Wednesday, 6 October 2010

A place of mystery

The Indian Sub-continent has always been a place of mystery and wonder, never less so than today, where it seems that they are holding the Commonwealth Games and are intending to lay the athletics track on the same day that the races are run.

They'll have to work terribly fast to stay ahead of the sprinters. The street-sweepers I've seen in Delhi wouldn't be up to it. They work at a leisurely pace and just move the dust from one place to another. But maybe this is a well-planned economy measure? Perhaps the track-layers will lay the red sand on one side of the track and as the last runner crosses each patch they'll sweep it up into buckets and nip smartly over to the other side of the circuit and lay it for the approach of the front runners who've had to go the long way round. It will be awfully tiring for them in the 10,000 metres though.

I think the wonder and the mystery works both ways. I had a phone call yesterday from a very pleasant young man who told me his name was David. I wouldn't dispute that but his Indian accent suggested he might also have had another name. He was very interested in my energy providers. I told him I recommended honey sandwiches.

No,no, he meant did I get my gas and electricity from the same supplier?

I explained to him that we don't have gas and electricity in our house.

"Oh, so you don't have gas, but who provides your electricity?"

"Well, we manage without electricity."

"Oh, (pause) but how do you run your television and your lights and your computers?"

"Well we have no TV or computer and we have candles at night."

"But how do you run your fan?"

That's when I knew for sure that he was calling from India.

"We have a punkah-wallah"

Only then did he know for sure that I was pulling his plonker.

1 comment:

  1. I had a call recently from Bangalore, or somewhere near Bradford, asking me if I was happy with my telephone provider. I told him we didn't have a telephone. He took a wee while to respond before telling me I must have one as I was talking to him on it. I told him he must have got through to my mind by using telepathy. There was another pause and then a loud click. Sense of humour must have gone with the Empire.