At breakfast the waiters’ attention was divided between serving their customers and keeping an eye on the tv screen behind the bar where the India/New Zealand test was being screened live. And not just the waiters; fishermen, boat trip touts, tuk tuk drivers and the world and his wife, well perhaps not his wife, all gathered outside the bar to get a sight of the screen. When the Indian batsman hit a six to make his 100, there was a great deal of polite applause from the assembled audience and for the next few minutes the watchers replayed the shot with imaginary bats for each other’s delight. Cricket, of course, is god here in India. Oh how we would love to get to a test match here in India.
This morning we walked for three hours along to the end of our bay, over the hill into Patnem Beach and back, stopping for a beer and fresh fruit en route.
Life on the streets: a food stall called ‘The Potato and his Friends’; the shop keeper chasing away a cow from his shop with a cricket bat (does he keep a cricket bat handy for that purpose?); the restaurant with a magnificent display of fresh seafood including the gorgeously coloured lobsters; ‘Hotel Susegad – no lodgers’. Once again, the photos are all snapshots taken on the iPad.
Tandooried kingfish tikka for dinner this evening at £5 for two, including a fresh lime soda and a pint of Kingfisher beer.
This evening, with some cloud in the sky for the first time since we arrived in India, there was an atmospheric sunset over the beach as the outriggers were pulled up for the night. Those outriggers are stretched out in front of us as we sit in a quiet beach bar looking out at the lights of the fishing boats twinkling far out at sea: a beach fire at the bar at the remote end of the bay where we have spent the afternoon and at the other end the winking light of the lighthouse. The chef is patting out his naans and placing them in his tandoori oven; on the blackboard above his head it reads ‘Catch of the Day – pomfret, kingfish, shark, redsnapper’; Sunderland are playing Southampton on the silent bar tv, there’s mellow jazz coming from the speakers … and on the beach, this evening as every evening, with a deep ear-shattering boom, the fireworks have begun!