Days in a Dotie

Day 4

Thomas convinced me to divert my rout for a days rest at his friends old age home in Malapoly. I missed my turn off and ended up on a beautiful backroad through rice fields. Many people approached me throughout the day to show me my photo in the paper. One man lead me down a dirt road to his friend in crutches. He showed me the scar down his back and explained his recent fall leaving him in a crippled position from which he may never recover. I took his details then raced on to Thiruvalla to meet thomas's friend Pasta jackson and load my disassembled tricycle into his boot to go to his old age home. I had dinner with his family who happened to be celebrating his daughters 9th birthday. This was a low key celebration much like a western birthday. They sang happy birthday to a candled cake, except they did not blow out the candles as pasta Jackson believed this was to be a year of beginnings not extinguishings. I then watched in delight as they each fed cake to the others mouth wiping it across their cheek in the process.

Day 5

This day of rest began with a game of badminton followed by a press interview. I was filmed cycling and then talking to each of the old age residents. One man was happy to talk for hours sharing his vast knowledge gathered from life working in a theological library. He was a hobbling religious statistical encyclopedia. He later taught me how to tie a dotie which is the sheet that Indian men wear around their legs. Before leaving he gifted me proudly with an old moldy sheet that he had perhaps inherited from dobby the house elf 60 years ago. I was very happy to accept it and have been wearing it with pride. Pasta Jackson is part of the Martoma church which originated in Kerala from st Thomas and now exist all over the world for Indian people to attend. I was invited to a home prayer meeting which although I did not understand the language, seems not so different from baptist meetings. The pasta did however where a special white robe. Every  3 years he is allocated a new church and must relocate his family. He seemed to me a gentle natured calm man who spoke enforceable and little of his religion regarding how consuming I perceived it to be.

Day 6

I triked off after breakfast for a long day through undulating terrain which involved a great deal of dragging up hill, refixing my untieing dotie which was determined to reveal my white upper legs, then cruising down the other side. In the evening a light rain came and along with it darkness. Every small jungle building calling itself a hotel did not seem to have a room for me. Trucks did seem to see me fairly easily in the dark with my reflectors and mirror. It was oncoming traffic blinding me from the potholes which was mostly the problem. Finally just as I was finding that darkness and wet slipping breaks would put an end to my days travel I was shown to a lodge for the night.

Apologies if Pasta is not the correct spelling for a religious leader as apposed to an Italian meal.

1 comment:

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