“In the afternoon I visit the large Mahabodhi Temple in the centre of the town. Along the way, a vendor of sugar cane juice, his crushing machine all resplendent in a fresh glossy coat of bright green paint, politely urges my patronage. I point to my stomach, suggesting it and I have seen better days. Understanding, he wishes me well.” (from Post 16 – Day 8 ‘And so it is Christmas’).
I am just one of an increasing number of pilgrims and visitors of miscellaneous nature that shuffle along the concourse that surrounds the imposing temple. Here, and elsewhere in Bodh Gaya, is a vibrant play of colour. It is not just the candy store brightness of the buildings or the garment fabrics of the women that engage, for braided into the hair of numerous Buddhist devotees are yarns of bright hue; these serving to greatly lengthen the already long plaits that many wear. My simple pocket camera serves me well, for its size allows me to ‘aim and click’ with minimum intrusion. I record the ordinary and the splendid with equal levels of inadequate skill.