Bridge over the River Yamuna
We crossed a bridge. It was a railway bridge, with a small walkway to the side and it spanned the River Yamuna. It was Sunday evening and things had been winding down all afternoon following the madness, the chaos of Holi. Or, to be more precise, the madness of the colour throwing of Holi, for it was still Holi, and it was still being celebrated everywhere. But people were calm, they were sitting around, relaxing and gossiping and catching up with friends and family. Holi had evolved into a completely different type of festival.
People were also returning home, walking back to the outlying villages, tired and covered in colour and paint. And, it appeared, the bridge was a major thoroughfare to and from Mathura. It was a miniature eco system, a world of activity and life. Children ran across, teenagers strolled along the tracks, men sat, legs dangling, people fed monkeys, monkeys followed expectantly, bicycles were pushed across and trains thundered past, somehow not killing anyone.
We meandered across for at least twenty minutes, taking it all in, unwinding, no longer flinching every few seconds expecting a mouthful of paint. We took pictures, we spoke to people, we relaxed and we reached the other side. We had left the hustle and bustle of Mathura behind. There were trees, greenery – almost wilderness – and scattered villages with the sun setting over them. It felt like a conclusion, an ending to our adventure that was Holi, a full stop to the chaos, stress and manic fun that we had experienced and endured for the last few days.
We had done it, we had reached the other side.