Wed Feb 23, 2011
We found a nice place to eat today called the English Diner, so we had dinner in the same place. It’s small, maybe 8 or 10 tables, not fancy, tv showing cricket, the national sport. Policemen eat there. We were the only foreigners. Lunch for two 240 rupies, diner 220 rupies. Total 7 Eur. During dinner 4 kids came in. They looked homeless and wanted to trade a few USD for rupies. After some talk with the employees they got what they wanted. Before they left they asked for some food, which they also got poured in a small plastic bag and a small container.
After hours of walking I sit to listen to traditional music. Voices and drums. Suddenly a very loud thunder sound wakes me up and makes me write these words. Rain is coming soon. We are at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts which today had a varied programme. Ritual demonstrations with hypnotic voices and drums. When the rains starts we go inside to watch a photo exhibition. The colonial age, princes, kings, architecture. I was sad to see how some people enjoyed killing tigers and then posing with them.
On the way to the arts centre we were suprised by people playing cricket. Most of the players were in an alley with no traffic. But two players were next to us, with a 4 lane avenue separating us from the guy throwing the ball (pitcher?). Since he faced away from us he had no clue about the traffic situation. At times the ball would fly into the yard of a neighboring house. Other times it would cross the avenue landing next to use. A player then had to run with the ball avoiding cars and busses. I guess it made the game more exciting this way. I saw a pet monkey biting his rope. He looked like a miniature human to me.
All windows have mosquito nets in this apartment, and all glass sheets are open, so the air is very fresh and the temperature the same as outside. Same sounds too. Airplanes fly over frequently. I like the sound they make, which is different to previous planes I’ve heard. I also hear distant people, birds and religious calls during the day, dogs, cars going backwards (which also sound like birds to make people aware of them). Normally I prefer silence but here I enjoy the sounds. Maybe they add color to these minimally decorated rooms. It’s also fun trying to recognise and identify unheard sounds and languages.
I remember an intersection with 3 or 4 lanes on each street. No traffic lights! Why did traffic switch turns from one street to the next? It seemed to work. Cars just stopped sometimes to let others go through. Truly amazing.