Sunday, 2 March 2008


I have been asked about sounds. Sensations rather? Colourful, noisy. Smells of spices. The noise is paramount. Vehicles often have 'hoot your horn' on the back. Why? Because you may be going to overtake on either side and the driver may not be aware you are there anyway. So you hoot. There are lots of hooters - some are musical, some are short and sharp. If you have both, you put your hand on the musical one and keep it there as you overtake. In the busy parts of the towns, the cacophany is all you hear. If you are on the balcony of your room in the Amarvilas Hotel you may hear the sound of the mezoin calling to prayer. Or the sound of the fair that is going on a little way away. And as you listen, you can see the Taj looming through the murk. There are other countries that are more colourful but there is lots of colour in India, mostly to be found in the ladies' saris.