The autorickshaw driver who’d taken me around Aurangabad to see that city’s underwhelming monuments offered to take me on a day trip to see Daulatabad Fort and Khuldabad, as well as Ellora Caves. The price was reasonable, and he seemed a pleasant enough chap – chatty, but not too pushy – so I accepted. Besides, it was a lot easier than trying to catch buses between all of the places.
I met Sulim at 0830 outside Ashish’s apartment. He’d turned up in a different autorickshaw from the one he’d had the previous day, a pimped-up model with padded pleather upholstery, a black/blue/yellow/purple paint job, and two Jaguar and two Chevrolet emblems attached to various places. On the way out of the estate he asked me if I liked music. Thinking he might put some classic Indian pop or Bollywood music on, I said yes. A few seconds later and thumping, screeching techno was blasting out of the massive stereo system at full volume. It was quite unpleasant, with my head right next to the speakers, and I don’t suppose the residents of the quiet estate enjoyed it much either. I told him to turn it off.