According to Indian Railways I shouldn’t be writing this. It’s not like I’ve ever misbehaved on an Indian train, unless you count the time my mother and I were taking an overnight local from Jaipur to Bikaner—which would be a three-hour drive on American roads—and I was hoisting her up to the top bunk of the sleeper, and she kept falling off, and we were laughing so hard she said, “Oh, no, I think I’ve wet myself,” which meant she had to get down and the whole process was repeated again.
No. The reason Indian Railways doesn’t think I should be writing this is because, according to them, I have been dead for twenty years.
This is, of course, entirely the Raja of Kotwara’s fault. Creepy bastard. I’m not talking about the New Raja, but the old one, the New Raja’s father. I never knew his name because I just called him Raja-sahib like everyone else. But he certainly knew mine.
Perhaps my relentless optimism has finally driven me to a completely delusional state, but I feel there’s a tangible change in the air, a change for the better, like we’re finally turning this old rusted tankard we all live on around.
The Magical Weekend began once upon a time last Friday, when the fairy princess dressed by a dead queen stepped into her carriage and the world smiled in the reflection of her happiness. Princess Kate waved her magic wand, which unfroze our hitherto Fearful Leader from over two years of slumber. As he rose from his sepulcher amidst the briars and shook off the cobwebs, King Barack seized his vorpal sword, strode into the banquet and slew the fruminous Donaldsnatch, after which, with what seemed to be the same stroke, he felled the elusive Osama Bin Jabberwocky.
This is the bit when, after the witch is killed, eternal winter melts away and Narnia kicks into bloom in an explosion of time-lapse foliage. Prancing satyrs like me, until now locked in stone, surge forth once again to roam the hills, making sweet music, drinking wine and chasing other satyrs instead of nymphs.