Tuesday, October 10, 2006

News of the World

I got my international news from a single line of Hindi scrawled on a village chalkboard: as somebody translated, North Korea of Testing Atomic Doing. A Veerni-schooled girl in Kakelaw, now teaching a fourth grade class of her own, presented this news flash to her kids, and it was the first I'd heard. I'm in a dusty news vacuum here in Jodhpur. The news we do hear? Next to a photo of Bradgelina riding in a Puna rickshaw, the Times of India announced that dengue cases reached 1000 in Delhi (3000 nation wide yesterday, could be 6000 now). It's killed five so far in Jodhpur so Sun City's Neeta is advising me to stay out of the old walled city because there's lots of standing water (not to mention sewage running down the sides of the narrow streets). Chikinguyna is on the rise. Boils are spotting up on village kids' ankles. Monsoon giveth, monsoon taketh away.

I feel fine, actually, especially after a rare glass of Italian red at the spotlit Art Deco extravaganza known as Umaid Bhavan Palace, on Chittar Hill just up from migrants' tents and their smoldering trash heaps. There was just a fat orange moon rise over this scene.

Just hoping with dengue's incubation period of 4-7 days I'll be back in New York when the hemorrhaging begins. Ha! A joke. There are 1.4 million people in this city so chances are the red-color lady mosquitoes will pass me over...


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