Adventures in India

This is an open journal of some of the things I see and think about while trying to find a place to live in India. It may or may not be interesting. I make no promises.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


I have lost all track of time here. I know its towards the end of April, but I just don't care enough to ask the date. I haven't seen any news in almost a week, and have forgotten what George Bush looks like. But then who knows what George Bush really looks like? I have fallen into the gooey maya syrup and am only now struggling to break free.

But who can really resist the weaver of this web? Who has the strength to break free if the Weaver doesn't want it?

Sitting on the deck last night looking at the moon with friend lovers, watching the angels coming and going between this world and the next. Kumar had brought special flowers for Kali, and we offered incense and chanted prayers to Her. He instructed me in India's ritual traditions, such as how many times I was to wave the incense sticks before Kali's image and in what direction. He also told me never to smell the flowers before you offer them to God, and if you have sex in the same room with a picture of your god, you must cover the image before engaging in skinship. The altar can be in disarray, but must be cleaned every Friday. But Kumar also told me that the most important thing is to open the heart to God and pray with everything you have.

Then he rolled one of his special joints.

No one seems able to make them as he does. He says he puts his power into them, and he has a lot of power. There is definitely something special in them. I think it is the sweat of his hands. But he is abstaining tonight because he smoked too much in the past, and now only occaisonally partakes. I smoke the love joint gratefully and pray before Kali, the candles catching the jewels of Her crown and causing them to glow. The pictures of the three holy men who blessed me in Varanasi look benignly from their place at Her feet and continue to offer their benediction.

Some holy men smoke marijuana in a concentrated way that allows them to slip between the cracks. They use it to help make the ego infrastructure combustible, and then the flames of devotion are fanned to a red hot heat until the whole flimsy contraption goes up in flames. This is why you will sometimes find a holyman sitting in the cremation grounds late at night, sitting on a corpse smearing his own body with the ashes of the dead.

I content myself with smoking the gift Kumar has given me, and feel my own heart opening. We go outside and sit on the deck. A fisherman whom I know well comes to join us, and a boy who had tried to kill himself the day before comes along also. We sit and watch the moon and talk about God. The boy goes in to Kali and prays a bit before Her shrine, then comes out to join us. I tell him Kali will look out for him, and he smiles sweetly and says he will pray very hard to Mother. We talk about love and how it is the only way to true freedom, then sit in silence, the moon spilling it's soul wine all over the dark waves. An angel with no wings appears in its glow and gingerly climbs down and makes its way over to us. Whenever love is the topic of conversation, angels are thick as flies on one of the cow patties in the street here.

Kumar takes this time to take me aside and tell me that I must leave Mamallapuram as soon as possible. He tells me that I am wasting my time and money here, sinking deeper into a waking sleep. He says he hates to see me in my current state, and I must improve my condition. He says all this with such deep affection in his face and voice, it touches me deeply. I promise to go tomorrow and he loans me his cell phone to help in the job hunt. Then someone orders a beer, and we listen to the roar of the ocean, watch the angel struggling to shore in the shallows.

It is the evening after, and I am still here. Overwhelmed by pleasure and contentment, I gave in to inertia. But my bags are packed now, and I have renewed my promise to Kumar to leave post haste. When he found out I wasn't going until the morning, he gave me the same disapproving look my mother used to give. But we are meeting in a few minutes. I knew him when I lived here 7 years ago. He was 17 years old then. He is a chess master, and recognized by everyone here as such. He beats me gently every time we play. But what impresses me most about him is his loving heart, and determination to live deeply and truly. He has come from nothing, and now has a little hammock shop and sells handmade paper notebooks. They are beautiful. If you come here, you will see him. Buy a hammock, play a game of chess, ask him to roll you a joint. But listen when he tells you to leave. He always gives sound, sage advice.


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