Woke to the sounds of the forest waking up and decided on an early morning walk instead of floundering in bed. I emerged from my room only to come face to startled face with a herd of nilgai. We each stood stock still and stared until they vanished back into the trees. Not two minutes later, I watched a Jackal cautiously tiptoe its way across the front lawn before heading out of the gates.
A gaggle of youths out excercising, looked at me nonchalantly before collapsing in heaps, shocked by my Hindi chat. Conscientious farmers were already out in the fields, another on a slightly later start to the day, was performing his morning puja. Peacocks crossed my path in ungainly flight whilst cattle egrets, in brilliant orange plumage, stalked though the emerald green fields.
A group of teenagers strolled by, a classic juxtaposition of old and new, playing music from their smart phones whilst cleaning their teeth with neem twigs. A man with his small child precariously balanced in front of him cycled past, whilst a night watchman bid me a cautious greeting as he made his way home from a night tending the fields.
Then it was time to head back to the lodge for morning chai and breakfast. Welcome to a morning in rural UP courtesy of Chambal Safari Lodge. Just an hour away from Agra yet a lifetime away in ambiance.
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