India is the country of the unexpected. A nice cancellation, a more unpleasant one, and a cup of sweet Indian tea.
India has always been to me the country of last-minute plans (like my departure for Calcutta barely two days after having met Aleika) and cancellations.
On the menu last Thursday, two cancellations — one which upset me, and the other which pleased me tremendously.
First of all, Madhav sent me a message cancelling dinner and our evening stroll in the university campus. I love Madhav dearly, but he does have a tendancy to try my patience (just as I try his, in other ways) by changing plans on short notice and and cancelling meetings I look forward to. I called Nisha and luckily, it wasn’t too late for her to include me in her dinner plans. She cooked a really nice dinner, by the way — puris and home-made gulab jamun — had she guessed that my spirits might need lifting a little?
I was woken up during the dark hours of the night by the sound os somebody coming into the flat. I was supposed to be alone with Nisha that night, as Sagar works night shifts and Shinde had run off to some festival with his fellow disciples from Markal. In my half-sleep I assumed it must be Sagar coming home early. A few minutes later I had gathered together enough of myself to check the time — it was only midnight!
I got up, and to my surprise found myself face-to-face with Shinde. His festival had been postponed by a day, which meant he would have missed my last evening here — so after some internal debate, he cancelled. We stayed up a good two hours chatting before I finally went back to sleep again.
In the middle of all that, or rather before, the chay.
I had been sitting for quite some time in front of my Internet Café during a notable power failure which seems to have wiped out all trace of electrical activity from M.G. Rd to Aundh, waiting for the message which would cancel my plans for the evening (though at that time I didn’t suspect it) or for Bijli Devi (the Goddess of Electricity) to give up her strike and resume normal activity. Sitting and waiting can become boring, even if you have stuff to write up and brightly-clad female construction workers to film on the other side of the road. As he was ordering another round of chay, the Internet Café owner kindly asked me if I would like one.
Sweet, hot indian tea in a small glass. It was nice.
Nothing special going on, all ok, not very keen on spending too much time in the Internet café.
Due mainly to how far the closest internet café is situated, and generally the rather bad connections from where I’m staying, I’m pretty reluctant to spend too much time in front of the screen. There are nicer things to do, too, like hanging around with people, reading (I’ve finished my 500-page book, started another), eating nice food, and watching hindi movies.
Not to mention that the keyboards here are hard and hurt my hands.
Checking e-mail isn’t much fun either, as the huge amount of spam and junk mail I get tends to drown out the real messages. At home I have a pretty efficient set of filters organised, but here, even with Thunderbird on a USB drive, it’s not half as good.
Yesterday I went to the new E-Square cinema complex on the university road. It’s just awesome! So new and clean that it could have been in Switzerland. The food and movie (Kal Ho Na Ho) were nice, too. Before going out for dinner, Nisha and the other women in the building had a small function, where each drops in at the other’s place to receive a small gift and things. I took photographs and filmed a bit, so you’ll get to see those next time I come online.
Everything fine, India is less adventurous, more photos and videos online.
India is clearly less adventurous than it was for me, and there is therefore less to tell. I guess I’m adapting to the place too well! I’m having a very nice quiet time here, between walking the Shinde dogs and going out to eat in various places.
I went to see The Last Samurai last night. My mid-day meal was the occasion of using up a roll of digital film (understand: a memory stick) shooting pictures of Madhav’s friends. The Crab&Beer photographs are now online for your viewing in the Dumps section. I’ve also made more videos you can go and see.
Obviously, I’m not getting a lot of access to the Internet. Nisha and Shinde do live pretty far off, so if I get to check my mail once every two or three days I consider myself lucky. Please don’t hesitate to use the marvels of modern technology (understand: SMS) if you need to get in touch — as I said, my phone number is in the comments to the entry before last.
Enjoy the photos and the videos!
Update: just a note (for Mark, particularly) concerning the camera. I left my fancy phone behind in Switzerland, and a collegue of mine lent me a pretty sexy Sony Handycam — that’s what I’m using for the photographs and videos. I’m doing many more videos on tape, but those will have to wait until my return to Switzerland to see the light of the web.