Friday, 13 April 2012

Happy New Year

It's New Year's Day in Tamil Nadu. Wink and l are, as I write, on our way to Vellore. It's a modern dual carriageway with a central reservation planted with flowering shrubs. Where we are now, there is plenty of greenery though we went through quite an arid stretch soon after turning inland from Pondy where there were trees but little other vegetation.

We saw a near-accident in Kanchi. I'm not sure how it happened because I was sitting behind our driver and didn't have a good view, but a motor cyclist had to stop or swerve suddenly and his wife lost her balance and fell off. Luckily, she was able to keep her balance as she landed on the road and didn't quite lose her footing and he stopped quickly enough not to drag her along as she held on. She must have scraped her feet on the road at the very least though and been wrenched as she twisted. They both looked shaken. We were far enough behind to stop easily, luckily.

There don't seem to be as many accidents on the road as you might think. Over four visits, this is my ninth week in India and I've travelled fairly extensively by road, both in town and long-distance. In that time, I've seen the accident I just described, one overturned auto rickshaw where the annoyed but unhurt passenger stood as the driver tried to right his vehicle and one dead dog.

Dogs seem to be treated quite kindly, by the way. You know it's a poor area if the dogs look thin, usually they're quite well nourished.

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of stroking an elephant. I was sorry for it mind you, standing in its place outside a temple in Pondicherry. It was calm and friendly enough, reaching out its trunk to passers by. I wondered how large its living accommodation was. The last temple elephants I touched were in Kerala and Weeza and I were able to ride them and feed them bananas. That was out in the countryside, they looked as if they had a good life.

We have arrived at our very luxurious hotel. I have wifi!

Sent from my iPhone

7 comments:

Sir Bruin said...

I have a huge amount of respect for bikers in India.
I rather like elephants. If I had known, I would have asked you to give it a stroke from me. We have a large elephant statue in our porch that used to belong to my grandmother. we call it Eli Phant.

Rog said...

Happy New Year!

"modern dual carriageway with a central reservation planted with flowering shrubs". Dual in the crown.

Z said...

Sir B, I've noticed there are a lot more bikers than there used to be. Whole families crowd on to one bike. And I stroked the elephant several times. One was from you.

Rog, you are remarkable. I say that with no reservation at all, not even a central one.

john.g. said...

I have an ouside reservation...about curry! xx

john.g. said...

outside!

Z said...

It's not like curries in England, John, a lot of the food isn't hotly spicy at all. The waiters in restaurants are often surprised that I like it spicy, they're used to Europeans and Americans being cautious.

luckyzmom said...

Elephants are amazing! Foreign places fascinating! Sharing your trip with us....priceless!