I recently helped with a show comprising a slapstick version of King Kong performed by The Smallest Theatre in the World, Bhangra drumming and a story about an ordinary child. Seema Anand told the story: “Shanti and the Snake”, about a young girl succeeding through extraordinary times (I think it might’ve inspired this scene in the Jungle Book, though Seema’s snake was more helpful). It didn’t finish with a: “And they all lived happily ever after”, but instead stayed open-ended, ready for the next instalment. Apparently a lack of denouement better fits an Eastern view of time that’s more circular than linear.
I guess such a view makes sense to kids (young and old) who seldom want stories to end. Anyhow, it all went to inspire me to take up pen again and continue my journey here.
I’d like to return to India, maybe this time riding from the Royal Enfield factory down in the South to the UK. From Chennai to Colchester via Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, or China Tajikistan, or Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey…
According to Gordon May who rode the latter route in 2008: “The northern route through the “Stans”, across China and into Pakistan is breathtakingly beautiful“.
Another idea is to schedule regular stops to drink tea with locals and record the encounters on a video blog. I’d dearly like to go beyond the media headlines and propaganda, and show faith in ordinary folk being able to meet in peace and share hospitality and tales over a cuppa, irrespective of creed, race, age, ability or gender. I’d also like to raise money and awareness for local causes along the way.
If there is to be another Indian trip, then perhaps there’d be a few of us this time, riding the latest offering from Royal Enfield. My sons: Max and Theo, like that idea.
I can see how such a trip would be a continuation of this year’s earlier forays; the story’s next instalment, albeit with a slightly bigger and younger cast. Though as yet I’ve no idea how it might happen.