Horn OK Please

India - Desra 1

I sit out on the swing on the terrace as I look out over the village, green with trees, dotted with a random tractor and a thrown around bike here and there, and I feel happy. It is hot here, oh so hot, but if it wasn’t, it would feel strange.

I’m so glad I came here. I had lots of reasons in my head, and I knew what they were, but didn’t find the time or the words to articulate them fully. I haven’t written much since being here either, beyond a few notes sent home. Maybe it’s that I haven’t had the opportunity to, we’ve been doing so much, or maybe this tongue I came searching for isn’t ready to speak just yet.

It’s incredible here, but the cities seem pretty hectic. I spent a day in Mumbai when I first arrived and it really was a bit crazy. Here in the woods it feels so far away, far away from the motorbike horns and car horns and the lorry horns. On the back of all the lorries is written, ‘Horn OK please’, or maybe it’s supposed to be read, ‘Horn please OK.’ Either way, that is how you get by driving in India.

India - Mumbai 1

Here it is very different. Here I can hear sounds of children and animals, and very little else. My aunt has a buffalo and her love for him is evident. We sat out earlier and my mum and I looked at him and my mum said, “Look at him, he looks so peaceful, so innocent.” I said to my mum, “That’s why I don’t eat animals.” Even after all these years my mum still tries to get me to eat meat. The funny thing is, I’m sure she understands deep down why I don’t. India is great for vegetarians. I’ve had zero problems, although we have been eating at home every day. I say ‘home’, what I mean is home-cooked food. Even my dad, who normally doesn’t go a day without eating some form of meat, is getting on fine here, going for days at a time without eating it. This aspect of India is very different to my other travels, and a real treat.

India - Desra 3

India - Desra 2

And the cricket! Every village I drive through, and even in the small cities, and even in crazy hectic mental Mumbai, everywhere children play cricket. On any stretch of land they can find. Cricket is in their bones, just as the sunshine is.

This is a great little spot for writing. If you ever come to India then do try and make it to Gujarat. I’m sure my family would look after you and whoever your travelling companions may be.

India - Desra 4

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