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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Kerala Dream State

Kerala Dream State


Happy 2013 from Kerala!
I fear it might be same old, same old for our canine friends here.



The Dogs of India





When one has a moment these creatures seem to materialise in the consciousness. They are mainly abject creatures. I have seen two stretched out stone dead on the N47 highway. One at Kallamballam, a black one, with a trail of blood behind and its stomach out; the second, a sand-coloured mutt outside my apartment here in Vazhamuttom. Both appeared pugnacious in death, their lower jaws protuberant, cartoon like, dense-looking with the lower canine standing to attention for the last time. As a person uninterested in pets it struck me what a tough life these dogs live. Often they sleep on the central reservation, or under cars and beside the road perfectly camouflaged in sandy-coloured leaves so that an unsuspecting car could easily roll onto them. They are suspicious of affection. The young ones have the most beautiful golden mustard eyes, like diadems. They are a generic dog; medium size, either black or sand coloured. They can look dreadful, as J.G.Farrell wrote, ‘uncivilised, hideously thin, fur eaten away by mange to the raw skin, endlessly and uselessly scratching, timorous, vicious, and very often half-crippled, they seem like a parody of what nature intended.’ Sometimes they appear to have chewed their tail down to a disgusting pink stump. Whether out of mange or hunger it is unclear.
Indian dogs have no home, no breed, no food or drink. They are unloved and have no role except trying not to die.


A State of Grace.
After an extended period of reading, walking, swimming, sunbathing and eating a vegetarian diet one appears to reach a state of grace. Extended means two months. This state is careless of any definition of grace. It cares not whether you wear a watch, have a blackberry or even a signal for it. Interest in taking photos slips away. So does any desire to contact anyone or even write a diary or a blog. Wonderfully this state does not care about visiting any sites mentioned in the guidebook or indeed referencing the guidebook at all. Forward planning is reduced to seeking out sustenance and avoiding too much sun.It is a sensation akin to being punch-drunk though I can only guess as to that feeling.


Surprise!
The only way to take an Indian woman out for coffee is ask the father, preferably for her hand in marriage. I only tried the first part.

A young Indian woman I vaguely know called out to me by the Banyan tree at Samudra in full view of thirty males. Unheard of. Her name? Morticia.

There’s a huge yellow and black snake living at the bus stop.

Generalisation (from local source): rickshaw drivers prefer to sit around for the first half of the day to let the alcohol metabolise from their systems.

I actually got buzzed by a hungry sea eagle.

I found myself haggling over the price of a kingfish while swimming a kilometre from the shore.

Adult Keralans still ask for ‘school pen’. Fortunately I have only 'university pen'.

Ask for rupees before you are asked.

Get lifts on motorbikes from men you have never met and who you never see again.



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