After 2-weeks, and in spite of saying I was only going to post fresh pieces, I still have a few last thoughts on India. In fact a part of India travelled with me to Australia in the form of an intestinal parasite. Nobody gets to have 4-months of blissful bowel action without some darn bug breaking through the defences. So here it is, a resurrected draft, a ‘to be continued’ post on the ongoing state of Ashby and his relationship to India.
There comes a time on almost every extended trip when one finally loses the desire – hopefully temporarily – to get back in the ring. You have been under the cosh a little too long and things that you once thrilled to now have a grey and grimy lustre to them.
This afternoon I performed my last filial duty and scattered what remained of my father’s ashes at the Taj Mahal in India.
We landed in Jaisalmer at 5am on a cool morning and, swaddled in a fluffy pink blanket bought expressly for the night-bus, we drank sweet masala chai for an hour. A short tuk-tuk ride then dropped us at the outer gate of the fort and for the second time in my life I had the pleasure of walking up into this sandstone marvel in the desert a hundred kilometres from the border with Pakistan.
Since I was 17-years old I have had a phobia about losing a finger or more.
Every plan or idea, no matter how great or small, has at its inception a spark, that flash of inspiration that once ignited sends it all spiralling outwards in all sorts of weird and wonderful directions. A plan that had perhaps been dormant or sidelined by other considerations, but one that once brought into mind begins to develop with astonishing speed and clarity.