100 Days in India Project

Group of brightly dressed children in India.

32/ 100 Dinner Crisis

I hadn’t been feeling so well prior to visiting the house of our ever smiling Tuk Tuk driver Gaffar. Still, this was India so I was not at all surprised. Whether it was some bad Kachori, or simply the relentless spicy food for three meals a day, I shall never know. The day we visited his house I still felt pretty rough.

Having been reassured that there would only be a cup of chai tea at his house you can imagine how my heart sank and my stomach gurgled when his lovely wife appeared from the kitchen with plate after plate of delicious, but very spicy, food. It got worse though. Trying not to appear rude I managed to eat a reasonable amount of curry and chapati, with a great feeling of success after the final spoonful of lentils. Only then my relief was very short lived when she reappeared with a top up. Poor Fiona was furiously eating for both of us. It was a trial for sure but their generosity was wonderful.

My body finally relented and I did not feel well at all so I made excuses and said that I wanted to go outside and take some fresh air. This being Agra, the fresh air wasn’t very fresh but at least it was well away from the food. As I was sat there on a refreshingly cool stone wall, focussing my mind on anything other than my stomach, a little flock of brightly dressed children materialised from all corners of the street. Gaffar told us later that many of them had never left the district that they live in and had probably never seen a non-Indian person before, except on TV. Given that the Taj Mahal was just a couple of miles away, with its daily influx of thousands of tourists from across the globe,  it’s incredible to think that they’d not met anyone other than friends and family from their own area. 

We sat facing each other for some time. On one side there was me, trying to fight the waves of nausea. On the other were twelve children who were probably wondering whether all white people were quite as pale as me.

They were very keen that I made a photograph of them and sat like this without any organising from me at all. I wish my wedding clients were as helpful.