The Ram Ram Man

“It’s four am in the morning!Time to get up!”The annoying little man says in Hindi into the PA system that seems to be mounted above my head.I fantasize about finding the loudspeaker and doing my worst to its wiring system with my Leatherman.My mosquito net hangs dangerously close to my exposed skin and I can hear the hum of at least one thirsty little bloodsucker.Last night, like every night on my trip, I was downloading the day’s take late into the evening to get an idea of where I am with my story.I am agonizingly exhausted, but despite this fact, the Hindu man begins chanting.

Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Raaaaaam, Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Raaaaaam.

The sun doesn’t come up for another two hours and I greedily need sleep, but the annoying little man chants into the loudspeaker that seismologists can pick up on their seismographs in Deli thanks to the volume.

Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Raaaaaam, Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Raaaaaam.

I stuff earplugs into my head, but the chanting continues unabated. In my minds eye I can see the pilgrims pouring into Pushkar, as dazed from their long journey as I am by the four am awakening. They are here for a festival celebrating Brahma, who in the Hindu pantheon created the earth, and apparently liked getting up really, really early in the morning. I make a mental note of this, and then somehow manage to relax and let India flood over me in its unstoppable river of sensory overload. The chanting forms a boat in my brain, and the boat takes me across the river and somehow back to sleep.

For your listening pleasure I managed to get this sound capture of the Ram, Ram man one morning when he woke me up at 4 am.  Click to listen.

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