Saturday, 1 November 2014

Random, out of the blue posting.

A failed day of recording in the wilderness.

OK, so today I decided to go off on a solo adventure with a mind to capture some images and sounds that would be a proper document of a visit to India. My plan was to venture south-east from the hotel, and aim for some woodland that is visible form my hotel window.

Well things didn’t go according to plan as there seemed no easy way to get from the street to said woodland without climbing over so much trash, broken glass and more unspeakable things to get to the greenery.

So I walked, and I walked until eventually the outline of a mountain appeared on the horizon. “That’ll do” I said to myself, and continued walking away from the city to the craggy looking mount on the horizon.
Well it soon came apparent that the mountain was certainly not the type that anyone but the most intrepid of adventurer would care to ascend. I thought Delhi had a problem with trash… in as much as I didn’t think anyone collected it, and it was just left to rot, decay, feed the dogs, cows and monkeys that seem to gather around every bin or loosely assembled pile of yesterday’s food containers. No…. it’s collected alright. Collected and dumped over and over again less than 5 miles from my hotel, complete with circling hawks and vultures. Nice.
Well obviously I didn’t venture up the massive pile of crap, instead I followed the road, narrowly avoiding being attacked by a frenzied menagerie of cows, monkeys and a lone chipmunk, until I came to a mud track with a sign above saying (in English, so fit for tourists, right?) “Welcome to Tughlaqabad Village”

As I got closer to this village (which seemed to be about the size of Birmingham), the looks I was getting from the locals were less than friendly… having been here 6 weeks now, I’m used to being stared at in some parts of the city, but these stares usually say “oh what a novelty, a bunch of white faces… just wait ’til I tell our Vikram.” No, these stares were saying “What the hell is he doing in our village…. and what’s in that bag of his?”

Paranoia forced me to take action, which took the form of me jumping over a crumbing wall (in India, everything is either falling to bits, or half finished), and into what looked rather like a nature reserve, albeit a nature reserve which doubles up as a garbage receptacle.

After a few minutes wading through water bottles, vegetable peelings, plastic bags and assorted varieties of feces, I eventually came to a stunning area surrounded by the woodland I was originally heading for.
My objectives were not realised however, as I was accosted at the summit of a solitary mound of rocks by three (and eventually a fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh) teenage villager who were so curious about the foreigner sat on the outskirts of their village where no foreigner should be, with cables and microphones, and random gadgetry…. that I gave up trying to document anything at all and instead tried to engage in stilted conversation with the lads.
Even that didn’t bloody work as my Hindi was about as good as their English…. I gathered they were from Tughlagabad, and one of them went to school near Lodi gardens. I took their pictures, recorded their voices, took their mobile numbers so I could send the pictures, packed my crap up and walked back to the hotel before I attracted any more attention!

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