June 2, 2009


I came across this notebook of drawings that I made with a stick of bamboo on bamboo paper with Indian ink, they are from Hampi, in India. I spent four months in India in 1997 and kept a diary and drew in notebooks all the time. 

Hampi is the site of the ruins of Vijayangar. It was once the capital of one of the largest Hindu empires in Indian history. This desolate land strewn with enormous rounded boulders is the most unlikely place you'd imagine a city that once housed over 1/2 million people!

 I described it in my notebooks  'This is the most magical land... and the strangest Christmas that I have spent on earth. Long nightmarish journeys on hellish buses.

One of the strangest phenomenons of these night trips is the monstrous chai stands in the middle of nowhere. In the dead of night the bus pulls into a maniac chai stand. Blaring Hindi music emanates from loudspeakers. The giant concrete building pulsates with flashing Christmas lights. It looks like the chai stand at the end of the universe. A mad sight! Everyone piles off the bus to sup chai. I am too drowsy to sup chai...

Ah! Hampi, our recluse, our haven for a while....  Stretched out in front of me, giant boulders nest by the chocolate shores of a river that cuts through this land. Land tiered, bright green paddy fields. We walk through plantations of banana and coconut.'

I traveled with Owen and met Paul in Naintal at the beginning of our trip. We all traveled together for about 6 weeks of the trip. 

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