March 23. The big fire.

Fire in a Calcutta hotel

On the day we leave, a thick cloud of smoke colors the sky of Calcutta. Sadly, a short circuit has caused a big fire in the same building as where Flurrys is located, the grand café where we had treated ourselves to our morning day just hours ago. Given the seperatist struggles in the provinces, we first think of terrorism, but as we see the building and the flames bursting out of the upper floor windows, we realize what this is. More than twenty people die in this fire, I read in the newspaper later, and this could have been prevented if the municipal officials wouldn’t take bribes from contractors and house owners that want to avoid making buildings safe. A huge crowd has gathered and people are staring at the smoke, giving way to the fire trucks that start arriving to the scene. It’s time for us to go.
We get ourselves to the train station and board the A/C class train we have booked to Delhi. The air conditioning is cold and stupid, but A/C also means they provide linen and meals. And they feed us well for the luxury surcharge.

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March 23. The big fire.

On the day we leave, a thick cloud of smoke colors the sky of Calcutta. Sadly, a short circuit has caused a big fire in the same building as where Flurrys is located, the grand café where we had treated ourselves to our morning day just hours ago. Given the seperatist struggles in the provinces, we first think of terrorism, but as we see the building and the flames bursting out of the upper floor windows, we realize what this is. More than twenty people die in this fire, I read in the newspaper later, and this could have been prevented if the municipal officials wouldn’t take bribes from contractors and house owners that want to avoid making buildings safe. A huge crowd has gathered and people are staring at the smoke, giving way to the fire trucks that start arriving to the scene. It’s time for us to go.
We get ourselves to the train station and board the A/C class train we have booked to Delhi. The air conditioning is cold and stupid, but A/C also means they provide linen and meals. And they feed us well for the luxury surcharge.

July 14.

What is friendship? This entry will take us to the height of theoretical considerations, to a summit where icy winds blow large snowflakes against our reasoning skin, where big halcyonic birds spread their giant wings to cast a mighty shadow upon our theories, where you can look to all directions without seeing anything. Who knows what friendship is? We gather in a big circle, fire in the center, the sound of cracking pinecones, dark orange spouting sparks, we all stare into the fire and then we write our answers on a piece of paper, wrap it around a small pinecone and trow it into the fire. Friendship is sharing the thoughts that are really important for you. Friendship means giving without expecting anything back. Friendship means you define your being essentially in relation to your friend. Friendship is sharing a drop of water and a cask of wine. Friendship is being inseparable in the dark. Friendship is forgiving before your friend has done anything wrong. Friendship is a cat and a dog playing badminton. Friendship is holding your breath until your friend spits out the olive seed. And so on… the gathering continues, we get tired. The fire dies out, it gets cold. Next morning the police finds us scattered around a pile of embers, ashes and little pieces of paper with the definition of friendship on them blown all over the place, and wakes us up. It is forbidden to make a fire here and don’t you know that. No, we don’t know that but from that moment on we know something else. We know that we are friends.

July 14.

What is friendship? This entry will take us to the height of theoretical considerations, to a summit where icy winds blow large snowflakes against our reasoning skin, where big halcyonic birds spread their giant wings to cast a mighty shadow upon our theories, where you can look to all directions without seeing anything. Who knows what friendship is? We gather in a big circle, fire in the center, the sound of cracking pinecones, dark orange spouting sparks, we all stare into the fire and then we write our answers on a piece of paper, wrap it around a small pinecone and trow it into the fire. Friendship is sharing the thoughts that are really important for you. Friendship means giving without expecting anything back. Friendship means you define your being essentially in relation to your friend. Friendship is sharing a drop of water and a cask of wine. Friendship is being inseparable in the dark. Friendship is forgiving before your friend has done anything wrong. Friendship is a cat and a dog playing badminton. Friendship is holding your breath until your friend spits out the olive seed. And so on… the gathering continues, we get tired. The fire dies out, it gets cold. Next morning the police finds us scattered around a pile of embers, ashes and little pieces of paper with the definition of friendship on them blown all over the place, and wakes us up. It is forbidden to make a fire here and don’t you know that. No, we don’t know that but from that moment on we know something else. We know that we are friends.