Sunday, March 10
Pepper House, 13:18
We asked for breakfast at 9:00 and walked out on the balcony to find that other guests existed. We met a middle-aged couple who smiled and said nothing, and a French family who talked to us and each other in Parisian French.
After breakfast Megha walked from the hotel where she had failed to check in and joined us on the balcony. We talked for a couple of hours, before she left to try checking in again.
We took a rickshaw to Pepper House where we looked around the shop. I bought a couple of issues of Motherland. We saw the rucksack I had bought yesterday on sale for almost 2,000 rupees less. Irma decided that we must do something about this.
We started our visit with a drink, and sat outside on a bench with an Australian woman of Indian origin called Nicole. She had owned hotels and rented houses and had returned to Kochi to chill out.
We looked round the exhibition and both liked the low flying angels that formed an exhibition called Smiling Angels from the Sky. Heri Dono, an Indonesian artist, born in 1960, had made them “as a universal symbol of hope for a future that isn’t tethered to any tradition or religion”.
I take photographs of the aeroplane-like angels, trying to get enough of them into an image to indicate the scale of the invasion of happiness.
Megha will arrive and we will sit in the shade while she looks around. We then lunch next door at the Seagull Hotel; a name and warning in one. The lunch will take about three hours and we will leave the restaurant at about 17:00.
As we walk home we will pass Aspinall House, which houses the main exhibitions. Irma will get a message to say that Marja has died. She will phone Naa to pass the message on.
We will stop at The Killians to sit down, hug, talk and have a beer. I will WhatsApp Naa to check that she feels okay. She will reply to say that she does, relatively speaking, and that I should focus on Irma.
When we feel ready we will walk home in the dark, pausing at the Jack Fruit Tree restaurant at Tissa’s Inn to have an actual meal. It will prove a good choice.