- The Welcome
“Namaste, welcome to our wonderful land,
Esteemed guests, so honoured to meet you,
For everything I will be your helping hand,
Our Timeless Horizons, it is so very new.”
Our guide then asked where we heard of it,
‘Timeless Horizons’ not a name before met,
The price was good, seemed the perfect fit,
We all agreed, we’d found it on the internet.
Sunil, the tour guide, had the blackest of hair,
Tall, chocolate skin, with the whitest of teeth,
Grooming immaculate showing greatest of care,
This most striking man we felt so far beneath.
We all huddled in a small Delhi hotel room,
All of us Americans, bar the lone Englishman,
India was so foreign we could be on the moon,
But we all looked forward to this exotic land.
Getting from the airport, the traffic too scary,
Their disregard for lanes, and constant beeping,
Only for languid cows they seemed to be wary,
So many close calls had some of us weeping.
- Old Delhi
“Watch out,” we all cried at our fellow tourist
As a local urchin reached deep into her bag,
Wrenching it away, she displayed her big fist,
And the boy scampered off to find the next bag.
We had travelled through the historic Delhi city,
With a people mass few of us had ever seen,
The seething millions, some wanted to take pity,
Others wanted to take photos, was this being mean?
A naked man walked through the crowded street,
His penis swaying like an elephant’s trunk,
Hog’s heads on the pavement, would they eat?
Two eunuchs skulked around appearing to be drunk.
“My friends this shows our wonderful culture,”
Sunil commented as we disembarked the coach,
Overhead wheeled many a ravenous vulture,
Beady eyes decided what food they would poach.
At a mosque it happened the pick-pocket incident,
And then two of our party were late to our bus,
Where could they be? Anger we started to vent,
In time they returned saying “What was the fuss?”
“How ya goin’? My name is Baz and this is Shaz,
And we are Aussies, from the Land Down Under,
And these are our mates called Johnno and Caz,
We’re on your tour, there was a booking blunder.”
We all looked stunned at the newcomer four,
Loud, brash, young, with accents so different,
So how could our tour cater for any more?
They’d be difficult to accept, we were diffident.
“Namaste,” Sunil said, but we looked dismayed,
“These people will join us, so sorry for the error,”
We grudgingly said hello, introductions were made,
To our very close-knit group they felt like terror.
To worsen matters we were struggling with fitness,
We all had ‘Delhi Belly’, even after Sunil’s warning,
With the newcomers this added to our tour sickness,
Stops had to be made for all even by mid-morning.
But the Taj Mahal distracted us, as we were in awe,
The majestic temple, one of the world’s great wonders,
We posed for a tour photo, including the new four,
For a moment we forgot all Timeless Horizons’ blunders.
- Rajasthan breakdown
We sidestepped the hawkers in the fort at Jaipur,
Saw women carrying loads that made us all wince,
We took photos of locals, they were so very poor!
The sun beating down did not make them flinch.
The only thing well fed were those drowsy old cows,
They dozily drifted across the very busy roads,
We drove through the desert for hours and hours,
As locals went through life in their sweaty abodes.
The Aussie four they were becoming oh so difficult,
They sat in other’s seats, no respect for routine,
What were they saying? Were they all in a cult?
They yelled, cracked jokes, causing a big scene.
And to make matters worse in Ranthambore,
As we were on safari, it was so very hot,
Just as we were photographing a tiger’s great roar,
The four jumped up and ruined our shot.
Along the road life it could not get much meaner,
The coach broke down, was it made in China?
Stopping at some place offering ‘Lunch & Deener’,
It was ironically named: ‘The Lucky Diner’.
- The Final Straw
Then the coach eventually started, AC kicked in,
Sunil assured us, “From now it all will be right,”
So persuasive, our worries appeared in the bin,
Plain sailing for the tour must surely be in sight.
Then it happened, in some run-down small town,
An incident to make the tour end abruptly there,
A shock to our system that made us all frown,
A worry so bad to put some grey in our hair.
As a cyclist road out, our sleepiness it ceased,
The driver swerved, we all exclaimed, “Wow!”
As our coach ploughed into the well-fed beast,
Several of us yelled “Oh no!”, and “Holy Cow!”
“Oh Harry, ‘Tour Disasters 1’ it rated so well,”
“Good to hear Art, and the network will do 2,
We put that group through the worst of hell,
They didn’t have an idea that all was not true.”
“See some of their issues we certainly orchestrated:
The Aussie intruders, they threatened their order,
But we didn’t do the pick-pocket, their tour was fated,
Delhi Belly played a big part like a foreign marauder.”
“And the slick Sunil is an actor from Bollywood,
What’s his stage name? I think it is Sunny Roy,
Next time, we will get a big name from Hollywood,
An actor more out there, Sunny was a little coy.”
“The company ‘Timeless Horizons’, it was a big fake,
We’ll have to think up a new name, that one’s used,
And we’ll need a new story line to seal their fate,
And we also have some new passengers to choose.”
“But the tour ending it certainly was not scripted,
The coach was supposed to swerve, miss the rider,
When the driver hit the cow, that wasn’t pictured,
He wouldn’t go on, thought the road was wider.”
“Even though we had to cut the very last episode,
Our executives, well they had a very good feel,
Though there was a dead cow lying on the road,
The ratings were so high, it was all so very real.”