Full Circle

Me & the 202nd ancestor of Samdipani

Me & the 202nd ancestor of Samdipani

Made it…

I am currently & safely holed up in RAK Hotel, New Delhi, with a tad over 36 hours to go before my plane lifts me high into the air on my epic mission home. It’s my third time here this time round – me & Victor Pope were here at the very start, after our trip to the Himalayas & now of course I’m back, having gone full circle all the way round the subcontinent.

My journey here began a few days back, when I jumped in a bus north from Omkerashwar, in the pleasant company of a Swedish woman called Fidili. A few hours later we hit Ujjain, & after eventually finding ourselves a room each, I dragged her on one of my Jesus missions. En route,we stopped off for a bite to eat, a ‘superdeluxe thali’ for 80 rupees. It was tasty as hell, actually, a multi-dished taste sensation, & the only ‘superdeluxe‘ thing I’ve ever had for less than a quid!

So… Ujjain has this temple, right, famous for being the place where Krishna (ie Jesus) was taught the Vedas. Now Krishna is a god, & is supposed to know all that stuff. However, the Hindus are adamant about this, & the temple is administered to this day by the descendents of Krishna’a teacher, a certain guru called Samdipani. I even met one of them, a lovely large lad who gave me a wee lecture on the mythology.

Samdipani & Krishna

Samdipani & Krishna

Thing is, he doesn’t know what I know, & the legend of Krishna’s being here obviously means that Jesus was also here a couple of millenia back. Support for this comes from an ancient Kashmiri document, the 12th century Rajatarangini of Kalhana, which states that Issana (i.e Jesus) was the teacher of a sage known as Samdhimati. The latter name is almost identical to Samdipani, & although reversed, the teacher-pupil relationship suggests that Issana & Krishna were the same person. Indeed, the Ratarangini gives us what seems to be nothing but a garbled account of the crucifixion;

Samhdimati’s guru, Isana, came to perform funeral rites, found Sam’s skeleton still attached to the stake, and noticed an inscription on the skull which predicted: “He will have a life of poverty, ten years’ imprisonment, death on the stake, and still thereafter a throne.” Isana wondered about this, but later, in the middle of the night, smelled incense, heard bells ringing and drums beating, and saw witches outside on the burial ground.
Isana pulled out his sword and went outside, and saw the witches rebuilding the body with their own limbs and flesh, then calling Samhdmati’s spirit back to the body. Thereafter, they covered him with ointments and “enjoyed themselves with him…to their full desire.

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I left Ujjain the next morning, catching a nine hour train north into Rajashtan & onto the cerebral pink city itself, Jaipur. Not being in an adventurous mode anymore, I basically stuck to my rather comfy hotel for three nights, venturing out only for street food & a wee walk yesterday morning, in which I composed the following sonnet, a sort of parting poem to India – I set it in Mumbai, by the way, to fit into a larger sonnet-scheme.


I rule one final walk about Mumbai
From tranquil Dawn to Middle Morning’s heat
Where as I breach the bustle of the street
Twyx measured steps my senses amplify
For flashing colours decorate the eye
& finger’d foods both savoury & sweet
Dance off the tongue, as Vedic songs compete
To treat our ears each side of vendor’s cry.

Ghosting amidst these citizens unseen
I see three six-year olds rake rubbish heap
For plastic bottles drain’d by richer lives…

This is the sweetest place I’ve ever been,
Whose happiness I shall forever keep
While Saraswathi in my soul survives.

The highlight of my stay in Jaipur was watching a live stream of Burnley-Derby on my hotel wi-fi, a 2-0 win for the Clarets which means when I return to England, mi team will be 5 points clear of third place 7 heading for the premiership – happy days indeed.

This morning I jumped on my last bus – a seven hour & 270 k ride north to Delhi. As we approached the capital – from about 50 k out – skyscrapers were rising all around, in various stages of building, testament to the growing economic strength of modern India. Still, last time I checkt there were 103 rupees to the pound, which is more or less what it was when I got here, & meant I’ve been rather rich this time out.

Waking up tomorrow will see me with one last day in India, then a 9AM flight on Tuesday morning heading west. Back in January, when I changed my flight, I was told the only option was to wait 15 hours in Doha for a connection, This I will be doing on Tuesday, where to pass the time I will do the final edit of my epic poem Axis & Allies. It was one of the things I’d set myself to do in India, but I never really got round to it. The others were successful, however; finish my Jesus Book & DJ disco in Arambol, so it’d be a shame if it didn’t get the epic edit done…. so what the hell, I’m gonna do it.

Delhi
2/3/2014

Sonnets from Omkareshwar

After writing my last blog, I began to make the switch from erudite scholar to dashing sonneteer. This particular India trip has seen only a handful of new sonnets, which just leapt out of my mind after the Dionysian fashion. As I travelled, however, here & there I observed possible potential, sonnet subjects & being too endrenched in Jesus took notes accordingly to await a more salubrious day in the future to compose. That day, then, was today.

First I had to get to Omkerashwar, which involved an all night bus ride, which deposited me over the state border into Madhya Pradesh, on the outskirts of Indore at 5AM. There, in the blackness of pre-dawn, a kind police officer on the way to his ‘duty’ squeezed me into his car, which dropped me off 50 k away at Omkereshwar Road train station. A few minutes later i was the last man on a packed bus, clinging to safety at the doorway as we rumbled the last 15k to my destination.

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After taking pleasant rooms in the tourist-only Ganesh guest house, I began to compile the notes for 6 sonnets upon three sheets of paper, & this morning took them with a notebook to do some old fashione Apollonian composition. As opposed to the Dionysian – which is pure inspiration – the Appolonian method sees a proffessional focus on creating poetry, but poetry that feels lke it was inspired – a plastic muse if you will. When composing their long epics, poets such as Homer & Dante could not count on being inspired in every moment, & had to develop the ability to create poetry from sheer technique & willpower.

Taking breakfast in the main square of Omkeraswar, I observed two goats engaged in a head-butting duel. This prove the catalyst for the days work, the spark that lit the poesis that had built up in my banks of creativity. The holy town of Omkerashwar is spread over two sides of a river, connected by two lofty impressive & modern footbridges, lined with beggars & men charging 10 rupees to take a photo of you & print it out. Over the bridges, one comes to a tranquil island, formed from the meeting of the mighty Narmada & Kaveri rivers. Wandering the island, I tossed off 4 sonnets by 10 AM, & another an hour later, after which my poesis for the day have dried out. 70 lines wasnt a bad effort; but in the full throes of Axis & Allies I could do 200+ lines a day without feeling tired.

800px-Omkareshwar-Jyotirlinga

After writing yesterday’s blog, I began to make the switch from erudite scholar to dashing sonneteer. This particular India trip has seen only a handful of new sonnets, which just leapt out of my mind after the Dionysian fashion. As I travelled, however, here & there I observed possible potential, sonnet subjects & being too endrenched in Jesus took notes accordingly to await a more salubrious day in the future to compose. That day, then, was today.

Yesterday I compiled the notes for 6 sonnets upon three sheets of paper, & this morning took them with a notebook to do some old fashione Apollonian composition. As opposed to the Dionysian – which is pure inspiration – the Appolonian method sees a proffessional focus on creating poetry, but poetry that feels lke it was inspired – a plastic muse if you will. When composing their long epics, poets such as Homer & Dante could not count on being inspired in every moment, & had to develop the ability to create poetry from sheer technique & willpower.

Taking breakfast in the main square of Omkeraswar, I observed two goats engaged in a head-butting duel. This prove the catalyst for the days work, the spark that lit the poesis that had built up in my banks of creativity. The holy town of Omkerashwar is spread over two sides of a river, connected by two lofty impressive & modern footbridges, lined with beggars & men charging 10 rupees to take a photo of you & print it out. Over the bridges, one comes to a tranquil island, formed from the meeting of the mighty Narmada & Kaveri rivers. Wandering the island, I tossed off 4 sonnets by 10 AM, & another an hour later, after which my poesis for the day have dried out. 70 lines wasnt a bad effort; but in the full throes of Axis & Allies I could do 200+ lines a day without feeling tired.

You could really see & feel the poverty of Omkereshwar, & just as I was leaving the island, I was accosted by a couple of kids asking for some rupees, which I obligingly gave seeing as Omkereshwar is an extremely cheap place to be. However, just as pigeons flock & flutter to a spot where a generous human scattered bread crumbs, I was suddenly accosted by 30+ kids asking for rupees. I solved the problem by marching them all to the nearest sweetshop, lining them up in a row, & distributing three different kinds of sweets to their little outstreched hands. The whole thing cost me 90p, & I think the best money Ive ever spent – I mean 30 happy children for the price of a double snickers!

So, I returned to my guest house, perched high on the cliffs with a glorious view of the area, typed up my sonnets & wrote this blog.. I find that when returning to the poetic arts, one must not only learn to fall in love with poetry fall once more, but to fall in love with ones own poetry. For me, the past few hours have been a lovely validation of my vocation & I do hope you enjoy my morning’s efforts.

OMKERASHWAR

One morning in the bustling JP Choke
That serves Omkerashwar’s most sacred space
Of rivers, lingams, islanders & Ram,
I heard a solid thud & turn’d to see
Between the unused spearheads of their horns
Two proud white street goats crack each other’s skulls
Then rear again as if them did salute
Each other’s prowess in the arts of war.

A gather’d crowd stood wincing at each blow
Until the loser stagger’d from the bout
To ten yards later find some unshell’d peas
These I stroll’d past, quite bridgewards, to the isle
Where Kaveri & old Namarda meet,
& Jyortirlinga lifts the married mind.

1947

Nineteen Forty-Seven, an Imperatrix sighs
Framed by broad blue heaven from Red Fort’s rampart flies
India’s solution to all its civil pains
External compution unlocks, unlinks its chains
Hard-won independence shall thunder thro’ the land
As Nehru sits & senses wide all about him stand
The ghosts of all those brutal brave uprisings fought
When Redcoats thought crude looting, rape & murder sport;

Stood chiefs of Saurashtra, Diwan Velu Thambi,
Oudh & Maharashtra, Gujurat’s proud Koli,
Whose native destiny bled for a foreign power.
But now, at last, the great adventure may commence
Entrusted with her fate, dauntless before th’immense
Responsibility that comes come freedom’s hour

TWO LAUREATES

The Kolkatan will say, “My city makes me proud,”
For only yesterday, foot-picking thro the crowd
Two Nobel avatars had gelled with days on earth
Descended from the stars, imbibed by mortal birth,
Remarkable Tagore, from whose prolific pen
Words order’d to restore lost dignity to men
Thro’ poems, plays & song, short stories & ballets
He entertain’d the throng, for minds he made essays,
Grey dryad of Bengal, no praise of ye enough,
Now her morning stroll, a woman goes, grown tough
To dressing rancid sores, to scrubbing at gangrene
She opens up her doors to any libertine
Whose inscrutable pain, makes newer nurses faint,
Teresa, dress’d so plain, our gutter-dweller saint.

AGRIOPERATIONS

Sometimes this land to me feels too unreal
Here broken flip-flops make a toy-car wheel
While men hand outside carriages jam-pack’d
Lucky to take the train-tunnel intact

But this is India, her instinct sees
Survival in the leaf-fall of the trees
& under every duress makes amends
Surfing the roll & swell of bucking trends

To agriculture is this instinc due
Where mogri pounds the moonj, while the mastu
Pounds sugar, & the hacking gandasi
Cleaves bushels for the levelling godi…

Spend an hour in the fields of Haryana
My boy, ye shall crave to be a farmer!


THE BALLAD OF THE JALLIANWALLA BAGH

To Amritsar have new god’s come, think Nanak quite unkempt
Under-the-thumb, bullet & drum & floggings with contempt.

Stan Rowlatt is no Indophile, sending the suspicious
To prisons vile, & without trial, blaming them seditious

Hindu & Muslim merge as one, & protest here in peace
By setting sun shall British gun the dogs of death release

Without warning General Dyer flings a thousand bullets
O ruthless fire that host entire decimates in minutes

A dozen dozen fill the well, a thousand others strewn
On such foul hell sheer grief befell beneath a witches’ moon

The soldiers dropp’d their lances down & did whate’er they could
Their lesson sounds all through the town, ‘Your protest drowns in blood!’

Tagore recoils in clear disgust with influential friends
British blood lust has breach’d his trust, him back his knighthood sends!

Omkerashwar
25-2-2014
(one week til my flight home)

Bonus Bit

So this morning (the 26th) I was up before Dawn again, waking to a damp but refreshed Omkeraswar. Last night a wild storm had raged all round, roaring winds & monsooons & constant flashes of electric light, that after the power-cut lit up – if only for a second or so – Omkeraswar as if ’twere day. I had decided to compose the sonnet I left yesterday – plus another one I had in mind, a transcreation of a Vedic hymn.

Crossing the bridge to the island once more, I headed for its eastern tip & found myself at a fabulous, millenium-old Chola temple, just as the red orb rose out of the very confluence of the Narmada & Kaveri; a lovely poignant moment that justified getting up so early again. I’ve realised that if I want to create a great poem this summer, I need to start writing poetry every day – if only a little – in order to undam the vast potential in poesis that has been building up for a year or two now. Anyhow, here’s those two new sonnets;

THE LAST MUGHAL

Already old when to the throne he came
An emporer, yet only one by name,
Whose palace pack’d with princes penniless
& empty treasury, alieving stress
He pass’d his days perfecting Urdu rhymes
Alas, this not the zeitgeist of his times,
For Indians have seen with open eyes
The British are but bandits in disguise
“Uprise & fight!” “Be free!” amidst the dead
An ancient man becomes the figurehead
That for a while the changing world defied
Til Delhi fell, with nowhere left to hide
He found his sad life exiled in Rangoon
Approaching death, whistling an ustap’s tune.

TRIVIKRAMA

Sweet Soma-juice I sup Vishnu to praise
O! steed-bourne lord who stands on lofty hills
Let us winess his three Earth-measur’d steps
Three widely-striding paces thro the spheres
& laud him like some wild, steep-scouring beast
For midst those steps all creatures must abide
Yes! Vigour give to Vishnu, many-hymn’d,
Who set himself apart & carv’d three worlds
Three sweet & imperishable places
& holds aloft, alone, all elements
His mansion to attain midst happy gods
Let us up to his highest footstep strive
Where down on humblest oxen in the home
His bull-light showers joyous benefits!

Back in the Game

For the past two nights I have taken a new lover – that is to say ive been cuddling into my first duvet in 5 months – an absolute heaven of a thing, white & fluffy & comfy as hell. Its been great to just dawdle in Nashik, working on THE CHISPER EFFECT – book Ive decided to write that will include most of my litlogical surveys, including the recent Jesus Jigsaw.

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Literary Archeology has brought me to Nashik, actually, for as I was researching my trip north I discovered that Agastya was supposed to have had an ashram here, & was the place where he met Rama, as told in Valmiki’s Ramayana. There are a couple of supposed sites for the ashram, & yesterday I tried to catch a bus to Igatpuri, 24 k to the SE of Nashik. However, the bus didnt come, so I though I’d postpone the trip & check out the local sights. Walking through Nasik was quite a European experience; cam, clean streets & everybody dressed well in the wetsern fashion – perhaps all down to Nasik’s proximity to Mumbai.

Ten minutes form my hotel was the Panchavati, a sprawling temple complex by the Godavari River. About a five minute walk away, up a hill, I came to the temple said to be the place where Seeta – Rama’s wife – lived before being kidnapped by the ten headed demon god Ravana & whisked off to Sri Lanka in a flying car. Unfortunately the cave was as fake as the flying car story, a modern cut into stone complete with a papier mache roof painted to look like rock.

Agastya & Rama

Agastya & Rama

However, on my way out I picked up a booklet on Nashik & discovered that 8k away were the Pandavlini caves, a series of Buddhist temples & sleepin areas cut out of the rock & dated to the time of Christ. The concept reminded me of the similar lofty caves I’d seen at Pudokotai in Tamil Nadu, to which the Agastya legend was also attached. Back in the game!

This morning, buzzin on Burnley FC’s demolition of Forest yeterday, I took a rickshaw to the caves, trundling along the National Highway that leads to Mumbai, 180k away. As we nroke out of thew city I saw two hills rising from the plain like gigantic gate=pillars, whose size & shape were rather reminscent of the Laws of East Lothian, in particularly the one at North Berwick. Between them the dual-carriageway roared like a lazer beam, & I got out eager to ascend the serenity of the larger, left-hand hill, called Tirasmi. The peak not massive, so I was up in a few minutes, paying my ‘foreign tourist’ 100 rupees while local Indians in their Sunday Best payed 5 rupees each. Still, it was money well spent, for I spent a delightful perched high above Nasik & its sprawling & rising conurbation of new, modern white apartment blocks.

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Firstly I navigated the crude but effective path which circled the upper heights of the hill. It was great actually, far from all the cheap booze & baccy of Goa, I started to feel poetic again, something which I hope will manifest itself this Spring when I embark on my next major poetic work – Sylvermane, the Last Wolf of Scotland. As I made my way round the hill, I noticed how monochrome was the landscape below me, a sunburnt beige scrubland peppred by the occasion liquidy green-ness of a field, & those tabletop hills Id noticed on my journey to Nasik two days previously. Above me, the peak of Tirasmi Hill.

Eventually I made it back to the Pandavlini cave complex, a series of 24 spaces carved smoothely out of the rock. They ranged from simple bedchambers, through water-tanks, to epic church-halls with 18 bedrooms, a shared living area & a temple. The place was definitely Buddhist – which fits in with Agastya – & exciusite carvings of Buddhas & Boddhisattvas were everywhere. Into the rocky floor were carved board-game patterns , conjuring up images of young monks passing the time between prayers.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=–_fA2W8hPU‎

On a sign at the entrance, a former Superintendent Archeologist wrote quite eloquently; ‘The beauty of these caves lies in their dignified facade, effectively composed & carved. The fleshy bodies, heavily emphasised sashe turbans & other details of the costume are strictly within the Indian tradition. The excavations of Pandu-Lini not only displays their artistic grade but at the same time they give glimpses of art, culture, religion & social setting of the ancient period.

I really do get off on this stuff, y’know, the re-awakening of historical memories long thought-lost. Concerning the Caves & jesus, the sun temple there connects to Iarchus, while the 18 bedrooms motif was found in two of the halls in total, & is a perfect match for the 18 disciples of Agastya who travelled south from the Gangeatic plain, & felt sure he had been here at some point.

On descending from the hill I began to walk back toward Nasik, my mind working information both new & old, & wondering how it all fits into the Jesus Jigsaw. En route I did indeed calculate some new lines of thought & open up new avenues of insight ready to exlore. So, the game’s not over yet & I will be posting my new findings over the next few days. As for tonight, Ive got a sleeper bus north leaving at 7.30 PM, so Im gonna slip back to my duvet for a bit & watch films & footy & work on my new findings.

Nasik
23-2-2014

The Perfect Ten

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Well, that’s me finally out of Goa. I took an all-night bus up to Pune, arriving there at 6.30 this morning. Not wanting to linger, I was off before the sun was up, on a 5 hour & 200 k journey north through the Deccan plateau, past rows of beige-green tablet-top hills, to the city of Nashik. The reason being is there’s some Agastya stuff to look at in the area I can squeeze into my Jesus Jigsaw Book, which apart from tomorrow’s late additions, is finished!

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All alone in Keri it took me about 7 weeks to write, & I’m chuffed with the results. My time in Keri also saw me driving in the 8k to Arambol to DJ Tinky Disco every Saturday night at a beach-side joint called Coco-Loco – I got paid to play & I’ve been improving & digitising mi disco set along the way – there’s gonna be some proper funky happenings when I get back!

Victor Pope left India on December 17th, but three weeks later Al Roberts – Tinky Disco’s bass player – turns up with his guitar slung over his shoulders. Cue gigs & drugs & jamming on his rooftop with all & sundry. Also with him were two Scottish lassies I know; Teri, who joined me Djing, & Lorraine who was in India for the first time. A few days later it seemed like the rest of Scotland turned up, swelling our numbers to about eight, to which number was added Cornish Stella, 67-year old Canadian Brian, Irish Martin (with one leg) & a Yankee called Geoff.

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Inevitably our little tribe splintered, & Terry & Al went down to Patnem, staying in the Magic Garden, to which I tooed & froed on a few occasions, playing gigs with Al & even djing on Valentine’s Day at Mickey’s Bar. The reason I didn’t stay down there is the fact Ive been shacked up with this red-hot Russian bird for the past few weeks.

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Her name is Albina, but at first she was number eight, as in the eighth girl I’ve slept with since my ex dumped me! The first two were back in Edinburgh before I left, the next three in Patnem over a space of 5 days in December, & then 5 more in Arambol making the perfect ten.

My Albina

My Albina

Mi Mojo’s definitely working at the moment. Anyway number 8… I mean Albina… was just too much fun to ignore & so we shared domestic bliss until yesterday when she flew home to Russia, & I set off to Delhi. I need to be there by 9am on March 4th for my flight to Manchester, & have decided to go overland, charge myself up on the Indian chaos & land in the UK running…

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Nashik
21-2-14

The Damo Has Landed

The New Office

The New Office

This is gonna be my last blog for awhile, as I’ve just arrived at my wee, well-warm poetic paradise where I’m gonna kick back for the next six weeks or so. Seven years back I spent December & January avoiding Scotland’s winter on the Sicilian island of Marettimo. This time round it’s the island-like Kerim, at the northernmost tip of Goa, one side of which faces a river estuary, one side the Arabian Sea, & the other side is a long, wall-like hill which paragliders chuick themselves off thro the day. There’s only one road in – by the river – or it is possible to walk along the hazardous, overgrown coastal paths up to Arambol. Otherwise its an 8k scooter ride.

aaa coast

Arambol is a cool place, 80 percent Russian & very hippy, its a drug-filled, fun-heavy constantly running festival of a place, where each sunset everyone congregates round a drum circle to watch the gorgeous pinkness of the sun setting into the sea. We got there last Sunday, after finally unpeeling ourselves from Patnem, & got a room in Arambol for a couple of nights. Sunday night saw a jam session earning us a gig at a venue called the Surf Club, while Monday so much mandiness & me dj-ing wildly at Sporting Heroes venue, which won enough respect to have free beers there all week!

aaa dance

Inbetween, I got chatting to a guy in a restaurant, who by some quirk of fate mentioned there was a place for rent near his house in Keri. Cue me walking there over the coast, & finding the house he was talking about was one I looked at 3 years ago & said to myself, ‘that would be a nice place to spend a couple of months writing.‘ Tis nothing but wish-fulfillment at its very Saraswathi-induced best.

Keri - quite a rural village

Keri – quite a rural village

So to the house. Its like a four roomed bungalow divided into two, with a toilet at the back of each half. There’s a kitchen, a lovely porch where you can set up a matress, & stairs up to the roof for a sun-bathe – & my half of the house is costing only £2 a night – Vic’s in the other half. For another £2 a day I’ve got a sexy yellow pussy-wagon of a new scooter from a local. His – & I guess, now my -village is great actually; quite widely dispersed, with cheap food everywhere, a few ex-pat English gangsters avoiding cops at home & the Russian imperial venture at Arambol, a gorgeously vast & tranquil beach & a ferry that takes you across the river to the next state of Maharastra which is ripe for exploration.

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I’ve just had a pretty good weekend actually. The Surf Club gig was wicked. Phil, the 60-year old owner of the club & a right old raver, who used to supply pills in 250,000 consignments to Bristol, had got us this mad Russian bird called Katia to play drums. Also on board was Dirk, a sound German who leant me his base. The practice was rough, but the gig was wicked, & we got paid in money, beautiful tandoori & a free bar – which of course I availed myself of wholeheartedly.

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Next morning – the Saturday – to shake off mi hangover, I thought I’d drive the 35 k south to Anjuna, stopping every now & then to watch a bit of the Ashes. On the way back, I stopped off at the Mango Tree for a beer, & met two cut 20-odd year teachers from England, fresh off the plane from where they work in Dubai, & looking for a rave. After informing them that Arambol was wicked, they promptly said they’d come up that night. Which they did, & after scoring some quality mandy in the back room of a dodgy shop, we proceeded to have one of those classic Goan experiences; dancing to trance, partying on the beach, &etc. It was funny as, I mean they really were hot girls & I went round telling everyone they were my wives – a little bit of kudos for the new-boy in town. Come the early hours the girls were ready to go home, so I sorted them out a taxi & watched them sail off into the distance, before hopping on my scooter & driving back to Keri buzzing off mi tits!

So that’s me, then; I’ll fill my days with writing my Jesus book, editing my poetry & spinning a little songsmithery with the guitar Victor’s about to leave me – he’s off home tomorrow! Still, I wont be alone for too long, I’ve got the phone numbers of several Russian girls from the Friday night to fill my nights with, plus Dj-ing oppurtunities & in three weeks Tinky Disco’s bass player, Al Roberts, turns up, so that’s gonna be fun – I think I’ll have to get Katia in on drums – but she is a complete lunatic so we’ll see.

Keri
16/12/13

aaa coast 3

Goan Gold

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So that’s me nicely settled into South Goa, lazing astride its luscious beaches with a bike & a huge smile on mi face. I love this part of Inda, this is my third time here & its the perfect place to assemble all the pieces of evidence appertaining to Jesus-in-India, which I have finally titled THE JESUS JIGSAW.

Our journey here began in Varkala, where after an early morning train ride we were soon on a water bus, heading through the gorgeous Keralian backwaters.

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Cue exotic birdlife, waving kids, & a ten mile an hour cruise on what has to be one of the most beautiful bus-jounreys in the world. Before we set off I finally got my hands on some gin, which helps the watery swirl of a journey immenseley. It took 8 hours, broken up by a lunch break & chai break, & then we were at Aleppy, ffrom where we trundled by bus north for two more hours to Fort Cochin.

Cochin

Cochin

Cochin is a bit touristy, now, but is a pleasnat place where you lounge on the rooftops among the Portuguese buildings, or lazily stroll along the sea-front, admiring the Chinese water nets & checking out the catch of the day. It was all a bit twee really, & I was happy to continue our wayfaring to Calicut, where we got a room for 24 hours waiting for our train to Goa. During that time I spent a tenner on getting my laptop audio input fixed, with the prospect of DJing in Goa in mind.

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So there we were, one more ride from paradise, & we’d taken an AC carriage on the train – which is essentially a normal sleeper with curtains & blankets, & unbroken by chai-sellers & touts etc. A coupel of units along were a bunch of American exchange students, who we ended up entertaining with guitar songs. Then, at 4.30 AM, we pulled into Canacona train station & walked towards Palolem. I knew that Cleopatras bar was open 24 hours, & on arriving we caught the tail-end of a Silent Disco that had been held there – the first of the season – full of comedy characters & cheap bear – & we had well & truly arrived in the party.

Palolem Beach

Palolem Beach

Later that morning I got mates rates on beach huts at the same place where a mate of mine, Jimmy Van De Mer, was doing his Magic Cinema a few years back. We had also arrived on the same day as an open mic night only two hundred yards from where we were staying – Micvkey’s Bar – & that night Victor unleashed his wildness on the unsuspecting Patnem public, which literally brought the house down. Great fun! I also got talking to Mickey, the reult of which is me organising, & getting paid for, two parties for him at Christmas & New Year – an echo of last years double Kijijis over the festive season.

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Also on that first night, Saraswathi parachuted me in a wee muse to help me in my work. She is a cute 30 year old journalist from Ireland, & a woman of infinite patience. We got free beers for playing, & lets say I was pretty steaming. That didn’t put her off though, & she kindly escorted me back to her 2000 rupee a night posh hut…. Anyway, come morning I blinked myself awake to be met by, ‘Do you remember what happened last night?’
‘No,’ I replied sheepishly.
“Well, Damo, I woke up to you pissing in my suitcase, after which you knocked the window pane out of my door.”
There was a certain karmic irony to this, as back in the Spring I’d got all high n mighty on mi drummer, Jonny, after he’d smashed a similar pane of glass in Cagliari.

St Anthony's Church - Cabo de Rama

St Anthony’s Church – Cabo de Rama

Anyhow, the rest of the day was quite Mills n Boon & made up for my earlier nonsense. Dinesh, my landlord, had dropped off two bikes for me & Victor, & so I took m’lady out for a spin. First port of call was Kola beach, a lovely spot at the end of a terrible road, with wild waves & a freshwater lagoon to paddle in. After this we continued north to Cabo de Rama, an old Portuguese fort with splendid views of a miraculous bay, at the other side of which we observed a restaurant clinging to the cliffs.

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Driving out there, we passed a mad Russian flying a three-wheeler wheelchair-paraglider, & then walking along a practically deserted beach to reach the restaurant just as the red sun was dipping below the clouds. Cue fresh fish & lovely sensations at a place called appropriately called ‘Mi Amore.’

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We drove back a good hour through the night, through moody junglerie, accompanied by the constant chorus of chirping insects. Then back at Patnem we drank wine on the beach, ending a perfect day in a tired but happy glow.

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The other day I took Victor on the roads for the first time (he survived) to Galgebag beach, where Sea-turtles had just lain their eggs, protected now by fencing. Theres a cluster of restaurants there, one of which comes reccomened by Gordon Ramsey, while the one next door is reccomended by Jamie Oliver. Whether this is true or not, the oysters were great & the beaches are lush…Happy Days indeed!

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After m’lady departed for other shores, it seems she had left me with a revitalised mojo. First to pick up on it was a nurse from Hastings on Tuesday night. Me & Vic had got out for a few beers, playing pool in beach bars & stuff, which all led into a riotous rave at a headphone party where we had our first proper session in months. Cue some wild driving & an all night party, plus morning frolic in the waves with the aforementioned nurse.

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At some point along the road Vic managed to total the front of his scooter, which I quickly sorted out the next day for him – it was only £35 to repair & we both managed to survive the seratonin surge.

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Yesterday was also a classic. Three years ago I met this very well respected & successful woman in the film industry… & well, lets say we had a blast. Anyhow, lo & behold, she was led on a sunbed on my beach. Its funny, last year she was in this hotel in Scotland & invited me over – but I couldnt taint my blank canvas of a relationship, so stayed put. To which she replied something along the lines of, ‘here i am watching porn in my hotel room in the sexiest knickers you will never see.’

So she turns up at Mickey’s Bar where me & Vic were playing some rapturously recieved tunes, after which we got chatting, & I’m like, ‘do you know those knickers you mentioned in your emai?’ & she’s like, ‘I’m wearing em now…’

So this morning, all full of sun & beer & poetry, driving around South Goa listening to mi tunes, I composed this little gem of a sonnet, entitled…

TO ALL THE GIRLS I’VE EVER NAILED

To all the girls I’ve ever nailed
There’s only time I kinda failed
I had just been debirding In India
When a few fumbles after getting it together
She’s agate ‘STOP!’ but, y’know, I weren’t that bothered
Trust me, mi mojo promptly recovered
& I found that the girls were all digging mi chat
I mean… A poet from Burnley in a right dapper hat!

So… deep down I know some were better in bed
But I’ve loved every minute, girls, pathways we tread
All glittering gold thro your slipped off bikinis
In trust’s lamburghinis, up lust’s kundalinis
We surf’d the exotic… frantic… tantric… calm
All aboard mine art’s duties thy beauties to charm.

Patnem
6-12-2013

The New Office...

The New Office…

Thiruvalluvar & the Seven Avatars

At the feet of Thiruvalluvar

At the feet of Thiruvalluvar

I last blogged a few days back, with the prospect of reaching the Tamil Mount Doom on the cards. What followed was a glorious day with driver & guides, wandering about the gorgeously green uplands of the Western Ghats, searching for the residue of the Jesusian avatar, Agastya. Travelling with locals helped us cruise through the security checks, & we had a splendid time; including a dip in a powerful waterfall at the Agastya Falls.

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Another highlight was a boat-trip across a man-mad dam, whose surrounding scenery was more beautiful than anything I’ve seen in Britain – it was so epic!

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This was as close as we were gonna get to the Potiyil Hill, for the trekking paths up it actually started on the other side of the Ghats, in Kerala. We didn’t mind, however, for the day had been a splendid one, & I slept a sound sleep back in Ambasamudram.

The next morning we were off again, cruising south on a couple of busses to Kannayakamari, the most southerly point in India. It was a profound moment for me, for towering tall on a roky island just off the mainland is a massive statue of Thiruvalluvar. Eleven years ago, the younger me had fallen in love with his kural – thanks to a ‘verteux’ mind & my first taste of opium, & compelled me to one day transcreate it into English. This I’ve done, & I guess, am still doing.

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The research trip of Jesus is all but done now – its taken two months & in the process Ive literally traversed the sub-continent from top to bottom by land – which is no mean feat! Thus, I am now looking forward to moving into a beach cafe to write the book, during which time I’ll be reading & editing all my poetry – including the Kural. The idea is to emulate the literary life of Byron & Shelley in Pisa, where they’d go for a ride in the morning (I’ll have a scooter), then after lunch do a bit of shooting, with the ladies looking on. Then, of course, work on their poetry.

Back in Kannuyakamri, I would like to introduce the last of the Jesusian avatars – & somehow it turned out to be Thiruvalluvar himself! I don’t really have time to go into all the evidence right now – the book will explain everything perfectly. Thus, the seven Indian Avatars of Jesus Christ are;

Issa
Yuz Asaf
Iarchus
Ishvara Krishna
Asvaghosa
Agastya
Thiruvalluvar

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What has happened, is that Jesus was given different names in different languages – & in a world without universally printed pages, where every copy was made by hand, it was rare to get the same name twice. A classic example of such a process comes with the word for butterfly, which is different in every language, examples include;

Skoenlapper
Nipwisipwis
Liblikas
Farasha
Pulelehua
Kupukupu
Marlimarlirni

Jesus, then, was an ascetic educated in India, who wrote some excellent poetry that formed the bedrock of several belief systems. For example, Krishna was a creation of his, while Mahayana Buddhism was built upon his visions. He did spend time in Palestine, & used yogic techniques learnt in India to feign death & ressusciate himself. After this he returned to India, where he set up ashrams at teh Govardhan Hill & in Tamil Nadu. His last years were spent up in Kashmir, where he was buried in Srinagar.

Kerala

Kerala

With all that banked, it was time to leave Kannuyakamari. A three hour train ride brought us into southern Kerala, a land of luscious fertility, where banana trees & coconut boles vied for space amidst the verdancy of its teeming junglery. Our destination was Varkala, the arrival at whose restaurant-topped cliffs & soft, sandy beaches announced to Victor & I the end of the ‘adventure’ & the arrival of the pleasure bubble.

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From here on in we’ll be waltzing along the tourist trail, & all the comfortable living that embosoms them – I’m proper bored already! Still, the beers 1.20 a pint, the Ashes are on in the bars, & the waters warm, so I’m off for a dip…

Varkala
23/11/13

Agastya & Ambasamudram

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Victor & I have just performed a rattlesnake of a tour across the vasty land of the Indian Tamils. It began in Auroville with a cyclone – or at least the threat of one – which was supposed to follow on from a monsoon-style downfall which consumed most of Friday night & Saturday morning, last. This became the catalyst for us to cut short our tour, argue with the French landlord, whose 3-night minimum stay I countered with my ‘act of god’ speech – comparing the situation to the England-Argentina World Cup Quarter Final of 1986, & that I was a bit like Maradonna & I definitely would not be paying for a third night, given the chance my hut could be lifted off the kitchen roof – with me in it – & smashed to pieces off some nearby rocks!

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So that was it, with our bags swiftly packed we were cruising the red dirt-roads of Auroville & off on our 11 day mission to get to Calicut via Kannayakamari & Kerala. 8 k in we dropped off the bike, & then jumped in a 150 rupee rickshaw to Pondicherry bus-stand. There, after a half hour wait, we got on a bus to Chidambaram, which we arrived at two hours or so later. Five years ago, when I was originally working on the Kural, I’d spent 8 whole days walking & working among its compact, bustling streets. Things were different this time, just a bite to eat, a walk around the fascinating Nataraja Temple, & playing poker in the hotel with Vic over a couple of beers.

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The next morning we set off early, catching an 8AM bus to Veeitheswara (Eswara = Ishvara = Jesus), a mad little townlet which is famous for the Nadi Astrology. The originator of the system was a saint called Agastya, who, of course is the 6th of the seven avatars of Jesus. According to my inquiries, Agastya is the Tamil version, whose name was originally given to a Vedic poet, who lived c500 BC. The second Agastyan strata was applied to a guy who lived in the first century AD, who is said to have left north India via Dwaraka, one of Krishna’s cities, which of course links him to Jesus. He was propelled to do so by a flood, which I’ve already shown in a previous post links him to Krishna – & Iarchus – at the Govardhan Hill. What is immediately striking about the guy, is that he possessed the same powers as Jesus, as in;

1 – One of his medicinal preparations – Boopathi Kuligai – could bring the dead back to life.

2 – He had the ability to make the physical body disappear completely and resurrect in a glow of light into a subtler vibrational field. This act is highly reminiscent of the Transfiguration of Jesus found in the Gospels, as in; ‘Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, & John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; & He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, & His clothes became as white as the light.’ (Matthew 17:1-2)

3 – He could render his body in a tomb in a state of suspended animation (jeeva samadhi) at will, where the blood circulation and the breathing have stopped but a luminous pranic energy keeps the body-cells alive. This is surely the most important connection, for it tells us the exact way in which Jesus survived the Crucifixion.

Agastya
Agastya – Looks a bit like Jesus

After an hour at Veitheswara, we carried on our Tamil tour, arriving at the town of Kumbakonum, from where we headed onto Thanjavur & then a place called Puddukotai – a good 6 hours or so of travel – it was a good chance to listen to the tunes we’d stocked up on previously, a journey broken only by food & drinks at the bus stations, & insane leaps into teh air whenever our bus hit a safety bump. Puddokotai was nothing special, but we managed to entertain ourselves with watching Thor 2 in a Tamil at a cinema, which Victor assures me was better than Thor I in English.

Agastyeesvara Temple

Agastyeesvara Temple

Next morning we took a rickshaw for 700 rupees, who drove us about the area looking for traces of Agastya. I found him at one place, where in a chola temple I found a curious stone carving of two intertwined snakes. Now, to anyone but a trained litologist, this wouldnt arouse much interest – however, I can trace that carving straight to the Nativity itself. The three wise men were known as ‘Magi,’ which strictly speaking were members of an ancient snake-worshipping (i.e. wisdom) philosphical system that stretched from India to Ireland – both druids & brahmins were the essentially the same. Thus, by showing Agasty was a membr of the system, we can draw a connection to even Jesus’ suggested visit to Glastonbury to study with the druids.

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We had a nice driver, who after showing us the temple took us for chai, where chatting with the locals I managed to extract the local tradition that Agastya was once resident on a nearby hill. Over at said hill – well more like a massive rocky boulder dropped on the plain – I came across a series of beds carved into a natural overhang. With it being dated to the 2nd century BC, one can now imagine Agastya/Jesus having spent time in the place.

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We had left Puddokotai by mid-day, & journeyed for a few more hours south to Madurai, where we took a hotel by the busy Bus Stand. Taking a rickshaw into the city, I showed Vic the mentally beautiful temple, before heading back for beers & a chill. The next morning we were off early again, catching a deluxe bus (plenty of space, no blaring Tamil music & good suspension) – the price for this was still only 1.15 sterling, & whisked us south for a hundred miles; which is 25p cheaper than a bus-ride up Leith Walk. We reached Thirunelvi in the early afternoo, from where we took another bus for an hour to a place called Ambasamudram. The reason being is that Agastya was said to reside on a hill near here called Pothiyil or Pothigai. Also said to have resided here, & to have taught Agstya the Tamil language, is the Boddhisattva Avaloketisvara, who I have already shown in an earlier post, was a poetic creation of the another Jesusian avatar, Asvaghosa. It’s from the latter’s name that we can observe where the philochisp took place, as in;

Asv-Aghos-a
Agas-tya

I arrived in Ambasamudram with two ancient geographical descriptions of the Pothiyal Hill, being;

Then, the merchant’s son Sudhana… arrived in due order at mount Potalaka, and climbing Mount Potalaka he looked around and searched everywhere for the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Finally he saw the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara on a plateau on the western side of the mountain in a clearing of large woods abounding in young grass, adorned with springs and waterfalls, and surrounded by various trees. He was sitting cross-legged on a diamond rock surrounded by a multitude of bodhisattvas seated on rocks of various jewels. He was expounding the dharma-explanation called ‘the splendour of the door of great friendliness and great compassion’ belonging to the sphere of taking care of all sentient beings. Gandavyuhasutra


To the east of the Malaya mountains is Mount Po-ta-lo-kia. The passes of this mountain are very dangerous; its sides are precipitous, and its valleys rugged. On the top of the mountain is a lake; its waters are clear as a mirror. From a hollow proceeds a great river which encircles the mountain as it flows down twenty times and then enters the southern sea. By the side of the lake is a rock-palace of the Dêvas. Here Avalôkitêsvara in coming and going takes his abode. Those who strongly desire to see this Bôdhisattva do not regard their lives, but, crossing the water, climb the mountain forgetful of its difficulties and dangers; of those who make the attempt there are very few who reach the summit. But even of those who dwell below the mountain, if they earnestly pray and beg to behold the god, sometimes he appears as Tsz’-tsaï-t’ien (Îsvâra-dêva), sometimes under the form of a yôgi; he addresses them with benevolent words and then they obtain their wishes according to their desires.
Xuanzang

Its only modern scholars who have assoicated the Pothiyil hill with the Potolaka of ancient history. My plan is to see if the descriptions do indeed fit the mountain. Unfortunately, on arriving in Ambasamudram, I discovered that to visit the mountain I had to go in from the Kerala side, gaining permission from Trivandrum forestry commission en route. However, not to be deterred, we took a hotel for the night, where a kindly local on a walk around time (i) pointed out the mountain in the distance & (ii) is gonna help us get there in the morning! Potiyil is a cone shaped edifice, erupting out of its less aesthetic shadowy cousins of this portion of the Western Ghats. As we looked upon at from a distance, I remarked to Victor how much it looked like Tokien’s Mount Doom – & that we were Frodo & Sam.

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Potiyil is in the middle in the distance

Potiyil is in the middle in the distance

I just hope there’s no ring-wraiths (i.e. the Forestry Commission) on the road come morning…

Ambasamudram
19/11/13

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Auroville & Sri Aurobindo

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Since Chennai, Victor & I have trundled down the coast of Tamil Nadu, whose seas are not to be swam in, only admired from the safety of the shore. First port of call was Mamallapuram, a touristy place in which to eat fish & dawdle awhile, which we did for a couple of nights. The highlight for me was making use of a posh hotel’s swimming pool (£3 for two hours), followed by a poolside lunch for another £3 quid. Inbetween dips I worked on my version of the Tirukural & felt solace once again in my choice of vocation, where another man’s vacation becomes my personal office!

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Mamallapuram

Mamallapuram

After a couple of nights we jumped on a bus south. The distance between Chennai & Kannayakamari, India’s southernmost point, is a 1000 kilometres, which is more or less the length of Britain. Thus, by reaching the Pondicherry area we have gone about as far, in comparative terms, as Aberdeen. Our actual residence has been taken up about ten miles from Pondy, in the spacious international ashram of Auroville. I’d visited here for the first time back in 2002, upon which visit I had encountered a majestic & divine epic poem called Savitri, by the Oxford-educated ascetic Sri Aurobindo (born 1872).

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It was the main work of his life, & is read out at the ashram once a week to devotees, an occasion which Victor & I were lucky enough to arrive for just in time. Auroville is also the world’s repositary of Aurobindo’s works, stored in a modern library on site, in which I have found a number of intersting paragraphs that have assisted me in my studies. It was while studying his words, I came across this remarkable description of poetry, which lovers of the art must enjoy.

‘All poetry is an inspiration, a thing breathed into the thinking organ from above; it is recorded in the mind, but is born in the higher principle of direct knowledge or ideal vision which surpasses mind. it is in reality a revelation. The prophetic or revealing power sees the substance; the inspiration perceives the right expression. Neither is manufactured; nor is poetry really a poiesis or composition, nor even a creation, but rather the revelation of something that eternally exists. the ancients knew this truth & used the same word for poet & prophet, creator & seer,sophos, vates, kavi.’

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The Reve Guest House

The Reve Guest House

Across the several square miles of land that Auroville takes up, there are various places to stay, & we got quite a good ‘un called Reve (pronounced rave), where Vics got a great hut on stilts & Im in a cheaper hit on the roof of the kitchen. The place is full of young, mainly French, ashram-heads, & is a picture of perfect tranquility. To get about the place, a moped/scoooter is essential, & a steal at only a quid a day – with petrol being 70p a litre.

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Vic’s even had a few goes on it, declaring it to be like riding a pushbike with a motor (well-observed that man). I love it me, for providing moments like this morning when I razzed down to the Boulangerie for chocolate croissants, listening & singing to Betty Boo – the chorusus especially startling anyone on the roadside. Also filling the roads are loads of cute birds on bikes, from all over the world, which is always good for a poet’s soul.

Pondicherry Beach - rockier than Brighton!

Pondicherry Beach – rockier than Brighton!

The word boulangerie is of course French, for ourse Pondicherry is the old French morsel of empire that carried on during the British Raj in much the same way the Portuguese held on to Goa. Cue bouleavards & avenues & white-washed villas that are positievly Marseilleian at the seafront, but then get swallowed by India street by street as one drifts inland, until about ten blocks in all traces of the French have dissappeared. It was in Pondy that Victor & conducted a little travel arranging – Vic bought a flight from Goa to Delhi for the 17th December, & we both got a ticket from Calicut to Goa for the 27th November, This gives us ten days – starting Sunday – to razz round Tamil Nadu & Kerala, about a thousand miles of travel, during which I’ll be still hunting for Jesus. It should be quite Indiana Jonesey, which is why I got into Litology in the first place, & I reckon there’s gonna be plenty to write about in the coming fortnight…

Auroville
15/11/2013

Chennai & Early Christianity

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In the tenth century, a Persian scholar named Shaikh Al-Said-us Sadiq (The Truthful) wrote the following passage concerning Yuz Asaf – i.e. Jesus;

When Yuz Asaf heard the angel’s message he prostrated himself before God and said:
I submit myself to Thy command, O God Almighty! Enlighten me of Thy Will. I praise Thee and I am grateful to Thee for having guided me… The angel, therefore, guided him to leave the country…and then leaving Sholabeth he proceeded on his journey….Then Yuz Asaf, after roaming about in many cities, reached that country which is called Kashmir.

Sholabeth is an ancient name Sri Lanka, & if Shaikh Al-Said-us Sadiq was right, then Jesus must have at some point been in South India. Knowing this, as I reclined in my poetic duvet back in Orrcha, I felt it was a time to head south. Before, however, I made sure I took a few photos of that wonderful place, a little sub-piece I have called A Walk around Orrcha... enjoy!

Cenotaphs

Saddhu

Gathering Wood

Washing

Grocers

Cow (1)

Orrcha

The funniest episode at Orrcha was seeing this guy who was pretending to be deaf & dumb suddenly start talking to his partner-in-crime. On telling Victor this, I found out he’d fallen for it hook line & sinker & given the guy 100 rupees. This really wound me up & I confronted the scammers & got vVic his money back – unfortunately Vic wasn’t impressed it was only a quid & I should have let it lie – but an Englishman is bound by duty to play by the rules, & wearing a sign around your neck saying ‘I’m deaf & dumb, please give money,’ is just simply not cricket!

Our journey to South India was an epic one – 28 hours on a train – two days one night – a journey pleasantly eased by a half-bottle of whiskey & some low-grade valium. Getting on a sleeper train is a bit of a lottery, you don’t know who you’re gonna get, a bit like famous Yorkshire food dispenser Jack Fultons, where ya pay ya money & take ya chances! On this occasion we were sharing with a young mother & her two kids, the youngest of which was hilarious – better than the telly. On the night, however, I got annoyed by this young lad who only had a general ticket – ie no bed – he was part of a group of guys who were sharing one bunk, two of which curled up together & left no space for him. Then, when the mother & her eldest son was asleep, he starts asking her younger son, who was still awake, to go & sleep with his mum so he could share the eldest son’s bunk – it was actually ridiculous to a westerner, & I protested on the boys behalf!

Rude Boys

Then, half an hour later the youngest went to sleep with his mum, which was the cue for the bunkless lad to get in with the eldest son – a complete stranger might I add! A this point I gave up, thinking India had different rules, & started drifting to sleep, only to be rudely awoken soon after by a man who actually had the bunk which the eldest son & the ‘magpie’ were sleeping in. Cue a little bit of justice, when the ‘magpie’ was forced to sleep on the floor ‘right by me,’ with the eldest son squeezing in with his mother & brother.

Last night we arrived in Chennai, & it was a joy to be back. We’d arrived on the aptly titled Thirukural Express, and is the only train I know of in the world that is named after a poem I have translated. This morning I rose early & rickshawed to the highly lavish Hyatt Regency Hotel, where the current World Chess Championship Match is being played out between the champion, Vishy Anand -a Chennai Boy – & the 22-year-old Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlson. Unfortunately, the match is sell-out for the next few days, so I wont be seeing it. However, DD Sports, an Indian TV channel, will be showing it live, so I can catch it from the comfort of any hotel room.

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This meant there was no real reason to stick around Chennai, so I accelerated my programme of study, spending the late morning & afternoon at Madras University & its Marina Campus Library right by the stretching golden sands of Chennai Beach, framed as they are by the choppy waters of the Bay of Bengal. During my studies back in Edinburgh, I came across mentions of books I could only find in Tamil Nadu, & I finally got to lay my hands on them, having ‘em photocopied for a rupee a page. Its apt that I continue my Jesus hunt in Chennai, for according to popular tradition, one of the city’s suburbs – Mylapore – saw the martydom of St Thomas – showing how Christianty was in Tamil Nadu from more or less the word go.

Chennai Beach

Of the Seven Avatars of Jesus Christ I have discovered, two are to be found in Tamil Nadu, & the next few weeks will be spent tracking them down – with the hedonistic pleasure-ride that is Goa to follow! With Victor buying a semi-acoustic guitar while I was studying, & my laptop full of banging tunes, we’re gonna pincer the party with a Tinky-Disco/Victor Pope slam-dunk combo…

Chennai
11/11/2013

Extra Bit - While at the Ancient Indian History & Archeology Department of the Madras University, by some crazy chance I met a professor who, to cut a long story short, is going to team up with me to produce a new rendition of Tirukural. He is gonna transliterate the Tamil into Roman script, & also translate my introduction into Tamil – an interesting project & one he says was sent to him by god – he even said I was an Indian in one of my previous lives, which kinda makes sense, & made me pray along to the Vedas with him, which I did awkwardly but silently…

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