Wednesday, 5 October 2011

well, well, well...kollywood and beyond

well, well, well, where to begin?

we ended up staying until the 12th and on our last night in mallapurum i planned to spoil ourselves with a ridiculously expensive fresh lobster overlooking the ocean... jon returned home with xav from the beach with a twinkle in his eye....uh oh i thought to myself.

jon  had been approached by some talent scouts for a bollywood ( i later told jon it was kollywood the tamil nadu speciality) movie; they were offering to pay us both 1000 rupees, free taxi ride to chennai ( where we needed to be the next day ) accommodation for the night, acting in background for a kollywood movie with no talking.

 jon was practiaclly throthing at the mouth... seeing the money, free ride to chennai, acting in indian movie -- an experience.

 i saw... rape, pilage and kidnap!!

the man seemed very nice and knowing at times i am a bit too cautious i put the ball in jons court after making him see my side of the experience and telling jon to ask for ID jon came back after about 15 mins to tell me they had gone-- i breathed a sigh of relief and said everything happens for a reason...
 jon also said our friend morgan knew the guys as he came often and informed jon they the tourist always had a good time and more importantly always returned!!! great news for me.. anyway they were gone and we both put our trust in everything happens for a reason and said if we see them it was meant to be and forgot about it... we walked down to the locals main drag to get some fried rice and should be coming up the road but the scout..... a wave of worry swept over me.

after talking to the guy some more we ended up making a compromise instead of being kidnapped and seperated that night... our taxi would pick us up the next morning at 630 am and drive us to the set after stopping to get us breaky.

 well sure enough we stopped for breaky and were driven the 90 minutes there without hassle.

 we were than met by the scout, some indian actors and three other tourists... my fear settled further. we were taken to breakfast at a resturant across the road then taken back to the studio...

jon and i looked at each other as we entered the room no bigger then a living room first thinking the boys in here from 9 til 4 pm... then quickly turned to thoughts of what type of movie we were actually making exactly???? porn sprang to mind.

we then spent the rest of the day-- wearing horrible westerner asian style clothes, jon got a suit, pretending to talk on mobile phones and use laptops, have makeup put on... yes even jon.. and were pleasantly surprised by the whole experience... if not a little repetitive..

jon and i were used the most as we were actually white westerners and the other 3 were students from chennai two from some country bordering india and a black man from kenya.... jon thought it was his acting ability and i just laughed as he enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame.

we received everything we were promised and the usual indian more... the kids were included, even though that wasn't discussed, we weren't in a kollywood film but an ad for  " i love a mobile" we weren't in the background but very mush the foregournd and no talking but low and behold just as they were wrapping it up they said one last thing.... stare at the camera and say i like a mobile... even xavie did it... so keep your eyes peeled for our 15 minutes of fame.

we were than paid 2500 rupees about 60 au $ and invited back for a good part in a kollywood movie... as promised they dropped us at the train station..

we then had to entertain ourselves for 5 hours before our train arrived  at 1130 at night.
 we ate and walked and ate and walked  sat and watched and sat and watched the unchanging board, walked and ate then went outside and watched the kids fall asleep on some baggage trolleys while jon and i kept entertained by watching the rats scurry beneath our sleeping children.

30 minutes before our train was due to depart i went to check the board... everything that had been on it had disappeared i went back to tell jon the negotiator who went forth to find out what was going on first he came back saying it had been delayed an hour... crap well at least the boys were asleep... so an hour later he went back to check .. the board still emptyand returned to say the board had been delayed indefinately.. as we sat there contemplating what this actually translated to in indian english we watched another hour slide... jon then went back and found out it was due around 530 am  jon made the call to move us to an airconditioned waiting hall.. we washed the boys down with a wet cloth as they slept, put them in clean clothes and made beds for them on the floor jon and i then took turns having a shower.. attached to the ac hall changed our clothes ... i then laid down and had 2 hours sleep and awoke at 230 am to find jon gone and the ac hall packed with indians sleeping on the floor, walls, and seats.. when i looked outside the platforms and waiting areas were all the same shoulder to shoulder people carpeting the railway floor all people whose train had been delayed indefiantely.

i then sat awake for 2 hours worrying about jon, who finally came back to say they had made an emergency train we had to take so we could meet up with our train ... we grabbed our gbags carried the boys asleep and found ourselves some nice comfy sleeper beds and ALL got some sleep until we had to swap trains...

 a train coming in beofre ours had either had a head on or derailed... people had died though we don't actually know what happened but we are here we are safe and everything happens for a reason. we then awoke to change trains and went back to sleep.... 

we then spent the next 3 days and nights looking out the window, sleeping eating, setting up beds and packing them away , entertaining the boys, going to the toilet and showering with make shift showers( Bottles) in them and sleeping some more...  the boys have ,thankfully, gotten very good at long stints of travel and were, for the most part, good boys.

we then arrived at our destination and having met a nepalese uni student "runner" followed him as he offered to get us to the border we were then quickly ushered into a jeep and for 150 rupees each ( roughly $3au ) were driven to the india- nepal border along with the 9 other locals ( going home) who had been crammed in around us we then spent the next 2 hours with our arms around strangers and sweating profusely...

runner then negiotiated rickshaws to take us from the jeep stop to the border 1 km away.. we then lost runner through thr\e traffic as we had to stop to get our passports stamped and then walk through the border ( without visa's or checks) to the visa office on the nepali side.. i then played with the boys for an hour while jon had an adventure of his own trying to get to an atm 4 kms away to get the money out to pay.
the visa application went with no hitches and was sorted within 10 minutes for all of us... hooray a month in nepal.

on a mission to get to kathmandu we then quickly scoffed lunch and got on a very ornately indian bus with mirrors, coloured panelling and light up shrine and spent the next 12 hours sleeping upright , sleeping on the floor, watchig indian bollywood sagas with main character dave ( it was the only english word, so really made more of an impact then it shouldve) having toilet breaks on the side of the road ( yes even me.. though it was a challenge trying to do it in between the break of passing headlights my nice white westerner bottom would've really made a stir if caught in the oncoming cars spotlight) and watching the extra locals try and make themselves comfortable as theyre piled in and packed in around us....

 however through the moonlight and as all of us slept, i watched the stunning countryside, reveal itself to me ... an astronomically clear sky, a round glowing moon whose gaze followed down the sturdy jagged cliffs, further down into the cool depths of a pristine gurgling river... nepal... this is the type of country side we love... we love nature, prisine nature.

this thought along with the reason behind making this journey ( meeting beloved friends) the sight of my three boys sleeping soundly on a bus packed shoulder to shoulder with nepali locals going home.... this thought made me happy to my soul... this is living...

and somewhere between my appreciation and  letting my eyes drink in my surroundings... i drifted off to sleep.....