Harvest of Gems

Prague - Calcutta - Auschwitz

I took a bus back to Calcutta from Dakineshwar. I sat in front with the bus driver and watched this madman plow and dive into the complicated roar on the streets. The sight and sound show went right through me. I was becoming a veteran now. I had mastered Calcutta by mastering myself. I hopped off in the darkness and just watched. Calcutta never slept. Human activity and construction went on all the time. I was in Hades. The smoke and dust were so thick. People simply vanished into it and miraculously reappeared somewhere else. But was it really Hades? No, it was just KALI. You were inside her mouth. No retreat was possible and none was necessary. All the confused traveler had to do was come to terms with the energy of creation and destruction.
Calcutta from outer space:
It seems that India is a freak of history. The British heaved India into the Second Wave too quickly. Uneven vertical development. No horizontal luxury. Second Wave medicine multiplied the population faster than it could provide industrial jobs. Now that the Third Wave is eliminating jobs in the industrial world, India is caught in another numbing bind. The computer reads: DOUBLE JEOPARDY. There is no work in the cities, yet First Wave millions keep on coming to Calcutta. The British brought industrial infrastructure, but also massive social and cultural dislocation to the native population. Profits failed to trickle down, while England grew rich and the natives lost demand for their traditional skills. The average wage in British Calcutta was four rupees a month. Today it is eight rupees a day. Not much improvement when you compare REAL PURCHASING POWER then and now. The British wealth drain was accompanied by DIVIDE AND RULE TACTICS and MILITARY OPPRESSION. Ringleaders of the Seapoy rebellion were tied to the mouths of cannons and sent straight to heaven's gates. Needless, to say, the Indian psyche feels violated. This particular karma is reaping a bad harvest. As the subcontinent invades London and Birmingham, and the British start to squeeze the tits of their immigration doors, a deeper cause and effect seems to be at work. Our computers are overloading and cannot calculate this deeply concealed chain of determination.

The facts on the ground in Calcutta:
I walked through the streets with a sense of quiet panic. Tibet was in danger, I could feel this. The screenplay had to be written soon. But where? I was now a familiar fixture in my neighborhood. I ate and drank with the toiling locals hidden away in mysterious alleys. I had learned the lessons of emptiness in Bodgaya. Now I was being taught by KALI herself how to FUSE and TRANSMUTE energy. My own fears and confusions were being harnessed and turned into GOLD. This was the meaning of Prague and Jerusalem. I visited the Indian Museum and studied some stone maidens from exotic Kajuraho. I had visited this erotic blizzard of hidden emotion many years ago. I needed no further explanation. Every woman's womb was sacred. Every menstrual flow a holy river. Summer carried a holy temple deep within her, wherever she went. It had been violated repeatedly by two-headed monkeys and five-footed goats. I watched them on display in curiously pickled jars. These biological freaks reminded me of India. I was inside a deformed embryo of a hideous monster. Its body was far too large for its head. I was exhausted. It was sweltering hot outside. The KALI YUGA was floating silently in heavenly formaldehyde here on Sutter street. I could see Summer's new complexion. It was the color of wild roses in this new Hindu cosmology. I was the lord of a Tantric Ferris wheel. KALI danced for me with exotic grace. She had ankle bells and bare feet. Calcutta moaned and groaned under her weight. Would Calcutta survive? Only KALI knew and she wasn't telling.

I tried to find Nihar, the Bengali I met at Tiger Hill. The streets were a hopeless maze, but the taxi got me close enough to Nihar, who was surprised and delighted to see me. His house was under renovation. Nihar introduced me to his family. Nihar's son Babulal was an angry twenty-something with a polio limp and an excited heart. Babulal was out of work and looking for a break, ANY BREAK. I quickly became the main attraction in the neighborhood. Babulal introduced me to his gang. These boys played cricket on the street and laughed a lot. I felt at home. There was warm hospitality here. KALI'S children were OK. Nihar hosted me with a kalia lunch, fish simmered in a delicious curry. Nihar was a Marxist, but a nice one. A sad mystical glint in his eye betrayed a lost romantic. Nihar had no spiritual practice, but his soft and gentle manners resembled those of a neighborhood priest. Nihar had much to worry about.
India was a freak of history. The British had squeezed her like a mango, but Muslims and other invaders had screwed her too. The confusion in Calcutta was almost suicidal. I had visions of a giant Bulgaria. But this Bulgaria had spiritual immunity. There was hope here. The STRESS was WHITE and it was GROSS, but it was LIGHT. Sofia's STRESS was BLACK, SUBTLE and HEAVY. The First Wave family was still alive and well in Calcutta and most Indian cities. The extended family was India's safety-net. Babulal's relatives all lived under one roof. Many of them were urban and sophisticated. "Cal's a tough place," echoed Babulal. "All those people you see selling food and other things pool their resources and live together in heaps inside one room. The rent is high here, you know, and you have to bribe the police and the local Mafia if you want to ply a trade on the streets. All those beggars you see on the sidewalks, they were abandoned by their children. Food is pretty cheap though." I listened to Babulal's talk with fascination. I found the Bengalis a sophisticated bunch, they were go-getters with class. Biharis were consideredstupid and transparent. They just wanted money. My hosts in Gaya had all been from Uttar Pradesh. "Oh, those guys, they just want a visa," Babulal laughed. He was right. Bengalis wanted a relationship. Life was getting tougher in CAL by the day. The population pressures were stressing out the ecology, and solutions to the mess were becoming harder and harder to find. Babulal's contemporaries had no interest in spiritual matters. I had to find a meditation partner elsewhere. Babulal's uncle was OK for this, but he was now retired. I fell asleep next to one of Babulal's gorgeous sisters. The other sister, Chumkyi, assured me sweetly, "Don't worry, treat her like YOUR own sister." I was now part of the family. The money came through. Only two hundred dollars, but in India that was a lot. The smog was killing me, and a flu-bug brought bad memories of Berlin. I began to plot my escape. I bought a ticket to Veranasi. The Theravadan temple kicked me out and I hired a human horse to take me to Sutter street. I sat in a trance as my rickshaw-puller skillfully navigated through the maze of alleys and crowds of spitting people. Did he do it with ESP on Sutter street? Where the prices were high and the vibes were lousy? There was no trust in this tourist toilet bowl. I felt the energies were shifting again as I browsed through the bookstores and haggled with the tape merchants. Everything here was bootlegged and cheap.
I rented a tiny cubicle and felt utterly miserable.

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