29 June 2006

this is the indian solution

i say goodnight and goodrain to neilu and chandrabose, step out into the world of young rivers and old millipedes, fallen bamboo and incessant questioning. always the questioning, internal and without.
the outside is cold, dark, and wet. i have moved from being in the monsoon to being a part of it. the village paths are new rivers, red with topsoil if i could see them. its the early night, after my evening class, and the powers are out. the televisions are silent. the lights are dark.
no moon nor stars -- even the heavens are on vacation.
im wearing the same clothes as i did three months ago, singing down dusty gujarati roads in 100 degree heat. it was that trek that made me gujarati, that made the land and the language my own. here im a foreigner again: light-skinned, illiterate, innocent, and foolish.
the path which slid down to our rented rooms is now a river, gurgling in competition with the official drainage ditch a meter to my left. everything is heard: water, frogs, insects, wind. only the fireflies are seen.
i stop to open my lungi and pee into the riverpath. total liberation. the indian solution. up to my ankles in mud, river, cowshit, and how many brothers' urine? totally free. as i walk on i see the only light in this lost valley -- matt's candles. the only sounds through these soggy fields of rice and ginger are matt's strings.
this is the indian solution. hard red floors we mop every morning, an empty kitchen and a large pile of mango peels. markered wisdom on the walls from malavika's addled futuremind and a nest of woolen blankets. my my matt, only matt, alone and dedicated to our task. to the Task.
back door and mysore sandalwood soap and prayers clean evil spirits from wet brown feet. voices.
india resists solution. matt sitting uncomfortably with his finger cut and bloody, a friendly teenager ive never met playing CCR and bryan adams on a tuneless guitar. one glance assures me its been like this for hours, a thin veneer of pain and politeness, the sonds of the american 70s.
this is the indian solution.

do you eat? www.somethingconstructive.net/jamanta

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