Rain begins to patter on the metal roof. We’re relaxed across a bed-like eating area, shoes off, the hammered metal tureens and empty platters of another finished feast strewn across the low table.
“Maybe,” I murmur to Eileen, eyes on the gathering clouds, “we should stay for chai and ice cream.”
We are the only people in this restaurant. We finally let go of our stubborn refusal to let tuk tuk drivers be guides for the day instead of just one-off rides, and have been well rewarded for it: a visit to a fine tailor with excellent prices for last-minute wedding clothes, this restaurant with a view over the whole city, a whole day not having to find and bargain over tuk tuk rides.
Andre has found dress shoes and lovely shirts; Eileen is having a kurta made from fabric she likes. It all feels very luxe, but for the cost, this kind of service feels sensible.
The rain is really starting to sheet down now. There are about a dozen waiters, all young men, and they’re all up here in the roofed, open terrace. They start to roll down some reed-and-cloth blinds — timely; the wind is coming up and beginning to throw raindrops in over the balcony.
Water puddles on the floor, begins to creep through the forest of chair legs. Pillows are gathered away. Ice cream and tea are brought, and we sit relaxed, mostly ignored, waiting out the rain.
When it clears, I venture in my sandals out from under the roof. The water level reaches up my feet, but the drizzle only mists across my shoulders.
After the rain, the air is fresher, easier to breathe, clearer. All Udaipur is laid out around us, lake-studded, quiet from here.