I woke to the sound of pitter patter. Softly at first, but continuous. The clouds had rolled in yesterday afternoon threatening stormy weather. Thunder finally arrived as I returned to my home stay and having said goodnight I retired to bed. By the time I was asleep the thunder had rolled by; the rain stayed. When the pitter patter became a mad drummer, I awoke wide-eyed like a hawk, hearing like a bat; in the dead of night the drummer boy was thumping the skins of his drum above my head. Then the tempo increased until it was no longer a drum roll but the force of a million hammers smashing at the clay tiles by a million goblins attempting to break in and slaughter me. With the sound of the smashing rain upon the tiles all I could do was lay in bed, pull up the sheet to my chin with my grasping hands, and look out from the top of my sheet with only the ambient light of the street being blown by the wind to see with, while waiting for the roof to be broken up and collapse upon me! With my imagination in freefall I even considered climbing under the bed to seek protection. Except, I felt a fool, for this was nothing more than an off-season Kerala rain fall. It is not even monsoon season!
It is a long road to the Jew Town. It is only mad dogs and Englishman that make the journey on foot. However, it is a wonderful Indian street. And Indian lives in her streets, and I love photographing Indians living in their higgledy piggledy streets. Vendors and artisans, beggars and rickshaws riders, dentist and scribes, chocolate makers and chai stalls, fan repair men and all other sorts I can’t even remember to write down, are for me India’s street performers. It is my joy in India. Of course there are those Indians who join me in their own way and stretch out, the pavement a stone charpoy, with no other intention in their hearts than to watch their own small world wandering past. Then with the Jew Town close, from the Dutch Palace onwards I guess, certainly from the tourist coach park onwards, the India that gives me joy becomes the India the stall owners want the tourist to know and know well. Rows and rows of cheap wood Ganeshs, or cheap silk scars, or cheap trinket boxes. It is a different place. You see it can’t be avoided.
PS. Forgot – The old synagogue was closed. Oh well – there is always another time.
PPS. Forgot – This evening my art collection has increased by devours means and includes two 180 year old Urdu written court painting – oh what finds there are along the long road to the Jew Town!