The whole train was loaded with soldiers scattered around taking all available beds with their riffles waiting to get to Kanpur for elections. Trip to Lucknow started with asking police officers to get off our beds when we got on train. Jokingly and laughing they offered our seats apologising and confirming that tonights sleep will be as safe as never before, holding tight their rifles. The shortage of staff during this election was obvious as police officers had to travel hundreds of kilometres away from their homes from all parts of India.

Similarly to Ahmedabad Lucknow greeted us with 19 hotel declines. When we finally arrived the last place madam on the reception explained that elections took place around these dates and foreigners aren’t allowed without permission. In four months government of India involuntarily fucked us three times, during demonetisation, Rann Utsav and now with this election. However the misfortune lady was kind to us and offered the room under agreement we would keep our mouths shut.

To the current day I travelled around nine Indian states and seen around 40 places, nothing repulsed me as much as Lucknow did. It is an attack on all senses, where smell of sewer changed to smell of piss, loud noises of hectic streets pierced the eardrums. Even if caste system was officially in India, Lucknow is one place where social changes do not rush to bring equality to action. Dhobis for example are doing exactly what they did hundreds of years ago — cleaning, sweeping and washing. Despite that I found lots of charming details such as love for flowers, sophisticated architecture and handcraft that coexist with the visual chaos of this place. All of which truly shows the levels of creativity and might seem inconceivable to achieve without help of machinery in developed world.