Chaos aside, Kalkaji wasn’t all bad. We had lots of good laughs there.
During the Holi Festival, the boys all gathered below our flat and shouted for Jordan to go down. It was our first experience of the colourful festival and we had chosen to be observers rather than to participate. The boys were unrelenting and we eventually told him he could go. As he walked onto the road, they emptied a bucket of colourful water over his head. He was so shocked and upset, he quickly ran upstairs to recover. He then stood on the balcony for hours with his water gun, shooting at everyone who walked past.
Rus and Glyn Eales moved into a small place behind ours. We were so close they were able to throw us a toilet roll when we needed one. We loved having them as neighbours. During Holi, Rus would gather all the CNC young people on his terrace and they would spend the day throwing water bombs at passersby. He also made friends with some Kites (huge vulture type birds) who would swoop down to take pieces of meat from his hand.
The little boys in the little park in front of our flat loved Jordan. He would go down and play cricket with Bunty, Kaalu and Mintu. Their sisters and girl cousins Rinku, Pinku and Minku were more conservative. Ash and Zo tried to make friends and they would occasionally visit their flats, but it wasn’t easy. The little boys didn’t seem to notice that Jordan was a firang. It wasn’t long before he was asking if I could make him a little donut for his head so he could look like the other Sikh boys.
He tried to speak Hindi with them but their desire to show off their English skills always won. Something that always got us giggling was their inability to use their “J’s” and “Z’s” in the correct place. As a result, Zoe and Jordan had to once again, settle on being called “Joey and Zordan.”
Jordan’s favourite question to ask kids, in his strongest Indian accent was, “Fhaart is your name?” He was shocked when one boy answered, “My name is Fhaart.” He never got over that one.