|sent from: Bombay, India. destination: Weybridge, Surrey, UK|
Golkonda fort, an ancient city-state from the 16th and 17th centuries, tumbles up a hillside outside Hyderabad, of a scale hard to comprehend. A collection of storerooms, mosques, lookouts, ruined palaces, caves, arched spaces, rocks. And everywhere there is trash, because, India. It’s vast and has many nooks and crannies, wonderful hiding places if men were not relieving themselves in them at every turn. Consequently, the bathrooms on the ground level are the cleanest I’ve ever seen. The geometry of the space is compelling, stairs to nowhere, planes dividing spaces as the walls appear to emerge from the hillside. A living Escher painting, run down. Families crowd on every level, children crawling on precipice edges. Groups of friends, mostly young men with identikit fashionable clothes, haircuts and sunglasses, sidle up to me asking me to join them in their photos, which i do with a smile and then ask them for 10 rupees for taking my picture. They look at me confused until their realise I am joking, and they bob their heads gently and say thank you. As dusk falls, the colony of bats trills in the darker ceilings, waiting for the feast of mosquitoes who are already taking dinner from our ankles, hands and feet.