India, Dengue and Diwali


Time flies and I cannot begin to tell you what it has been like trying to get onto a computer that is connected to the internet, let alone have enough time to write.
It all goes by so fast here, yet everything takes forever.
Mosquitos have become the new terror. Everyone is very wary of them. Stories abound as to whether there is Dengue Fever here or not. Yesterday it was used by one trader as the reason why he had not finished my work. He was so earnest about how ill all his staff were because of it. Half of them in hospital, the other half laid down with malaria and a mysterious other half all with some new mosquito bourne disease that makes the joints ache so much you cannot walk even to have a pee. I nodded quietly and wondered if he had needed the time to sell all my clothes to someone else. He left the room and a brother of his came in. I sweetly asked if there was Dengue Fever in Jaipur and he eplied “Oh, No, Mam, not here. It has not come here at all….”
Otherwise the preparations for Diwali are in full swing. Lights going up everywhere, sparkly things dangling from every possible sharp point and the whole place is alive with painters and decorators and large amounts of dust.
Traditionally Diwali, the Indian New Year which comes around late October, is a time to repaint, but new pots and pans and generally spend a fortune on yourself and your family. It is not dissimilar to our Christmas, but it is steaming hot here and they are building up to days and days of fireworks that are hideously loud.
Apparently the whole of the centre of Jaipur becomes a pedestrian precinct. Not even bicycles are allowed. For 24 hours it is bangers, whizzing, lights, pickpockets, beggars and giggling young men. I was suggested to delay my return and stay for the fun. I have politely declined.
I have done well on this trip so far. I have been very disciplined. It is quite a new thing for me, to be quite so clear. There is so much work to be finished with the new DVDs, all 6 of them, so much text to write, so much artwork to do, that I have come hee without DVDs. Just a computer and books. I work every morning in the cool, with my legs wrapped against the mosquitos and then the day starts now, at 10, when the shops open.