26 April 2006
25 April 2006
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.
www.somethingconstructive.net | mangolandia.blogspot.com
20 April 2006
I am backwards on a chair, the cool way to sit, also the easiest way to remind myself to keep my back straight, typing and grooving to Ank's r-Evolutionary Love and Angst CD. It's the first hip hop i've heard since i've been in mangolandia. i'm not sure i'm actually here right now. maybe thats because of the imaginary bonghits we did this morning when we climbed up Mt. Anangan and sat in the sacred grove. only later did i remember its 4/20. go, you mountain madness, flying us high. remember folks, this is the hill onto which medicinal herbs dropped off of that big ass piece of mountainous business that Hanuman carried across to Lakshman to save his life (he carried the whole thing cuz he was a silly monkey who was big and strong and pretty damn funny and clever but didnt know how to identify this healing plant)
Today i love amerika. K and all. i described to ank and neilu my nostalgia for hippie bougie packaged health food, people walking down the street in whatever they want to wear and not being EvilVibed at, TV shows about a woman president who does things like just the bomb (i dont know anything about it, just what my aunt told me last week when she visited from missisipi).
and the hip hop. how i FREAKING miss the hip to the hop. or as brazil would say, hippy hoppy.
but i'm not in amerika. i'm in The India.
if you want to know what that is, come and visit. but you can only stay for two days, especially if you're male and like dosas. my grandma is 80, and still kicking it strong, so allow her to be overbearing and not always up to the hospitality she so wishes to force upon you. (thats mostly a note to myself, oh variety of readers, yes all of you, oh graham and venumama.)
so dont come yet, maybe, come when we've got the shanti sena up and hiking.
what is shanti sena, you ask? oh ho hoho, my little friends, i shake my head at your sweet ignorance of what every cell in you already Knows. That you are a soldier, and that your artillery lies in your heart chakra, waiting to be fired flowered.
more next time. sleep. Now.
14 April 2006
somehow almost a week has gone by since the march ended and i haven't finished typing up the journals yet. im on march 23rd and haven't slept well in days and just trying to stay hydrated.
a few culinary notes:
1. there's an eight-day fast/festival called "ambil" that's part of the jain tradition. the rules of the game include
a. no brushing of the teeth
b. water allowed only between 7am and 7pm, and only boiled (cooled) water at that.
c. no spices besdies salt and pepper
d. no oil
e. no fruit or vegetables
f. no getting up once you've started eating
g. one meal per day
so essentially you're eating various types of whole grains, separate or mixed, cooking with a few different techniques, including:
a. ground into flour, mixed with water, cooked like a pancake
b. boiled or steamed (like rice)
c. ground into flour, steamed (like kichoo)
d. ground into flour, cooked into chappatis/tortillas
e. ground into flour, rolled very thinly, roasted until crispy (pappadum)
f. boiled or steam into soup
g. made into tea
from these techniques and various permutations of mung (green gram), urad (black gram), chana (chickpeas), wheat, barley, millet, rye, and rice, they make something like 40 different dishes a day at the local jain temple eatery. the dishes are mostly different for each of the eight days so the fasters don't get too bored.
i tried it for a day. the food was pretty boring except for the black pepper tea, which i surreptiously pored over the other grains and breads to liven up the system a bit. ahmedabad during the day gets to 40 degrees ( 104 degrees F ) and by 9pm i needed some water in a serious way. i decided any fast which denies you water was stupid, broke ranks with my auntie, and took down two lites of delicious cool.
there is saying here "fasting is easy, but ambil is hard".
2. last night i went back to the sabarmati ashram and jayeshbhai's house for a closing ceremony to my trip. the morning of march 12th i woke up at jayeshbhai's beautiful house -- covered with indigineous art and craftwork, infused with the love of so many well-treated guests -- and started the march from the sabarmati ashram (surrounded by tv cameras).
at jayesbhai's i gave a talk about john giuliano, the civil war in el salvador, agent orange, brain cancer, burying the dead, and pupusas. they had cornflour and neilu and i had b(r)ought a backpack full of vegetables so I managed the production of pupusas. twenty-six days on the winding indian roads, never alone and always under the burning eye of the jaguar sun, i had salad (ie, raw vegetables) exactly twice. so i made three salsa/salads to go with the pupusas, and filled them with spinach instead of beans and cheese. nixtamalized corn is a complete protein anyhow.
for the dough mix corn flour (masa harina in the states) with a little salt and enough water until you can roll a big ball (squash ball sized) in your hands without sticking. as you roll you have to be aware of consistently wetting your hands and the dough to prevent dryness and cracking.
slowly roll and squish the ball into a UFO shaped creature, and then further into a disc. central american tortillas, unlike their mexican brothers and sisters, are flattended with your palms rather than rolled on a board, and end up about as thick as the tip of your pinky.
at this point you can cook the tortilla on the grill with a little oil or take another trip around the helix and convert it into a pupusa. to do so, place a spoon of filling (on the dry side) into the center of your tortilla-d palm and turn the edges of the dough up, around the edges, to enclose the treasure within. join the edges at the top, and smooth the sides so you have a ball of dough once again. it should look exactly the same as before and nobody will know the difference. flatten again into a disc and further into a tortillas, this time slower and more carefully.
the first couple will burst and crack. on the first day, perhaps even the last couple will burst and crack. it's okay. if after a few evenings and beers you still can't get, fly to the Americas and travel overland to the state of Chaletenango, El Salvador. they can help you out.
cooking with a little oil, browning well on both sides. if they are too thick or you don't cook them for long enough, the corn will remain raw on the inside and dinner will feel rather "heavy". so cook them well.
you can fill with anything you goddamn please. see the cookbook. i sauteed some garlic until brown, tomatos until dry, and spinach until all the water was gone. oregano and black pepper make good spices. they don't really use spices, as i remember, in salvador cuisine, so i held back on the cumin or anything otherwise delicious.
realistically, most people would prefer cheese. cheap simple processed cheese. if you grate some and stick it in the middle you be universally acclaimed as a prophet, even in your home town.
the typical salsa served with pupusas in el salvador, or least in guarjila, was a disgusting melange of soggy cabbage and old tomato, maybe with some sugar added. i tried to diversify a bit:
a. carrot / cabbage salsa: finely grated equal parts of cabbage and carrots, mixed into a little salt and a little more vinegar ( green chile vinegar works wondrously ) for at least an hour. the carrot and cabbage soften but still crunch.
b. a standard pico de gallo: young onions (white and green) from the market, tomatos, and cilantro diced together with salt, some crushed garlic and the juice of a couple limes. i decorated with freshly ground roasted cumin.
c. an indian item -- three points of grated green (raw, sour) mangos (two of them, medium sized) mixed with a puree of 100g of mint, three long thin spicy green chiles, and three long thin bland cucumbers. spiced with trikatu (mixture of three spicy ayurvedic herbs: piper nigrum, piper longum, and dried zingiber officinalis) and salt. a sharp spicy sour taste with all the love of the irreplaceable green mango worldview.
12 April 2006
mangolandia is moving fast. three types of mangos in the market and i've only had the financial gumption to try two of them. the 50 point ones are small (slightly larger and more oblong than the brasilian 'cocktail mango') yellow-orange, and delicious. the 30 point variety are a little larger, greener, less sweet, more stringy, and mainly for juice. i like them both. one of these days i'll try those alphonsos.
i'm heading to the south in a couple of days (with neilu, mangolandia's newest anarchist rockstar, arriving tomorrow at 2h30 please do not leave her stranded in the indian airport to face a vertiable army of indians: one batalian of sobbing aunties and another of trickstar rickshaw drivers, neither of which take no or any other kind of answer). we're still waitlisted on the train but krishna or the west wind will see us through.
a one day trip to jamnagar to sit at the feet of chanoor, my bansuri guru and friend. i learned some things.
1. chanoor is in the middle (thirteen days?) of a forty day music meditation, where you're supposed to sit in your practice room from 7h00 to 15h00 each day and practice fully focused. it's the only time i've seen indians turn their mobile phones off. there is a list of alankar (scale excercises) he follows -- forty excercises and ten minutes for each one. it's orginally for the sitar and written by ravi shankar. he also has some special bansuri exercises that hariprasadji chaurasia gave him, so the great spirits of indian music are somehow with him in that mosquito-ridden (ritten?) chamber, it's only decoration a long and beautiful poster to/of sarasvati, goddess of knowledge and music (who plays the veena).
he taught me a couple songs/lines in raga bhupali. bhupali omits the 4th and 7th notes of the scale and uses the other 5 in both ascension and descion. i don't know any of the deeper structural notes.
[ o is the 9th beat (kali) of the table and x is the 1st (sam). the taal is teentaal ]
SSdp | grsr | g-gr | gpdp
rakhali jyo laj dayalo prebhu
ggpd | SdS- | dSRS | d-p-
me agyani balak tero
i think the song takes the first line twice, then the second line, then the first line again, then improvisation
grsg | rsds | pg-p | grs- ( use the low dha )
gggp | -pdp | g-gp | grs-
ggdp | SdS- | pdSR | GRS-
GSRd | spdp | g-gp | grs-
i think you take each line twice, then the 1st line twice, then the 3rd line twice, then some other stuff i haven't learned yet
the end should be
pg-p | grs- | grsg | rsds (use the low dha )
pg-p | grs-
2. i told my friends here about the march and there lukewarm response included a denial that gandhi was "a god" and a remonstration not to be impressed by anyone. i tried to communicate that my m.o. is more along of the lines of trying to be impressed and to learn from Everyone (which in the belly of the snake biting his own tail is the same damn thing) and the eventual conclusion which i overheard in gujarati was that "ankur just doesn't understand". which is probably true.
3. chandrikaben (who is married to chanoor) called her sister (w/husband) over to discuss their son. their son is studying some sort of engineering at a college in maharastra and they're thinking of sending him to america for a masters program. the way it works is they pay someone (or some company) 25 lakh rupees, which covers the two years of university fees (including books, but not housing) and visa process. the son is taking the GRE and TOEFL but the name of the actual university is unknown. sounds like a scam to me -- i'm sure there are a host of third rate universities in the US that have shitty masters programs just as an excuse to help immigrants get visas and extort lots of money. 25 lakh means 2.5 million indian points = 50 US dollars. they want to pay 50,000 us dollars to send their kid to a masters program in the states, as an investment. it's a purely financial matter with a college sized human as the medium.
i asked if he had any interest in american culture, travelling to the states, etc. i forget the words but the meaning was "this is an investment for us". my take was that it would take him 3-10 years to pay back such a loan (they say they can get an educational loan at 6% interest) depending on how american his consumption habits become. those years, on top of two years of study, could be pure hell for a nice indian boy who has no desire for cable tv, black music, mexican food, protests, pornography, etc. their other option, which i suggested from the "my son as a financial instrument" point of view, was to get him (them, really) a masters degree in india and then market him abroad.
there was an article in today's _times of india_ about if anything was more important than
2) the status of telling people how much MONEY
when looking for a job. as if there was any question. these (my!) people are obsessed with MONEY and every single person to whom i've told i'm a computer programmer (i don't always say that) has immediately asked how much money i make. they quoted an actress as saying she would only take interesting roles and everybody else was in it for the MONEY
so that's a little note on the details behind all those dudes in fremont with H1B visas in their pockets who look vaguely unhappy as they contemplate the options at the indian buffet. it's not what mom makes, of that be sure.
3. everything happens for a reason and yesterday a man with horrible teeth walked into the music class. chanoor ordered a young tabla student to fetch him some tea (the students are the servants, the servants are the students) and introduced him as the World Record Holder for Floating. this man of rotting teeth has floated for 36 hours straight. he's floated in the (incredibly dirty) lake of jamnagar, in the bay of kutch, and the indian ocean. he's floated in swimming pools and for charity. he can float standing, lying down, reading a newspaper, and smoking a cigarette. chanoor relayed this to me in part, i think, to justify getting the guy a tea. indian culture takes the cyncism out of the grade school "oh you did something special, do you want a cookie?" by actually offering you the mythological cookie.
as rama said, in india, reality is a dream and only the myths are taken seriously.
i had no idea as to the reason behind this particular corner of everything so i'm passing it along to you.
4. rupesh was empty of gas on the way to get dinner so we stopped at the station. there was a long line of bikes in front of one pump and an attendant filling each one in turn. you didn't have to tell or ask anything -- each person got 1 liter of petro and paid 50 points. each person entered the station with their gauge on empty and left with the same. i have no idea why this is but everytime somebody's given me a bike ride in this country, their tank has been just about empty.
the best was one brother krishna who offered me to stay in his house on the dandi march. i was at least two weeks in, walking to a big city, and happy for the offer. later that night as he took me from a 2500 year old shiva temple to the dharamsala where gandhi stayed (now crumbling and inhabited by drunks) he explained that he hadn't worked for money in the last three years and everything came to him directly from god as a result of positive thinking meditation. he just asked for whatever he needed, hypnotized himself into focus, and the universe provided. that's how he had a big house (his house was certainly big) -- he spent months thinking
until he got a major contract (i dont know for what) worth 35 lakhs. this was 3 years ago and since then krishna has been taking care of everything -- food, utilities, petrol. his gas gauge, to no surprise, was well below empty.
5. street food last night and mild diarrhea this morning:
a. pani puri:
small puries deep fried until they are hard flaky wheat spheres the size of a golf ball.
take a dirty indian thumb and punch a whole in the top, fill with steamed cut potatos, raw onions, roasted peanuts, and boiled kabuli chick peas.
fill with water (pani) -- there is a green pani (watered down cilantro mint chutney) and a red pani (red chile and tomato base with lots of sugar added)
pop entirely into your mouth, chew, look up to find another one headed your way.
im not sure if youre charged by quantity or time eating, but <a href="http://intothepudding.wordpress.com"">cholmes</a> and i once did this for 15 minutes straight.
b. cold samosa:
take an old samosa and mash it up with
tamarind/date chutney (made with sugar, not dates, and a lot of it)
cilantro/mint chutney (on the runny side but not watery)
tomato/garlic chutney (blend together tomato paste, salt, red chiles, garlic, and a little oil. it should be thick)
not really recommended
c. dahai vada
vada might as well be the gujarati word for falafel. these are made from urad dal (a white split lentil usually used for idli or dosa), that's been soaked and ground together with ginger and green chile, then deep friend. if they don't hold together use a little flower or, middle-eastern style, cooked bulgar.
take the yogurt you made this morning and add salt, fresh ground roasted cumin, and red chile powder
make a tamarind chutney (tamarind, pitted dates, red chiles, and salt blended together)
make the green chutney (it's in the cookbook)
after frying the vadas, let cool. arrange on a tray and spoon yogurt over them all. let sit (chill, even) for an hour or two so they soak through.
serve with the two chutneys on top. indians will mix white poision into the yogurt (dahai) for some added sweetness.
before i left jamnagar i saw a movie with some new friends called "Shit". it was 26 minutes in tamil with english subtitles and the magical projector suffered from food poisoning half way through and the film screening turned into a discussion. it was about a low-caste woman in tamil nadu whose daily job was to scrape up tons of human shit from one street (across from a temple) where all the neighbordhood would shit each morning, afternoon, evening etc. the discussion was pretty funny, but only to me. lots of righteous people who thought we should teach people how to shit, take responsibility for their actions, bring in the government. give more money for sanitation workers (instead of the military) or abolish the jobs altogether (because people should, quite literally, take care of their own shit).
the practical upshot for my life is that this dude i met, rahul brown (there are probably 700,00 ankur shah's, he told me -- there is only rahul brown), was incensed and ready to do something about this shit. so he's going on saturday to a similar street in ahmedabad where pepole are accostomed to shitting in large quantities with a video camera and the intention of shaming people into shitting somewhere else. i think i'll tag along with my flute in tow to provide some sort of soundtrack or moral support -- both to rahul and the shitters.
during my Fever on the dandi march, a soft cool morning on a nice country road, leaving bhatgam and heading to aarthan, i discovered the peace and wonder of outdoor shitting. just dropping trow on the roadside and letting it all flow. the birds and sugarcane fields are with you and there's a direct sense of what jayeshbhai calls "the power of the earth". so i'm not sure where i stand [ hahaha ] around this issue but it's good to know that people care.
www.somethingconstructive.net | mangolandia.blogspot.com
08 April 2006
gandhiji is the ultimate no-limit solider. comparisons have long been odius to me and i'm on the superlative train from here on out. let there be no confusion. in the land of infinite mangos (just coming into season) the notion of infinite 'bests' and 'ultimates' and 'mosts' admits no contradiction.
the train back from dandi cost seventy rupees (an old man gave me the money for i had none) and took five hours. the trip down to dandi cost nothing you could monetize and took twenty-six days. the friend who put me on the train said it would be 'empty' after surat. from dandi to surat there were more people standing than sitting. the well-apportioned luggage racks had three to four people each atop them, your favorite revolutionist included. after surat, and for the next five hours, the seats and luggage racks continued to be full, but the number of standing passengers dropped merely to equal the number of seated ones. the indian idea of 'empty' is thusly defined.
the no-limit soldier bathes daily in the cold water of truth. he washes his own clothes in it every night. she maintains no illusions about the immediacy of the revolution nor her own ability to enjoy its fruits. he satisfies his hunger with the salty pickles of green mangos and is so focused on his goal that the ripe orange variety never enters his mind. such was jesus of the gospels. such was huey newton of the panthers. such are the no-limit soldiers.
the limit is death. death is the limit. death is the notion that your dharma is related to this fleeting spacetime realm, and therefore is somehow worth less if unfinished. the work will always remain unfinished. gandhi with every step he took, word he spoke, and fast he engaged, understood and preached this truth. through his every action he stretched his brown body on the painted lines of past and future and offered himself to death. i think that's the only reason he lived so long.
"Here is a mantra, a short one, that I give you. You may imprint it on your hearts and let every breath of yours give expression to it. The mantra is: 'Do or Die'. We shall either free India or die in the attempt; we shall not live to see the perpetuation of our slavery. Every true Congressman or woman will join the struggle with an inflexible determination not to remain alive to see the country in bondage and slavery. Let that be your pledge. Keep jails out of your consideration.
"Let every man and woman live every moment of his or her lives hereafter in the consciousness that he or she eats or lives for acheiving freedom and will die, if need be to attain that goal. Take a pledge, with God and your own conscience as witness, that you will no longer rest till freedom is acheived and will be prepared to lay down your lives in the attempt to acheive it. He who loses his life will gain it; he who will seek to save it shall lose it. Freedom is not for the coward or the faint-hearted."
- Gandhi's address after the passage of the Quit India resolution, 8-8-42, Bombay
what's so remarkable about gandhi to me, today, is his ambition. every prophet and daughter of god understands the truth. "truth and non-violence are as old as the hills". what gandhiji did was implement the experiment of truthful, sattvic, living on as large a scale as possible, with his own body and the indian body politic as subjects. his revolution was not to be made of brainwashed soldiers, nor a cadre of the intellectual or moral vanguard. his army was to be the 400 million peasants of india, each of whom he would personally show how to live as jesus. gandhi, it seems to be, was totally unsatisfied and unimpressed with his individual efforts towards purity -- he worked tireless (and ultimately fruitlessly) towards the purity (self-realization, non-violence, etc.) of Every Man and Woman in India. that's what made the ambition of the Indian Revolution different -- unlike other post-colonial revolutions or the land-reform movements in south america, the architect of the Indian revolution was not, ultimately, after power, indepedence, self-sufficiency, material freedom, land, the end of poverty, or respect. those are all material consdierations, however noble and necessary, and gandhiji was about Total Spiritual Freedom. which, i think, is why the Indian Revolution's successes and failures were so huge and so different.
today i'll start trying to free the spirit of my journey from the chains of my handwriting. the recording device i took along with me (in lieu of a camera) somehow broke and i lost all my roadside poetry, bhajans, and interviews with enlightened swamis. it's all right, none of them were that enlightened anyhow.
www.somethingconstructive.net | mangolandia.blogspot.com
dandi yatra programme
day date starting mid-day night distance
1 12 march ahmedabad chandola lake aslali 21
2 13 march aslali bareja navagam 14
3 14 march navagam vasna matar 16
4 15 march matar dabhan nadiad 24
5 15 march nadiad boriavi anand 18
6 17 march rest day anand
7 18 march anand napa borsad 18
8 19 march borsad ras kankapura 19
9 20 march kankapura mahisagar kareli 18
10 21 march kareli gajera ankhi 18
11 22 march ankhi jambusar amod 19
12 23 march amod buva samni 19
13 24 march rest day samni
14 25 march samni tralsa derol 16
15 26 march derol bharuch ankleshwar 21
16 27 march ankleshwar sanjod mangrol 19
17 28 march mangrol rayma umrachi 16
18 29 march umrachi arthan bhatgam 16
19 30 march bhatgam sandhier delad 16
20 31 march rest day delad
21 1 april delad chaprabhata surat 18
22 2 april surat dindoli vanz 19
23 3 april vanz dhaman navsari 21
24 4 april navsari vijalpur karadi 14
25 5 april karadi karadi dandi 6
26 6 april dandi
total distance 386 km
hakim bey writes (http://www.chronogram.com/issue/1997/10/feature3.htm) --
"But the pilgrim undergoes a shift of consciousness, and for the
pilgrim that shift is real. Pilgrimage is a form of initiation, and
initiation is an opening to other forms of cognition."
the Fever is also a shift in consciousness. as is Poverty. together
its a powerful cocktail. i dont know what kind of summary i can get
into. suffice to say, for the now part of spacetime, that
1. i am safe and mostly healthy. my left eye bone is somehow
twitching. but we'll work it out.
2. i am never going back. to what i don't know but like everyother day
and experience in my life this pilgrimage will continue forever. i am
over the sadness of one way tickets and now revel in this Onwardness.
3. gandhiji is a god. his writings are pure prophecy. his political
involvement, while fortunate for the future objects of the Indian
government, was purely circumstantial. he should be understood as
buddha and christ (perhaps i should say 'misunderstood'), not as any
kind of political figure.
4. the gods reward you for following the dharma. for the first time in
my life i put aside much of my daily ego considerations 'what am i
doing? why?' and just flowed with the notion i was offering daily body
homage to gandhi and to krishna. and they rewarded me infinitely. it
has totally confirmed my faith in everything.
* ding *
the next stage invlolves getting my eye to stop twicthing and trying
to organize peoples visits. im going to see mali next week (with
neilu-of-newyork) and we're going to hole up in some sort of rural
music school ashram. ill probably end up starting a restauant. i want
everyone with the slighest notion that they should visit to do so. the
future depends on it. all of us, together.
for la jesica, for daya, for alex parsons, and for bruno there is no
absolution. mrs uzureau and holmes have some leeway as theyve come to
the hypercontinent once already this school year. but not much. as for
the rest of you, get your visas.
i will be posting stories and notes from the walk as i type them.
www.somethingconstructive.net | mangolandia.blogspot.com
i just got back. of course mr. hawking there is no back, there is no
absolution in or around spacetime. but im at the same point in the
spacetime helix i was 27 days ago, the same internet cafe from where i
wrote "im going to walk to dandi in honor of mahatma gandhiji".
that happened. i thought i went in honor of a man and now realize that
i walked in honor of the gods. everything was taken care of. i
undertook some small sufferings (four days of fever, forty degree
heat, some unplanned fasting) but nothing compared to gandhi's daily
i was blessed with daily bread (rotla) and inspiration. so many old
men, freedom fighters. so many young women fated for a life of making
chai and doing laundry. so much love. so much service.
came back to a bursting headache and inbox and the following culinary
revolution note from mr. denali in patagonia. it's in response to some
comments from mali regarding the foundation of an international peace
army. like fight club, perhaps.
as for seeds [of revolution] being planted, we are harvesting some
bad-ass multicolored new mexican corn that has somehow adapted itself
to patagonia, and damn is it tasty. and we cooked a curanto ten days
ago, with three different colors of potatoes all from the garden, and
a stuffed squash the size of a basketball, i promise you that for once
i am not exaggerating...
for the culinarily-minded among you, a curanto is traditional mapuche
technique, for large celebratory gatherings.
dig a big wide pit, not deep, but wide.
lay big rocks all across the bottom as a floor.
build a big-ass humungous wicked gigantic fire over all of it and feed
it firewood every three minutes for the next five hours.
shovel off all the coals (carefully. don't light the forest on fire.)
check readiness of rocks by pouring cold water onto one. if it rocks
splits open, you're green for launch, mission control.
lay down nalca leaves and maqui branches until the rocks are covered well.
lay down trays of all kinds of food you can imagine. in chile it's
usually seafood. here it's usually meat and potatoes. in our case it
was potatoes, onions, corn, sweet potatoes, carrots, giant stuffed
squash (filling care of alex, delicious barley-pea-onion mixture), a
hunk of meat brought by special guest juan carlos toledo (!) whom we
drove out there specially in 4x4 to get up to the house...
cover with lots more leaves and branches, and burlap to keep the food
from getting dirty as you proceed to next step.
bury the whole damn thing.
spend the next two to two and a half hours drinking wine, playing
music and conversing in the grass with your friends, until you...
unearth everything and eat it.
in our case we did it with about 25 people, on a sunday, and we kept
eating it until wednesday. again, i promise no hyperbole in that.
anyway, that's the news from the patagonian base of the shanti sena.
incidentally, is the shanti sena going to have as many non-military
installations around the world as the US military does... we'd best
get started... the good news is, infrastructure need only be minimal.
in better words, if one is present, that is enough.
i love you all, whoever is reading this...
and thank you to mali. may you never stop collaborating and confusing
on this blog, my life. i figure within a few months people will have
no goddamn idea what the difference between us is anyhow. im booking a
ticket for the 15th for neilu and myself to come see you.
www.somethingconstructive.net | mangolandia.blogspot.com
04 April 2006
“is number maatthe whatever whatever…”
then, “calls on this mobile are barred.”
what does that even mean?
I emailed Matt to see if he knows anything but Colombian madness hasn’t let up so he hasn’t had contact with the brother. He would probably just get the same message anyway.
Last time I called he’d just broken out of a few days where the universe was not so much showing the love. No food offered, places to stay, interest, respect, nada. There was a muslim community that was serving up particularly harsh in vibe and spirit, and bhaiya was like, people, we’re in a country that kinda hates you right now, and I of all people love you, what’s the deal here, friends?
Then he got to this one mandir and they were like, yeah whatever, wait here, and he's like, great, still no love, my stomach's a little shrunk, no worries, i'll just sit here and meditate. And then this guy came saying food would be here soon, everything was arranged, and bhaiya was blissed and grateful, and this other guy came with food and said his family sent it, and ankur says, oh dont worry, the mandir has arranged everything, and the guy was like, well, yeah, here's food too, and left. So ankurbhaiya had both meals, fortunately one had rice and the other had dahl so they went together, and there like a million chapatis that he didn't eat. (Bet you were thinking i was going to say the second guy went away with that food and the first guy's food didn't come so ank was still starving, right? Not this time folks, this part was after the krishna came back to love the brother)
Then it turns out there would be this youth meeting in the mandir. Not super revolutionary, but definitely youth, definiltey meeting, and communication, which are all ways of saying Love. And one of the kids was a barber and offered bhaiya a shave and ank was like, Dude, sweet (what does mine say?), my beard is the amazon, i'm so ready to lose it, and he and the barber chatted about marriage and work and family expectations and other things in this world of Love.
So I was feeling bad about fucking up, not calling those couple of bad days, so since then I tried calling every day and today if All is Well he reaches Dandi and holds up a pinch of salt, and as the grains fall to the ground the empire crumbles to Love and i still don't have contact with him.
I'm slipping in the word Love a lot whether or not it's relevant (when is it not relevant?), hoping that it'll get to ankurbhaiya wherever he is. Well, I know it'll get there, and even that's irrelevant, it already IS there, it already IS, Jaiva Understands, shut up mali and listen to the IS...
Ankurbhaiya? ankle? hello?