk’s face. Depending on the way the disk spun, they saw their hand either grow in size or shrink. Understandably, this was considered quite amazing and the monks played for fifteen minutes, trying different directions, speeds and so forth.

Depth Spiral activity

Depth Spiral activity

discs_17

David P. explained that we have neural pathways, from rods and cones to bipolar cells to the Thalamus to the brain, and that certain pathways get tired out by a continuous motion in one direction. When that motion stops, the receptor networks are tired out in that direction, and we perceive motion in the opposite direction.

A truly fun class, and I feel the monks are getting the hang that “playing” with phenomena is an amusing and important way to learn.

discs_5




Day 4: Wednesday December 2
posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 by David Barker

“Monk Columns”
By David Barker

Morning teaching includes Linda teaching half the monks Cosmology, and David Presti teaching the other half Neurology and Visual Perception with myself adding an occasional snack to illustrate one of his points. David P. is amazingly clear and knowledgeable about all things relating to the way we see and perceive, and snacks such as Blind Spot and Peripheral Vision will help the monks to explore their retinas first-hand.

David Presti

David Presti

David P. on the retina

David P. on the retina

Keeping watch from outside

Keeping watch from outside

Lunch!

Lunch!

After lunch and a writing break, I have my afternoon Snack Session. Not knowing what to expect, I launch into Visual Illusions, showing a variety of classic illusions, including the Impossible Triangle, Necker Cubes, and the Angel Columns. When I flashed the slide of the Angel Columns on the wall, one of the students exclaimed, “They’re monks!”

Monk Columns?

Monk Columns?

Next, we began experimenting with three-d cubes. First I hold up a paper cube and ask the monks to draw it. They came up with a variety of approaches, some two-dimensional, some three and beyond.

Drawing cubes

Drawing cubes

Cube drawings

Cube drawings

Cube conception

Cube conception

Then I cut away three sides of the cube and made a version of Bob Miller’s Far Out Corners exhibit. Depending on one’s attention, an “innie” cube could look like an “outie.”

We then make cubes out of drinking straws and pipe cleaners, and practice flipping the image of the cube back and forth in our minds. They are clearly excited about the concept of “attention” and how it affects our understanding of what we see.

Cubes made from straws

Cubes made from straws

Cubes

Cubes

After playing with the idea of edges and dimensionality, I show a few slides introducing “figure-ground” effects. When I show the Angel Columns, one of the monks says, “It’s Monks!”

We then got the monks to project their faces on construction paper while another one traced the image. Then they cut the silhouettes out to make a Face-Vase of themselves. It wasn‘t long before their creations were going up on the walls, being stacked and decorated into totem poles and flaming candles. It was obvious this was a curious and playful group of students, motivated and ready to take the lessons beyond what was planned.

Face-vase trace

Face-vase trace

Face-vase continued

Face-vase continued

Face-vase in the form of a ceremonial candle

Face-vase in the form of a ceremonial candle

The monks start vamping.

The monks start vamping.

This began a weeklong discourse about Inner and Outer Reality, Attention, Objectivity… in other words, exactly what we hoped would transpire: what happens when Buddhism and Science collide? Or overlap?

“Teatime”
By David B.

Mid-morning brought a respite from the teaching regimen: teatime. We would all wander to a nearby room and enjoy rich (too rich for some of our group) hot buttery tea and conversation. One student cornered me and asked a question.

“When I look at my robe, I see red. And my friend looks at it and he sees red. Is the red we both see the same, and is red a reality or a construct of our individual inner minds?”

“Yes,” I said. (Then I waffled by launching into a discussion of cones, color-blindness, subjectivity, and so forth.)

“But what is reality?” he countered (they love to debate in the monastery, more about that later).

“Well, you’re the monk, isn’t that your job?”

Teatime

Teatime

Teatime debates

Teatime debates

Geshe Lhakdor playing "tease the translator"

Geshe Lhakdor playing tease the translator

“PSS”
By Linda Shore

Probably the oldest pedagogical weapon in my arsenal against astronomy misconceptions is the “Project Star Salute” (or PSS). I learned it over 20 years ago as a doctoral fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics while doing educational research for the center’s science education department.

Project Star Salute

Project Star Salute

PSS

PSS

In the PSS, you extend one arm while keeping your elbow straight. You close one eye and look at the tip of your pinkie finger. Any object in the distance (or in the sky) that appears to be barely covered by the tip of your pinkie is subtending an angle of about 1° of “sky.” Using some similar triangles and simple mathematics, you can discover for yourself that any object subtending an angle of 1° is also 60 times farther away from you than it is wide.

QED.

The Moon subtends an angle of only 0.5° – which means that the Moon’s distance from us is equal to 120 moons laid end to end. When you build a scale model of the Earth and Moon, you’ll need to place the objects a distance equal to 120 moon-models laid end-to-end. When you stand next to the Earth model and look at the Moon model and use the PPS, you’ll see that the model of the Moon also subtends an angle equal to 0.5°. Geometry is wonderful.

I have done this activity 100 times, but never with Tibetan Monks. When asked how big the full Moon appears to be in the sky – they answered like everyone else. The Moon, they believed, is as big as the largest coin in their currency (or maybe even as large as a small dinner plate). Many Monks thought – like others I’ve taught – that it depends whether you are looking at a Moon on the horizon or overhead. Of course it doesn’t matter where the Moon is compared to the horizon, a fact that proved to be as unsettling for the Monks as it has been for everyone else. Once they built the scale model and tried the PPS, they were only somewhat convinced. Fortunately the Moon was full that same night so all the Monks could try the PSS with the real thing.

But the mind blowing thing for me was watching Tibetan Monks do the Project Star salute. They eagerly helped each other understand what was going on, marveled at the distance between the Earth and Moon, and built more accurate conceptions for themselves. Despite our cultural difference, we really do hold the same private theories about the world and we really do all learn the same way.




Day 3: Tuesday December 1
posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 by David Barker

“Cosmology Teaching Begins”
By Linda Shore

Today I started teaching the Monks how to teach about cosmology. They already have experienced many superb workshops and presentations on the early universe and its evolution presented by experts in astrophysics. I have decided it might be best to start from where their learners are at and start with “personal cosmology” that includes the familiar objects in the sky: the moon, sun, planets, and stars. I want to show the Monks how to sequence activities to build accurate understanding of the Earth and Moon’s place in the Solar System, of the Solar System’s place among the other stars, and of the stars’ role in manufacturing the very atoms that make everything around us.

Linda teaches cosmology

Linda teaches cosmology

Cosmology

Cosmology

Cosmology activities

Cosmology activities

Geshe Lhakdor and students

Geshe Lhakdor and students

Notes in Tibetan

Notes in Tibetan

To begin, I had the Monks place pictures on their backs. These pictures showed astronomical objects they should already be familiar with from previous workshops: planets, the Sun, the Earth, the Moon, nebulae, stars, galaxies, etc. By asking “yes or no” questions of the other Monks, each person was to guess what is on their backs. After that, I asked the Monks to arrange themselves in several different ways – from the object closest to the Earth to the object farthest away; from the youngest to the oldest; from the smallest to the largest, etc.

My immediate impression is that these Monks are the best “students” I have ever had. If I gathered together the very best Teacher Institute alumni from the 25-year history of the program and put them in a room together, these Monks would rival them in enthusiasm, curiosity, sense of humor, seriousness, sense of purpose, and joy. What an honor it is to be their “science teacher” for 2 weeks.




Day 2: Monday November 30
posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 by David Barker

“Traveling To The Monastery”
By Linda Shore

Like almost every Westerner who travels through rural India for the first time, I am awestruck by the people we see as we drive from Hubli to the Drepung Monastery. I’m not actually shocked by the poverty; I am embarrassed by how much I have and how little I appreciate it.

We pass tiny thatched huts with sheet metal roofs that are just barely standing. A windstorm will blow these houses apart. Outside one hut, the family has hung a brightly colored quilt out to dry in the sun. They own a chair. They have a goat tied to a post. They have an old motorbike that runs. Their children are clothed, laughing, and playing in the streets. Compared to most of their neighbors, they are wealthy.

cows...

cows...

Yellow-horned cow

Yellow-horned cow

Blue-horned cow

Blue-horned cow

Hubli temple

Hubli temple

Hubli Fields

Hubli Fields

Hubli Disney Land Hotel? Call Mickey's legal team.

Hubli Disney Land Hotel? Call Mickey's legal team.

Hubli women

Hubli women

Tricked out trucks

Tricked out trucks

Entering the Tibetan area of Mundgod

Entering the Tibetan area of Mundgod

As we drive, I can’t help but feel guilty about all the “stuff” I own, about the size of my house, my two cars, and all the fruit and vegetables I throw away because I never get to eat it all before it rots. I knew coming here would be a transformative experience and that I needed to directly witness how most of the world lives. I’ll think twice before I complain that my 401K lost a quarter of its value or that I have to make a choice between getting a new washer/dryer or a new dishwasher. It’s not I live better than the rest of the world– it’s that I live lacking an appreciation of what the people of the world sacrifice for my excess.

We arrived in Mundgod and the Drepung monastery. For my two-week stay, I’ll have a foam bed, a top and bottom sheet, a pillow, a bathroom with a gravity shower and working toilet, toilet paper, and a plastic chair. There will be electricity most of the time. I will eat three meals a day. There will always be enough rice, bread, vegetables, hot tea, and coke-a-cola. I will live like a queen.

Guest house

Guest house

Humble quarters

Humble quarters

The view from the balcony

The view from the balcony

Another view from the balcony

Another view from the balcony

Monks on street

Monks on street

The Dalai Lama's penthouse (when he's in town)

The Dalai Lama's penthouse (when he's in town)

Linda

Linda

David

David

“Watching TV with 2000 Monks”
By David Barker

Kingfisher Airlines: the propellor shape has me worried

Kingfisher Airlines: the propellor shape has me worried

Translators pick us up at the airport

Translators pick us up at the airport

After a series of long flights, we arrive in Hubli, the local “big city.” Three-wheeled rickshaws careening, tricked and glittered out trucks honking, cattle wandering the streets… I feel like I’m in the middle of a third-world pinball game.

We are traveling to the monastery via SUV’s accompanied by our new colleagues Richard Sterling (former Exec Director of the National Writing Project), Stephanie Norby (Director of Center for Education and Museum Studies, Smithsonian Center), David Presti (Professor of Neurobiology, UC Berkeley), and Kristi Panik (Psychotherapist, Berkeley).

The route is lined with small huts, shacks; rudimentary housing at best. The poverty is appalling, yet small kids wear nice shirts and shorts, and the women, with multiple piercings highlighting their dark faces, have lovely yet plain saris. We whiz by fields of mangoes, cotton, bananas, wheat. Everywhere piled stacks of hay, cattle grazing.

As we enter the perimeter of the Monastery, we are suddenly in Tibet. Huge, massive painted temples, burgundy-robed monks strolling along the streets, little kid monks laughing and playing. We get curious gazes, being the only westerners around. This is going to be very very interesting…

Later that evening, having met our Team Leader, Bryce Johnson of the Science for Monks project, we hear what sounds like a blaring rock concert sound system. Bryce and I wander onto the balcony to scope it out, and it turns out it is the regular monthly of Voice of America video broadcast. About a hundred monks are sitting in a dark field, watching the flickering images being projected on a large concrete monolith.

I grab the camera and head over to see what this is all about, still getting adjusted to this new culture. Along with some younger monks, I peer over the wall and see images of President Obama greeting the President of India, then pardoning the White House Turkey, all with a Tibetan narrative. Then the Macy’s Day parade, with giant balloons representing Spiderman, Sponge Bob Squarepants, Mickey Mouse. Then the Rockettes chorus line kicking up their heels in a tribute to Thanksgiving, all viewed by a rapt audience of monks.

voice of america filmfest

All my preconceptions about what to expect are now thoroughly vaporized. I think I’m going to like these people.




Day 1: Sunday November 29
posted on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 by David Barker

“Mumbai International Airport”
By Linda Shore

We departed London’s Heathrow on what is considered India’s best airline – Jet Airways. It was a wonderful flight with great Indian food and gracious flight attendants. It must be a good airline because Sir Ben Kingsley was on our flight! Of course he was in first class (a first class “suite” actually – complete with a bed) and we were in coach. Wow. “Gandhi” was on our plane!

Gandhi's on our plane!

Gandhi's on our plane!

We arrived in Mumbai just a few minutes late, but we were cutting our connection to Hubli close as we only had 2 hours between flights. We might have actually managed it but it turns out that transferring planes at Mumbai International is not a simple matter. First, we had to go through several layers of customs and long lines at the swine flu check point. Last step is the baggage screen. The passengers waited anxiously for their bags to come off the plane and most, like us, were nervously checking their wristwatches. Sir Ben Kingsley was also waiting for his bags, but his arrived in minutes. We watched as he and a traveling companion (who turned out to be his wife, as we would read in the India Times a few days later) were escorted through x-ray screening in record time. After waiting about 30 minutes, our bags finally came off the plane. By this time, the line for x-ray screening of bags was snaking all through the customs area. Another 30 minutes lost.

Airport security Mumbai style

Airport security Mumbai style

Then we encountered the “nail in the coffin” of our plans to catch our Hubli flight: the lady guarding the entrance to the airport terminal bus.

We needed to take this bus to get to the domestic terminal to receive our boarding passes for our Hubli flight. But you can’t get on the bus without a boarding pass. Catch 22. The lady guarding the gate was quite serious. We were not getting on this bus.

We did eventually escape the airport, but not without surviving a number of harrowing adventures. There was the desk clerk who told us we needed to get a cab to leave the airport, the cab company that told us we needed to exchange currency to hire a cab, the numerous men who grabbed our luggage and insisted on putting them in the trunk of the cab (for a small fee of $10 US), and the nail biting taxi trip that was reminiscent of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. We spent the night at the eco-friendly Orchid Hotel – which was actually a good thing. We were exhausted, and this gave us an excuse to sleep before completing the rest of the voyage to Drepung.

Orchid Hotel wedding party

Orchid Hotel wedding party

Bushed wedding party guests in lobby

Bushed wedding party guests in lobby

Linda and dinner entertainment

Linda and dinner entertainment

My Mumbai Walkabout
by David Barker

As is my wont when I travel anywhere new, I grabbed the camera and decided to wander around the neighborhood, taking in the local culture.

Unbeknownst to me, the Orchid Hotel was a very protected island in the midst of a very poor area.

Walkabout 1

Walkabout 1

Immediately outside of the perimeter, buildings were horrendously rundown, I was constantly harassed by young boys offering guide services, and as a matter of survival I quickly became adept at avoiding being run over by the omnipresent legions of tiny and very deadly three-wheeled rickshaws.

Three-wheeled rickshaws

Three-wheeled rickshaws

The scene was very much out of Slumdog Millionaire, and i became very aware I was the only westerner wandering blithely through this area. I did happen upon a very lively alleyway cricket match, and became sort of brothers in arms when i announced I played American Baseball. ALl ages were playing, and I took a certain delight when one of the batsmen smacked one over a tall nearby wall and the group had to organize an impromptu commando raid to get their ball back, something I had done a thousand times in my youth.

Alleyway cricket game

Alleyway cricket game

Cricket game 2

Cricket game 2

Alley cricket game 3

Alley cricket game 3

Mumbai computer store?

Mumbai computer store?

Scaffolding

Scaffolding

Walkabout 2

Walkabout 2

Walkabout 3

Walkabout 3

Tomorrow we attempt to make it past the arcane Mumbai security and make it to Hubli.







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