Last Friday I left on a brief and highly pleasurable junket to Kerala, on board the Oberoi's Backwater Cruiser, M.V. Vrinda. I'm not posting any links just now because I will of course be writing about the trip and will post links to my piece in OUTLOOK TRAVELLER when it appears. Most likely one month from now.
This little sketch is of one of the five musicians who entertained us -- he's playing a "moorsang" (also "murchang", "morsang") or Indian Jewish Harp -- and the reason I have a sketch rather than a photograph is that I decided I'd try making drawings on this trip. I hate fiddling with cameras and for that reason rarely get any pictures at all. I don't often manage to do any sketching either because I usually feel too self-conscious. Perhaps I succeeded this time because I used a little notebook and ballpoint pen? Nothing very noticeable or professional. And besides everyone else was watching the performers!
The three-day/four night trip was tremendous fun but I had an unexpected bonus: the JetAirways flight from Delhi was delayed due to fog, so I missed my connection to Cochin, in Bombay. Jet very kindly offered to accommodate me for the night -- even though the fare on which I was travelling did NOT cover me for such contingencies -- but the Oberoi stepped in and had me stay at the Trident (yes, the very one ...) at Nariman Point. It was for just ten hours -- my flight was at 5.30 a.m. -- but the room they gave me was fabulous, all glass and quiet elegance, plus a personal butler (in case I needed help shutting my jaw, which must have hit the floor with a loud thump when I walked in the room). I can remember spending a couple of nights in the Business Centre of the old Oberoi many years ago. It was fancy enough, but nothing like THIS. My favourite detail? The basin in the glass-walled bathroom was recessed into the glass counter top (not perched upon it, i.e.), so smoothly and neatly that it was like washing my hands INSIDE a soap bubble. Nice.