Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Of paddles and pocking

Nagraj the boat boy. He kept accosting me whenever I walked down past the river, and I promised I'd take a boat trip with him. On the third day he was taking a couple of tourists out and I was walking over the boulders, and he called me over because he didn't like the look of two men following me, and told his customers I was his friend and gave me a lift back to the ghats (steps). I got him to take me on a little punt (well not a punt, a paddle), and he chattered merrily away about life, the universe and everything. He got quite passionate at one stage, something about some tourists "pocking", which I couldn't for the life of me work out - until I remembered that f sometimes becomes p. From what I gather he once caught a foreign couple getting intimate amongst the boulders, so he threw a rock at them, chastising them for being so disrespectful in this sacred place, and told them in no uncertain terms to get a room. He was such a sweetheart, with his little pudding bowl haircut. I wanted to say goodbye to him before I left, but couldn't find him in the afternoon. Then he got on the same bus as me out of Hampi - I heard my name, turned around and there's his cheeky little face grinning at me. So I gave him a handful of pencils. Kids here always ask for "school pen".

Aside: Also randomly ran into Bollywood Statuesque German and her friend this afternoon at the Mango Tree restaurant in Hampi.


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