Dogster: Not Quite In Gujarat

Old Jun 26th, 2009, 06:36 AM
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Lucky that you weren't quite in Gujarat, unless you finally got around to applying for that medicinal/foreigner alcohol permit. Of course your enterprising hostess might have a hotel exclusion license...

Is this what was billed as "Kavanth:in a Tent" in your itinerary? Do write about all of the bits since, based on the teasers, we've been waiting so looooong for details. (Don't forget the mafia in Udaipur!) Was your baghoria anything like this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_ZcXlPON_k
Skip past the photos and look for the live stuff. No dancing with Dogster until the leg heals. How's that doing?
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Old Jun 26th, 2009, 07:57 AM
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LOVED it dogster! You have such a splendid ability to turn a phrase. A couple of my favs in this section: "There’s only a fine line between the sound of a wounded warrior and a drag queen with acne.";"Fellini Bollywood in aspic" (that whole paragraph is great!) -- really too many to list. BTW, tribal law has definitely been around longer than rule of law -- the purpose of rule of law is to avoid the very violence in the streets that you experienced in Bakhatgadh and to provide a measured dispensation of justice. Tribal law is probably very efficient, but the result is often lots of dead people. It is all very, very fascinating to me. More than you could know.
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Old Jun 26th, 2009, 09:07 AM
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Dogster, I suppose that the ultimate in this kind of story-telling would be a long lapse in the story posted in real time. Some months later, another Fodorite travels to the same area, finds your last day's account and interviews the staff who tell the bloody story of your last day - you being in the wrong place at the wrong time (but such a fine feast!). That Fodorite posts the story. That is, of course, the pattern of a lot of old British adventure-writing.

Personally, I prefer to hear the story straight from the dog's mouth.
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Old Jun 26th, 2009, 02:46 PM
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lol Kathie, I like that very much. I might try writing something like that. I could invent a new persona: Little Dogster. He could pick up the pieces - although, come to think of it, 'Little Dogster' is always there...

As I know you can tell, I'm trying different ways to write; and different ways of getting information across - everything is about trying to free myself of the endless 'I'. 'Then I.., I thought.., I saw..., I wondered... I went... etc. etc. ad nauseum.

The reality of course, is that none of these odd stories fit even remotely in the framework of this travel forum. They began as travel reports - well, look what has happened... they've turned into something else entirely. The problem is getting worse. The content of these reports is becoming increasingly salacious, difficult to stomach and just plain scary...

Frankly, I'm amazed I haven't had a quiet little note from the Editors saying 'Go somewhere else...'
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Old Jun 26th, 2009, 02:51 PM
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And you won't, Dogster. You are not violating any rules:

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Old Jun 26th, 2009, 03:02 PM
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Trav: I particularly love it when someone notes my feeble attempts at 'turning a phrase'. So thank you. I worked hard on that Fellini Bollywood paragraph. I use this exercise to see what people notice, which characters they pick up on so it's always great to hear it back.

On matters tribal law: you might find a trip to Papua New Guinea interesting. This whole event in Bakhatgadh kept reminding me of PNG - I've been there 4 times. I only stopped when I really DID nearly get killed. The tribals in India were like the tribes in PNG, sans make-up and feathers. They hover in a beurocratic wilderness, it appears, half way between tribal law [lore?] and the Westminster system - Indian version.

As an aside: have you ever been to an Indian court? I spent a coupla hours in one in Assam. I was on the right side of the bars. Wow. Dickensian. Fantastic. A shed full of advocates, towers of documents, prisoners being bragged in chains along the street, remand cages, wow. Wow.
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Old Jun 26th, 2009, 03:17 PM
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Hi Craig - I didn't see you there. We're cross posting. Just the same, my friend, I am fully aware that these odd stories are err.. stretching the boundaries of a travel forum. lol. I owe you a debt of gratitude for encouraging AND actually reading this stuff.

Awww, Amy - you're a great gal. Thank you for sticking with me.

Marija: there are a million things I didn't put in this essay. You are absolutely correct: the Tent City was just over the border, which meant that alcohol was available. Another sub-text that I hint at is the drinking habits of the Tent City Family... there's a whole other story there.

I'll be writing more as it comes to mind. I could go on forever. Heh, this little adventure above is just the start of a whole tribal confusion that went on for weeks. But this is not the Dogster Forum. I have to space it.
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Old Jun 26th, 2009, 03:53 PM
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Yup, Marija - this is Kavanth - in a tent. Except I wasn't in Kavanth - I was in Bakhatgadh; not quite in Gujarat.

At this point I'm heading to Chhota Udepur. There's a faded Maharaja waiting for me, a wonderful heritage home/hotel, great conversation, a haat, a much more restrained bhagoria AND fire-walking. Confusion continues to dog my every move.

Then one glorious night with The Princess Of Balasinore. Ahhh...
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Old Jun 26th, 2009, 07:30 PM
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Let me get this straight. Although you weren't in Kavanth, you were exactly where Mr. Harendrapal Singh wanted you to be, his cousin's place in Bakhatgadh, right? You weren't blowing off a precious reservation in a tent city in Kavanth, Madame was expecting you in Bakhatgadh.

Don't worry about this becoming the Dogster Forum, Dogster traffic is very good for fodors revenues.
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Old Jun 26th, 2009, 07:44 PM
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Yes Marija. Harendrapal never told me where the Tent Camp was. I don't think he actually knew. Kavanth was about the best he could offer in advance. Nor did I know they were his cousins - but, in Gujarat, everybody is Harendrapal's cousin.
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Old Jun 27th, 2009, 11:21 AM
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Hi dog, thanks for the suggestion to go to PNG. It has been on my list for a while now. BTW, it looks like I am headed to Iraq for a year (working on rule of law), so maybe I will head there for one of my R&R periods. Yes, I did visit an Indian Court while I was there. Dickensian is a PERFECT description. They are a trip, aren't they? I try to visit a court or judicial event in every country I visit ~ they really give one a unique window into the cultural realities of a place ~ and of course it is of personal and professional interest to me.
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Old Jun 27th, 2009, 11:24 AM
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Wow, travelaw, be safe!
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Old Jun 28th, 2009, 08:40 AM
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Great story and a definite departure from the average trip report. You've got my vote for a Dogster Forum.
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Old Jun 29th, 2009, 03:36 AM
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I like your new style of writing "ten green maidens, a dozen purple daughters, nine yellow cousins all in a row; a pod of green grandmothers, a splash of pink ladies, five orange aunties, eight red sisters out for a husband - " totally brilliant.

Of course I need something calming just reading about the adventures, and I wasn't even there. Glad you got out unscathed.
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