I will call you Mr. Kathmandu

October 18, 2010


"Hi I am Sunidhi Chauhan and I invite you to enjoy my music. Just dial 51234600 toll free"

I received this text message to my phone every day last week.

I have to say I am honored that Sunidhi offers me personally to enjoy his music and when I knew it was toll free I didn‘t have to think twice – Now I have been listening (and more importantly: enjoying) his music for hours and hours every day… on the phone. I don‘t mind spending the rest of my student loans on the phone bill as long as it is something that makes me happy and his music does that for sure.

I get many other advertising messages from the phone company, I also get about ten phone calls every day from different phone numbers, where people want to sell me something (I suppose) – typically if I pick up the phone I will hear jolly background music and then even more jolly voice, saying something in Hindi, too bad I don‘t understand what they say, otherwise I would probably buy everything they wanted to sell, I would even take more loans to finance my consumption of these things if necessary.

Enough on the phone company for now. One thing that has already become a routine for me here is going to a voluntary run cultural café on Saturday nights, where mostly foreign interns get together but also some Indians. Sometimes there is live music, in the beginning of Navratri there was Garba dancing (dancing in a circle with wooden sticks) and people can chat and share their ideas. There is no alcohol there, only chai and different food menu every week.

On the way back from there the other week I walked through a dark side street. Before long, a herd (8) of growling street dogs was following me, ready to take their bitterness towards society out on me. I will not admit that I was scared, but I thought about running and possibly screaming also.

Three of them followed me all the way to the home and made their final growls, showing their teeth as I closed the gate, like they wanted to say: “You’ve got your warning mister! Next time, we will rip you apart!” Now I understand why I got a vaccination against rabies before going to India. Occasionally, I’ve heard the street dogs fighting at night and assume that the weakest link is being killed each time.

From work there is not much to write about for now, I’ve just been sitting in the office, working on a brochure that’s ready to be published tomorrow.

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