There is something so comfortable about India, a country where the rules can still be bent, even if the people can’t!
What a beautiful spot we’ve happened upon. I sound like an Alan Bennet play! But Udaipur, the ‘Lake City’ of ravishing Rajasthan, has not let us down. What a wonderful place to roll up to with a picnic basket, a couple of blankets, and a bottle of ‘Royal Stag’. An Indian ‘Scotch’, neither regal nor Scottish. The only stag around when this is going down, is a ‘stag night’!
The following morning, after a particularly energetic ‘stag’ hunt, Andrew was certainly not in a right royal mood. Although I was tempted to crown him!
We knew very little of this city before arriving, other than it featuring in ‘Octopussy’, an Eighties, James Bond’ vehicle. Not quite the usual ride, but still entertaining.
The palace of the eponymous heroine just happens to be a bloody expensive palatial hotel – right in the middle of the lake. It looks most alluring. Marooned majestically midwater. But we shan’t be visiting on this occasion. Having neither the funds nor the wardrobe !
The mysterious palace in the middle of Lake Pichola, will remain just that. Until I talk Andrew into coming back for my ‘special’birthday’ next year.
That, we shan’t speak of!
Our digs here are courtesy of Mr Kennedy. A fiver a night. One can’t complain. Even if one wants to!
Our host is a gem. And covered in them too. Diamonds galore. – as opposed to ‘Pussy’. In fact, I ‘m in no doubt our genial landlord would be quite opposed to pussy galore. We spoke shortly after checking in about being gay in India. I can’t think why he wanted to open up to us. I mean, I know Andrew likes a bit of Barry Manilow, but I’m like Steve Mcqueen to them here – they haven’t a clue! Well I say that, but we have been described as ‘special brothers’ on more than one occasion, and are always given a double bed without so much of a shake of the head. Which is very unusual here.
‘Mahatma’, I shall call him randomly, has told us he cannot ever come out in India. He could never tell his family, they would be bereft. He wants to go to Europe. As he explains with his crocodile smile and intelligent, yearning eyes, he lost a fortune when ‘Germany’ refused to let him in. He can not be himself here, he says. He has been blackmailed by a man he met online, and has had no choice but to cough up or face the consequential destruction of his family. So sad!
We tell him to apply to come to England. Surely, The British would allow him entry – this poor boy who hardly goes out now, in case he is beaten unconscious. It wouldn’t be a first, he explains. Without question, surely Her Majesty’s Government would allow such a persecuted fellow across our borders. Surely, an emigrant equally as deserving as a plumber from Gdansk?
But how would I prove it? Interrupts ‘Mahatma’, as Andrew and I loudly discuss diplomatic loopholes that could be exploited.
Suddenly we ‘re stumped.
How does one prove ones sexuality? It couldn’t be in a practical test, as many a desperate refugee would go down on President Trump in a trice at even the sniff of a Green Card.
And there would have to be!!!
The only real way to prove one’s lifestyle is to show how you’ve lived. Your past, your friends and family. Photos, video, Facebook etc. If you have lived your whole life in secret – who’s gonna believe you?
Why should anyone ever suspect you’re a ‘friend of Dorothy’ if you’ve never introduced her to anyone?
I saw his problem. In order to prove one is gay, one must live a gay life. In India, especially as being a homosexual has now been made illegal, this is impossible.
I must say, that within twenty- two seconds of meeting ‘Mahatma’, Andrew and I were both well aware on which side he preferred his chapati buttered! But, apparently here in Rajasthan, no-one has a clue.
‘Gaydar’ has obviously not arrived in South Asia. Not yet!
Charm, though, most definitely has. The geography, if not all the ideology, is perfect here. So romantic, I keep telling Andrew, as I try to drag him from his electronic reverie. He looks at me blankly. Although I don’t think it’s entirely his lack of romance causing this latest malaise. I imagine the ‘Royal Stag’ last night may have given him a proper rutting.
I, of course, was far more restrained. Much more to Ian Flemming’s taste.
I was making a vain stab at a little sophistication, being in such a glamorous location.
Andrew, sadly, is behaving more like a Bond villain. With a beer shop round the corner and a wifi connection to live and let die for, I’m not surprised.
However, I am attempting to be a little more demure – trying to channel my inner ‘Octopussy’, even though I’ve been ‘Rogered Moore’ than most!
I think the place deserves it.
She is so alluring a city, one cannot help but fall under her exotic spell. We are quite caught up in her feline tentacles.
We leave unshaken – but definitely stirred.