A tourist’s story of being in India in the 90’s.

Content Warning: Violence.

Recorded at a small festival in Kent.

Photo by Alex Block.

Transcript

So another time we was in Agra, that’s where the Taj Mahal is, staying in this room, and it had no windows but it was 50p a night, it was really cheap. It’s funny because the mosquitoes used to land on his net and not on mine. Because he was blonde and I was dark. But eventually, after about three days, we did get out. We wanted to get out of the city to go to the west coast, down to the beach. We didn’t have an alarm clock, the train was at six o’clock, kept missing the train. So like we decided that the next day we were going to get a taxi. My mate got ill, he had a bit of the old Delhi belly, he had a bit of the runs and stuff. And he went “Look, I don’t mean to be funny. But instead of getting this government bus, can we get a taxi?” And the difference was like, between three quid and like 15 pounds, so it wasn’t a big deal. And I was like “If you’re ill you’re ill. We’re going to have to stop.” So we decided to get this taxi. 

They were doing a state of bombings in the golden triangle, like between Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. And they blew the bus up that we were supposed to be on. So we were literally two minutes behind it. So when we arrived, I remember seeing a policeman like, picking up – with bits of cardboard – picking up soles of feet for identification. But there was forty people on that bus. And obviously everybody died. But we should have been on that bus. But my mate got ill, so we weren’t. So we were really lucky. I remember phoning my mum like up, saying you know “I’m all right”. And she said “You’re not in Delhi?” at time, and I was like “No”. Because she said “Oh there’s been another bombing.” So that is… a bit crazy at that point.

[Carys]: When is this?

This was ‘98. So like a fair while ago. Probably when I was about 23-24, well kind of you know your age really.

[Carys]: And who was bombing?

I think they were separatists…. So I think it was like, that golden triangle is really touristy, so it’s all to do with that. But we’re here today to tell the story. So, it’s all right.

[Carys]: Ok and I’m going to ask again, what’s the moral of the story?

Well, I don’t know. What is the moral of the story? I tell you what the moral of the story should be, you shouldn’t stop doing anything you want to do. Not let anybody else influence your decisions. So terrorists and that… still carry on doing… live your life. How’s that?

[Carys]: That was great.

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