This morning I read this sentence: It is barely dawn, and the sky is pink as Turkish delight.
It is the opening sentence of a chapter in William Dalrymple’s book The Age of Kali, that I took out of the bookshelves of a yoga ashram near the banks of the Ganga.
(The book shelves that you find in many places where tourists come and go and where one
leaves one’s finished books in exchange for another one).
The Age of Kali is a nice and intriguing read about India and its surroundings (Pakistan and Afghanistan) by a curious and adventurous journalist. And a gruesome report of a lot of violence that happened after the partition in 1947. With a lot of historical background information. A great read. Here’s the first few sentences of the mentioned chapter.
It is barely dawn, and the sky is pink as Turkish delight. Yet already, at 5.45 a.m., Lahore Central Station is buzzing like a kicked hive.
Bleary-eyed, you look around in bewilderment. At home the milkmen are abroad at this time, but no one else. Here the shops are already open, the fruit and vegetables on display, and the shopkeepers on the prowl for attention.
Another book that I found over there and have read by now fits in my current interest in tantra in the West and in general. Osho’s provoking and in a way visionary book called From sex to superconsciousness, in which he sketches out his vision of the New Man (Shockingly easy comparing that to Nietzsche’s ‘superman’: “whom Nietzsche and Aurobindo call “Superman”), including a kind of manual for humanity on how to get there.
Has also been a intriguing read.
It is for sure online for those interested.
Let me add that the person that has read it before me had written a few time things as ‘false’ and ‘not true’.
I also made several remarks and question marks. And atop the page where Osho, or better Rajneesh, describes homosexuality kind of as the mother of all perversions, and even claims to have been with tribal people where they don’t know this phenomenon and hardly could belief that such a thing existed, when told about it by the philosphy professor, atop this page I have written a question: “was Osho maybe a closeted homosexual himself?”.
There was a nice meeting with a young woman on the terrace of a place a bit uphill.
The well know social talk here often starts with ‘were are you from’?
From Switzerland was her answer. I never would have guessed, I replied. For a second she was puzzled and there her mind/memory found the answer. Ah, yes, I’m looking Indian, she said. She was clearly not aware of that some moments before. And then she told me that she was adopted when she was one and a half years old out of Kolkata by a Swiss couple. By the end of our conversation I expressed my joy over the ease with which one can speak to people of all ages here. Then she said, :-), that she is a social worker and that she loves to work with elderly people. My pleasure I said with a smile.
A few hundred meters away from this place, following a small path down the hill, I had come upon rather fresh elephant shit. The open zoo here is close, very close.
The so called flow leads to surprising happenings. As written before, I followed Hindi lessons in Tamil speaking Tamil Nadu. Upon arriving here I had noticed that I had not paid any attention yet to it. And had thought that it would be good to have a contact here in Hindi speaking Rishikesh for ‘use’ later over the web.
A few days ago I had wandered around in the hills above Tapovan, just to see what was over there in a direction that I had not strolled before (and because the temperature here allows doing that quite easy). I met a Canadian klarinet player in the terrace of a guesthouse that I stumbled upon, which has meantime led to me visiting two concerts where he was also playing.
On my way back home, just before I was back on the main road, I noticed a flyer that read: Now learn Hindi online too. It gave a email address and that was it. Just when I notive in my thinking that there was not a website being mentioned, a boy passed and he asked if I was interested. Yes, I said. Come. I followed him again uphill and after a few hundred meters he led me in a house and opened a door. There was the Hindi lessons offering teacher teaching a group of boys. He came out, we talked a bit and he offered to give me a private lesson for one hour and so it happenend yesterday. And he offers a series of Hindi lessons via Skype.
And so on and so forth.
Once more the turning into a local variant of Turkish delight Laxman Jhula bridge:
The man painting with white is doing real hand work: he is painting with a cloth that he dips, hand and all, in the paint.
Even telling about this made me notice my breathing go smothery , I could feel the poison entering thru my skin. But they are young and apparently innocent. One of them was even singing while working.
Enfin, ten more days and I’ll be back home in good old Amsterdam.