Firestarter: 18 July 2006 (Tuesday)

I am very concerned about my sleeping companions. Last night we almost burned down our Gir. We had been treated to a cultural show at the Gir Camp. It was an amazing show of traditional instruments, music, dancing and even some throat singing in a very intimate setting. There is nothing which shows the diversity of a culture than through experiencing its music and arts. The contortions of the female dancers and the weirdness of the music added to a rather surreal but fantastic performance. Naturally, the group had begun drinking during this performance and with the thought of being able to sleep in the next day, we continued to down vodka as if it was water. I talked to the camp staff who suggested we use the camp restaurant area. To be honest, I asked the staff hoping that the attractive waitresses would join us. I suspect they just wanted us to party without disturbing the other guests.

Soon the party was in full swing and by midnight a very drunk Robin staggered out and back to the Gir. A bit later a hotel staffer ran up in a tizzy and said something about smoke and our Gir. Scott, Derek and I laughed and replied “don’t worry, Robin’s in there that’s all!” Not ten minutes later a wild-eyed Robin rushed in to tell us not to leave candles on the stove. We laughed, much to his chagrin. I must now relate what actually happened through other sources.

Robin had decided to light the fire in the stove of the Gir when he had gone in. Without his knowledge a candle had been accidentally left on the metal stove lid. Robin lay down in a drunken stupor when a little while later as the stove heated up, the candle (in a miracle of flammable and damnable science) exploded into four feet of flame. Jenny and Zack reported that our Gir filled with an orange flame and shortly thereafter Robin staggered out with smoke pouring out behind him. His face was apparently as white as a ghost. Luckily some sense had penetrated his alcohol addled brain and he had doused the flames with some water that had been left in the tent.

So yes, I am concerned, will we all make it back alive from this trip?


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