Bird Brains

Yesterday was my second visit to Babuan. Armed with two liters of water, a package of cookies, and a Kit Kat, I felt pretty good as Dheeraj and I set out at 7:30 am. The morning was sleepy, life stirring slowly to life as we passed by field and village, the sun climbing higher from the horizon. All was going so well…until we hit the Indian Border Patrol. Last week when we went, we blew right past this remote outpost without a problem. Yesterday, however, we were past their main gate by about 100 feet when we heard shouts. Some little girls in front of us herding goats said in Hindi to Dheeraj, “They are calling to you to stop.” Oy.

So we turned around and drove back and were ‘greeted’ by three guards. They wanted to see my passport (which I luckily had on me this week), and after the guardsmen had had a chance to see it, they motioned for us to wait. Shortly, an older gentleman in civilian clothes marched down the path to the gate. He proceeded to ask Dheeraj all the questions that the guardsmen had asked; Dheeraj answered the same. Not that I understood all that was going on – everything was in Hindi. And then yet another gentleman came, this time in full military uniform, and English words such as “authority” and “qualification” emerged. At length, we were finally allowed to proceed, but the delay was due to the fact that we did not have authority of the provisional government in Babuan on our person to qualify our going back and forth from Forbesgunge to Babuan. Easily solved, apparently. Just 20 minutes down the road, Dheeraj veered off the road suddenly into the front yard of a house. And wasn’t I pleased to see that the provisional head in this area is a woman…

We arrived at the teacher Ritu’s house at about 9:30, and almost immediately, the Karate Girls started to converge. During tea, I asked when we would go to the school to start class. “Not possible,” Dheeraj replied, offering no explanation and no alternative. “Kahan (where) karate class?” I questioned suspiciously. Not meeting my eyes, his response came, “Here.” ‘Here’ was a sideyard sandwiched between the cattle corral and the guest meeting/private karate class room, an unshaded dirt area complete with mud, ruts, cow dung, and whatever else. Oh, joy.

But whatever trepidation I felt initially soon disappeared as I grabbed a stick and scratched the outline of a ladder in the dirt. Ladder drills, one of my favorite things at the dojo in the States, were in order to warm the girls up. Literally get them hopping.

And hopping they did not. These girls are very talented, very physically strong (pound for pound they put me to shame), but light on their feet? Not exactly. But we persisted, and they laughed, and coached each other on. And, yes, there were the men again. This time one of them said in English, “Come on you bird brain. You have such a weak mind.” Well, this put me in a bit of pickle. Did I want to walk over to him and slap him? Did I want to yell out, “Get off your fat butt and you try to do this”? Yes. But was that possible under the circumstances? No. But will that guy be there my next and last class? What do you think? 🙂


  1. Sandykins said,

    September 4, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Yes, definately….

  2. bet365 said,

    November 11, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    hello!This was a really admirable subject!
    I come from roma, I was luck to discover your website in wordpress
    Also I obtain a lot in your theme really thank your very much i will come later

Post a Comment