Working Man

You wait two years for a job to pop along – then three arrive more or less at once. First was becoming charlies guide, the second was a top goa dj & now ive just done a spot of waiting. Its been an interesting journey to the world of food delivery. After my fall, instead of moving to the village i mentioned, i just stayed put, letting my wounds – & chiefly my foot – heal. The concussion was weird for a few days, but has finally gone, despite being occasionally topped up by banging my head on the door frame of my cottage. Im too tall for India. So, ive just been hanging around my restaurant, lounging in hammocks or on the comfy matresses by the low tables, watching the ferry to & fro over the tunghabadra. The view is gorgeous, actually, with the ghats of hampi sprawling for a quarter mile across the silky waves. Thesres this posses of folk staying here who all seem to have had a knock to the head, as they are just as lazy as me – reading smoking & making jewellry. There’s 4 Austrian birds, a gaggle of young Israelis toing & froing on their bikes. This this young brahman caste lad (the elite) with karated-up forearms from bangalore. This wild 19 year old french bird who has boys following her like lost puppies, & so on.

To eat Ive sometimes ventured out of my idyll to a small, popular street restaurant round the corner. Its run by two brothers – faruk & Ismael hussein – the latter being called Smiley. IN fact, hes like the indian version of me, grinning constantly. He says were same-same but different. Anyhows, every time ive tried to pay they keep saying pay next life. After a few days i came to the conclusion they meant it. So tonight, when smiley was away at his local village getting ‘jiggy jiggy’ from his wife, with faruk suddenly inundated with israelis, I stepped into the brink & waited my ass off. Great fun. I noted down the orders I took – the total value was 735 rupees – this is what you get for just over a tenner

a special thali (loads of bits n pieces)
veg rice
3 daal frys
3 chappati
2 aloo gobi
6 rice
2 malai koftas
1 chi
3 mineral water bottles
3 cokes
2 plain nan
3 maslala dosa
2 sprite
2 chicken fried rice

I leave Hampi on saturday & enjoyed doing it so much Im gonna help the boys over the coming days. Theres a chace charlies gonna come with me. We made up at new year – even bumping into fim who we lived with at patnem. There was a new year party on at the tipi place & I had a great time jamming round a fire until a minute after midnight, when the local police turned up & bamboo massaged the owner. The next day we just got pissed up at my restaurant dancing to the happy mondays & stuff, to the disillusionment of the locals. So me & charlie back on the road – should be fun. The plan is to go to a city called visakapatnam – ithe so called goa of the east coast. Ive a few sonnets to write in the area, then 14 sonnets in Orissa (the orissiad) which im gonna hit indiana jones style – theres supposed to be mad tribes & that there. After a few weeks of touring this indian backwater, i’ll calcutta, where a few sonnets later i’ll have finished the indiad. I spent today typing up a load of the new stuff, which are below. Plus some photos of Hampi I blagged off an israeli. You know, these arthur daleys have definitely mellowed since my first visit 9 years ago.


Parking my scooter in Canacona
A great prostrate cow seem’d to be dying
Guts on the pavement where she was lying
But no… close by lay her hour-old daughter

I watch’d the wee one make her falt’ring first
Steps in the world, like some ambitious teen,
Thro her mother’s dung, slippery & green
Then in the hot noon felt an earthly thirst

Went looking for something, nuzzling half-blind
She suckles on her mother’s rough larynx
Who stands up, stands motionless as a sphynx
Then with a lick acknowledges her kind,

Who now creeps forward to the golden teet
& clamps down hard as angels swoop the street

This next ones a beautiful folk tale –
laksmi is the goddess of walth & jyestha teh goddess of poverty

Two goddesses bickered about beauty
prepared to start a secoind trojan war
srinavas wisdom thunders crore on crore
My Jyesthadevi, my Laksmidevi
there is a young carpenter of Bundi
who is so very honest to his core
how soon they bnoth were standing at his door
who is the most beautiful, she or me

our humble craftsman thought a mortal while
& says laksmi most lovely on arriving
Yet Jyestha more gorgeoues when she departs
thkis answer made each goddess equal asmile
& he, celestial wrath surviving
learns flattery woos e’en immortal hearts

Kumbh Mela

Two saddhus set off from rishmuka hioll
upon their twelve year march to haridwar
where fifty laks of fellow babas mill
about the nectar dropped by garuda
Sharing the joy of kinship by the ghats
intoxicated a the mobiule phones
of young basbas bubble with girlfriend chats
how ganesha giggles at our ring tones
& as all festivals have headline acts
teh babs do yagas by teh ganga
where sanctity of solemn poojah pacts
are sealing divinity with ganja
then leaving all their friends with words & waves
the herd home to the mountains & the caves

Akbars harem

Theres a full moon oer Fatapur Sikiri
With which five thousand women are in synch
But one man has their measure – tender, cheeky
He plys them all with opium & drink
& kama sutras with such appetite
women have begged to enter hbis harem
tho jealousy & intrigue seeds for fight
& furious frustration makes tehm scream
These dancing girls in their sexy dresses
these cute abyssinain concubines
these asian slave girls in musky tresses
these arab eunochs hennaful designs
drawn from all parts of a growing empire
to satisfy its emporers desire

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