Plucking at the great daisy of travelling thus;

I love India, I love India not, I love India, I love India not, I love India, I love India not, I love India, I love India not….

Today was one of the latter. A day of endless asphyxiating bureaucracy, of maddening misdirection. Straight, straight, left. Left, straight. Straight, straight, straight, left. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

No.

A day of no. A day of pointless queuing. Of getting nowhere supersonically quickly. Up and down Park Street and Chowringhee Road and the corridor of uncertainty that passes for the tranche of tat-shifting market stalls stuck immovably over the pavement. In among the chasing gutter kids and the hounding stall holders wanting their pound of foreign flesh.

A day that ended among the thousands of thousands of Kolkatan commuters on their way home in darkness. Midnight? Early evening. The smog leads in the night quickly out east. The Metro carriage is packed to its last square inch. And the next one. And the next one.

I’ll get the next one.

My stop. For the only time in India no one wants my money. Tuk tuk and taxi drivers both refuse to take me the relatively short distance home. Honour among thieves? So I take a ragged stroll back through the busy back streets to my hotel. The gutter kids and stall holders aren’t as persistent out in the suburbs but they’re an ever present reminder of India’s great disparity. I wipe the turd from my shoe on an angry jeweller’s door step. I fist pump a well wisher. I shake my head through disbelief at the never ending cacophony of horns and ponder, just, why? Its always worse on days like these.

I love India, I love India not, I love India, I love India not, I love India, I love India not, I love India, I love India not….

Hotel. Supper. Elbow. Bed.

A day tomorrow watching the cricket.

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