Friday 15 November 2019
Saturday 16 November 2019
He thought for a moment then looked up at me from his bike and said, 'Science'.
'Science? Great! I teach people how to explain their science better,' I said.
This was a little too much for him to understand, though, because he asked if I was a science teacher. I tried my best to explain what I did, but I think my communication skills were lacking. We'd had an enjoyable discussion, though.
‘Hi Satim,’ I said, and he grinned up at me. ‘Are you on your way to school?’
A man, tiny, no taller than Satim, came over and stood next to him. I wondered if he was Satim’s father, come to see what was going on, suspicious of the tall foreigner talking to his son. He said nothing, perhaps lacking English, and Satim didn’t introduce him. The man’s silence and questioning look took the edge off an otherwise enjoyable meeting, but eventually Satim said, ‘He is my friend.’ At the time I thought he was referring to me rather than explaining to the man that I was a new friend, but in hindsight that wouldn’t have made sense if the man didn’t understand English. I liked the idea that Satim might introduce me as a friend, but maybe that was just wishful thinking.
Partway through the session, a businessman walked in, saw my writing, and came over to peer closely at it. We started talking about writing; I held up the Lamy.
'Not many people use fountain pens now,' I said. He nodded.
1. Tailor on the street in Main Bazaar, Pahar Ganj, New Delhi.
2. It's not India without chai.
3. Musical instrument sellers, Main Bazaar, Pahar Ganj.