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A Tale of Old India !

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Marlin47 View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai


Joined: 01-Feb-2013
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  Quote Marlin47 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A Tale of Old India !
    Posted: 18-Jun-2013 at 12:12
Although long retired from the Army, my old regiment had strong connections and traditions with India.
Intending to visit there last October, and feeling a tad sentimental about my days in the Army, I attended my first and only regimental reunion in nearly forty years ( the fact that a free case of Champers was up for grabs did NOT unduly influence my decision ! ).

The case of bubbly has traditionally been the prize for any officer visiting the Bibi Garh in Calcutta.
Long a grubby alleyway of knocking shops, bordellos and brothels, it is the premier red light district of the sub-continent.  I signed the officers mess betting book accordingly, and headed for Calcutta. If I failed to visit the Bibi Garh I would have to pay for 12 bottles of fizz. If I went there the case of champers was mine !

Up at sparrows burp on Day One in Calcutta, I tangentially enquired of my guide, a serious and somewhat pompous Hindu, how long it would take us to drive to the Bibi Garh ? He looked shocked, and somewhat disapprovingly remarked that he had never heard of it, that no such place existed, and even if it did/had or would, he would not take me there.  Realising that he thought I wanted to partake of what was on offer there, I tried a different tack. Unfortunately, stating that it was (a) a bet, (b) the prize was enough booze to float an elephant, and that (c) I only wanted just to SEE the bloody place, did not improve his opinion of me one iota.  So, the rest of the morning was taken up with visits to Hindu temples, holy relics and sacred shrines.
Luckily, he buggered off at noon for prayers and a bowl of nuts, whereas my driver, a much more down to Earth Jack the Lad who was a Sikh who had served in the Indian Army, took me to an outside curry house
for a Vindaloo, several pints of Cobra beer, a few dodgy fags, and an hour or so leering at the passing totty.....all in all, much more my idea of how to spend time away from home and the family !

Sorry guys. It's knocking on six o/clock ( actually its ten past five, but who's counting ! ), and although I can't see the Sun, I know where the yard arm is, so it's whisky time.  I'll tell the rest tomorrow !
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Marlin47 View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai


Joined: 01-Feb-2013
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Posts: 121
  Quote Marlin47 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jun-2013 at 04:21
Hello chaps. I'm greatly refreshed, despite attending one of the regular village wine tastings last night ( a Bacchanalia that puts ANY of the most torrid Roman depravities to shame ), so here's part two of " A Tale from Old India ".

Awash with curry, beer and decidedly whacky baccy, my driver, Jagbinder, and I decided to leave Mr. Patel, my sanctimonious guide, to his devotions and coconut milk lunch, and explore the Bibi Garh.
At this point I had still failed to impress upon him that I only wanted to look at all of the knocking shops,
since he continued to talk lustfully of rumpy puppy, chubby girls and much jiggy jiggy ! Clearly, he, at least, was no stranger to the Bibi Garh !

Parking his 1957 Morris Oxford taxi at the top of the street, and immobilising it by removing the rotor arm, several metres of dashboard wiring and threading two lengths of heavily padlocked chain through each pair of door handles, we sauntered wobbily down into the Bibi Garh. Exchanging pleasantries with the harlots ( his custom was obviously much appreciated ), I had to fend 'em off with knees and elbows. 
Jagbinder called over a surly youth leaning in an open doorway. Much haggling and bargaining ensued ( all in Hindi, of course ) , whilst I tried for the umpteenth time to make it clear that I wanted only to visit the street and not indulge in any bedroom gymnastics. A deal being agreed, the youth led us off to an even narrower and seedier alleyway, and then opened a gate into a rubbish strewn courtyard. At that point alarm and panic kicked in and I screeched to Jagbinder that I wanted out of here, and NOW !
" We cannot leave, Sahib " , he replied, " I will lose face ! ".  " Sod your face ! ", I told him, " Much more
of this and I'm likely to lose my Wedding tackle, never mind my Rolex, wallet, credit cards and sundry jewellery ! ".    But "face " had to retained, of course, so he babbled a string of excuses , I chucked over a a fistful of Rupees, and we legged it, pronto, back to the car.   Leaning against his taxi, and fighting for breath, I asked Jagbinder what he had said to the youth in order that we could escape. " Oh, nothing ", he replied. " I just told him that you wanted three of his finest girls. They were to be hosed down with the yard brush, and then scented and oiled especially for you, and that I would deliver them to your hotel for you at ten o/clock tonight. Your room number is 40 at the Oberoi Cecile Hotel, isn't it ? ".  I sank back into my seat shocked and horrified. " Oh, there is one other thing, Sahib " , he said, " I should take you to the bank to draw out some cash, because they won't take credit cards ! ".
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