back out of the woods
so it's a hot evening internet cafe in calicut (kozhikode, where zhi = r according to malavika...) with a sticky keyboard and a bellyfullofmangos. neilu and i just returned from the beach, which aside from the ocean and the sand, as she noticed, was exactly like every other indian streets -- down to the hawkers, beggars, fully clad women, naked kids, and cows.
so it was great and we took in a cloudy orange sunset over the water alongside two-and-a-half (there's a word for that here) kilos of clear orange mango love.
for the traveling linguist i would like to note that the words for
are the same in brazil and kerala. something to do with the unity of oppressed peoples or the portuguese seamanship. unfortunately, though the skin gets pretty damn black over here, nobody can be properly elegized as "100% negro".
the golden triangle (neilu, ammu, and myself) spent the last half week at an amazing school in the monutains. they call themselves kannava (dream) and it's a permanent autonomous zone (respect to brother hakim bey here) if ever i saw one.
six acres of land that a couple of theatre people liberated in 1993 from a rubber plantation. thirteen years later there are a few acres of rice, a motley of fruit and evergreen trees, half a dozen beautiful mud houses tucked among the trees, and almost fifty kids of ages shapes and indian colors tucked among everything else.
it's a school. i never saw a class and i never saw anyone _not_ learning. they woke up before we did to practice music and dance, and are working on building or farming projects by the time im thinking about yoga. breakfast is at 8 -- a different group of students cooks the meals every day -- and every meal involves huge quantities of rice. all the kids drink coffee (they grow it there, roast it in the next town) and the average person eats 2 kilos of rice a week.
in malayam, "rice" is the same as "meal" and "banana" is the same as "fruit"
i dont know what other banalaties can give an idea of how amazing this place is but the feeling we left with was
a) these kids are fucking amazing. everyone one of them is an open flower of realized potential. its the same feeling you get at burningman, without that aftertinge of sadness knowing the majority of participants will be back in their own private matrix before the next full moon. these kids have grown up ignorant a world without love. they do whatever they want and through that, somehow, they only want the good of Everyone. it's amazing and talking about sounds like utopian philosophy but i assure you (along the lines of gaviotas), kannava is a _place_ in the spacetime. and it's now-here at that.
b) we're going back. neilu and i are going to sri lanka tomorrow or the next day to renew my visa and check out the elephants and coconut oil. we'll be back in mangolandia on may 4 and will head back up to kannava for the season. they invited us to stay and to teach -- english, math, spanish, gandhi, marx, whatever -- and we're planning on playing as much music as mangos. the monsoon starts sometime in late may -- two months of rain, rice, snakes, and leeches. india is not letting up and neither (dammit) am i.
there's always more. i'm behind on everything and tomorrow will have an internet day to catch up. write to me. i've deferred hooking up the magic radiation box until i get back from sri lanka.
the address of kannava is:
pictures to come.
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