1 Nov 2013
It is wonderful to be able to have a sleep in although I am woken by pigeons in the bathroom vent. Some of the group head out for some serious shopping but Eke has diarrhea still, Sue has a sore throat and I still have a headache so we decide to take it easy. We settle for a leisurely breakfast and walk around the neighbourhood. First stop is MI Rd, a main modern street where we find an ATM. Eke needs to get back to the hotel in a hurry so she and Brian take a tuk-tuk and Sue and I continue exploring: I find a Ganesh (elephant god) mask in a lovely craft/antique shop where I was left in peace to browse. Further down the street we find a ceremony going on, complete with red carpet. We are told it is the opening of a jewellery store and are invited to meet the owners. What the heck! We shake their hands and wish them luck, all filmed by the paparazzi so who knows where our photos will appear.
We eventually find the bazaar and bypassed the motorcycle repair street to walk amongst the throngs of people, tuk-tuks and motorbikes. The streets are all decorated for Diwali and lots of fireworks are on sale. At one point we reached virtual traffic jam where no-one could move but then we found ourselves an exit and decided to head back for a drink and a bite to eat at the hotel. I had a lassi and a naan bread stuffed with potato, onion and paneer (cheese). The shoppers joined after a while and they had certainly contributed to the Indian economy today. Then it is time for a siesta before our next adventure.
We head to Raj Mandir – the first movie theatre in India, now about 50 years old. It is a beautiful theatre. We experience a Bollywood movie: Krish 3. Krish is a superhero with a heart throb main star. It is a public holiday for the start of Diwali and it is opening day of the movie in India so it is absolutely packed. Well! What an experience! It is a mix of Superman, Spiderman, James Bond, Terminator, Star Trek and more – and it goes on for 3 hours. It has a gorgeous hero and heroine, dance scenes, glamour models in different country scenes, lots of action and violence and the audience is into full participation with clapping, cheering the good guys, booing the bad guys etc. There is hardly a kiss in the movie but there are some very suggestive outfits and dance scenes. The women are sometimes dressed in revealing western clothing and other times in traditional saris. It is all in Hindi but with enough English that we understand what is going on. It was worth watching just for the handsome star Hrithik Roshnan. Apparently acting also runs in family lines.
From the movie we go to dinner at a restaurant that has tribal dancing. The women show their skills at dancing with a bucket of fire on their heads, and then with a progressive series of pots – getting taller and taller and topped off with fire. Then bending down to pick up money in her teeth; walking on a bowl and dancing on stacked cups (all with the bowls and fire atop). I have a tandoori salad but Eke is back on rice.
Martin is very sick and the doctor has given him a double-dose antibiotic.
Fireworks are booming all around even though officially 3 November is Diwali and the night for fireworks. I put my earplugs in because we have an early start in the morning to head to Ranthambhore National Park in time for a tiger safari.
For this and other similar tours see:
Peregrine Adventures (Comfort tours)
Geckos Adventures (for 18 to 30s)
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