This is going to be a very random letter. It hopes to meander along like the long winding roads I have spend the last few days in. Don't hope to see any points . These are just observations. Mine. Observed within the limited space of my head , processed and filtered by the colors of my past and expressed , with full awareness of the futile attempt, in a language that doesn't speak you.
So, shall we begin?
I was in India last week. I love going there. Its the surrealism of being in the desert one second and then driving through the winding roads of Uttranchal hours later, that gets me. Its like time travel. Two days back , I was freezing my butt out, warming my internals with several shots of tequilla, with the Himalayas laid out in front of me. I am not capable of defining what is sensed. I am okay with that since it seems to limit the sensed into the paradigm of words. Insulting it.
You can watch the Himalayas. You can watch it for hours and the eyes drinks it in, like the dry ground that meets the rain.
The distance that separates me with the land that effects me, probably taints my feeling for it. I heard a man who lives there mention something about 'ghar ki murgi' . I realized I was hungry.
India is an assault on the senses. After the relative routine filled life in the Sand City, just stepping out into the Indian roadside is akin to exposing all your sense organs to an orgasmic high.
The smell, the colors, the pace, the noise, the silence,the tastes, the people....the people...
Eating fried pakodas, steaming rice ladled on with hot lentil, topped off with tea.And that was just breakfast. Far cry from the customary dosas and idlies. Assault but so tasty.
Peeing on the road side, seeing a pile of shit, covered with flies. Watching the flies flicker for a while when the splash from my piss disturbs their delight. So natural. Things are where they are supposed to be.
Industries. Radisson Hotel. Ginger Hotel. Co existing with the two children who , dressed in tattered clothes play with the sand that clothes the earth.
Life goes on. Undefined. Until pointed out.
My land. My people.
I watch TV. Every Indian news channel talking about pornography. Something about ministers watching porn during a parliament session on their mobiles. I see the fuss, the debates, the outcry .
India. Ever questioning. Seeking , yet refusing to see the cause. To see that porn is a creation of our own rules we have established upon ourselves. To hide, to cover, is to make something natural into something stronger. When denied, it becomes desire. Something to covet. Porn gives us the illusion of fucking another without the complications that comes with a relationship.
We are a horny species with self imposed restrictions, creatures led by our libidos, tied to a single partner for the assurance of our continuity. So we find ways. To indulge, yet, conform.To fuck several without moving an inch. Every one is happy. Porn is a necessity. It has to be , otherwise it would not be there.
We care not for the industry that has arisen due to this want. The innocents that parade before us for a fleeting wank.
India is sex. It is sensual. It flaunts itself in every nook and cranny. It is beautiful but not respected. We unload ourselves , then hide behind our morals and the convinient culture, pointing our fingers which was holding something else a second ago.
I guess that's how it goes.
Painting something black to make ourselves look fairer. Or the other way around.
We are all guilty of it, so I guess that makes it okay. Guilt is easier when it is shared by everyone. Theres comfort in the falsehood of righteousness.
I trekked a lot. Walked up through the forest of deodar trees to stand in front of an ancient Shiva temple. Next to it stood a structure made of stone which was the rest place for the priests or worshippers who had to spend a night there.
Have I told you, Arya, how one day I lost the ability to pray? I do not know when it happened but it did. I could no longer seek for anything outside myself. My wife worried about the days I spend in the mire of hopelessness , like a child who had lost both his parents. I felt alone. Then one day , I learned to walk alone. No. Not learned. I think I started walking only from that day.
I sat outside the temple for a while and then I walked back down to the house where my lunch was being prepared. I smoked the marijuana that seem to grow here like the weed it is. I ate freshly plucked oranges , sliced and sprinkled with rock salt. I shared one with the 2 children, who watched me from afar, with no trace of emotions. I was thankful when they accepted and silently ate the same.
I took pictures. Soon got bored of it and stopped.
I stuck to looking.
Back at the Delhi airport, the gigantic hands in mudras that served as the interior decoration betrayed the generic similarness of all international airports world wide and proclaimed 'This is India'.
I walked upto the immigration desk to face a man with a poker face. He looked at my passport. Scrutunized it. 'From Kerala?' he asked. I nodded.
' Ninte perentha?' he asked , with an accent that clearly stated his northern roots. I gave him my name and said I am impressed. He said he has a lot of mallu friends. Don't they all? I replied. He smiled.
I like India. Its my kind of place. Its not everyday we get to visit and select the place we hope to die in one day.
So how you been, my friend? I am dying to know.
* This was written long ago after my last visit to Uttranchal. I wanted to do a travelogue written like series of letters. This was the first attempt. Then, I guess, I lost interest.But upon seeing this in my draft, I thought I will share it.