Perhaps it was the wiggle nails that did it. Anyway, they are my first memories of construction matters ín my young life. And my earliest association with a sense of ineptness over practical concerns.
Actually, the wiggle nail tag was attached to my father first, after he used them in a manner deemed to be extremely crude by my mother. Who, incidently, could never claim a title for possessing any special practicality. Continue reading WIGGLE NAILS AND SPIRITUAL LEVELS
Before I ever travelled to India, I had a skeptical attitude to all matters spiritual, considering it a fantastic device for coping with the rigours of life that some people seemed to need. Not me though. I was a rational, if somewhat ganja-fogged, young fellow who had no such need. Life was what one made of it, and with a strong will one could forge the path of life. Surrendering to some god-concept or Fate was a negation of ones responsibility to take account of life’s circumstance and to do something about it, whatever the situation. If you have a problem, deal with it, instead of pursuing some sort of illusory path to so-called enlightenment. That’s a long time ago now, before I met him. Continue reading NANNA GARU
She had the face that would have graced the pages of fashion magazines at various times, in the past and future. Depending, of course, on the whims of fashion czars and others who dictate the criteria of beauty at any given time.
Rather too dark, I’m afraid dear, but we could touch up a shade fairer with the right lighting and some makeup. And her body. No, that would never do. Bonily thin, yes, but those muscles, dear, and the feet and hands dear. No, no, they would never ever do. Too bony by far, veins protruding, hands disproportionately large on such tiny wrists, and feet too flat to grace any catwalk.
I am just playing with words though, for Kaveri never had the slightest inclination to grace the glossy pages of magazines. Probably no concept of such a frivolous concept, even here in Tamil Nadu where movies are a religion. She is a heroine, and not alone in her country, by a long shot. Continue reading KAVERI – Another courageous Indian woman
The day started badly. The end of April, inland south India. Hot. Very hot. With the temperature shimmering around 40 degrees at nine in the morning, and likely to rise by another five degrees by early afternoon, staying home in the relative cool of my shady garden was definitely the activity of choice.
I had to go to town though, to attend to some unavoidable obligations. Accepting my fate, I jumped on the motorbike and kicked it into life. After riding five metres though, the rear wheel’s wobbling motion assured me I would not be covering the six kilometres to town on that machine. A flat tyre, and no puncture kit to remedy the situation. Oh well, my trusty bicycle would have to suffice. Not without effort, but better than nothing. It was in good condition and I always enjoyed the pedal, even in the sweltering heat. A bit of sweating does no harm after all, and actually is supposed to clean out accumulated toxins.
Continue reading Hanuman’s Grace
Broke in India! It would probably be high on many people’s list of don’t do’s, under any circumstances. But sometimes these things do happen, even to a seasoned traveller, through misfortune, or miscalculation, or a lapse of attention. I can’t pretend that my story had less than all three possibilities.
I was absolutely broke, in India. Well, to be more accurate, I had just four rupees and a few paise – around forty cents – in my wallet, although I had several thousand dollars in traveller’s cheques. My problem was really only temporary, since as soon as the banks would open, my insolvency would be past.
Continue reading Beggars Banquet
First evening in India
How could I forget my first evening in India. No, even my first moments in that extraordinary land, since it is not a single country, but a mélange of thousands of shades and colours, cultures and sub-cultures, all loosely united – and often not – as a single entity.
Let me make it clear from the start; I didn’t travel to India on any pilgrimage or search for Truth or Enlightenment, or any of those old clichés that are trotted out as reasons for visiting the sacred and profane India. Almost the contrary, Continue reading FIRST EVENING IN INDIA
It’s better’n an orgasm.
It’s been 43 years now, that yoga has been a fundamental ritual of my every day. Almost literally. It has probably been a significant factor in survival many times over, when I lingered on that finest of lines between life and death. And besides that, yoga has been a centering and calming half an hour of each day. What a blessing.
My initiation was far from conventional though. It was Murray. Continue reading It’s better’n an orgasm
How could I not fall in love with Italy? Almost from the start, she seduced me as no other country has done before. In the spirit of love.
We had left early morning from home in south Germany, wanting to make the most of a beautiful day, and to arrive in Italy with still some hours of sunshine to enjoy before nightfall. There were four of us in the car; three German women including my girlfriend, and myself, Australian wanderer.
, Continue reading Love Visa
Day merging softly into the cool winter’s night. Soft blue shadows deepening to black with the early evening light. A perfect sunny day proceeding into a perfect nocturnal mirror, stars shining brighter by the minute as the last light fades behind me to the west.
Gently tired after a long day of work around my land, showered and clean, the vista from my verandah overwhelmed me. Forest, and the dipping and rising of the eastern horizon, while the escarpment of the caldera to the north loomed over the ancient rainforest now inky black in shadow. Not an artificial light to be seen, as it’s always been from here; as it will always be, hopefully. Not a mechanical noise to be heard; only the stillness of nature, now silent in one of those rare times when all the teeming life of that rich landscape seems to take a breath, as one. Continue reading EPIPHANY
No matter what country it is, regardless of faith or faction, age or education, politics or persuasion, you’ll always find people waving at trains. Passenger trains especially, but goods trains also have drivers to return the gesture, and even if his existence is masked behind reflector-glass windows, the waver knows that he is a presence, guiding his irresistible charge towards it’s destination.
How many of you have never waved at a train ? Be honest now. The response of silence is quite deafening, like the roar the beast makes as it clatters through a cutting, as it rattles over a bridge. As a kid, I was blessed with the good fortune to live near a railway line in a small Tasmanian country town. That boon all the greater for the location of our house being just half a kilometre from the rail-bridge across the river, where the trains rattled over.
From the glass-fronted living-room, I could watch the great metal serpent speeding on it’s way to destinations further afield which at first I could only imagine as an exotic ‘somewhere else’! Continue reading EVERYONE WAVES AT THE TRAIN