Friday, May 02, 2008

mela mêlée


deep in the bovine hinterland of north kanara, a perennial calm rests easily on the jungles, the gurgling brooks, the potholed highways and the occasional traveling mela as well.

the mela company master howls the attractions of the day into a megaphone. crackling over the din of a creaky giant ferris wheel, a hundred kids howling for another ride and the curious onlooker's incessant pan chewing, he manages those statutory few words in the local tongue. "banni banni banni." and they all flock to the ticket counters.


basavanna had no milk in her udders for the past week. the crops are dying and taking the farmers along with them too. but everything is forgotten as an entire village lines up with a shiny 5 rupee coin each, to stare in awe at half a dozen barnumesque women pour each other cups of tea, stitch a frock, knit a sweater... all this with only their feet. le filles s'en foutent.


bed a hardworking appetite with bhel from the cart. wash down the day's vagaries with slightly suspect watermelon juice. spend your life's savings on an inflated cat. cry tonight. laugh tomorrow. i'm back. because i'm broke.

3 comments:

suma said...

Beautiful narration, pictures. I love the way you can relate to them!

Hari Potter said...

kitsch capital, life is a mela men...just simply enjai...

storyteller said...

What delightful pictures,and the narration even more so :)