21 March 2006

Buffalo Banyan

cellular connection in ankurbhaiya’s area aint so hot these days. kind of nice. it means they haven’t built towers EVERYwhere yet. finally got through to him today. he was sitting in (or under?) a very large banyan tree with a buffalo herd around him, each buffalo tied to a mini sprout-off of the Mother Banyan. the buffalos were busy with their symphony, they didn’t give a hoot about ankurbhai. the humans on the other hand were very interested in staring at him as we talked. he says maybe that’s their way of worship, of wanting to be involved with the energy of another god-creature, specifically in this case, him. or that’s one way of looking at it, at least. sure. why not?

he finished telling me the river crossing story that we couldn’t finish last time because there aren’t cell phone towers EVERYwhere yet:
to follow gandhiji’s route he had to cross a river after this one town. this one town had lots of nice people offering him respect and lodging and whatnot, but everybody wanted him to go around the river. by car. sorry folks, that’s not so much going to happen as not going to happen, said bhaiya. he was prepared to walk the 50k around, but he’d rather pray and trust and cross. yeah, but still, no-one was telling him how.
he left the house before his hosts woke up and headed for the river. he prayed. he trusted. he reached a canyon of wilderness and water running wide. there was a temple somewhere. there was an old lady. she said, You want to cross the river. Follow me. Now that’s the kind of authoritarianism we want here, hell’s yeah!
there were muddy parts and watery parts and rocky parts and then there was the part where he almost would have died if he had tried to cross except the guy that helped him a while back came running back and basically manifested a boat to take bhaiya across and when he arrived on the other side he believed in god so much he was maybe the most religious person he knew.

he’s reading gandhiji. it’s not to be taken politically and rationally, he says. it is to be taken as Jesus. and it is wonderful, he says.

he has not been asking people for food and drink and shelter. he stopped in a shop and asked for water from the jug that he saw sitting there and had an hour-long conversation with the shopkeeper. but mostly he takes what they give, or sometimes doesnt, if it’s not gandhian, like the MJ that a nice old man and his nephew spent the afternoon with yesterday.

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