The car screeched to a stop as it rounded the corner to the hotel. Several small boys ran across the road and away down the hillside.
‘Blast you!’ shouted Albert, leaning on his horn, ‘I might have hit one of you.’
But the boys were already away. Running down the hill with the idiot boy lolloping clumsily behind them. One turned and threw something. ‘Voetsack, man’ he shouted in a shrill unbroken voice. ‘Voetsack! We don’t want you,’
Perdita saw the idiot hesitate for a moment, his mouth hanging open, his shoulders cowed in permanent servility. Then he started off again with the same old lollop. Doggedly following. Always rejected. ‘Why does he do it?’ she wondered briefly with a twinge of sympathy …
The Idiot, published 1978 by Huchison New Stories 3 An Arts Council Anthology
Guito’s Birthday Party
I always know when it’s Guto. He doesn’t own a car and he’s never learned to drive so he pays all his social calls on his tractor. This time I’m in the kitchen cooking. “How are you?” I hear him shouting at my London visitors, and then. “Very well thank you” though no one has asked. When I come through to the living room I find him entrenched in the sofa, seemingly oblivious to the fact that lunch is about to be served. “I came to ask you to my birthday party next Saturday” he announces with a vulpine grin, which is in fact shyness. I cannot help noticing that Guto’s teeth are disappearing at much the same rate as his hair. “How old are you going to be?” “Sixty five.” I must look surprised – in spite of the diminishing hair and the teeth Guito is ageless. He emits one of his famous laughs. “Duw. By God ydw, sixty five!” The noise is somewhere between a cackling hen and a pan full of pebbles.
Guto’s Birthday Party, published in The Christmas Bedside Edition of the Wandsworth Society.
The Shikari Wallah – Broadcast by the BBC 1989
… The house boats were owned by a Mr. Butt who’d come into his business via the raj. At independence some colonel had casually bequeathed his house boat to his favourite golf caddie who just happened to be Mr. Butt’s father. Since then the original house boat had multiplied so that there was now a mini flotilla moored beside the old mogul garden and guarded by ancient chinar trees. It was a prime site. The whole thing should have been perfect, only, in spite of Mr. Butt’s effusive welcome, his kisses: “Welcome home, little daughter of India” I was uneasily aware that it was really my money he loved and not me, and when I dressed up in Kashmiri clothes to please him I’d felt clumsy and ugly and white. And yet I’d felt compelled to play the game and despised myself for my hypocrisy.
The Shikari Wallah, Broadcast on the BBC