I have found my journal of notes from India and I realise I don’t think I have written about my time there. Considering Imogen is staying in Hydrabad at the moment, this one goes out to her; as I try to recreate the image of that country.
Amongst all the photos and memories, cameras and words items get lost, scratched and scarred. But on my travels, I tried to pick snippets; small portions of that fractured lense (concave or convex?) of my mind before the frame caved in. I hold on to pieces in my fractured memory, grasping the edges of what seems to have been a dream. India: a place where time runs so differently.
A field of long brown grass, the landscape is scarce and bear. The sun is harsh. A women stands from her crouched position, lost between the stems of grass. She is colour. A sari of orange, gold and pink. This world will never be dead.
We landed in Udaipur late in the evening, so the heat has subsided and only the gentle breeze lingered. At night, we dined on the grass. It was a beautiful garden; a vast lawn with candle lit tables under tent shades placed sporadically around the space. There were fireworks in the distance. Infrequent horns from the indian drivers in the town. The sound of crickets, cicadas and mosquitoes continued as the flame from the mozzie coil snuffed out. We discussed our day as we drank rose lassis and ate lamb curries, carefully picked by Philippa.
The hilltop Palace was one that had been semi-ruined. It took a long and curvy while to get there, up the beaten track. I was impressed by Parmesh’s ability to meander the roads, cautiously beeping to on comers around tricky corners. We talked to some of the Indians around; each of whom were incredibly engaging in conversation. It was a spectacular night. The sky was blue, yet fading as the sun set, and night brought once again it’s refreshing breeze. I stood at the top of the Palace, peering through curved window sills watching birds flying, monkey’s climbing, remembering “something about mountains and mist”, and the images that had engraved themselves on my mind in the months before I left. And indeed that was the view; a misty haze rested gently on the surrounding mountains, but not so much to cover them completely.
Umesh told us the city had been named after it’s king; “Udai” and told us about his studies at the Indian university. We sat drinking Masala Chai as the Indian music played. And Imogen cried “this citar player knows my soul better than I do.”