A village appears, we drive in, stop, get out into warm stillness. On the rooftops women watch and as we approach they run away! Afraid. The men come to us and Rangi introduces the scene…brought us to see this village, we’re from England, the West.
No electric light here, no running water – a Well though – no cars, no stores, makes you wonder why people are here at all. A tranquil lagoon, limpid, thick clear warm…water buffalo shoulder deep so slow and powerful, grey hide creamy curvy horns, big eyes, limpid…Peacock feathers around an ancient sprawling Bhodi tree, lush greenery fans out around the lagoon, soft beige dust to walk on barefoot – pufff — imprint. The girls find flowers to wear.
Later on we go back to the houses, out onto a roof under the night sky, and food is brought to us, dark green dhal, chapatis, mango chutney, peanuts, water, the whole village…the moon is full and strong enough to make shadows…a young man produces his flute and plays slow tunes and then some tricks with his fingers…fifty quiet gentle curious timid people watch us eat, everyone smiles, wishing well, gentle, kind, tranquil. Again! a boy is dancing to me! going crazy at me…so I dance to him, I dance like him, a friend, we dance his dance, now a variation of mine…he takes my hand and leads me to his house.
Standing in the doorway an incredibly! fragile old lady a ah so ah so…delicate she is, so OOOOOOLLLLLLDDDDDD oldy oldy oldy. I imagine her heart beats forty times a minute.
She lives in this village, has always lived here, and this dancing boy respects her so much he will bring me especially to meet her, to be in each other’s presence, he knows that this favour is immense, his gift for me.