Living off-grid in India, am I the only one left who believes in globalisation?
Life here has drawbacks – villagers poisoning our dogs being one – but it is a way of saving oneself from post-Trump inwardness and isolation
My husband complains. He would like to see the local life, engage in philosophical conversations with fishermen, make documentaries about the syncretic religions of the area. “This is not a Sardinian village,” I tell him. “We can’t just walk into the centro and chat with the baker. There is no baker.”
The truth is, we probably could find someone like the baker. But I didn’t want to be saddled with translator duty. Even though I’ve spent most of my life in Tamil Nadu, Tamil isn’t my mother tongue; I prefer when locals think I’m a vellekari (white woman) with a terrific talent for language. I also didn’t want to get embroiled in village politics. We had already had one bad incident with the villagers – they poisoned five of our dogs because they claimed (probably correctly) the animals had been eating their chickens at night. I wasn’t about to converse with dog-killers.
The real reason I was uncomfortable about making local forays, though, was because I’m uncomfortable with inequality. “How is it going to work?” I ask. “We go over to their thatched hut for a chai, then invite them over to our villa for mocktails?” Like many Indians, I deal with disparities by constructing a kind of inner wall so as to be able to get on with life.
Living, hermetically sealed off in a compound in Tamil Nadu is the way to save oneself from inwardness and isolation?
Changing the subject, why is it that those who claim to be writers so rarely have much spark to their prose?
Take this for example. It’s about nothing very much at all but it has a certain sparkle to it. And he would describe himself as a journalist, not “a writer”.