The International Writers Magazine: India
Kind of Love Affair and other stories
30 years time, as an old man on the streets of some English city,
I will look back and recount my tale of unrequited love. I loved
her but she could never love me back.
I wanted her but
could never truly get her. She was the only one. I was one of many.
On a cold winter's day I will recall her exotic, tropical nature. She
enticed and lured and I kept coming back for more. Thirty years into
the future she will still exist within my heart and mind, helped by
jaded memories and faded photographs.
Like most relationships, when she wasn't there, I wondered if she ever
had been. And when she was, I couldn't fully grasp her. She remained
elusive. The thing that I loved was not physical, spiritual or anything
else. It was all of these things and more. I don't know what it was
but I loved it.
Emotional, romantic love is always irrational. It burns within, stoked
by a passion that cannot be defined, refined or processed. It is raw.
And on the streets of a British city I will describe her to someone,
someone who may or may not understand; someone who may or may not be
interested. The cynics may sneer and the disinterested remain passionless,
but from across the seas I will still her whispers of her: that place
forever in my soul - India.
romantic love is always irrational. It burns within, stoked by
a passion that cannot be defined, refined or processed. It is
raw. And on the streets of a British city I will describe her
to someone, someone who may or may not understand; someone who
may or may not be interested. The cynics may sneer and the disinterested
remain passionless, but from across the seas I will still her
whispers of her: that place forever in my soul - India.
© Colin Todhunter
are everywhere in India. The stick out on the heads of one of my
favourite animals, the water buffalo, and of course are to be seen
on most roads protruding from cows and bullocks. I love those horns,
particularly when they are flamboyantly painted at festival time.
Its the other variety that I find not so pleasing, the noisy
and incessant type. You know the one: the ubiquitous vehicle horn.
at Night is painted on just about every truck in India, and for
good reason. The vehicle horn has a definite purpose. On more than one
occasion I have avoided oblivion thanks to a vehicle horn warning me
that I am millimetres away from being mowed down as I attempt to cross
an obstacle courses which passes itself off as a road. But people tend
to blow horns at the drop of a hat: night, day, wherever and whenever.
I have been walking along a side street on numerous occasions where
I am the only living object around. There is not another person or creature
in sight and a vehicle is approaching me from the opposite direction.
I can see it and I can hear it. Yet this doesnt stop the driver
from giving a series of deafening blows on his horn, almost splitting
my eardrum. Try as I may, I have never been able to fathom the logic
And sleeper buses - one thing is guaranteed throughout the
night: you will get no sleep at all, with klaxons blowing every few
seconds. I am sometimes asked whether I want a sleeper or non-sleeper
bus by the travel agent - like there is a choice - there are all non-sleeper
to me! In certain areas there are traffic signs indicating that horns
should not be used. But this has no impact on the horn obsessed Indian
Is it the case that when someone buys a vehicle in India that the first
thing to be checked by the potential buyer is the working order of the
horn? The brakes, the accelerator and the engine they dont
matter as long as the horn is working and loud, very loud. It kind of
gives everyone carte blanche to drive like madmen: why use the brakes
at all when you have a million decibel horn at your disposal?
Perhaps Im missing the point here. The next time I am left with
a perforated eardrum from someone blurting a horn in a no horn
residential area, I should probably consider that horn blowing is part
of a national competition. The driver who uses it most frequently and
who has the loudest one wins a prize. And the prize? the largest,
loudest and most annoying horn ever invented. This would certainly explain
why the decibel level on Indian roads seems to be spiralling out of
I once boarded an Air India flight and half expected the next four hours
to be punctuated with frequent horn blurting. Of course it wasnt.
If I cant get away from the noise by escaping to the skies then
please give me the water buffalo anytime. Those lumbering mammals with
their massive horns, which will thankfully forever remain silent. Splendid
© Colin Todhunter Feb 2005
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