Thursday, 9 March 2017

A visit to India

- In the event of an error cropping up while you're planning your trip, said John to his wife, don't worry ! Relax, stay calm, look at where you've gone wrong, and rectify it. You'll most likely be doing nothing erroneous, my dear ! You'll be perfectly alright …

His wife Emily looked at herself in the mirror and smiled. She was so very much pleased that her husband was so particular about her trip to India next week. It's barely two days away and she'd take the flight to Bombay. While they were getting things ready, dear readers, kindly be presented with the detail as to who they were or their lifestyle.

John and Emily were married for a year now. He is an assistant secretary to the City Magistrate of Bristol. She was a clerk in the same office. They've been employed for about two years each now, and their parents were friends with each others as a family. They loved to go sightseeing, and spent the weekends trotting or bicycling around. If they had a longer holiday they'd have an entire world to themselves to go sightseeing. John Kingsley was a painter, and Emily McBride was a good note taker and singer. They would usually spend their offline time deeply buried in their hobbies and each one put to canvas or paper what they saw with their eyes. Emily and John usually joined the local choir on Sundays and she gave them her voice regularly. It was a very lovely one indeed, and that kept him strongly passionate about her. Neither of them indulged in deceptive inclinations to themselves, nor was it in their bloodlines. Their family lines were very pure, with a lot of warmth and touching upon art in every possible way in the first instance. They liked each other's talent and respected them. They realised very early in life that a life without a contempt for your neighbour would normally last longer, turn out to be happier and more pleasurable and worth living. They liked to remain available to their neighbourhood at all times, when, suddenly, one day, one of them mentioned the goodness and worth of visiting India.

The first impressions appearing on Emily's inner eye were vivid. She recalled her grandfather and his service in India with the Department of Archaeology. He was a curator of ancient manuscripts dug out of the earth, sculpt onto stone, which was a popular activity for the ruling British then. There was an abundance of such material there, so her grandfather was always busy, full of work and his hands muddy all the time. She was given such a narration by her father about him, since Emily was hardly ten when she lost her grandpa. She grew up to be an inquisitive child, so each year he came back to Britain for holiday during Summer she'd spring up into his arms and examine his hands for any dirt or mud he may be carrying on them. - Did you work for a long time, grandpa, she'd ask him, you didn't get hurt, did you ? In reply to which the curator of Archaeological material would kiss his young granddaughter, caress her hair and run his fingers on her cheeks which, unlike the stony material he was so familiar with, were really plush, very soft and plump. Emily loved him. He'd usually get her some valuables from India that varied between the rare jewellery and some very good mangoes. This particularly messy fruit stole her heart - the British didn't grow them then; the only source of eating these fruit was by way of inheritance from some relative in service, returning from India on holiday.

Since the fondness of her memory of her grandfather was endless, she was immediately taken by a strong feeling of desire to actually go to India to meet those people who made those beautiful jewels and grew those sweet mango fruit, so that the mere mention by her neighbour compelled Emily to look for ways to get there. She had two options available to her. As a government employee, she couldn't miss her office here in Britain, so one way of planning a trip was to go on business. She'd apply for a tour, usually on a bursar, and will be required to fulfil her official work besides choosing to undertake her own desire of experiencing the local culture, but this would allow her little time to actually depict and portray what she saw there with her own eyes in her work, at which she was very good and about which she was very much passionate. So the other remaining option was to take a holiday for three months to make a personal trip to the East, being spent in her own way but pinching her own pocket. She would in either case require the presence of her husband by her side, since travel alone would make little sense. But since he was a slightly higher cadre man with more pressing duties and a rigorous job that required him throughout the year, it would be hard for him to accompany her for the said three month period. So she was at first a bit apprehensive about whether to make the trip at all, but he assured her of herself and her capabilities to undertake her trip alone, and quite successfully and without missing him a lot. - India is a fascinating country, my dear, he told her, so you don't even get enough time to immerse yourself in your work to begin to actually lament over my absence ! At which she took a few days to grow bold and then made her move. She calculated for some time the difference between the options and their associated costs, and came to a decision to make it official rather than personal to permit herself not to miss her office work. Besides, it would be beneficial financially, too !

Emily wasn't surprised at the outset. She had a faint notion that the entire trip would cost her around her one-year salary at Office, so taking the official route to India was far more comfortable. The entire goal of visiting was to relive her granddad and his olden days given to her in narration - things which sounded like fables and fairy tales at the young age at which she was given those narrations. So, retaining some connection with service with the Government was of some sense, too, while visiting the place. She'd be accompanied by her local colleagues, and things would fall into a much more ordered phase once someone that she was associated with was to accompany her wherever she went to in such a distant or remotely known location, although close to heart inside herself. It added a sense of security to her, and this made more sense given her husband's absence during the trip. She loved things to be in their respective places while doing her work, just like any educated and disciplined English girl, so there would be less room for things to fall in disarray if she had someone close at her hand's reach to help her out with something she didn't know. Besides, she spoke just English, and was quite foreign to this wonderland ...

/ developing further /