Friday, December 30
House, Kunnumpara, 15:30
One of the (many) things we have failed to realise in our years coming here: the ease with which you can get a newspaper delivered. Sanil pointed this out to us. He said that every Keralan reads The Hindu to start the day. As a result, this year we find a copy thrown into our yard every day by the time we wake up.
Yesterday, in The Hindu, I learned that the Kerala police have decreed that New Year parties will use no microphones and will finish by 10pm. The reason? “To avoid inconveniencing party-goers.” In other words the police will work assiduously to ensure that party-goers don’t feel inconvenienced by having to actually attend a party at New Year.
At 12:30 Irma, Naa and Elvis left for Trivandrum. We have had much discussion about what we should do with the puppy, and a consensus has emerged that we should keep him. This morning Irma’s friend Anki sent a long mailing explaining exactly how we could do it.
The final step involves Irma coming back at the end of May to collect him, but it all begins with getting him microchipped. Irma and Naa have left in search of a suitably equipped vet. Hopefully the vet will also invent a definitive age for Elvis. We guess nine to ten weeks. Other people have guessed between four weeks and four months.
They arrived back later with a 5 rupee bill and a handwritten note saying “Quarantine Officer Kochi”. The vet offered no opinion on the dog’s age, or anything else. We decided that we will talk this through with Anib on Monday when he will, he has just told us, host a barbecue at our house.
Later Irma went to Divine Supermarket and while she was out Molly arrived to empty the rubbish bins that I had emptied an hour earlier. Bruno was with her and I shooed him away because of Elvis which she spotted on Naa’s lap. “Puppy,” she said with an unsmiling but inscrutable expression on her face.
Now Elvis lies asleep after attacking my toes several times. We have spotted a motorcycle hidden mysteriously in the bushes by the pond. I watch the sun set in the misty sky and, for a few brief seconds, it gleams red. I catch it just before the whole sky turns black.
We will eat at home tonight.