India Diaries

In 2018 I travelled India for two months. It was a riot. Here’s the journey, start to fin.

So I’m Leaving Berlin and Moving to India!

“I know right? Fuckin madness.”

Waiting on India

“I don’t feel like I’ve ever had the chance to be the best version of myself, at least not for any real length of time.”

India: The (Rough) Plan

“There’s a hell of a lot that can go wrong, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared – mega scared – but fuck it, man. Bring it on.”

India: Sleepless and Stoned

“Everything happened so fast on the first day – I don’t know what I expected, but there was absolutely no buffer or gentle induction.”

India: Tombs and Temples and Booze

“The inside of the temple was a glittering acid trip of Hindu mythology, filled with gigantic golden statues and towering white marble ceilings…”

India: Stolen Bunks and Squat Toilets

“As the train moved off, I saw the most abject poverty I’ve ever witnessed in all my life.”

India: Taj Mahal

“We headed inside, went through a large red gate, and looming in the distance we saw the great white tear drop of the Taj Mahal.”

India: The Cheap Suits of Jaipur

“Squat toilet and bum hose combination was interesting sensation. Felt very liberating; like this is a truer form of shitting. Shitting in its purest iteration. Just a man, his bum, and the earth.”

India: Nahargarh

“The sky was yellow, the slums far below us, and as we stood quietly, we heard a hundred foreign songs merge into a wailing, haunting cacophony.”

India: The First of the Inevitable Near-Death Experiences

“The driver heard my panicked cries and laughed, and yelled back ‘do not be afraid – in India, everything is possible!’ And with that the motorbike swerved lanes, and plunged into oncoming traffic.”

India: Madcap Transit

“A week in India, and I’m doing more bloody drugs than Berlin. This was meant to be a detox. Goodness me.”

India: Rabies, Obviously

“Jonas and I stood at the top of the temple gazing down on the desert below, with the Pushkar lake now a winking puddle. And the girls arrived and informed us Ellie had been attacked by a monkey.”

India: The Aloo Angels

“At midday we headed out on what turned out to be my favourite day in this country so far. We went on a quest to find Aloo Baba.”

India: Udaipur Chain Gang

“The prisoners were handcuffed together, being led on a long chain by one of the officers. They climbed on the bus and sat in the seat in front of us. Machine guns were placed on the floor, the officers got comfortable, and the bus rolled on.”

India: Elephants with Swords

“It’s at the point now where I can’t quite believe humans can actually live anywhere this hot – and, as Prax delighted in telling me, it’s still winter.”

India: The Cleanest Lake in Rajasthan, Honest

“Well then: it was the area’s cleanest lake, yes. There is no denying that. However, it would also qualify as the filthiest lake in England.”

India: The Hellbus

“I’d been awake for so long at this point that a soaring bus ride off a mountaintop was preferable to another 7 hours of unconsensual headbanging.”

India: Burping Camels and the Desert Starlight

“It was only after 30 seconds that I realised, with a roar of horror, that I had projected a hundred foot silhouette of my dangling cock and balls onto the bank of a distant sand dune.”

India: Cold Sands

“I walked up the dune, enjoying the delicious cold sand against my feet. I sat alone at the brow of the hill and watched the sun come up. It was total silence, save the faraway sounds of Papu’s pots and pans as he cooked.”

India: Bollywood Stars Pt 1

“The lady was very bubbly and sweet, and showed us the guest houses she ran. Then she told us of a Bollywood film that was being shot in the fort ahead, and asked if we’d like to be extras for a day.”

India: Bollywood Stars Pt 2

“He showed me how to position my corpse, handed me a rifle and sword, and helped me fix the arrow to be convincingly embedded in my heart.”

India: Slums and Heatstroke

“They filled me with booze and cake, and at midnight invited me along to a flat party. I said yes, of course, and soon found myself whisked away into Mumbai in a taxi full of hard-partying strangers.”

India: The Cock-Eyed Barber of Mumbai

“Tell me this: have you ever sat in a corrugated iron shack outside a slum and had your throat shaved with a razor by a man whose eyes point in wildly different directions?”

India: Goan Whirpool

“This place is steeped in that glory days nostalgia-in-the-making that you could almost taste in the air on school trips when you were young. “

India: The Peacock

“Imagine, if you will, twenty drunk people trying to discretely carry a fifteen foot peacock out of an open-air club, past the bouncers and all the staff. Imagine how well that would go.”

India: Swervin’ the Cops

“As the officer strode into the centre of the road and waved at me to pull over, I, er, didn’t. Fuuuck the po-lice.”

India: The Ferris Wheel of Death

“I drove and drove, singing to myself inside my motorcycle helmet, until I came across a little town where some sort of festival seemed to be occurring.”

India: Spooky Bats!

“Then something moved and caught my eye, up on the roof. I flashed the torch up and found, dangling, stretching and yawning and staring back at me, hundreds and hundreds of bats.”

India: Monkey Bastard

“As I stared out across the landscape, a procession of medium to large monkeys strutted past me, each in turn trying their luck at rifling through my pockets. I’ve never had to bat a monkey’s hand away before.”

India: Life, One Second, No Life

“I watched a cute brown mouse scurrying around the morning tarmac, from pile of litter to pile of litter. It was nice to have company. And then, in complete silence, an eagle swooped beside me, plucked up my little friend, and spirited him away to the treetops.”

India: Death

“The walls and minarets of the temple around them are black from the ash; the ash of a hundred thousand lost humans. Four hundred people are day are burned there.”

India: The Roadtrip and the Army and the Shotgun Wedding

“…lots of people had guns and kept letting off random celebratory potshots into the night sky scaring me out of my wits, and everybody, everybody was staring.”

India: Rapids, Ravines, and a Rant about Religion

“We got halfway when the headlights went out, and we found ourselves stuck several miles up a mountain road at night with no way to see in front of us.”

India: Pellet Guns and a Glimpse of Tiger

“We passed a shop selling Halloween masks, and for a while we discussed the idea of nicking off with four masks and four BB guns and tearing across India as outlaws.”

India: Reunion at the Dalai Llama’s Palace

“So much had happened since we last met. So many miles covered, so many adventures, so many faces, so many brushes with disaster.

‘Hello you,’ I said, looming over him with a smile. Dave put his book down, looked me over and said ‘Nice shirt’. Dammit. His line was cooler.”

India: Eye-Gouging and Free Naan!

“I watched with quiet interest as the first guy shoved the other backwards into the reception area, and proceeded to throttle him over the desk that I was busy writing on.”

India: The Realisation of a Dream

“I risked everything I had, and in return India was wonderful to me. Now, at the end of it all, I’ve got a funny sensation in my chest. I suppose it feels a little bit like something blooming.”