Aurangabad; Hawks, Pimps, Murals and Slums

Our hotel, a $6 a night place, rests on the border of the fabric market. In the distance you can just about make out where the buildings blur to slums. The name of the place is Dimple Hotel. The sign on the front of the building is dilapidated and now reads “Pimp Hotel” never a less fitting name.

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Standing on the small balcony, I watch two birds of prey, hawks maybe, circling high above the buildings. Diving every so often with an unnerving quickness. Nothing should move that goddamn fast. I watch them through tired, bloodshot eyes. Whatever it was they dived for got away. They slowly regain altitude on a thermal up-current and continue to circle.

I turn my back on the city and peer into the room. The walls are a tired shade of pink. The paint flakes in places. A damp patch in the corner spreads like a shadow into the room. The carpets are grayed and worn. The bedsheets are threadbare with a few cigarette burns. A fan is spins lazily overhead, a futile effort to stop the oppressing heat. The whole place smells dank, although at this stage, it could just as easily be me.

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I undress and try the shower. Water trickles over me. Infected with the same slowness as the rest of the room. There’s bucket on the floor. I fill it and dump it over myself. The 14 hour bus ride washes down the rusty drain.

I dry and go to reception.

“Wheres good here?”
“Well we have a park that is nice.”

He sets me off in a rickshaw.

We arrive at a park. You have to pay to get in and it doesn’t look that great so I choose to walk around it. There are many murals painted on the wall of the park. All of them topical. Most of them concerning the outcry at the many rapes that have occurred in the area.

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I spend an hour wandering round. A woman in a burka pulls up in the back of a rickshaw and asks if I want to have sex. I decline and the rickshaw drives on stopping a few meters in front of me where she asks again. Again I say no and both the driver and the woman look at me strangely before driving off. I head back to the hotel, change my shirt and go out for lunch.

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In the evening we head to the bus stop. Tonights bus is to Jodphur.

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