Forty Eight Hours – a short story from India.

6 Comments

In March 2004 I was 25 years old. With not a care in the world, no particular place to be and zero commitments to speak of, I packed up a rucksack and headed off to India. The future lay sparkling and I thought it would last forever.

—————————–

“Samosa… pakora… vegetable cutlet! Samosa… pakora… vegetable cutlet! Samosa… pakora… vegetable cutlet!” The man paused outside our carriage door with a hopeful smile, a wide tray of the aforementioned snacks hanging from his scrawny neck. ‘‘No thank you’’ said Lisa and with a subservient nod he was gone, though we both knew he’d be back again before too long.

Continue Reading »

What Do You Think of Love? – a short story from India.

3 Comments

In March 2004 I was 25 years old. With not a care in the world, no particular place to be and zero commitments to speak of, I packed up a rucksack and headed off to India. The future lay sparkling and I thought it would last forever.

——————

Lal Quila, Delhi’s imposing Red Fort was a big old structure, coming into view long before we actually reached it. ‘‘Its towering red sandstone walls extend for two kilometres and vary in height from eighteen meters on the Yamuna River side, to thirty three meters on the city side’’ I read as Allan made several attempts at swatting a persistent fly. “Red Fort!” exclaimed our rickshaw driver exultantly, arms aloft as if he’d just built the thing himself. Thankfully his hands quickly returned to the steering wheel and seconds later we gurgled to a stop outside the entrance. Although excited at the cultural explorations that lay ahead, my overriding emotion was one of relief that we’d made it in one piece; that my rickety passenger door hadn’t fallen off along the way, with me tumbling after it.

Continue Reading »

Come Ear! – a short story from India.

4 Comments

In March 2004 I was 25 years old. With not a care in the world, no particular place to be and zero commitments to speak of, I packed up a rucksack and headed off to India. The future lay sparkling and I thought it would last forever.

——————

The warm glow of the early morning sun washed over Allan and I as we strolled through one of Delhi’s expansive public gardens. In stark contrast to the pig trough of Paharganj this was beautiful, a vast blanket of lush green dotted with colourful clusters of well-tended plants and flowers. It was spotless too, not so much as a stray chocolate bar wrapper to be seen. Better still, it wasn’t even crowded, with pockets of whispering families picnicking on the grass. Silent doe-eyed couples passed by hand in hand, while on a nearby bench a group of mustachioed males held a passionate post-mortem on a recent cricket match. 

Continue Reading »

Poor Me! – a short story from India.

3 Comments

Cover photo courtesy of McKay Savage from London, UK [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons. 

In March 2004 I was 25 years old. With not a care in the world, no particular place to be and zero commitments to speak of, I packed up a rucksack and headed off to India. The future lay sparkling and I thought it would last forever.

——————

The plane journey to Delhi was horrible. There was a god-awful Adam Sandler movie, the usual unappealing sludge masquerading as food and a colossal middle-aged man next to me who coughed, snored, scratched and farted his way through the entire flight. Even worse than all that though, was the ice-cold moment it suddenly struck me what a huge mistake I was making. What the hell was I doing flying to India? This unexpected moment of clarity exposed all my previous talk of ‘‘character-building’’ as little more than naivety. Who exactly had I been kidding?

Continue Reading »