Warning: this post contains references to violence,
and a photograph of a brutally killed chicken.
My dear friend and old flatmate Ram has recently returned to India for the time being. We're all pretty sad about it. I said "man, wasn't Ram great?" to my other old flatmate Claire and she said, without hesitation: "YES, he was the best." Robbie (a current flatmate) and I were faux-offended, but not really, cos, duh, he was.
Ram had the somewhat unusual habit of walking up the mountain behind our country home in the middle of the night. He would take Skye, the dog, and me - if I was around. On these walks we told long, elaborate stories. The longest one was about a dozen ship-wrecked survivors, Lost style, and something creepy going on between them all. Ironically, I initially began spinning these tales to stop Ram from telling me ghost stories in the darkest parts of the forest, or asking me what I'd do right now if 'the lonely man' appeared, silent and staring at me in the black.
So, with this history in mind, to 'celebrate' our final walk together (for some time, at least) Ram took me further up the mountain than usual. He asked me if I wanted to see the 'van crime scene' first, but I said we should save the 'climax' for last.
A few months earlier Ram had been walking during the day, with his camera, when he had happened upon a very bizarre scene, hidden from the road by gorse fields and trees.
Someone had completely and utterly ransacked a van and various other items - numerous televisions, VCRs, a christmas tree, a few children's play bikes and a lot of glass. Some of the televisions had been thrown with such force they were imbedded in bush,
5metres from the path.
So, after first taking me to a pretty look-out which Skye had led him to one night, we spent a while wandering around the paths in the gorse field until we happened upon the photographed scene, two months later.
Ram was puzzled, as everything had been strangely moved around.
For example, while there had always been broken glass around, now someone had taken a broken glass bottle and stabbed it into the earth, in the middle of the circle of destruction.
There were bullet holes in the side of the van. The children's' bikes had been further demolished and thrown into bushes.
It all felt very 'Satanic', in a 'The Craft' way.
Unsurprisingly, given the number of cats and wild beasts around, the brutally killed chicken Ram had sighted on his first visit was no longer.
All photographs taken by Ram Alluri, who also once said, while we walked in a flowering mountain field at dusk: "This could be Pakistan. Let's just say it is"
(In response to both of our perpetual wanderlust).