The Itarsi 2002 Reunion
Talk to most people about India and they generally think Delhi, Taj Mahal, Jaipur, Goa, maybe even Kerala waterways and Varanasi, but Itarsi? Not only can you hardly find it on a map of
India, Ashley Butterfield is the only person known to have mapped the town itself!
But to any bogiewallah who was on the Great India Tour, it's that "friendly market town well off
the tourist track", (if you were on the original GIT you even visited it twice!) that Jane and Ashley planned to retire to, and where they would hold the grand reunion in the year 2000.
They may have thought it was just a joke but bogiewallahs knew better and on 5 November 2000 the Gujerati Bhavan opened its doors to scores of them for a day of reminiscences and reenactments – and pot noodles!
In order not to disturb the town too much, bogiewallahs were made to swear (in writing!) to
keep a low profile - though this was rather ruined by the Town Trail, a fiendish quiz requiring people to wander the streets and markets answering questions only locals seemed to know most of the answers to. To help compensate the town for all the upset, bogiewallahs were asked to contribute to something to its
benefit. This is the origin of the Butterfields' Edward Johnson Trust and its support for Jeevodaya.