India Diary - 21 September 2001

Jodhpur's a mixed up place. Full of the nicest of people, and of conmen. I hit the conmen as soon as I arrived. They tend to gather around train stations. I'd arranged to meet Rakesh Gandhi (whom I met earlier at the Delhi office of the Gandhi Peace Foundation) and waded through the usual throng of rickshaw wallah to the phone him to let him know that I'd arrived. I was still being pestered while I was waiting for him, and then what I have to admit was quite an imaginative scam was attempted: about10 minutes after I had called, a guy came rushing in from outside and asked me whether I'd just made a call as he was here to pick me up. Now, it had been a good week or so since I'd seen Rakesh, and to be perfectly honest I couldn't be absolutely sure what he looked like, but I didn't think that this was the right man... "Who did I call?", made him stumble for a bit,
"erh, hotel?", he tried,
"Okay, nice try", I said, "Now bugger off!", I kindly added.
"Erh, oh, it must have been someone else who called", he fumbled as he shuffled off to the huddle of rickshaw drivers.
Exactly the same stunt was tried not 3 minutes later! I didn't bother with the. "nice try", section this time!

I had a great day with Rakesh. I was invited to his house where I was fed. He then offered to show me his work (he's a journalist), so I got to see an offset printing press working at full pelt. After this, we went to the local Gandhi Peace Foundation meeting where I met an interesting bunch of men.

To tomorrow...

Created by Dan Leigh 22/9/01