Week in Timbaktu

Being in Timbaktu is always a delight. Its starry skies, Alasandalu Dal, Ragi Mudda and Peanuts chutney, its tandoor like heat, the cool buttermilk and limejuice in the afternoons, the children’s laughters in the evenings, the quiet dusk that steals over the land, brilliant moonlit nights… and not last but not the least Mary’s warmth and Bablu’s presence … make a unique combination experienced nowhere else.

And this time it was made more than special by Venky. This week was spent working with Venky. It opened windows for me. I got new insights into another world. Never will it be a complete understanding of it, but glimpses? Yes. It was also a delight because Venky works like a juggernaut. Completely focussed, open to feedback, willing to be challenged. Spiced with caustic realism, and his own brand of lewd repartee. It was fun. And added to all this was the dollops and dollops of caring which only Venky can give – tea, lime juice and all made by himself. Thanks, Venky.

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