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butter chicken

butter chicken

INDIA | Wednesday, 14 May 2014 | Views [63] | Scholarship Entry

Two hours ago, seated on empty wooden crates, at the edge of a bustling arena, we had taken delight in the culinary experience of Jodhpur’s legendary Omelette man. With Labrador-like enthusiasm we had lapped up half a dozen of the spicy eggs he had perfected over the last thirty years, all the while marvelling at his craftsmanship and monogamous dedication to the egg.
Upon departure we had immediately begun planning a twilight return to his delicious offerings. However, two hours forward, nerves now taking hold, my stomach has begun making unsettling insinuations that I may be seeing these eggs sooner than anticipated.

A ginger-haired Englishman with an amicable smile has just finished clipping me into a harness. Leaning in close to double check my carabineers, I notice his skin has freckled dark in protest of his relocation and the subcontinent’s climate. He looks up at me, laughing at my paralysing skepticism of the infrastructure that will in moments see me skyline over the walls of the ancient Meharangarh, one of India’s most spectacular architectural feats. He offers to buy me a beer after the flying-fox adventure. This does little to quell my nerves. I know it is an empty promise. There are no bars in Jodhpur, and I’m not going to survive this.

Gazing out over the enchanted blue city I turn my focus to the individual buildings. What first appeared as a sea of uniform blue is now a patchwork of different shades. Attempting to distract myself from the imminent jump, I fix on individual buildings. Separating them from the mass I notice the coloured lines of washing, shop signs and windows, personalising each construction as a dwelling. I think about the people who create these unique markers, imagining what it would be like to live in the fabled blue city.
Thinking of these stories I remember, then instantly curse how I arrived in this terrifying moment, by luck and a very expensive game of chicken. Five weeks earlier, I had met a friend for lunch. What started as a discussion about the best place to buy butter chicken had quickly escalated into the loss of half my life savings on an airplane ticket to Delhi.

Looking down the cable, the blue haze of the city in the corner of my eye, I remember the optimism and spirit of adventure that had brought us here. I take a final breath, banishing wishes that we had instead chosen sushi that reckless afternoon and embrace the inherent vulnerability that comes from travelling to an unknown place.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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