Tuesday, 23 February 2010

India Part One

I'm back! I know, I know. Your days have felt rather lonely and empty without me, haven't they? Well, put down that e-book and listen, I will enthrall you with my adventures in the far and exotic lands of Hindustan.

It was great. Very great. Even though I was there for about nine days I did get to see a lot of the things on my list and hopefully it'll all give the next book an authentic 'Indian' flavour. Amongst the highlights were:

1. The sheer BEDLAM. Varanasi especially is a city where the cacaphony is inescapable. The city's filled with thousands of temples, mosques, barking dogs, and the endless chatter of life. People in the old city live cheek by jowl and they all shout.

2. Monkeys. There were a surprising number of monkeys in Varanasi. No breakfast is safe. Bizzarely, they were going to be a feature before I got out there but their going to be crucial to the plot now. THERE WILL BE MONKEYS might be the new title.

3. The burning ghats. Unbelievable. Publis cremations on the steps of the river with people just milling around, cows and dogs sniffing around the remains and all under the shadow of the temple of Shiva. Never experienced anything quite like it.

4. The trains. Never experienced anything quite like these either. No wonder India invented Yoga. You need to be triple-jointed to get in the top bunk, that's for sure.

5. The food. I so stuffed my face. Embarrassing really.

6. The poverty and the mad drive towards modernity. You've children working on building sites, stirring the cement that'll be some new towering hotel for the coming Commonwealth games. But there are no easy answers to any of it.

7. The gods. Vishnu and Shiva. Hanuman, Kali, Rama and many more. Shrines tucked away in the corner of alleys, all garlanded and small plates of offerings at their feet. People pause automatically to offer prayers almost while they're still taking calls on their mobiles. It all blends into one.

16 comments:

Rose said...

Cool! Haha xD
Will you please come to Utah...in a certain city at a certain school? Please? We have your book in the library, and I think I was the first to check it out, and finished it in one sitting! I loved it! And I also cried at the end. Thanks. >.< [You gonna bring Kay back...right? Please?] Anywho...

SarwatC said...

Would love to go to Utah but that's all in the lap of the publishing gods.
FYI the US edition of Dark Goddess won't now be out 'till Jan 2011. The book's a bit bigger that the first and a lot's going on. We need a bit more time to make it as intensely intense as it can possibly be, which will be VERY!
Hmm, Kay...

Candy Gourlay said...

There Will Be Monkeys! LOVE it!

kathryn evans said...

WE WANT KAY! WE WANT KAY! Ah your blog made me laugh, nice to have you bakc.

Rose said...

Awww, okay. Well, if you ever do come to Utah...tell me! Or at least post a blog on it please :)
OMG! January?! Grrr. Okay, well I'll suppose I'll have to be patient. It's hard when authors write books...then the sequels that take a year or more to come out..*cough*SuzanneCollins*cough*you*cough* Jk :)
Yes...Kay. I miss meh Kay...Is there going to be a movie? Or are you looking to sell the movie rights or something?

Jon M said...

Yay! Sarwat is back! Glad you enjoyed it. I was mugged by a monkey in Kathmandu. The swine took all my oranges!

Rose said...

Haha Jon, that's sad...and I agree with Kathryn! Kay! Kay! Kay!

Nandini said...

You like you're experiencing a bit of culture shock, Sarwat! My husband, who grew up in the U.S., has the same look on his face when in Varanasi. Will stay tuned for the rest of your trip. I'm heading to the "far and exotic lands of Hindustan" in June and hope to vlog as well. (Found your blog through the Enchanted Inkpot, which I recently joined)

SarwatC said...

Hindustan in June. Wow. I did that once and never again. So hot I could feel my brain boiling.
Yeh, Rose, I know excactly what you mean on the Catching Fire cliff-hanger. At least I finished the story so you didn't have to wait a year to find out how it would end.

Nandini said...

Um ... that should read "You *look* like ..." (red face!)

Rose said...

And I thank you for that Sarwat!

Cari said...

Jan 2011 Really? Do you know of any place that will sell your UK version and ship it to the US?

SarwatC said...

Cari,
I'm not sure how the overseas stuff works. I know I've had problems getting US stuff posted here. Maybe try Foyles bookstore and I'm sure they ship trans-atlantically.
Rose,
My pleasure! Mind you, that's why I usually don't buy trilogies until they've all come out.

Rose said...

haha good idea!

Kindle said...

Well India just made my "bucket list" if for no other reason than the monkeys. Glad you are safe, glad you had a wonderful experience... now get back to work! :-)

Sue Hyams said...

Glad the trip was good. Sounds an amazing experience!