Friday, January 11, 2008

Runaway Cyberpunk India Freak.

As a boy I was crazy for all things science fiction
and dreamt I'd one day travel the Universe in my own personal spaceship
with all knowledge, past and future, at my fingertips,
and as I grew and neared the speed of white light I realised
I was my own spaceship and could go wherever I willed, directing the flight
consciously with wisdom and desire, for my Mind encompassed All.
So I spread my wings and ran away, from woes and bills and responsibilities,
leaving my demented mother for Community services to deal with,
postponing the next operation upon my broken knee, purulent tho it is,
electricity and phone unpaid, employment abandoned, Art forsaken,
India called and I responded, to get lost, and not be found, in Her dark embrace.

Like a cyberpunk astralnaut cruising the Himalayas in red-metallic machine,
a smiling djinn by my side bopping to techno music blasting quadrophonic,
we stop by medieval villages, our MP3s and mobile phones twittering,
ATM card providing the money for the magic-carpet ride,
the peasants ogle us as if we were demi-gods from a space-craft finding cyberpunk bliss
by a shrine at every bend of the road, a temple in every village and hotspot,
proof of democratic awe of the sacred, the Universe singing love songs to Itself,
Aware of Itself thru Mind tho the people know nothing else.
We rest at every clunky chai shop, our mirror-sunglasses flashing
and I remember all the glorious moments in an epiphany of tears :

McLeod Ganj town like Shangrila dreamscape hanging high on mountain-side,
Tibetan monks smiling, the Dalai Lama's temple and the waterfall behind it,
the death-defying drive around collapsing mountain roads Chaos ever-oncoming,
with temples shining white and psychedelic light in the distant mist,
the Sutlej River winding far below with Himachal fields and roof-tiled houses
and a road-side chai-shop that offered fried eggs, coffee and fresh orange juice.

From day ONE on my arrival I was swept away in the maelstrom of Humanity,
as always I thought I was on my last leg and gave myslef up to the turbulent currents,
whatever the adventure: let it come, I am willing to dissolve into the thorny sunshine.
And swimming fast I was taken a long way from my safety zone, thrown high and low
and whispered sweetly into my soul, "don't worry, you'll be taken care of."
India is not only a "functioning anarchy", it is Heaven and Hell enmeshed,
I pass thru level after level of pain and confusion, sorrow and ecstacy,
dirt and clean white cotton, loving friendship and crafty venality.
I am assuredly lost in Paradise, the Garden of Delights and Terrors open before me.
Yes I sipped the Divine Nectar from my skull and from the Indian people, and I saw:

huge leapords leaping in the wild jungle, the wildcat of my spirit called to me,
and snow-peaked mountains like gods vigilant and aware of my passing;
a bride in red weeping murder as she was carried in a palanquin from her ancestral home
deep in a valley in the back-roads of the Himalayas, and behind her I rode a horse.
I smoked a chillum in the jungle with a charismatic sadhu baba and his stone-age chelas
outside a cave where a famous silent Muni baba experienced his death Samadhi,
and his left-over vibes got me high, my spine straightened and AUM took over.
At first I was depressed but a white-water river rafting trip threw me into the rapids
and a whirlpool spun me high, exileration exploded and I felt it was good to be alive.

I danced like a dervish with queens in a gay Bombay nightclub called "Karma",
flipped out without a care I threw myself into the music and levitated in Dance
and watching impressed from the crowd of excited Indian revellors was an angel
who swore to meet me in the future if he could, joining me upon my cloud 7.
In Mumbai I had my own horror movie fest, "1408", 'I Am Legend", 'Thirty Days of Night",
"I Know Who Killed Me", "The Golden Compass" and "The Heartbreak Kid".
I lay on a mat on Chaupatti beach with good friends and looked at the stars
then ate at a chunky Hindu restaurant the best and purest veg food Mumbai's got.
I read only one book along the way, Marquez' "Memories of My Melancholy Whores."

I danced unfazed with the tribals in the Goan Hilltop parties, frenzied and ecstatic,
the techno music entranced the crowd and we moved as one to the Beat so high
like being fucked by the Universe to a funky rythm hardstyle and relentless,
the rave thumped on for 24 hours, night and day and night, atavistic dancing.
I wore my white on black "Great Escape" T-shirt, Steve McQueen on a motorbike,
and mirror-glasses ice-blue flashing, techno cyber-punk cool, hot Auzzie design on show.

And on the beach of Vagatore I thought of all my beautiful friends,
Auzzie and Indian, and I wept at their beauty, their frailty, the transience of Life
and good times rushing by so fast like Light one can't catch or possess,
only AUM to stabilise the giddiness, the sadness, the Ecstacy.
And I entered the Garden of Paradise denied me so long ago in Goa in 1972
wherein I saw the gates open and the child-like souls run to play and dance in liberty and love
but I was left behind, the emotional cripple afraid of brainwashed memes like "God and Devil".
Now I'm brave, wise and kind and an angel flew down to keep me company and Goa was a joy.

I know this comes across as so much ebullient bullshit and rainbow prose, India spins me out,
the smell of shit and sandalwood, the glitter of designer saris and the scabrous rags of beggars,
the angry flip-outs and the smiling shared humanity, I was brought down quite a few times.
One night sitting by India Gate in Bombay, MP3 lilting, wailing heavenly Islamic techno music
and a cool breeze from the Arabian Sea blowing thru me, the people came to sit beside me.
Mums and dads with kids, gangs of youths, old men nodding in their dotage, an old woman
in a gorgeous gray silk sari sat serenely by my side, I spied her from the corner of my eye,
she was regal, proud, a great beauty of her time and I felt trust and peace next to her.
She was helped up limping by her family, again the ancient matriarch near the END of the road
and I was surprised at her transformation to old crone, this place is indeed magic,
how I love it ALL, I felt such a part of the heady cultural mix, smug and complacent.

Then the djinn of India Gate came to take the vacated space by my side, another old lady
but this time looking like the witch out of "Snow White", hooked nose, gravestone teeth,
even a black-hooded cloak, a black Muslim burqua thrown back off the ugly face.
She cackled greetings and asked for a cigarette and leant close to hiss "keep it secret"
and fumbled at the cigs and lighter in my pocket where my costly digital camera lay.
I felt her hands go in my pocket and naively thought, "such a nice old lady, so harmless!"
She leant close and offered small vials of perfume, swiping samples on my wrist
and just to shut her up, her irritating hardsell, I bought a bottle and rushed off to a taxi
and only back in my hotel realised the old hag had pick-pocketed my lovely camera.

The next night I saw her by the Gate again and grabbed her, asking for my camera back,
she screeched like a harpie and flapped her bat-wings and I called for the police.
Two fat Marathi cops showed up on a motorbike as a huge crowd of rubber-neckers formed.
The old bat cursed as I told the cops in Hindi she had stolen my camera the night before
and they wrestled about with the billowing black burqua to shrieks of outraged modesty,
I felt a pain in my chest, Oh no! Not a heart attack here on grungy Mary Weather Drive!
I quickly pushed thru the crowd and frog-marched up the street, the cops yelling "Stop!"
I dont need 7 hours in the Colaba cop-shop with a wailing witch, the camera irretrievable.
As I rushed to lie down and recover in my hotel the cops dragged her away in a car
only to have her bounce back on ensuing nights, prowling for more unwary victims
and when I see her I call in Hindi, "Ap chore, ap purana chute!" (You thieving old cunt!")
For a few days I felt sad and violated, and imagined her being waterboarded by cruel cops
thru the black cloth of her burqua but I got over it, all things come and go in Flux.

But djinns grant wishes once they've taken their price, and my secret wish by the sea came true
tho djinns come with tricks and the most desired can become a curse if attachment grows:
within a week an angel became my constant companion and now it hurts to be seperated
and I fear for his well-being so that I'm restless and I watch the clock, for all flesh is transient.
Now I must swim fast in the torrential river for I have something to live for.
Like the last night in Goa, a live music concert with Prem Joshua at the Hiltop Hotel
with sitar, flute, sax and tablas, drums and keyboards, his band liberated our souls momentarily.

I live for adventure, vision quests, and was enthralled by a fast bus ride into the night
from Goa to Mumbai, I hung out of the window in the lightless dark stoned on ganjha
and I was swept into the Milky Way splashed upon me from the heavens to cosmic techno,
a great soul, handsome as a Rajput Prince, laid out beside me, my childhood dreams come true.
And then the teeming metropolis of Mumbai where I had my last wild abandoned dance
at the Voodoo Club in Colaba with gays, pimps, hookers and mugs, arms and legs entwined.

I left on the fast train to Delhi, the Rajhdani Express, and tried to lie-back in my upper-berth
with MP3 trancing techno so as to ignore the boorish behaviour of 4 Sikhs gabbing on below.
A short fat Sikh like a bandaged do-nut played the buffoon for a blonde Norwegian girl
pretending he was a movie director framing her for the big shot, it was embarrassing.
I passed out from fatigue but was awakened by a hot white light burning a hole in my brain,
it was midnight and the Sikhs were having a booze party while the rest of the train slept.
I asked them to turn the light out and they refused, I demanded and they again refused.
I roared and leapt like a leapord from my upper sleeper, "Turn the fucking light OFF!"
and switched it OFF myself. I was furious to take them all on, the warrior gone beserk.
The do-nut Sikh bellowed and flipped the light ON again as I climbed back up to bed,
I reached down and turned it OFF again, and fatso shouted "we ALL want it ON, mata chud!" "No not all, I want it OFF! Picture this in your director's frame, front page news headlines,
"Scandal! 4 drunken Sikhs thrown from train" with photo, you on your arse in the dust!
After the lecture you gave us earlier about what good Sikhs you are, shame on you!
Some Sikhs you turned out to be, drinking alcohol all night, why dont you light up cigarettes!
And ap mata chud! (You're the motherfucker!)" to which I heard a lot of laughing from the train.

To all this they shut their gobs and the light stayed OFF, then one snored like a hippopotamus
and I envisaged throwing pepper down his wide-open gullet and amidst the tearful splutterings
I saw Sikh daggers drawn, but fatso rolled over and we all blessedly slept in peace.
In the morning they looked glum, contrite, while the Norwegians hid their noses in books
and the other firangis, (foreigners), looked at me like I was demon-possessed, ha ha ha ha ha!
And when I left I said "Good riddance!" I was reminded of John Huston's movie
of Kipling's "The Would Be King" where Sean Connery and Michael Caine in imperious temper
throw a hapless Indian babu from a moving train when he tries to spit on the floor.

Such have been my adventures in this land of my repeated dream-scapes wherein I fly free
and go where I will and where I am taken, and back I come to Shangri-la, my second home,
for one last cruise with friends amid the snow-capped aeries along a temple-landmark route
to once again look into the omniscient jeweled third eye of a strange alien godhead
and figure out my way ahead in the Chaos, the endless Labyrinth, the hurly-burly of Auz
and I pray to the Universe that contains me, and that I contain, that I may find success
and my Art will lead the way for me to come back again.

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.