Happy Diwali by the way! Well it’s over now as I’m sure you know, so happy belated Diwali. We spent it in the sprawling mass that is Jaipur with a couple of English girls we’d met beforehand in Agra. It was a hectic couple of days. The whole place became a war zone as locals ignited fireworks on the streets. They seemed to specialize in bangers that went off like hand-grenades, creating no spectacular light-show whatsoever but leaving you with perforated ear-drums. We’d befriended a rickshaw driver called Tiger Ali. He was a self-proclaimed tiger with the ladies apparently. Tiger Ali took us up to an old fort overlooking the city. Whilst up there we got chased by a massive monkey, Tiger Ali out-running us all, screaming like a little girl. On the way down we had to snake through a few kilometres of hill-side jungle. As it was dark and Tiger Ali’s headlights didn’t work it was rather terrifying. Begging Tiger Ali to slow down we were informed that we had to go fast because there were tigers prowling in the trees. Good.
We went to the cinema to check out the latest Bollywood blockbuster, Ra-One. The movie started well enough; a blatant rip-off of Iron-Man and the Matrix. By the end though it made absolutely no sense. There were musical numbers, needless cameos and the audience were just cheering and jumping around for the whole duration like it was a football derby. Every time our hero appeared on the screen the whole auditorium erupted. It made the Aberdeen Belmont seem a little tame.
Well, now we’re in Udiapur, where they filmed Octopussy. It’s beautiful, we’ve been out on motorbikes (well I had to ride on the back of G’s as the traffic is manic and I’m a wimp), swam in lakes and cooked curries on rooftops. We’ve also discovered 8pm whiskey, the tipple of choice for any discerning Indain. Very good stuff.