And Yep, I’ve been missing from the Blogosphere for the last few months because I ran away to India, yet again, not being able to handle the quotidian banality of my hometown, Sydney, the betrayals, the rip-offs, the beat-ups, my countless mistakes and the loss of my mojo. And I’ve been so swept away by my Indian adventures that I haven’t got the energy to write about them, only live them.
|Burning a body at the Deva Prayag river confluence.|
From the mountains I cruised down to the plains in the comfort of a 2nd class train carriage and in Mumbai I visited Her famous movie houses, the Sterling, the Metro and the Inox at Nariman Point, and the Regal in Colaba where I cringed at the latest Bollywood shlock-buster, “Action Jackson”, the photography, editing, special effects and music amazing but the story and acting so puerile I was left bewildered. (At one point the lead actress got punched hard in the face many times, then stabbed in the back, a graphic realization of the treatment of women in India, but to the audience it seemed "natural.")
|Out in the Bay of Mumbai.|
|My favorite hang-out, the Regal Cinema, Colaba.|
|Ajanta Cave Painting.|
I’m pretty sure they were the usual vicious gang targeting victims at the party, feeding them drugged drink and then robbing them, pretending solicitude as they helped the dopey fellow to the shadows beyond the chai mats, all the while rifling his pockets. I drifted off into the safety of the crowd, distracted by the hot music, so I don’t know if they escaped or got kicked from the gig. She was probably a junkie in thrall to the goonda for smack, helping rob her fellow tourists, much like Cleo Odzer shamelessly did in the old days when she was strung out in Bombay: anything for a comfy bed and a nasty high.
A pharmacist gave me the right medicine but told me the wrong dosage so my torture got prolonged for an extra week. For fourteen days and nights it was as if I’d descended down to Hell, like Orpheus seeking his female counterpart. Red shadows danced macabre while live electric wires were inserted down the eye of my dick, myriad demons stabbed me with pitch forks and shoved red-hot pokers up my arse. Before dawn one morning I really thought I was dying, I hallucinated myself as Vidya Balan in “The Dirty Picture” in her tragic role as Silk Smitha, the South Indian soft-porn actress, where she's dying alone, forgotten by the world, in her sleazy apartment in Chennai, about to hang herself from the ceiling fan. I myself contemplated the same act, so tired of it all, only I figured the fan wouldn't hold my weight and would come crashing down, alerting the hotel staff.
I saw her face projected across the ceiling and I felt myself lifting out of my body to merge with hers. I fought hard to draw my dream-state back into myself, the world was out of focus, reality shifted and I crashed back down onto the bed, my flesh heavy and alive, I found myself as One again, clinging to my tangled bed in that alien hotel room in the Himalayan foothills. What a crazy place to die, not so romantic when it’s actually happening. (And I wondered if the old witch in Goa on the steps down to Vagatore didn’t put a curse on me for snubbing her: hopefully I’m just being a misogynist.)
And you can't blame their seeming heartlessness as the cost of living here grows by the day, the population is so vast, and viable employment so scarce, everyone is at each others throat to scratch a living. Prime Minister Modi, that slickest of charismatic politicians, has promised to kick-start the economy and get every family a well-paid job, a house and a functioning toilet by 2020. Good luck mate! India's so desperate for succor and a true leader they'll believe him and follow blindly, even over a precipice. he actually could be the next Mahatma Ghandi if he only realised his place in the people's history and not just be the best mate of the upper class
Or maybe THEY are renovating the dump to eventually hand it over to Yuppies, moving all us bums out into the wilderness, Northcott Housing Estate is in the inner-city and the property is worth a fortune. Good luck to everyone, including me, to survive this hungry 21st century.