Rupert Grey: Letters from India


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Carpenter's workshop, Alsisar


My fantastic friend, eminent copyright lawyer and photographer Rupert Grey and his wife Jan have always been explorers. Now they are driving their vintage Rolls Royce thousands of miles across India, and Rupert is telling their stories via his website - it's thoroughly enjoyable reading. Here's a taster:

"...One of the Chowkidars, by one of those agreeable chances that life on the road confers, was a Rolls Royce mechanic. His name is Prabhu. He is 75 and has one word of English. I mentioned to the Raja of Alsisar, with whom we dined a couple of nights ago, that the Rolls had developed a bad cough in the mornings. Prabhu, he said, was the man. He used to look after his grandfather's Rolls 40 years ago. Prabhu appeared, smelled the exhaust fumes, changed a spark plug, adjusted the carboretter and we went for a test drive.

His word of English came into play: "SPEED", he shouted. I sped. At 55 mph we raced down a strip of tarmac barely wider than the Rolls. Flocks of goats parted like the Red Sea for the Israelites, bullocks pulling carts looked up in alarm, Camels sniffed resentfully. Armed with the Raja's implicit authority and the loudest hooter in Rajasthan, I became Toad of Toad Hall during his brief moment as King of the Road."

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Rupert's 1936 Rolls Royce on the Brahmaputra river

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Rupert inaction

Of course, Rupert will tip up for the Chobi Mela International Festival of Photography next week and I will wish I were there. Meanwhile, for those of us who would like to be intrepidly exploring but who are home-based for now, let's enjoy a little vicarious thrill.
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