I am in the land of chikki and fudge

IN THE HILLY country, where the monsoon (mausum) sometimes takes a breather before the heavens open again, the chief item on the menu is chikka, followed by fudge, fudge and more fudge again.

Here, in the rather rainy village of Khandala, (the “Love City”) I’m staying at the Velvett (sic) Country, which describes itself as a hill resort and a healing centre. Physician, heal thyself. There’s a sanatorium down the road, just a few metres away. The staff are lovely.

On the way to this hotel, which has three tariffs of normal, modified American plan, and American plan, mobile phones don’t work. The wi-fi connection is in an “experimental stage”, which means that like the mausum it possesses a mind of its own. WiMAX might be really useful here. So might electricity, because there’s a whopping big candle in the ashtray next to book matches which don’t work when the lights go out.

Everything is almost all right here in Velvett Country, if only the incessant sound of the rain would stop. I’m going mad, I tell you, going completely off my trolley.

In the middle of the night, a rhapsody started which I have tentatively named Teaspoon, screaming and plate symphony. The music commenced with slightly raised voices, broken by a beautiful silent passage which after about 30 seconds was punctuated by the sound of a teaspoon hitting the deck. The sound of a small plate followed, with the sound of other pieces of cutlery and crockery building up to the crescendo, worthy I’d say of Beethoven at his best, where the most enormous bangs and alarums were followed by silence.

Now I said this was a rhapsody but when I came down for nashta this morning it’s obvious that this was really kinetic art, as you can see from the picture below.



The rains have started again, slightly less intense right now, and the sound of some beautiful birds singing is being drowned out because someone’s just switched the goggle box on and there’s an advert for Colgate toothpaste to the sound of the Beatles’ famous hit, “And I love her”.





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