First the awful news - I had written a l-o-n-g post that is somewhere in cyber space! As all you super smart guys out there must know, the internet in South Africa is slower than a carrier pigeon!! I swear ! So, here i am, sitting in the sunny drawing room of a lovely villa, keying this in on a borrowed laptop. Fingers crossed, this time. My one big dream to meet my biggest hero, Nelson Mandela,will remain a dream. He lives one street away, but is frail and not allowed visitors by his minders. I dried my tears when I heard that and bought myself a Mandela locket and cushion cover - small consolations.
'Words on Water', the Lit Fest, kicked off on a high note. I was delighted to meet contemporary writers from this vast and intriguing country. Our dynamic Consul General Navdeep Singh, has been the driving force behind 'Shared Histories', now in its third year. Do locals love Indians? Not really. And I'm not surprised. It was the IPL that drew people's attention apna desh and that's where it remains. Sachin Tendulkar is God. And therefore the Mumbai Indians are the hot favourites. The diasporawallas are far, far removed from what is going on back in India. Their version of life in Bharat comes straight from Bollywood. I didn't want to disillusion them!
Aaaah - the khaana peena scene is outstanding. Very refined, international and imaginative.Of course, all wine lovers are aware of the exceptional wines of South Africa, it is the food that is a big surprise. But it is meant strictly for meat eaters. No ghaas phoos in sight. Imagine restaurants called 'Carnivore' and the 'Butcher's Shop'. Before, I run off ( I have a flight to catch to Durban), let me just say, South Africa ( my second visit) grows on you... and grows on you. Right now, I have a date with the lions. More in my next post. Possibly from Durban. If not, then from Capetown, for sure!!