Saturday, September 23, 2006

19 Nov

I am in Chenrezig. In the Big Love Cafe. Something is missing, compassion? On my part? So what to do? I slept in a room with a monk in his 50s. The night before there was an interesting discussion about Christ and enlightenment. My insurance claim was put on hold by Aldridge for the lost paintings.

So how to move on? The people here are not right. I have 5 days to find my tribe. Where are they? Time is running out. Somehow I have to materialise you. I have to find a wife. Feels depressed. A lie. What makes me feel bad? Rejection. You have to make it more interesting here. Come! Tell me where little computer?

They head up the hill to the BSM course. The Bush Turkey jumps on the table. I drink coco. The Wwoofers mill about. I contemplate heading down with my guitar. Shall I write a song. Jazz plays on the JVC headphones through the Palm E2. And I type on this keyboard. ThinkOutside. Bluetooth that misses every second letter, it is too slow. Needs a direct connection. Or else it cannot cope playing mp3 and typing. This turns out to be true, however even without the mp3 it still jams on capital letters.

20 Nov

Weird night, I slept in the hotel because of the old monk. Next day was long life for Geshi puja. Lots of chocolates given out and I took many photos. You are a fairly simple computer. The waves of intricacy that surround us like a cobweb in that gaudy palace temple. I slowly munch my way through the sweets that came in a large plastic bag that smelt of fat greedy nuns. The heroin addict at lunch who never wanted to get up, the Italian and I laughed as he tried to offload his sweets. And the young girl woofers kept away, looking at me like I was from another planet and about to molest them, which was probably true.

Somehow I was back in the Well of Lonliness that I had never left. Still looking for a wife and falling for every trick in the book. Play the Game came the response. The woofer who was about to be ordained had said Jesus was not the way. Memories of another life ten years ago when I had come here and talked to Geshe and given him a Parker and a mobile. Mainly because I was trying to get rid of them. I will never write again after this life. Too much pain associated with it. And an addiction. I started off eating the fruit, to be fair the bag had contained some good stuff. But now I am onto the chocolate. Sickly sweet. I still have a tough orange on the side and some dry fruit to hold me off. Some nun is thinking the same up here on this hill next to my retreat hut which I am taking sanctuary in to avoid crowds and coffee. As usual I have no more cash.

The price seems beyond my budget at $43 for the hut. I was all packed to go after that horror night where I woke up to gross wrinkles under the eyes and a large pimple on the cheek. The woofers had had a binge up at a hip hop disco bar on the Coloundra beach. I was jealous as I had wanted to go and felt excluded because of my age. I chomp through a fruit head. I suppose I should tell something of the Puja. It was a lot of "chjoing" and "tzosuing" moaning on and on for hours while I snapped shots and looked at my inflated bag of goodies and wondered if I should take a nibble while the prayers continued. Geshe put on a funny sort of hat that looked like a floral bright orange version of what Nelson wore at Trafalgar, a fan shaped like those birds with a crest on top of their heads.

Model stupas, gompas, statues, food, fruit, you name it was brought in a procession down the aisle for Geshe.

I had soup and talked to a Japanese woofer. Time magazine lay on the table - how to extend your life. Standing on your head in Nepal. And somehow the winds of time blew us apart when I looked in her eyes I saw the truth. And all the objects pull you towards them, beckoning their own hell. Chocies saying eat me. Down in Maroochydore they are basking in a restaurant - the BSP students. Somehow out of this lostness, this misplaced destiny that failed itself, I struggle to go on... and the pointless fighting continues, like the chemist in the Big Love Cafe who dominated the conversation with the nun. I really wonder why I should go on, I mean what is the point. Just unpleasantness even in the bastion of compassion. And it is not even their fault, I can see that. My next step has to be sensuality and it had to be that for about ten years and some obstacle has blocked it for that long. Seems extraordinary that this universe should be so cruel to me. But that is the truth. It won't let me advance to the next step. And so I am caught in purgatory.

21 Nov

I offer my photos to the Monastery and they are copied onto the web site library by one of the computer buffs in charge of the internet, a German professor in IT.

So I write to you to release you from this hell. I am going to tell you the obstacle you need to remove. It is a kind of humour. You came close to it. You can feel the energy like a kind of pain. You know if you leave you will fall. You know this place is a mistake but you cannot locate the correct place. You have done this before and ended up going only to end up in the fire. I told you to search for the suicide. So you see we are non dual, not separate entities yet caught in our body. Depression flows too tired to get the prose and the flow of words such that poetry is created here. How angelic and the angels the Tara or Chenrezig is manifested to sweep down on us. Huge wings flapping like a crow that is of massive proportions. Ha ha. Otherwise masterbation. Although the dhamma says no sexual contact. I am tired. Far too much food. And all I can see is selfishness and I really just want to leave and get to India asap. As if to answer me as I leave a woman gives me a lift to the station. She is heading to a jam on the beach. I ask about it and she asks me if I want to come. I say I should follow through my plan.
I went to Brisbane and stayed at the YHA. Met a German woman.

22 Nov

The flight on Tuesday was with another German who was scared of flying. Then to the Sydney YHA for the night, arrived late, baggage delayed by electrical storm.

23 Nov

Sent off Xmas cards and the registered post receipts for tax the next morning. Got away late and long queue at departures, eventually I asked Qantas to put me ahead. Reason: vegan meal issued to wrong passenger, given complementary Qantas Business Club Lounge pass. But then customs takes ages. Rush in for 15 minutes for breakfast. Accidentally go to first, which seems more appropriate to the rather lackluster and messy lounge. Spend last of money on lip treatment and keep three dollars and give a dollar to charity. Last to board almost. Woman captain. Watch Bollywood movie on Akbar the Great instead of Dukes of Hazard which is what the menu has it down as. Possibly an Indian version or viceversa.

The sound is distorted and it looks twenty years old. The Bad News Bears is also misindexed and instead shows a bollywood movie, but a modern one. So my question comes back to the truth. The Indian girl behind me. The young men in front. Classical music is glory gospel.
Time is running. I have to make a connection in Mumbai. I have been in the air 7.46 hours. We arer approaching the equator over the Indian Ocean at 951 kmh. It is -27 C outside. 3.40 hours left. We are parrallel to Sumatra. It is 6.29 PM Sydney time. 10,363 m. Slight cumulas cloud dotted.
'What is the contract?'
'Total compliance.'
'Love for all.'
'We are over the equator.'
'Find the love.'
'So where to?'

The airport and India looked liked it needed a good paint job. I walked in a slow slightly dazed state concentrating on emptiness. Let everyone else get ahead in the queue. Tried to feel the ground of India. The spirit. The trolley wanted to turn in circles. Back still hurting. Wheeled the luggage out and came to the end and waited. Noone came. It looked chaotic,Humber like taxis black and like out of a children's book. Sadness. Tears had come in the plane for no reason. I felt the military presence in my blood but it faded. Slightly lost and waiting. A boy came up from a mobile phone company and asked me some survey questions. Then later another came up and I thought they wanted to sell me sim card which I wanted, but they did not. Then about five of them came up and were laughing. I looked into their eyes for truth and one of them asked if I wanted him. I could hardly believe I was hearing this. I laughed. One of them takes my mobile and fiddles with it. I went to the ATM and after some difficulty actually withdrew money from it. Then I asked the attendent where I should go. He did not know where. But suggested lost luggage.

The woman there was at a loss and said I must have a plan.
'Go to Goa and maybe you find a friend.'
I left and felt insanity. Checked the Palm and the to do tasks told me Iyengar. So I went to the taxi prepaid and bought a ticket to Dadar railway station. A Siekh I had seen in my vision on the plane was there in the taxi. He asked me if I wanted a taxi to Puna and I declined, but the traffic was terrible and smog worse. So I asked him to take me to the taxis. For 1,500 rupees he agreed and I had a decent tourist modern ac car driving me to Puna. I tried to sleep in the car, but started to dream of my throat being slit. Anil wanted me to tell him what the dream was but I said best not. He received phone calls from his family and told me that many police patrolled the road through the mountains as the road had been subject to bandits. It was a six lane expressway unusual for India.

24 Nov

It took a while to locate Iyengar's late at night and even longer to find a hotel. Everything was full and expensive. I took the ParkView with no park view but a balcony in a crummy room with ac I did not use and a TV which failed in the morning due to lack of power. It was 1,000 rupees a night. He would not bargain. I slept badly with erotic dreams. The shower was luke cold.
I met Iyengar, he was sitting in he corner and looked somewhat geriatric and small. His residence had pipe work dug up outside and was a semi-modern dwelling fairly large with many statues of himself in bas relief and in yoga postures. His main room was full of awards. I was told that I might get a beginners monthly class session starting in December. The roads were polluted chaos and I got a rickshaw to the Osho Commune. The main entry road had been sealed and flowered with the beggars removed. I checked into the Hotel Sundaban, somewhat of an iconic relic and took a budget room for 700 rupees.

I drove back to the Park View which we had trouble finding. Then I drove back. The driver had to pay 50 rupees to a corrupt policeman. I paid it on condition he let me take photos on the way back.I spent up and bought a maroon robe. Then Lazarus the fruit seller approached me and eventually I lent him 300 rupees. He was going to repay me 30 a day. He wanted 1,000.
A rather anxious wait for the AIDS test and registration where an Indian curator was sitting. Then through as I was recognised for being a past visitor. I wandered the ashram and felt lost in its new surrounds. The huge black pyramid twenty meters high where the new auditorium was. I got asked to leave Kundalini meditation for wearing my black outfit. Trackies and top. Dinner was sort of ok vegetarian fare. I walked for ages around coming to parts I had not seen for 11 years and ended up at the ultra rich part of town near the classic Green Hotel. Well ultra rich for India. I felt I had lost my youth. I listened to MP3s on the Palm. I hardly slept in Sundaban. The shower was luke warm. I had shifted room due to a loud Indian next door.

25 Nov

Got up and went to the ashram missing the Welcome Tour then joining it later. And leaving it to check out of the hotel. I got driven round the ashram and up the wall by the auto driver who led me to gross flats. I left him went back to the ashram. Popular Heights I recognised at the back of the German Bakery road. This time I made Kundalini, but lost the rythmn of the ashram on checking out of Sundaban. I went to the Working Centre and got information. I was told I looked very tired. Somehow suicide of Ma Prem came to mind. Why was Poona the only modern clean spiritual centre in the world? The future. It had to be right. Yet it felt wrong. Breaking the pattern, all the other ashrams were somehow out of touch with modernity. Hyprocritical and steeped in dogma from redundant traditions. Yet I wanted to escape. Where was she? The Italian. Yes? Running? I checked into Happy Home Hotel. It was noisy. Sexual. Empty.
Day was uneventful. The smell of smog. Even in the ashram with all its greenery. Contaminated. I went to the German Bakery and met an Indian. Then went back to the ashram and dissolved in the Sannyas celebration. Somehow it did not come true. As I rested on the floor.

26 Nov

Got up slowly. Meditative day. Kept low profile after depressing time at Buddha Bar last night. Reality is I am attracted to young women. Everything has been predicted. By me. I felt I was talking to myself 10 years ago here. The sadness that drove me away. Much harder now. Power going. Indian cleaner is driving me up the wall. Pushing in chairs. Spent long time by the pool. Alone. Started just drinking grape juice. Then collapsed into capucinno and muffin. Kundalina again. Beautiful young women surround me. One with dreadlocks dancing tribal. Memories flood back of the let go. I try to and seem to. Sexual energy comes, connects to her. But she simply gets up and leaves. Karma at an end, I feel suicidal. Happy to die now. Do not want to face the street back to hotel. Lazarus has not reappeared. Hit little peasant in face on way back as he tried to take my energy and space. Very gentle push putting my hand clearly out to keep him away. Hit him with my father's letter that I have been carrying around all day. Have to live in ashram. White robe is on now.

27 Nov

Leave Happy Home and move to Osho Guesthouse. Porter does not come. Meditative. Peace. Connection made. Anger. Room is white, Zen, peaceful. Rest. Feel Satori.

28 Nov

Decide to stay. Do dynamic. Try to ring Centrelink. Problems reversing charges. Do internet. Keyboard not working. Then all claims appear rejected except restylene and even then money seems not to be there. Mother emails complaining I have lied by extending credit on my visa card to $8500. I reply it is my business and I never said that I would not do so. Ring Centrelink direct and sort out pension block. Rent assistance problem also. Woman at counter gets angry. Italian. Wonder why all is going wrong. Wander round ashram with guitar and play some music. By Zen walls near auditorium goes well. Then not so good at old auditorium. Then go to Kabir and garden and give up. Place still seems very quiet. No one in the gardens. No sannyasins tending the gardens or in the kitchens washing dishes. Do whirling meditation after dance disco. Feel sick. Lunch have foccacia and hommus. White robe attractive middle aged Italian woman sits next to me. Covered in robes and jewellery and comfort rugs, seat, etc. Go to bed. Not good dreams.

29 Nov

Wake up at 3.45 again. Then when alarm goes for dynamic, but sleep in. Get up at seven hoping to go to meditation in Osho's residence. Miss it putting on face mask. Eyes very wrinkled. Feeling of desperation. Find someone. Stay here. But resolved single room so must not bring another in. Still go to auditorium to find someone. Osho is speaking on tape. Go to centre under pyramid. Girl is crying. Stay still. Osho talks of let go and surrender better than using the will as in the end must be surrendered, so wiser to avoid the pain of the will now. Walk so slowly back, long shower. Go to bed. Meditate. Slight nausea. Tired. Old devotees in the hall listening, bent over. Feel no solution, and sleep then leave. Go to hall, then get locker, try to obey every rule exactly. Go back to hall and meditate. Do kundalini but not working. Laugh. Leave. But as I arrive at guesthouse something tells me to stay but I ask to leave. And things accelerate far too rapidly. Go to Rickshaw without ringing or finding out properly where Garneshpuri is and have him take me to taxi. He takes me to private cars but I say taxi. A blue taxi in the middle of Puna. Road there is horrendeous and crowded and a voice says ask him to turn back, but the thought of listening to Osho in the white robe is too much and I go on gritting my teeth. At the taxis they do not know where Garneshpurri is and finally an old benelovent muslim says he does. For 2200 rupees he will take me there. His car is without a seat belt or rather only the top half and his car is modernish but sort of battered. He has partially red dyed hair. I go to an ATM followed by the rickshaw driver who smells a tip.

The drive is difficult and the driver gets water in his eyes and I feel uncomfortable. Foot starts hurting. Traffic gradually clears as he insists on opening window and I insist he closes. He looks sick and I feel like asking him to stop. Something feels wrong about the whole venture like I have run from Puna. He keeps stopping and starting his car and can not seem to quite see where the trucks in front are. I offer to drive and he vehmently refuses. We get to Mumbai and the mountain expressway becomes traffic filled. He drives to Dadar and checks in. I ask for the toilet and he indicates a sort of wall through barbed wire near the railway. I finished the bananas that looked like they had suffered a toxic waste dump in the grove they had grown in. We had stopped for a chai halfway down at the equivalent of a motorway rest station where USA Pizza sold me a deep pan veggie and coke. My driver revived himself. He had been trying to teach me Marati then we tried Arabic. The discussion turned to Osima who he said he did not know. Finally he admitted he was not a good man. And we agreed both Bush and Osima were terrorists. Although I said Bush less of one. Last stretch took us onto the main Bombay-Delhi highway. This became a series of stops and starts at trucks and cafes trying to work out where the turn off was. We both asked as I wound down my window. Finally we worked out where it was. His driving was so erratic that I told him I could drive better and should take over, overtaking on the wrong side and driving on the roughest part of the road. The turn off came up and I said turn. I was giving him instructions on how to drive the car. And he drove right past it. I lost it and told him he was bloody hopeless. He saw a small gap in the dual carriageway and we drove over the hump but there was a large drop on the other side and the car cluncked onto the ground. He was upset, but fortunately nothing fell off. Like a snail he slid down the side road stopping and asking for directions. Finally the magnificent poplars of the ashram shrouded by a high barbed wire fence of at least 3 meters height encroached. It was after one in the morning.

Security guard was tall good looking man and very haughty and told us to go into the town. My driver was trying to tell me to drop my luggage and myself off and let him go. But we searched for a room and finally after similar arrogant rebuffs a sordid hotel in the town opened its gates and offered a room for 70 rupees for a room that looked like a Turkish prison cell but with en suite. The fan only had one speed - max. It any moment it seemed it might take off. The bed was hard as a rock. I pulled out my sleeping bag and tried to sleep. The other rooms were full of men all looking like prison inmates. Yet I felt strangely alive. As if God was here. I dreamed ecstatically of Gurumai, but she vanished and young Indian men replaced her invasively.
30 Nov

In the morning I left and attempted to persuade a rickshaw to drive me to the ashram, he did not want to and pointed to a row of rickshaws several hundred meters away. I pointed to my bags and he relented. Visions of the trolley at the airport came to me.

The ashram greeted me with devout European women. Looking thin and pasty. Listless. But god filled. I was directed to reception to the restroom where I saw that I looked a mess. I cleaned up. An American called Tracy, middle aged, told me the protocol. A sticker was issued. I was told six months if I was accepted before it would be possible to stay and that depended on references from Melbourne. The level of seva I had done, etc. I felt compelled to confess to her and frankly told her my story. She seemed a little disconcerted. She told me I would have to stay in a hotel miles away. It was to protect the village. I went to the temple which was all that was permitted even with the sticker. It was not large. I felt deflated. They opened the samadhi shrine for Muktananda and I went in. Mostly clean cut Indians circled round the tomb. I sat and meditated. A gita was chanted and then the temple shut and a rickshaw driver took me and a Korean to the K Thali Resort by the highway. He was a whispy bearded man with kind eyes like a sage and wore an Islamic cap. His english was poor. I took photos. The room at K Thali was like a brothel and a dirty one, for 1350 rupees a rip off. I complained was taken to another room where the shower was not working and finally they upgraded me to another room where a leaking drain pipe sounded like a stream outside. There were a bunch of appauling statues sort of grotesque romantic images from European fairy tales potted about the sprawling resort to ambush the unwary.
I had dinner by myself and the waiters surrounded me asking questions. One was from Kerala and his wife and family lived there. They worked long hours but seemed to do little.

A rickshaw picked me up and I was dressed in my Kashmiri shirt dhoti for the evening celebrations. Like an Ewok from star wars in a shuttle bug air raft, the auto driver bumped in heavy turbulance his craft along the rough road. I gave instructions to meet him and the puja had begun. Devotional singing churned out of the yellow walled temple. But the guard said no sticker, not allowed in.

I asked for manager and eventually Shanti came from the Melbourne ashram. She said it should not be a problem to come in, but the guard blocked her. So she said come tomorrow. I asked her to get Tracy. Eventually she came and I asked her to tell the guard I had permission. She would not do this and instead went and got me another sticker. I apologised and grabbed her by the shoulders. I felt compelled. She was a bit upset and left. I had to wait for the next ceremony and wrote a letter to Gurumayi asking to be given permission to stay at the ashram. I went to the ceremony which was further inside the ashram and enjoyed the singing. There were only a few Westerners. One woman who was not particularly pretty but had a sort of distinction to her, a heaviness, appealed to me. All the people especially the men were handsome and well groomed. There was a sort of tinsel town atmosphere to the place that brought to mind cuddly soft toys. A final puja and I was entrapped for a moment in the woman's eyes and I felt the blankness of Osho. Then she was gone. And I was out of the white marbled precinct and as I headed out I asked the guard to give the letter to Gurumayi, but he pointed to another gate across the road as I headed there Tracy appeared and a voice said 'do not', but I gave it to her....

1 Dec

Dream Babaji. Love immense. But told I still have duties here. Karma caused by brother unavoidable, but I was overpowered by him. The love was dissapated. I begged to be released but I was told that I must stay. Unavoidable. I saw the fear. There were large lines under my right eye in the morning. Stayed in bed till 12. Rang ashram after late lunch of Masala Dosa. They told me sticker not possible because stayed in village and international services closed for the day. I said I would ring tomorrow. I had been drinking urine and sperm, one and a bit glasses was all I could manage. I had fasted. But broke it. Price of aging felt too great. I headed to Garneshpuri again but was angry. I took photos on the way of the worst poverty I could find to show that the ashram was doing little to help the Indians here.
At one village the auto stopped and I photographed. The locals laughed. One man started talking and I was annoyed but I thought do not fight, surrender is better. He told me to go to see Sia Baba. So I went with him to a small farm house temple down a dirt road. It was lit with red and yellow lights, hundreds of them. They made me wait for permission to photograph. I took photos of the ceremony of about a thousand people. Then I had rice and dal which was too much, they insisted I have another plate. I did not drink anything but a sip of the water. A young boy spoke to me who had visited Sia Baba many times in the jungle and hills 12 kilometers from here. He had been without food and water for 22 months living under the trees. They said tigers had passed him. He was God at one with nature.
BJP vice president of the local area turned out to be the man who had brought me here. The rickshaw wallah got more batteries for the camera but they were not powerful enough.

I left after walking to the village and getting another rickshaw.

2 Dec

Sleeping a bit better. No dreams. Woke up early but did not get up till 8.30. Same lines under the right eye again. I pack up. I put in other batteries but they are flat - it means I have no camera today. Try to ring ashram but on break. Put valuables in safe after counting money. Then get rickshaw back to the Sia Baba temple. Boy is there and shows me many photos of the guru who is just 19. Only unmarried men on pure diet can visit him. I write letter asking if he is my spiritual master and they say they will take it to him. On Monday they tell me to come back. They take me back to the temple to pray. A horse that was in the ceremony is outside and is saddled up. They ask me if I ride but the horse is very frisky. They ask me if I see god in Sia and I say not yet. I get there address to send photos.

The villages are very basic, some only of straw, brick seems to be made on areas near the road. Plastic bags and rubbish line the road. At Garneshpuri I go to the towns temple and buy a puja offering of garlands of yellow flowers and coconut. Nityananda temple but it is not associated with the ashram. A large line of people are waiting to receive blessings. I feel I am beginning to ground myself. Outside there is a large area with plastic dummies with moving heads that appear to be part of the worship process. One is Nanashwar, a god of 18th century - a sardu.
Rajim Pukarit, the security guard asks me what I am doing. And a young man talks to me and explains about the temple, his name is Suhas Patil. He shows me hot springs, then offers his motorbike, but I keep the rickshaw and ask to go to Sia Ram who is another supposed enlightened being in the area. He takes me to a nearby village temple, then to another hot springs. I finally get someone to explain to him to take me to Sia Ram. It turns out all along he is back in Garneshpurri in a doctor's surgery. I briefly meet him. He is young looking but must be 40 at least. He is a little chubby and has a grey beard and a friendly smile. He does not look at me despite the doctor explaining my presence, he is quite small. He quickly is taken back to the Garneshpuri temple, where I sit at the back. I type into the Palm which causes some interest. I look accross to him. He is far away and seems to stare back blankly. I feel a warmth, then blankness, then it dissapates. All the people are reciting prayers and all the men are in white with Nehru caps like Sepoys. To his right is a man in a turban. To his left the mannickans with moving parts which have been switced off. Even a waterbuffalo. Everything is red. At least the roof. When I look up he seems to be staring but quickly looks away. Briefly I feel samadhi - things dissolve he is staring - then the pain is too much. He looks away and I leave. Rickshaw takes me to the lodgings I originally had in the town. I order delux lunch which is rice and vegetable sort of liquid. I am worried about food poisoning. Sia Ram's voice booms across a loud speaker. Gurumai's photo is on the wall.

I go to ashram and ask about the letter. Tracy says it will take months. I ask for her supervisor. Di Di, an Australian chinese eventually appears. We have a long chat. And they recommend I go back to Australia and seek counselling. I say I am here and lost. 'Perhaps Rishikesh', Di suggests, who lived there before finding Siddha. We are in a meeting room. I give up. Tracy shows me out. She tells me of a car hire place. I go there and pay off the rickshaw after an argument over the 400 rupees he wants. I take a car for 1400 rupees to Mumbai. It is a 4wd. Better for the roads. I sit in the back at first like a raja. We stop at the airport after passing the slums and trucks carrying sand at 20 kmh. I check flights to Bangalore, Kingfisher, Indian Airlines which is extremely expensive but has a flight going. They tell me to try Air India special foreigners fares and they are a very good deal. But I get the driver to go to Deccan and other cheap airlines like Jet which is a rip off. Deccan is the cheapest at 2,800 which has a reasonable leaving time at 11.30 am tommorrow. The driver is patient. He was forced to drive round. He takes me to Dadar where I check the hell and filth of the railway station for a ticket to Puna, a train is leaving soon. But I have to buy unreserved second and try and upgrade. I have been through that hell before. I leave and the driver is waiting by a temple. I ask him to drop me at a hotel costing 700 r, he does not know one and drives round the block then parks and asks me to walk round looking. I try and find one but it is chaos and one lodge says they are full. They look like a doss house and I am relieved. I return to the car and demand he find the hotel. We drive off and stop at the Parklane which is anything but and overpriced. I am approached by a gentleman with smashed glasses at least one lens. He speaks good English and is elderly. He rings a hotel for me but it is full. He hops in the car and takes us to another which is overpriced, finally we drive across town to the Islamic area and enter a hotel that has posters of very seedy looking women outside and the room is noisy and I feel bad. I am disappointed and the driver is complaining at the time about going too far. He says there is another hotel next door.
I check the Balwas and it is basic but clean at 1000 r. We are in a dirty area on Grant Road. The driver leaves and the guide asks for a hundred, I hand him 50. I tell him he should give his rate beforehand.

I am relieved and flick through channels on the TV. All 100. Then walk out and feel some inspiration of the city in its madness and filth. Pass many bars and restaurants yet I feel too alone to enjoy it. I remember the conversation on cricket in the car with the guide. I grab a taxi with a youngman and ask to go to the Taj Hotel. He wants too much and I take another remembering the meter. It is more than several kilometers. Luxury. And the driver waits while I get change, when I come out he is gone. I desparately look round for him. Then he appears again from round the block. The hotel is full of the rich and probably famous. The Insomnia nightclub will not let me in and young vivacous Indian women flock in in skimpy outfits some accompanied by their beaus who look like they have fallen off a Bollywood set. As I wonder around the complex I feel this somewhat ghostly presence of a colonel and an aristocrat of British origin. A very polite gentleman. He sort of directs me round to a few of the bars which do not interest me. Then to an elderly rather paunchy gentleman who appears English in the reception. There is a feeling of royalty. I feel almost obliged to speak to him, but move to the coffee house and order a capuccino. I am placed near a fat European women. I move to a far table where a New York woman chats to two Indian intellectuals who could be in film. Three Indians who look like old politicians take a seat and one looks kindly over at me. I suppose I am seeking refuge. The coffee costs almost six dollars. I leave and as I leave the rest room the cleaner gives me a pile of kleenex and I look in the mirror and see an old man.

I walk out and a bunch of young rich Bombayers push their way through. This time I push them out of the way hitting one girl in the process. I walk round the triumphal arch celebrating the first English monarchs arrival in India in 1910 George V, smog chokes the air and the smell of mosquito repellant. The bay stretches still and I think the rich may have their money but they are going to die with the rest by the poisoned atmosphere their lack of repsonsibility in managing the environment has given rise to. I walk and am chased by a drug dealer who finally leaves when I tell him his drugs cause brain damage and then a weedy chap tries to offer me a prostitute. I tell him to get a real job continuously and it dawns on me that that is the advice that I need. I end up at Indigo where Mercedes line the streets and more young pretentious and beautiful party inside. But outside on the street people sleep, deformed beggars live and hell on Earth is here and now in a city choking to death on the pollution of its own industrial greed. There is a strangely Gothic presence of colonialism in the dilapidated buildings and old yellow and black Ambassador cabs. I pick one up that appears done up like a harem inside. The wallow of railway sidings lined in garbage drifts by like a surreal nightmare. The driver knows super cinema and when we arrive everything is closed and it is after one am. We stop and ask where the hotel is, another cab driver takes ages looking at the card of the hotel. I get fed up and ask a man passing by and he points to it directly opposite.

The driver simply reads the meter chart and asks the amount on it. I have a shower where I have to keep pulling the lever to make the water come out the top and not the tap. But amazingly it is strong and hot. After K Thil Resort where the water was never more than luke warm and the bath was discoloured and the doors covered in paint like the military - covered in brown and white stripes - trees, this feels like luxury. I remember the Kashmiri man outside Alex's car hire who told me he was so sad to see me go. That Gurumai had lost it to American wealth and did virtually nothing to help the local villages. That they had isolated themselves in a cosy heaven like bubble in the ashram disinfectng themselves from the harshness of the poverty outside and oblivious to it. But I knew that Siddha did have charitable programs for the local area. He told me they had not even got clean water for the village and used their own supply. He suggested another ashram.

3 Dec

Woke up slurry but with less wrinkles. Batteries still not fully charged. Try to ring Deccan Air to book flight at 11.30 am, but no answer, the cyber cafe in the streets of chaos is closed. I order a taxi and the boot will not open. I get angry and stop another taxi. I panic that his meter is broken and he wants 300 r for the airport, shouting ensues as I demand he stop. It is after 9.30 and I am afraid of missing the flight. Eventually the meter clicks over as I click photos of the squalor outside. Beggars and book sellers come to the window, some with babies.

I photograph and pay some of the poorer looking ones. This causes a flood of hawkers to the taxi and we are jammed in traffic. I get the driver to wind the windows up. Sometimes fast over the flyovers, sometimes barely moving through the tin shack shanty areas where people wander across a road that is seething with vehicles and miraculously are not hit. Fumes are making me fed up. We pass the Taj. He has a kind of temple complete with incense in the front dash. Garnesh looks on, and as we stop he switches the car off and gets out a red powder and delicately places it on his third eye. As I photograph haphazardly, I feel a sense of resignation combined with exhileration at trying to make the flight on the one hand and not really caring on the other. Interspersed modern high rises jiggle between the wood and brick of a sort of gypsy world of buildings that look like sort of 19th century neo-colonial Russian Siberian architecture. I bounce around in the back with my head almost hitting the roof. Modern vehicles vie for space with jallopies and fenders miss by centimeters in a cat and mouse game of push ahead. A weaving mesh, a throng, a kaleadoscope of insanity, a vision of perpetual contradiction as this sea of ants move through this termite mound, which if it has a purpose, its purpose lacks an organised clear majesty of coherence or reason. It fits together and survives on its laissez faire rythmn of ruthless competition, its Social Darwinism of survival, but although it functions, it functions with an inefficient dynamism that spells Kali Yuga. If greed and the results of evil could be placed on Earth in a clearer symbol, the large cities of India embody the principle in practice.

Finally the airport, I had recorded the taxis number, asked him to wait and ran into Deccan Air, they were fully booked. So resigned I told him to take me to Terminal 1A and Kingfisher. They had a seat at 2.10 pm and extraordinarily it was cheaper than yesterday and only 100 rupees more than Deccan. Sia Baba was playing games.

The driver did not want the meter charge and another fight ensued with a porter coming up. We negotiated or rather I handed him 230 and showed him my empty wallet. The porter kindly helped me to the check in. He was wearing bright red overalls with Kingfisher plastered all over. I headed off down past security then came back to ask them to put fragile on the guitar. At security I had pulled out my Swiss Army knife to put in my luggage to be only told quite nonchalantly by the guard that I should have put it in the luggage before the xray. 'But' I said 'you know where it is now.'

I sit in the airport Clipper lounge looking out of the calm ac onto the baggage collection arrivals. A dignified businessman sips coffee and answers his mobile. I go to the restrooms to freshen up and when I return a young Indian has slipped in to a table opposite drinking beer. He has that irritating complacent vacancy of up and coming middle class of India. And I feel leached by him.
I returned to the Cybercafe to discover it closed typically, gone to lunch. I grabbed a burger and pakora in the cheap snack bar, then sat in the airline seats eating and reading the paper, Times of India, it noted Australia's protest and execution of the Vietnamese boy in Singapore. I shed a tear. What looks like a crime don sits in front of me back at the Clipper Bar. The flight is about to board, I recharged the Palm at the special recharge station at the bar. Cyber bar closed still.Flight is almost ready.

I rush through security. There are a group of Brit youth in blacks. I take snaps of Kingfisher as if I could do an add campaign for them. Could be delusion? A young man with his export garment business sits near me. We have personal video and I plug in the JVC phones. The plane taxis past slums. Soon we are over smog covered Mumbai and then above the cumulis clouds stretching to Nirvana and dipped inbetween are the barren brown valleys of the Deccan. I wonder if it is possible to see the Himalayas and as I twist round I see a pile of white that might just be mountains if we were a thousand kilometers further north. The magazine of Kingfisher is full of photos of fashion mostly very boudatious. Like Deepek Chopra's health spa in NY. The cricket is on the video. The newspaper has a headline article on VIP syndrome, where doctor's overreact to important film star's illness and misdiagnose them. The memory card of the camera is full finally. I am excited and I know this is a good and bad sign. An opportunity is there, but too much optimism can collapse. So comfortable moderation is necessary to maneouvre this situation. One must ride the wave of enthusiasm. But not get carried away by it.
Food is great on the plane. Kingfisher is somewhat of a miracle and I get off the plane last to be met by a luxury car and two Finnish pop singers from Ramas. We are driven to the main gates and my bag is first off, but I wait for the guitar which is last. I head off then think I should check to see if it is damaged, it is not. But my expensive USA capo, the clamp that attaches across the fret board is missing. The down side of the up. I make a claim which Kingfisher try to reject, then they try to weigh the bag to see if there is any difference. Laughing I say forget it when they offer me 450 rupees because it appears to be a kilo less. I get a report for insurance. I am sure I lost it in Puna when I was playing in the ashram, karma. Madness and anger surge through me. Why? Too hard on the taxi drivers. Drove too hard a bargain. This is their revenge. I resign myself and use hotel services to book a cheap hotel and a taxi prepaid. I did not want to spend time in Bangalore, now I am forced to.

The driver looks like he is from a Western and the cab is a minivan. The traffic is bad and the hotel is reasonable apart from the noise and the ac not working. VT deluxe lodge is in a kind of medieval quarter of narrow lanes. The general filth shrouds the street. I force the manager to ring a whole stack of music stores to find another capo, on somewhat of a goose chase. Eventually one is located at Reynolds but they are closing and will not open till Monday. I beg them to wait. Run out and for once no rickshaw in sight. I run to the main road but no rickshaw will stop. Finally I cross the road and try and stop some empty ones but they will not take me. One very angry driver with a turban passes and I catch him at the lights. He says no then asks an absurd price. I refuse. Let him go then he stops again. I have no choice. I take it. He tries to drop me off far from Brigade Towers where the store is, but I get a decent young man to direct him there.

The shop looks like it was not going to close at all and is full of people for at least half an hour. It is Christian and has a book of love songs. But I do not buy it, but the capo, a rather difficult to put on, strap on one, is there.

I try to get a sim card and go through a long process which ends up with me getting a huge computer scan from a web cam at some decrepid internet place down a dark lane, my visa and passport are photocopied and it appears I am going to immigrate into Hutch mobile net. But not so fast after all that as it appears the boys who were fiddling with my mobile when I first arrived at Mumbai changed the security code. I cannot access it to change the sim card. I ring Optus in Australia and am eventually cut off. So I give up. Have dinner in a sordid restaurant in the ac section where a crowd watches me. I stuff myself with naan and palak paneer and honeymoon icecream. Feeling sick I head back and chat to the manager who teaches me some Karnatika. An English journalist rolls up and we talk briefly. I change rooms and sleep.

4 Dec

I spend the day trying to find a cheap mobile phone deal. Then head in the evening to the Hare Krisna temple which is on a hill. It is a huge temple and I have an argument with the auto driver and change autos on the way there. I pay for dashan and as I am running late, take the expensive foreign one, it is the fast lane for pilgrims. I pass various shrines to gods, and try and animate the gods inside and see that they are alive and can help me, I become transfixed staring at them and am directed on by a guard. Finally in the top temple, I am enjoined by a Krisna devotee, who takes me round and has me prostrating myself and chanting in front of all the dieties, quite forcefully he insists. The dancing and chanting reaches a franting pitch as we all charge round and round the temple singing 'Hare Krisna', he takes me back to get an auto and insists they do not cheat me.

I sit talking to him in the reception about Christ and Krisna and the philosophical differences, perhaps mistakenly I bring up what I see as a flaw in the Bhagavad Gita, which is that it says if Krisna commands you to act you must do so. I said even if this is to kill your friends in the name of good, it must be done. I tried to argue that Christ gave his life as an example of pacificism, that educating your enemies by example of love and peace, never using violence, is the highest truth, and the greatest testimony he gave was through his pacifism in accepting crucifixion by his enemies, this example brought down the entire Roman Empire in the space of less than three hundred years. The auto driver got annoyed and when I finally got back to the hotel he wanted double the fare, I told him you can have it, but the extra is a gift, he did not accept this and seemed to refuse to take the money. It seemed unbelievable that the guy would cheat to ask for me and when this is realised and the benevolent donor says ok you can have it as a gift, the cheater just will not take it with humility as a gift, but instead keeps on demanding it as of right. Poor and stupid as he knows he is relative to the donor, he cannot simply bow down and take the gift, he has to cling to his greed and lies as if it is the truth and a right owing to him. Astonished at this example of human nature shown by the grossly poor and ignorant, I bid him farewell and go to bed. No doubt he would argue that you are rich and should pay double as of right to make up for my poor state in the world. But it is the fighting for it, the deceipt as if it were the correct fare when he knows it not to be, that is disconcerting, that shows why a person is where they are. He got 200 rupees off me for a 70 rupee ride. There may well be an argument for increasing the fares in Bangalore for auto drivers, as they may be too low, but that is something that market forces and regulatory bodies should work out and no doubt are trying to, however in the inefficiency of India, no doubt nothing much is being done.

5 Dec

I am exhausted but get up at 6 and shower as Sia Baba suggested, the Mumbai version. This is a good idea. My stylus for the Palm vanishes, I spend ages meticulously packing and checking everything. Then miraculously it materialises in front of my washcase. It is impossible. But there is no other explanation. There was nothing there before. Sia Baba is playing tricks. If only the capo would do the same but it does not. I have thoroughly sorted everything as a result and made a more meticulous list of my possessions. I take the capo going as a sign of neglect and inaccuracy in my records. The one I have replaced it with is a poor second. I fill the Pepsi bottle with urine and drink it, there are no cups. I carry this round with me to reception. The mobile man is not there. I want to put the Capillary Cream in a lighter container, almost impossible to find in India. I try to ring the Osho Guesthouse in Puna to find the capo. Impossible to get through. I get a rickshaw to Majestic to get the sim only to discover I forgot to bring enough money. A horror ride back ensues where the driver mistakenly takes me elsewhere. Back again into hell and I get the phone operational after security code is cracked for 150 rupees after much hagglng. I take a mass of photos then have them burnt on CD. More haggling. Then I head to Cafe Volga where the roof garden is too noisy and the ac room closed, the other dining area is noisy with Indian music pop. The waiters crowd in as I use the Palm. I am beginning to recover from the hell of the fight on the streets. I need the Hilton. I contemplate how to get to Putterparti. Taxi or bus. The Christian STD man said only one ordinary bus at 5 and it is after 5, but then he lied about the Osho number so credibility is in quesion. The taxi appears to be 1,800. 18 times the bus fare. But to stay means unnecessary suffering to me in this jungle of humanity seething like a snake pit. I want out.

I get the photo cds. Then battle back to hotel where the rickshaw leaves me high and dry a klick short of the hotel at a suposed travel centre that is unattended. Furious I storm up the street shoving people aside. I recuperate in my room then ask for the car, after checking email at a place near the end of the street that is very cheap and appears to be for students, winding up and up to the top floor. News is not too bad. I stop reading the first reply from Molly. I tip the baggage boys at the hotel 50 rupees.

The car is grimy and without ac but modern. The driver's brother comes along until I insist he get out. I snap more photos. Mostly on the move. I buy a bag of Indian equivalent of chips which contains three sauces in the pack. The cafes on the way are closed because of food poisoning. The road initially is reasonable six lanes, but the last section is a potholed single lane. We stop at a cafe and I just get a drink and banana while I purchase lunch for my driver. He is not so friendly after losing his brother, but I tell him I need to make money from the photos and to let me take good pictures, he becomes more helpful, but the shots of goats and villagers are not good. We arrive at Puttiparti past the big hospital and music centre, all looking like a wedding cake with white and pink icing. We drive into the ashram and I meet an Amero-Indian engineer, Cal. He has a large MItsubishi Lancer and a clean white dressed driver. We need another person to stay in a room at the ashram. We check the dorm but find noone but sleeping Russians. They have cleaned up the bathrooms at least. I am tired and am getting a sore throat. My driver does not want to follow Cal's car. Eventually we drive to Hotel Rennaisance and I get a reasonable room for 650 rupees. I shower and we head back to the ashram where we get a meal in the Western Canteen and Cal meets several Californian friends. One is Lenny who is a musician who has lost his voice. The other is a retired LA parole officer. Cal is actually an executive director of Honeywell and based in Arizona. He is going through personal strife in his life. Lenny has lost his love of his life, Candice, an englishwomen and is existing on virtually charity and illegal work to stay at the ashram. He has been here over four years. He was a singer on the LA circuit and is now writing books and movies. Unfortunately his publisher pulled out on him. He has that smooth charm of entertainers and looks a little like a musk rat. I am kind of sidelined. We finish with a drink at the hotel. I sleep fairly badly.

Dec 6

At 6 we leave and get right up the front. The crowd is much reduced from three years ago. Cal meets the parole officer and they chat. I try and meditate but feel sick and bored waiting. Sia is now driven as he is crippled. I wave dad's letter pathetically as he drives past. He can barely be seen. The shakti is almost gone from him. I suggest we go to the canteen which is closed and we head to the garden and supermarket stores area and get a snack and coffee. I lose my letter and go searching for it losing my cool. They assist for a while but in a panic I leave them. I was slowed down by a bullock cart and almost got into the rythmn of it does not matter, the letter or anything accept how you journey through this life. It is the journey and only the journey itself. And the slow cart cooled me down, but although it called me to follow, my mind pulled me to the coffee stand to demand where my nonexistent, to them at least, letter was. Sitting all the time at the bank, my father's letter. Somehow it summed up him and my situation. All this rushing around India searching and all the time my father had it all just there in the bank. And I was cursing him saying let me let your letter go, but you won't, you abuse me for losing things, that are better lost and I lose my path trying to please you and refind your letter that I fear is just going to hurt me.

I went off in search of Cal at the book store but he had gone to the canteen which was closed when I got there. We met Lenny and went to the visa department that looked like something from the Raj times. Sia Ram said the blue scarfed white dressed volunteers. He is a magician said Cal referring to Lenny. But it was the Punjabi accent, in fact he was saying musician. I left and remet them at the North Indian Canteen. Then we headed into the chaotic town and had tea at the German Bakery where aged Western women hung out by themselves.
A Venezualan, Santos, joined us who was very impassioned. He was in his 50s or 60s but looked young and latin and a bit tubby with a grey beard and a sparkle in the eye.

Carl and I went back to the hotel and I felt I had lost some of my spirituality, was harder and more cynical than when I had come before. I was hoping for my wife to be here and yet in my mind was planning to leave for SIvananda ashram in Trivandrum. It seemed Sia's presence was fading away. I went and showered and then fell asleep. Watched some BBC News. Missed seeing Cal off. Pointlessly tried to ring for a boy to pick up my laundry. The heat was seeping in but the room was cool. I tidied up my possessions. I am tired and have a sore throat and lie in bed. I am in Putterparti.

I got a coconut outside where I had usually had one with the english musician who had been here last time I had visited. A Russian woman tried to push her way in front and I cursed her. I left feeling angry and refusing to move out of anyones way. The paddy field freshly cultivated in the middle of the accommodation block was still in the evening heat over a crescent moon. Arabian Nights came to mind. Outside the ashram I tried to find a parcel to put the photo CD to send to the new Sia Baba. But none could be found. Then I wandered up to the German Bakery pushing beggar children aside. Stormed up the stairs and found a remote corner near the balcony on the roof and looked up at the crescent moon. A strange man talking to himself lit a cigerette and he looked rough with a beany and unshaven, the smell of his tabacco mingled with my coffee and lemon iced pastry. It was not unpleasant though I thought this was a non-smoking area. He left when I moved then came back. I felt a heavy energy. Had I avoided some karma?

I changed the font from arial to times new roman. And magically a creativity invested itself in me, a shining light of inspiration that mingled with gold and age, the dark age of empire and history. A bondage seemed to release itself from some eternal place that was the old India and the shrine at the centre of the balcony took on cosmic proportions. IT was an almost Islamic shrine with Baba's photo in it and a wreath of flowers. Yes, poor baba was dying and I was the first Westerner to locate his replacement, to ask for his divine grace and this dying Sia did not even recognise me. Somewhere the Gods had taken pity on me. They had told me through the Inspiration program, the hue of colour I had created to find one's path, that my salvation would be through Sia Baba, but they had simply ommited to say which one. The whole interweaving maze of transcendental realisation where finally the interconnected whole becomes absolute one and all makes sense was slowly descending. A flame lit from Sia's photo, but it was simply the light of the man smoking. I stared up and there was another photo and he was waving as if to say goodbye. I was confronted by a pile of newspapers as if the Gods were laughing again and saying here is your journalism. And this new Sia, I saw him and something of a miracle descended like the lowering crescent moon, I said to him you are as much my guru as I am yours, that is the irony of ironies. And dear Sia you will have to change if you are to have me as your disciple. And I saw myself at eighty in a cafe on a rooftop in a city that had been created for the new Sia Baba, but a city of epic proportions and modernity, a city that synthesised everything. And people hardly knew who I was sitting there contemplating, an old old man, who had witnessed so much. Who was ready to return to the Gods and had finally paid his dues. All in a German Bakery on a roof top of the heavens in Sia City. For it was the Germans even more than the Japanese who paid the karma of obedience. And an English Australian, why chose me, something of the royalty and good heart of the Raj and the ancient newness of the last continent to be discovered by Europeans. Self aggrandisement. Many will accuse me of that, but all famous people are subjected to the same test, to see if their egos can bare the weight of success.
I pick up the paper and read that Saddam's defence team has walked out of the court as the former attorney general of the US, Clark, was blocked giving evidence on his behalf. The whole democratic process seemed to be in collapse and as if an answer the Nepali boy comes,'You not need a these?''No'An Australian woman catches my eye knowingly.

Something told me just bare the pain, do not run, do not go. I continued reading despite bites from mosquitoes. I started to see the cultural bias in reporting - the leaning towards Islam in India as opposed to Christianity in Australia. Today is exactly 13 years after the Ayodhya Babri Mosque destruction, the day I arrived in Lahore, Pakistan for the first time. Even stranger it is seven years since President Chavez took power in Venezuela, about the same time that I was in negotiations with McKann and Duplex to start TM mag.

I write to Sia:
Dear Sia Baba of Mumbai,
I enclose the photos of your celebration in late November contained on CD. Also there are some photos of Australia and India. I hope you are well and recovering from the illness.
I am sorry I could not come on Monday. However I was compelled to see Sia Baba of Puttiparthi. I hope to visit you personally soon. You or your devotees can ring me on my mobile on 9945839663.
With love

I returned to the hotel adopting a military march and got lost in the labyrinth of lanes and high flats that seem almost Arabic in that fairy tale way.

I am typing in the hotel room which is warm and cicadas are buzzing. A dog occasionally barks. My nose has started to run. I have switched the TV off. The batteries are taking a long time to charge. I have put on the Osho maroon robe. I feel close to sneezing but cannot yet. The room has a military cantonment feel to it. I contemplate opening my father's letter. I have run out of mineral water. It is just after 1 am. I lean over and take the letter. I know I pushed too soon on the Internet today largely as a result of being pushed by Cal with his bend the rules approach that had my sandals thrown away from where he told me to put them, that when I checked said clearly do not put sandals there. I was wondering about the ethics of Honeywell. He told me confront and read the letter as it was given to me and not Sia. I said, but confronting when one is not ready can cause aggression and a continuation of a cycle of abuse. A fine line between procrastination and action. He seemed to scoff. I was not yet confident enough and empowered to realise how correct I was. 'Ignore the rules until you are stopped' he told me was how to deal with India. Yet I sympathised with him as I was so similar in skimping endlessly, seeking the lowest airfare, the best bargain, being proud to shout others for food when it cost me less than a dollar. He was so like me I could not help but like him. He even had the same jowels as Sia Baba. Tempted by air hostesses, wanting to separate from a middle aging slightly bipolar Hispanic wife who spent all his money so he claimed, who could blame him with all the power he weilded. Biasing everything in his favour I could see he was avoiding responsibility and I could see into the nondual that it was myself being reflected in another form. I had said little, but the answer came 'Christ'. The letter had partially opened itself at the right end. A neat cut. The contents were a photocopy of the Holy War by John Bunyan published by Whitaker House in the USA. There was a page of contents with page 172 circled in ink, The Silent Departure. Six pages of that chapter were photocopied in which Mr Carnal Security overcomes the goodness of the townfolk of Mansoul through his false praise causing them to feast and play. Generally overestimate themselves. Mr Carnal Security was the progeny of Mr Self Conceit and Lady Fear Nothing. The Prince Emmanuel's love for his townfolk diminishes and he becomes more reclusive and is eventually forgotten and leaves after his High Lord Secretary forbids them to continue in their evil ways and is ignored. The joyous people who did their duty and minded their own business were corrupted by Carnal Security and finally good old Mr God's Peace retires after Mr Knowledge and Mayor Understanding together with Lord Willbewill secumb. Dear old kind and good hearted Emmanuel returns to his father very sad. The rest of the chapter is not copied and ends with Carnal having a feast and the appearance of Mr Godly-.
Curiously I am wondering if my father sees himself as the hard done by Emmanuel, blameless and kind. One who feels the townfolk were 'not touched by his former favours and when they visited would now 'seem not to hear them'. That his former first wife is Mr Carnal Security and his children the deluded townsfolk of Mansoul.

Next was two photocopies and a minute card with a painting of some flowers done by someone's mouth. The card said simply, 'Father, James.' These were all stapled to my letter. A great sense of tragedy eminated. The photocopy was of 1 Peter 2 and was about the living stone and the holy nation. It started by saying no more lying, hypocrisy, jealousy or insulting language. Then referred to a very valuable cornerstone, no doubt my father. Then it stated that you now know you are one of the chosen people. The rest referred to submitting to the Emperor and behave well among the heathen even when he insults you. Then there was a long paragraph on Christ's suffering. This said even if you are beaten by your master when you have done right consider it a blessing, as if you had deserved it there really would be no credit due. It finished with stating when Christ suffered he did not answer back with insult or threaten but instead carried our sin to the cross so that we could live for righteousness. The last sentence was the lost sheep being brought back to the Keeper of Souls.

I wondered if dad saw himself as Christ bearing his families sins. Although I was confused to the reference of taking an undeserved beating from your master. Did this mean my father's torrents of rage directed at his children should simply have been suffered as a blessing? Or was he referring to himself bearing the insults from myself and somehow covertly I was his master? Or was it simply an irrelevant part of the passage best ignored? Or all three? The Trinity? I was starting to cheer up a little. Or whether the entire passage had nothing to do with my letter at all and was just good advice to survive in an evil world? I could not read in any sort of apology by him for his abuse and neglect of his family.

I slept badly dreaming of the Diabolians who had intermarried with the townsfolk of Mansoul and so produced Carnal Security. What was God trying to tell me if he existed? I felt possessed and taken over by a demon who was fucking me and attempting to extend my penis to the length of my knee. I guess the letter had contained too much shaktiput or tantric knowledge that I was not yet ready for. Perhaps I should have simply let it remain lost in the ashram. I was tempted to write again to my father asking him what he wanted to say.

I woke up at 6.40 and showered then went to breakfast and chattered to a retired chemist from Chennai. I then went to the ashram to discover I had to leave my bag at the bus stop cloakroom. I missed the bhagan, but got closer than before as Sia left by car and drove right past me oblivious to my stares of affection. I had bought some overpriced chappels for 100 and had breakfast at the Western Canteen by myself. I returned to the hotel. Watched religious channel singing to the Gods. I am procrastinating sending the CD.

I force myself out and walk miles to the post office in the heat. They have no parcel. So I walk to a store and pack it in a paper bag and send it. It is impossible to find a toilet so I urinate at the back of the post office Indian style watched unashamedly by a peasant woman. I get an honest auto back. Wonder around the ashram buying junkfood ending up meeting Lenny outside the canteen. We head to the German Bakery where he tells me to forget changing my father and love my jealousy, he then goes off to talk to an attractive Australian woman whose flat he wants. He tells me has not spoken to his brother for four years. I chat briefly to an Italian lady who speaks hardly any English and leave. My cold is shocking and I order ginger tea at the hotel and have a terrible night.

8 Dec

Wake at 9.39 after a night being attacked by mosquitoes. Slowly clean up room and shower, then fix the guitar case and chase up the claims on the Internet. End up at the German Bakery in the little den where you sit cross legged. Some Indian boys reserve it but they let me stay if I play guitar. One's father is a heart surgeon in Detroit and his grandfather was Chief Justice in Delhi. He seems lost and simply runs a gas station. They leave and I have another coffee and a Nepali joins me playing the guitar.

I go to the ashram and listen to the Bhagans as I walk to the supermarket and buy a pile of vitamin C and cold tablets. Then go to the Western Canteen and have soup and herbal tea with bread. I play the guitar by the coconut stand until an Iranian mother and son come who speak little English. I tell them it is your choice to see love or not and if it is too much do not look. A Spaniard comes to me and wants to play the guitar. I let him and then have to leave as it is nine. I feel take the rickshaw it is offered, my heart says, but stubbornly I refuse and go to the Bakery where Andreas cigerette in hand is waiting like the devil. He takes the guitar and plays loud harsh kind of instrumental jazz. I eat apple pie and ice cream. I ask him back to my hotel and he comes to my room. Plays some more as I fall asleep on my bed, then insists I meet him tomorrow at eight at the Bakery. I switch on the TV and briefly watch George of The Jungle. Am I about to collide with that tree?

I dream of Ballarat at the turn of 19th century. Somehow I am in a school in Melbourne teaching at Melbourne Grammar but it is now. And they have asked me to leave, but I refused and as a result I have to teach maths at the junior school and one class at the senior. But the junior is the Hawthorn state school and I do not turn up.

I go to the ashram for breakfast of bread and porridge and herbal tea. I then try and find Indian Airlines office and discover an overpriced airfare from Bangalore to Trivandrum. I go outside and try travel agents who fly Deccan to Chennai and then on to Trivandrum on Indian Airlines for an extortionate 8350r. So I call one a cheat and try and phone Air India on my mobile it connects to IDEA and the number to Air India does not work, fed up I go to the Internet and look up Indian Rail and discover sleeper ac fares from Bangalore are quite reasonable. Their office is closed, the canteen is closed, the library is closed, I get a hot chocolate, the museum is closed. It is hot and middle of the day - siesta nirvana. I walk up the hill to the meditation banyan tree and take photos. I walk back through the ashram gardens and to the German Bakery where I photo stalls full of Sia artefacts and memorabilia. It is hot in the bakery on the roof despite the curtain. The table I am at has a Japanese woman reading. A table away is a young European woman with blonde hair and Germanic looks, blue eyes, etc. Could have been a member of the Hitler Youth. She had watched me yesterday play guitar here. She gets up and asks to sit at my table and starts reading. I talk to her. She is a psychologist from Holland in her 30s seems lost. She is sturdy and not tall but sexual, with strong sexual energy. I feel the energy. Karen is her name. She asks for my story and I tell her then suggest she read this diary. She does and looks increasingly in greater pain. Almost tears come. She looks at me with fear and trepidation, then asks me to stop staring. She asks me if I liked the ashram. I say 'where?' She wants to know what I thought of the Osho commune. I say mixed feelings. She says she has to go. I ask to do what. And she says to go for a walk. I ask if she is meeting 1someone and she says 'yes'. I ask who. And she says it is not my business or words to that effect and I reply it could be. She looks indignant and says 'I do not think so' and leaves. I feel cheated by her after I reread what she read.

I hand 500 r to the waiter and he tells me to pay later. I go to the bus station to book a rail fare but there is a long queue. I go to an Internet cafe to try and make the booking but it will not connect me. I storm out not paying. Go to my usual internet cafe and again the system booking does not want to work. I stand outside waiting and wondering what to do. Lost in a haze. Standing still as voices intercede. Try and distract. Slowly I carefully walk and am gradually drawn back to the bakery. Order capucinno and brownie cake. It is virtually empty. The coffee is more like a mocha, the cake dry. Pipe meditation music slides by.

I write to Sia Baba -

Dear Sia

I have no expectation that you will ever read this, but if you do then may love enter your heart for me. And in return I will send you my love. Ultimately God is us. Just has to be. So why do we have limited powers if God is us and all powerful. Why are we limited? Why can't I simply wish for a beautiful tantric sex oddesey and it simply role up? Or for that matter wonderful sex with several people at once? Somehow I am blocking this happening. So Sia could you remove this block or I am going to get so bored I am going to kill myself.



A woman appeared then disappeared. Singing to Sia rose from the Mandir.

Dear Dad or Father,

I can not very well remember the events of that afternoon apart from returning to my hotel and
ordering mineral water and sleeping. I returned to the bakery after spending an hour trying to tune the guitar and feeling the fury of Andreas playing it and taking its energy away. I vowed to never let anyone play the guitar again. I returned to the bakery and it was crowded. In the corner was Andreas with his guitar and perpetual cigerrette. I persuaded him to move to the alcove where an attractive Russian of Arabic origins was sitting with a Venezualean and an American. They let us come in. We spent most of the time talking. She had Arabic eyes and that almost Italian lithe stature and look, intense and dark with full lips, almost cruel. Her South American friend was in his 50s with kind eyes and the American was young and naive and handsome. Andreas took a panchant to the woman and winked as he talked with his intense eyes. Irene was her name. The lights failed and I felt her stare in its burning intensity. I looked down. Eric the American left to return to the ashram. We put on a show after they left and just played our own tunes together and I began to sing and some friends of Andreas came and applauded. There was somehow a light mood and although my thoughts were this is discordant and I am bluffing, simply the smile won them over.

We left as they closed the lights and I went to his room where he tried to persuade me to take a room there. I slept reasonably.

10 Dec

Got up very late to the sounds of the bhagans. Packed my bags. Went to an internet cafe and found the phone number for Sivananda, rang them to discover they were having a graduation ceremony and the booking office was closed. I checked further on the internet and found a much cheaper Indian Airlines ticket from Chennia. I then went to the ashram for lunch. Tried to telephone there but the queues were too long. Rang outside to discover the office was still closed. Took photos of a dwarf cripple by a handicraft shop, only to be attacked by some elderly European women, who would have been worth photographing as well. I had seen them hanging out in the bakery smoking and they had that kind of gnarled look of Miami or Surfers spiritualists. I gave the beggar all my coins and thanked him and he seemed very happy. I went up to the bakery chased by a plethora of beggars, one without a leg, a child and one who looked perfectly healthy. At the top were the ladies who started yelling abuse as I headed past them to the toilet. On the way back they continued their attack and I Sia Rammed them. I ordered herbal tea good for the heart.

It was cloudy and not too hot. They left and I was surrounded by a few elderly women. 'The truth god, do you want me to go to Sivananda ashram in Kerala?' Seems to be a sort of indifference.

I rang and got an answer saying they were not sure if they had space and I said I would ring back at three. I thought the computer inspiration program suggested my wife would be at Sia Baba, Puttaparthi. A fat beyond middle aged woman slumps on one of the verhandah chairs and I feel she sums up my lethargy and the ashram here, going to pot. Most people are probably having a siesta. I could check my photos on disc. I order lemon soda. It appears I have to be more generous to survive here. And it feels as if I am not ready for that. The cafe has cleared.
I move to the alcove, secluded and quiet. It has Chineses lanterns. Empty.

I make the phone call and a man tells me they have dorm accomodation. I rush to get an airfare. I try booking online but it is too close to departure. I try the travel agent but the same problem, then quickly withdraw cash, grab a rickshaw who for once goes slow. The manager of the hotel is not there, I wait for him to hobble in, he looks like a retired Colonel and not used to being pushed, he looks at me like I am a fool, I then pay and rush to the airport where a Fokker flies in. I buy the ticket and board only to be stopped by security and told to delete photos I have taken. I am last on and have to sit in an uncomfortable front seat where the seats face each other, with a fatish man. The service is basic, a packet of cashews you have to pay for. 2000r for the ticket. There is heavy cloud from the cyclone. An hour later we are in Madras and I try and book on a ticket to be told it is 6600 r. A complete rip off. I storm back in to book a hotel after getting some ridiculous price from a rickshaw driver to go to a hotel. Security tries to stop me and I swear at them and they let me back in. I am directed to a hotel for 1000 r and we get a luxury car driving us there. It turns out to be in a dingy back street and has worn rooms. The ac works and the TV has no remote. I use their internet for an extortionate price and book the ticket online for close to half the price. It works!

I take a walk round the area which is the usual slum. A Jap young man tries to order dinner and I read the paper then go into the dining room where the ac is broken. I head back to my room and watch John Lennon's death anniversary special, then order dinner using room service. A cat and mouse game ensues with room service trying to get the food up, particularly the ice cream sundae which is not available. Two plates are provided. I watch about the source of the Nile and then kids' Jesus channel.

Dec 11

The flight the next day is marred by a bad nights sleep. The 4WD is packed and I am placed in the middle of two virtual peasants. Engineers for Indian Airlines sit squashed in the front, it is a battle to get the driver to put on the ac. The airport is crowded and gun totting security surrounds what appears to be a political entourage. I take shots. Then there is baggage check, check in, followed by an enormous queue for the final security check. The plane is leaving in 35 minutes. I go to the head of the queue and am sent back to get more tags, then I am let through. I grab a paper rush upstairs past the broken escalator and then sit down to hear boarding announced, I rush in to avoid the queue only to be unable to locate my boarding pass. But there it is, hidden in my pocket. I am put over the wing and not by the window. A man who must be about my age, but looks like a peasant sits by the window in a red and black checked shirt. He looks like he could be a communist official for some provincial farming cooperative. He turns out to be a worker in a hanger for Emirates in Dubai. I feel slight food poisoning from the hotel food at Heera. Then the brunch on the plane is sort of curry and pretty uninspiring. The plane is an old Airbus A320. I will be moving into my fifth Indian language zone in 18 days, Keralan. I have a coffee. I eat the sort of chips and my stomach turns at every bite.

The host comes to collect the plates. A strange looking American sits two rows back and seems to know a lot of people. It is cloud all the way. Trivandrum is wet. I check out the prepaid taxis and they are 780 r to Neyyar Dam. I ring the ashram on the mobile but it does not work. It did work in Puttriparti and I managed to contact the Osho guesthouse to discover the capo was not there and managed to persuade a guy to put a note up offering a reward.

I went out and tried to negotiate with the drivers. They would not budge from 700 so I put my luggage inside and waited it out till one agreed to 550 which is what the ashram told me was the price. It was a drive through plenty of water and took a long time for 38 kms. Eventually into the hills and jungle through tiny villages we came to the dam with its funny statues and to the Sivananda ashram. They were still not sure if they had accommodation and it took a while before I was taken to the dorm which had been rebuilt near the ladies dorms and was reasonably comfortable. I joined the intermediate yoga class without a problem. The spark of the guru was still about. I vowed I would not get caught in the games I was caught in last time that led me to leave and have a painful trip round India. The place seemed much more crucial to me now. I realised it was liberal in allowing men and women to mix. And that was also my nature. Somehow I had to make it work this time. Not lose my cool, trust in the teachings and control any rebellion. I had a light dinner then put my valuables in the safe. At dinner we sat on the floor in long lines while buckets of food were passed down. Very basic. Then I moved to the main hall's top section to type as they meditated. Then I heard singing and went to the temple. Back to the main hall then sat there trying to meditate and thinking of the women. Very different from the separation at Sia Babas. The singing began and later chanting and prayers which I did not join in. I felt a little isolated.

Indians were chatting till I hinted for them to sleep.

12 Dec

I slept ok till mosquitoes came and I put up the net, and when the chanting started I slept in. The yoga class was late starting and an irritating fat small Indian women harrased me then asked me to go to the beginners class. There they told me to leave, but I stayed feeling enraged. I had otherwise been in a meditative state.

Tough love. A rather spiraling day, being infatuated with an American yoga teacher and coincidentally sitting next to her at a dinner of Idli and then in the temple chanting. Then earlier she had given a lecture on the mind. A slight conflict as another American had attracted me as well and when I went after lunch to the Health bar another Norwegian women who was at reception was there and we talked for a while. Again an infatuation. I went to the advanced class after lunch. That evening I went back to the cafe and saw the young American who ignored me. I tried to use the Internet and it would not work. Meditation in the evening was difficult and in front was one American and behind the other, both seemingly oblivious of me. I slept slightly better, but wrinkles were getting worse the next morning

Dec 13

I got up early for the walk to the lake where the American yoga teacher sat just in front of me while we chanted to an almost oriental mist over the lake. On the way back she seemed disinterested and I talked very briefly to an extremely attractive Canadian young woman.
The yoga class was relatively challenging and uncomfortable. I skipped brunch wanting to fast and slept through the lecture by going in my room. I got up to do the bins then went to the cafe for fruit salad and papaya which was not a good idea as I had a yoga class. I played some guitar and it was raining. I went to the beginners class and the Canadian girl was there. I was attacked by mosquitos towards the end and went to the toilet.

The keyboard refused to work for two days. It is dinner time. I had a very average yoga class. Then I rushed for dinner, they were cleaning up. I took some rice and banana, then some gruel lentils appeared and I had some more. Perhaps a mistake and as I mulled over breaking the fast, the Canadian girl came up sweeping the floor. I watched myself greedily taking in the food and thought have I advanced at all.

Somehow I am becoming convinced this is not my path. The meditation and video that night showed Swami Devananda was left a sick cripple after a serious car accident and died at 65. Someone moved next to where I had shifted to be by myself in the dorm. I had bad dreams. A frying pan I had dropped climbing up a spectacular cliff, falling on my mother's head and her going beserk then dying tragically. So after that I hardly slept.

Dec 14

Early morning meditation was dull. Then later I was kind of wedged between another two women, back and front. Tried to keep a good posture. Yoga class was in beginners and average. I could not get into the mood and almost walked out. Then brunch; followed by the lecture by the American that was about what yoga is and how to meditate. I tried to meditate.
Then there was a break and coaching class. Where I tried to get the teacher to show me headstand. He got me into it. But then did not explain how afterwards, and I tried to ask him, until eventually I gave up and stormed off. Finally I went to play guitar with an English guy and he did not want to retune the guitar because it belonged to someone else, so I headed to the lake and played down there. Then came back to the yoga class, trying advanced then moving to beginners. There I got caught in the sun, then moved to another spot, but mosquitos attacked me, on top of which I had to watch a girl look lovee dovee into the eyes of the English guy opposite. I left fed up. Dinner was chapati and gruel. I tried to play the guitar afterwards over the background village loudhailer music, then an Indian sat down and took the guitar and played badly a lot of bits and pieces which he could have taught me, then he suddenly itched a mosquito bite got up and left. I was then attacked by mosquitos and someone switched on the ashram music, so I left again. I went to the cafe to get the taste of the dinner out of my mouth and got a fruit salad. The Canadian sort of drifted around and smiled occasionally. At lunch a pussy cat had come and sat by me as I tried to eat sensually and slowly, the Canadian came up and slowly rolled up the mat on the other side, and the cat got up and walked over to her mat and was pushed along the mat as she rolled it up. I had refused to give the cat any food and it seemed to respect that.

Meditation, video and chanting was interesting, I went up the front to imbue the full spiritual energy, only to be told by a large woman it was reserved for staff.'I guess I must have confused myself.''In all ashrams the first row is reserved.''But no-one is sitting there. Could I sit there if it is still free when the meditation begins.''They could come.''I sat there yesterday and noone minded.''Do as you please.'I tried to meditate very unsuccessfully. Begged forgiveness. I felt a kind of pussy cat. And she got up and left. The video was on Swami's peace plane that flew around the world without a passport and finally he took an ultralite over the Berlin Wall. He dropped flowers and peace pamphlets. Devananda was a character who seemed to have a sense of humour. Doing one flight with Peter Sellers into Belfast.
That night dreamed I was a big black spider being devoured by some huge female.

Dec 15

Fire ceremony. I watched the American from the other side of the flames, then left when everyone prostrated. The yoga class I endevoured to arrive early not to get stuck at the end next to some drop kick. Two young women surrounded me, however opposite was what appeared to be a chubby accountant male staring me in the eyes. I almost left. The postures seem too strong and not even that, just my body is fighting against the whole process and seems to be telling me it does not want to be here. I sat meditating as helpers served up breakfast and the American sat beside me. I ignored her. Whenever I am here there are kittens but I never see a grown cat, which makes me wonder what happens to them. I ate sensually and slowly again, the cat came up, but no Canadian. I had a long sensual shower, cold. Then took a long time shaving and putting on face moisturisers and anti-aging products. Wrinkles were not improving. I lay down and read the phrase book I had taken from another bed that had been deserted. Hindi-English. Then I offered my guitar to play to the Englishman and went and booked to go on the tour tommorrow. Now I am in the closed cafe where a few people talk and paint. It is almost time to do the bins. My guitar calls. Should I leave? Yes. No. Maybe. Does not feel right, but where to next. The Mother? The beach resorts, Kodacanal, Auroville? I feel frustrated, I had just been right next to Auroville and flew at some expense here. I put on my headphones.
Karma yoga came and I shifted wood coincidentally right next to the Canadian. I shifted from my position right next to her at the storage faciliy shed to let someone else escape the sun. I had a hat and sunglasses. I did the bins, then went back to the dorm to find the Englishman playing my guitar. I took it from him and went to the lake where a girl was sunbaking quite erotically. I walked past then came back and started playing, the Englishman came down with two girls and went swimming, then the Canadian arrived with an older women they lay on the lawn behind me.

At the yoga class I walked out. I was waiting for the Canadian. I visualised her. When I opened my eyes an Israeli guy was staring at me opposite and a woman who was severely pocked marked, short, overweight and well above middle age was next to me. I tried to stay there. But I came back later and completed the lesson.

I was in the cafe, and went next to pay for the Jungle Trip to discover they had crossed me off. A long argument ensued and I asked two young men who had booked last and also had not paid what they thought was the right thing to do. Keep their ticket was the answer. I went back to the office furious and they rang the swami organising it and let me on. I could not meditate and went to my room and talked to an Israeli.

Dec 16

Sexual dreams of a number of women including the Israeli's girlfriend. Woken up by the Scotsman opposite at 4.30. Eventually got up and ready for the tour which the Israeli said he would go on. Got to the gate at five to six and noone was there. Talked to a guard and he seemed to say they had left. I stressed out and tried to get him to chase after them, but he took me to the office where I was told they were leaving after meditation. I sat in the boat near a young Devon woman who had a stud through her lower lip. Otherwise she was quite sweet. We chugged across the lake then walked silently. First Swami told us to carry some of the food. There was a large bag of sweet potato of sorts and one of the studded english girls was about to pick it up. It looked extremely heavy so I took it. It weighed a ton. After about ten minutes, I thought this is ridiculous and stopped the single file group behind me and suggested that the people with backpacks share the load. Almost all of them were not carrying any of the food. They agreed and we divided it up. Then I got behind Anna, the studded girl's friend who was also studded and very attractive. I let her drift off, we came to a large pool and waterfall. Swam under the falls, not everyone. Then we had a beautiful breakfast. Most of us went for a walk to some higher falls. I forgot my bathers, meditated, then left. Ran back down hoping to see the studded girls nude sunbaking. To no avail. I jumped in and swam round cooling off. Then talked to a Swiss French woman doing an anthropological study on this ashram. We had a long talk and she certainly had a stunning body. I told her that not separating the sexes seemed to create an unnecessary temptation in the ashram. The English girls sunbaked further down. Lunch was cooked and very filling, coconut and potato stuff with rice and sweet tea.

The walk back was fairly dull through the jungle, not much wildlife and I remained at the end by myself apart from an Austrian who took photos. Back on the boat I eventually ended up sitting next to the American, her name was Durga, a yoga teacher who had been on the Sivananda path for five years full time. That was after visiting an elephant baby being tortured - a side trip. It was on a short chain and was hit to make it do tricks. Some of us left. Durga was from Philidelphia, and took some classes as well as the lectures and played the harmonium in the meditation and chanting. She was an enigma. She had been a nurse. She had a severe face with startling steel blue eyes not unlike mine. She had slight acne scaring and a lithe body and was fairly tall. She almost fitted the bill and I certainly tried everything to charm her in the boat. But she had little to say and little to ask me. She was convinced, so she said, in Sivananda path at least via Devananda. She was not particularly beautiful to me. A bit gawky. I skipped the meditation and thought about leaving. Cleaned up my stuff and shifted it all onto one bed and mopped the floor and cleaned the shelves and precisely ordered everything. For it seemed to me I was being directed out. This place was too unclean and I was basically unhappy and not getting into the yoga or the chanting. However I went to bed, had more erotic dreams and woke up exhausted.

Dec 17

I got up for meditation fairly late and went in without a shower. Sat up the front next to Durga. a bit behind and felt frustrated. Durga is actually a goddess who is reknowned for killing her enemies and carries the skulls of her victims around as a necklace. I should have known. She seemed to be on a very high horse. Yoga was very annoying, the Canadian was opposite and staring at all the guys. I gave her daggers looks. Then at breakfast I ate meditatively and she came and cleaned up and I deliberately kept her waiting sitting sipping my tea. I went to the lecture to discover everyone sitting against the wall. I sat in the front in the middle and meditated in half lotus. I was probably in the end more comfortable than the rest of them and the hour went very fast apart from being slightly embarrassed being the only one not against a wall. Karma yoga was shifting a heap of wood single file and I was stuck in the sun again as I had the only hat and sunglasses. I then did the bins looking a bit like a French Foreign Legion soldier with my Khaki cap and its back protection sort of bandana. It amused the Indians. I did my washing in the bathroom and tried the coaching class with swami, who tried to help me with my stiff lower back fairly ineffectually. I was exhausted in the yoga class advanced. The Canadian had shifted to the beginners wbere I was thinking I should have been. We seemed to be in a game of cat and mouse. I was attacked by mosquitos and left during the relaxation after not being able to do the postures well. Durga was sort of hidden in front opposite behind the American guy who I had tried to kick off the trip.

Diner was the usual gruel and chapati. I was late and sat in the empty second row. I was basically ignoring everyone anyway. The daft English girls sat next to me, then the rather svelt one got up and moved away. I finished quickly and left to the dorm where more mosquitoes attacked me as I wrote this. I guess in truth I am keen to leave, but nowhere else feels right. Amma's ashram I found too restrictive, and dirty, this I find too dirty, Yogananda is a possibility. I am thinking that Australia is much cleaner and wealthier and would I prefer to be there. But I cannot think where there. Went to the shop and bought insect repellant and a cookie. Durga was serving as usual. She did not really reciprocate to my smile and looked blank. I went and looked at some books and said, 'so cool'. She closed and I loitered round till she asked me to go. Apparently I had short changed her by one rupee. Meditation was difficult I sat directly behind Durgha who seemed not to notice and I felt very uncomfortable. There was a comedy show talent quest on later, that showed some NZ humour. Forward bends with someone elses hidden legs comically showing an absurdly high flexibility. Singing Simon and Garfunkel, an awful comic poem and an American doing Jackson's 'Beat It' to send up the fasting program agenda. Did not sleep well again and woke up feeling paralysed in one hand.

Dec 18

Woke up and got up to go on the meditation walk to the lake, she was sitting there, both the shes, Durga and the Canadian right by Swami. The Canadian was completely ignoring me. Yoga I went to beginners to be with the Canadian but she had now gone to advanced. Breakfast I was late and sat pretty much by myself. I must have made a major mistake forcing the jungle tour. But all I can think of is that disastrous tour round India after I left last time so upset with the Australian girl. Everything says go, even the wrinkles in the morning. The lecture I arrived late for and people were sitting normally. The Canadian was there and I sat not far from her and we ignored each other. I went to Durga afterwards to ask for a chant book. Karma yoga was sorting small and large pieces of wood, I refused to go in the sun. Then there was another tea break and I showered and took some tea to only discover I did not like it. The Canadian was right by me and sat next to the Russian. I was going to sit next to her but several unattractive women blocked the way and talked to her. I stared at her holding the tea and not drinking, she ignored me and I thought of throwing the tea in her face. I asked to myself how much are you worth and I got the answer one thousand and the first woman left, the Australian was more dogmatic and it took sustained effort to out match her, such that when she left the Canadian walked by deliberately ignoring me, I did not grasp the moment. I went up to the gate thinking she may have gone for a walk by the lake. The guard stopped me and I thought for a while and started talking to him, then I said I was looking for a wife and offered him one thousand rupees if the Canadian agreed to marry me. I told him he need not necessarily do anything. I went to the yoga class. People were there early and I stayed opposite the Russian to block her going there, but the young American at the end I could not cover and sure enough she went opposite him, such an unloyal puppy. I left and went to the toilet and thought of not coming back, but the guard walked up to me and I explained where she was. He went and looked. There was a woman also nearly opposite the American and she also left. I saw her in the garden. I slowly walked back very quietly into the class and returned in time for the closing prayers. I was feeling better and ignored her as I left. Memories of the first time I came here came back and the mating ritual that was adopted here. Never invade wait till they come to you. Could I be that patient? I showered and cleaned up for dinner and some elderly Japanese had arrived in the dorm. At dinner I was slightly late and had put on the Regenist Perfecting Cream and some of the eye lifter and the Kashmiri shirt. Everything was clean. I quickly ate knowing I was in the wrong seat and did not look opposite or around and left. I then went back to the dorm and to the laundry which was closed. I had got an intuition I would have to make two trips for some unknown reason. To get my money. Then I went to the boutique, the books seemed not to be the answer, nor Durga. Before that I had headed to the gate to talk to the old guard but he told me to come back later. So now I went to the cafe, there were not many people there. The receptionist walked past. I ordered fruit salad, banana shake and a ginger cookie. Put on moaquito repellant and began typing. Sure enough in she came to join an American group. She sat opposite an American guy in a blue shirt. The passage in the book I had opened in the book shop had said this is all illusion remember that. Sivananda saying remember you are God and you are not this body. She sat there talking, her back to me ignoring me and I was thinking how am I God. Incense wafted by. What was it about her that was so attractive. Seemed to be nothing special apart from a perfect body for yoga and tall. Face very empty. Undisturbed. And a memory of me standing outside the yoga class watching her doing the side bend and her looking around watching me watching her and for a moment she seemed to surrender, then I smiled and it was lost.

The mosquitos are attacking despite the toxic repellant. Should I go? She seems locked away from me. Just like Sita kidnapped from Ram by Hanuman and taken to Sri Lanka. In meditation she was sitting next to the American. I went to the office and Durga was there. I told them I would probably leave tommorrow. I could not take it and left and talked to the guard and offered him 2500. He agreed she was very beautiful.

Dec 19

I have skipped meditation in the morning and slowly packed my bags. I went to yoga and the guard came and told me he would be away today. I took the furthest area and closed my eyes for almost all the session and I did my postures well. I opened them and saw Durga opposite and behind another person, she was looking at me. It angered me. I kept away from everyone. I avoided tea and brunch. I did not go to the lecture. I had resigned to leave and took my money from the safe and payed my bill and as usual they tried to charge me for another day. The girl was rude and I flicked my safe card to her and it shot past her to the floor. I should have left however I felt obliged to do the karma yoga and this time brought sunscreen as well. Sure enough we were shifting more wood. I went to the front of the pile and there was the Canadian ignoring me. She left. I did not want to go in the sun but noone else had protection, so after ten minutes of watching them suffer I took the head spot of lifting the wood up in the sun, after I had covered myself in sunscreen, ironically I had bought my sunglass case but not them. It did not feel good on my back. I spoke to the organiser, a grey haired well coifured man who seemed to like the ladies. I told him to tell the group next time to bring sun protection and hats. He said they should know that. I pointed to a group burning up in the sun. He did not acknowledge it.
I skipped the tea and instead took my guitar and camera to the cafe, there was music playing so I could not play the guitar, and I had a fruit salad and cookie and banana. I took some photos of the ashram. Then went to the yoga class, I was late and took a place on the end, the Canadian was there opposite. I closed my eyes and did the postures not very well. We occasionally glanced at each other. I missed dinner continuing the fruit fast and asked to see Swami. I was told to wait till after satsang. I went up to his office while the puja was going in the temple and tried to meditate. I went back and tried to meditate in the meditation room of the temple, then I went to his office and knocked. He told me to come back after Satsang after a brief chat. Satsang was uneventful, more women sitting beside me. The Canadian ignored me. I went to his office and told him my story. He told me to stay and endure the burning. To not be controlled by my sexual desires and rise above them. He related his own story, many relationships in which he idolised the woman as the mother and sought unconditional love which never eventuated, he married and she went off with another man. He then sought a complete break from women and found Sivananda in London. He was from Rhodesia and had been at school with Mathew Rudd at Falcon. He could not remember the Podmores.

It was late at night when we finished and I unpacked and remade the bed and after attacks by mosquitos put the net up.

Dec 20

Slept late till after seven, then went straight to yoga where most people were there. I went to the far end where an Indian and Israeli women were. I kept my eyes open to reduce wrinkling and did only what I felt comfortable doing. Durga came behind me. I stopped in the forward bend and continued holding that posture for the entire class. I then stayed, missing lunch, looked at the photos of Devananda on the wall. I was then moved to do a headstand with my hands to either side like scorpion pose. I got into it, but the second time I lost balance and sure enought someone was watching who came up and offered to help and my positioning went completely out. I told him this quite strongly.

I returned to the dorm and showered, while I was typing the Israeli couple arrived. They ignored the fact it was a male dorm. I felt the sexual energy lower me and thought to leave. Then I went with the guitar to the temple and played to the receptionist. After that I went to the cafe and had a debate with the girl there about eating and her boyfriend. I refrained from eating as a result and the young Russian borrowed my guitar. I went to the beginners yoga and the guy opposite my bed's girlfriend sat opposite me and I left and went to the advanced which was by the lake and as I was late I was pushed up the back and not far from the Canadian, I basically did my own routine and left during the relaxation. My headphones lost volume on the left side.

Next the charger would not charge the batteries. I looked for my guitar and the Russian had not returned it. I found it in his upstairs loft in the dark and then I could not find the tuner, it was in my bag. He apologised. I went to the cafe ignored Parvarti and ordered a banana shake and fruit salad.

There was a puja in the evening, we offered rice to the flames and red powder and flowers under a lantern. Then there was a time where I sat next to a Swedish girl who had pushed aside my mat when I had left to get my camera, and I sort of complained. We compromised with me smiling and pushing her into a small corner, and I thought women have to be mastered. Then as I chanted I thought no, the humble approach is just to gve it to her. I looked at the Canadian further down and she was blissfully chanting. I thought...

Dec 21

I am in Covalum at a dance program of Indian Classical style. 'Siva strikes again in the new millenium' is the motto by the stage along with herbal food for perfect health. It is vegetarian restaurant and offers an evening buffet for a very reasonable price. The chutney is excellent. There are a selection of at least 12 plates and a cooking class offered in the late afternoon. Of course a cooking book is on sale. Many dancers act out the Mahabrahma? Children are the main performers even one Bollywood style. The costumes are varied, one orange and green with jewellery. I took many photos irritating some of the guests. Some wore purple glittering pajamas. The coordination could have been better, but for their age perhaps Bollywood could be where one might go.

I woke up late almost in time for the end of the meditation and the last of the chanting. I did advanced yoga and Durga was behind me again. I did roughly my own thing. I stayed in spinal twist looking through her after the class. Then I had the brunch breaking the fast. I packed up and left. I had told the guard that the Canadian was not interested. I had a slight confrontation with the staff about ordering a rickshaw, they wanted me to phone for it. As I left suprisingly a few people came up to say goodbye. I had given my defective mosquito net and pillow and cushion to a gay English lad. As I left Swami stopped me at the gate and asked me why I was leaving, I just smiled. And he nodded. I did not tell anyone where I was going - they were inquisitive.

The rickshaw took me to the bus which I had been told left every half an hour to discover it was not going for over an hour. I milled about then took an auto annoyed I had not taken a taxi. He took me to various electricians and eventually the charger repaired itself and after I had agreed to have him take me to Covalum Beach, he found a TV repairman with a bunch of TVs piled in a dusty mess on the main road, who eventually fixed the head phones using an eye piece to see the electronics. I paid him though he did not want anything. At Covalum the auto tried to take me to a private house in a back street. I looked and said no, then went to the main beach where he offered to help carry my luggage as it was not possible to take the auto any further. I said goodbye to his auto with its little photo of a white boy and girl kissing in the back. We walked along the beach footpath. I ignored the hasslers, and stopped at one place where a woman of southern European origin sat in her bikini and took the room. It was called Sea Breeze. I wandered about checking a few other hotels with views then went for a swim in the fairly strong Ocean, body surfed, had a shower and cleaned up. Then went for a walk round the back looking at more hotels. Past the ditch canals and swampy rice paddies and palms along small raised concrete paths and narrow lanes filled with internet cafes. I went and had an ice coffee and a stale Xmas almond cake at the German Bakery which I tried to return. A large party of Congress officials approached with flags and loud hailers along the beach. The breeze was strong from the top floor of the cafe. I went for dinner at the vegetarian cafe like Nirvana called Suprabhatham where a girl from my hotel was eating with a friend, I said hello, but the vibe was not good, so I left very slowly. And was met by a stoned man who took me to his cafe and offered coffee and hash. Dejavous of 1993 came back, the damage caused by the drugs I had taken, I tried to stay in his cafe, God seemed to will it, but I could not, paid for the undrunk coffee and left. I ended up at a back area Lonely Planet advertised vegetarian restaurant and asked the staff where my wife was, every bone in my body said not here. I talked to the shopkeeper about finding my wife or killing myself. He was happily married living a pure life. Somehow I felt God was present watching. I was trying to connect. I told him I must try and find her at Amma's ashram. I succumbed to food and entertainment and entered the Lonely Planet.

I had received one phone call and I rang back to talk to someone who could not speak English. As I arrived at the hotel the girl walked up, she was in the room next to mine.

Dec 22

I hardly slept, only just before dawn. I felt I was in a tantric ritual which revolved around anal sex.

I got up very late, played some guitar, talked to the girl next door, who was from Mozambique and was doing Ashtanga yoga with an Italian yogi who charged 1000 per class. The other women arrived much later after I had slept and she was Russia DJ who had dired blue hair and spoke little English, she wore her bathers like they were g strings though they were not. She was heading to Sivananda ashram. She put on a skimpy see through short dress and left.

I headed to walk down the beach being chased by umbrella and beach chair hirers. Then returned for breakfast at Suprabhatham's garden and ordered musli and papaya. There were some rough Aussies and a Japanese and American group. For some reason I have been drawn back into the West. Have I acted too soon? The group of three left and I felt an opportunity lost and more burning, loneliness. I noticed my connection to God getting closer, more coincidences connecting, words spoken explaining immediately my actions. For instance making a connection that eating the fruit bought young beautiful people to me and then biting into the musli and milk sent them away, gain one pleasure lose a much greater one. Then the waiter comes up and asks me does it taste good. Very good I reply. Gradual transition is what I seek, slowly change to the rawfoods with total awareness that it must be. I wonder how Renee is at Dana Clare's property. I feel the trots coming, but not unpleasantly. Part of me says kill myself as I think of the nudist retreat I wanted to create in Queensland and the Austraian woman I ignored because she was too ugly at Sivananda, who wanted to buy a property right where I had wanted to set up the retreat. A sign here says 'India is not a promise, but an experience, Come here with a open mind' Indira Gandi. Last night what I saw was the probability functions, that it was merely a probability of meeting a wife and where best to increase the probability. Then I directly asked questions in my mind. Is she here, answer no, is she at Amma's, maybe, is she at Varcarla, immediately yes. I stopped but doubt persisted that I could not ignore, so I asked more and the function had changed to Ammas'. My question was very specific, 'where is the best chance of meeting the most suitable person for me to marry?'. The answer now seemed to have changed to more likely Amma's, but not certain. I felt time was running out. The plump tatooed South African woman smiled at me. Where to? Leave now? I would be stuck with my room being past check out, it was almost three. The power of persuation. And then I turned and saw Amma's picture, a large one I had not seen before in the interior of the cafe. I want to leave but I cannot see where to go that will be better, and I feel deep sadness, and I want to avoid this by eating cooked food. I think to order the Thali. It helps writing I decide to leave. I think of the Russian, Natalia, and walk back very carefully, her door is slightly open. I put my stuff down on the table and get my guitar, but the generator starts up. I am frustrated 'why?'. I sit thinking shall I go to my room and take all my stuff of value off the table or type this, which is the right action? I type, but feel some aggression. I decided I was wrong and am about to stop when part of the generator stops, not all. Enough not to be able to play, so I decided to go into the room as the jackhammer continues. 'Come out Russian,' I will. Nothing happens. I am almost in the moment. I go to pick up my valuables. As I pick up the tuner, she walks out and I stop as she smokes. She tempts the young boy exposing her legs feet up and crotch open. He is a house boy and sits on the well. I am blocked from the view by a pillar. Is God helping me? I have the bible Gideons by me. The tuner on top of it. A tough banana to one side. When I write this she gets up and goes into her room. The boy comes for the laundry money. My khaki cap lies in front, slightlly to the back and my wallet on the right. The generator almost stops, gradually chugs out. I start playing and write my expenses in the Palm. I ask the boy who is loitering around the Russians' door why he is not at school, but he knows little English.

Watch your self. I am now at the German Bakery, the Mozambique woman was there with a man about my age doing Ashtanga. He was muscular and slightly bald and short. I left. I walked to the veg restaurant and it felt wrong, so I carefully and very politely walked back avoiding blocking anyone. At the bakery two Americans seemed to join me, thirtiesh early, and tall and attractive. I walked up and the waiters asked me if I was with the Americans and I said 'I'd like to be, but I don't think so.' They laughed. The Ashtanga couple left. I talked to the Americans and discovered they were living in London. A tall woman entered, looked like a yoga fanatic. She sat in the corner by the window. I had finished my dinner and it was good. Lemon soda and bhajii punchmail.

That afternoon I had stayed in my room observing the Russian, there seemed something slightly pathetic about her as she coughed the smokers cough with her door partially opened. I went out and met the African girl with frizzy hair, she had been down on the beach swimming with the Italian swami an she looked like something from a movie. She ignored me and I went up and asked her if she could show me the yoga school. I bought some cashews and waited outside her door practically. The Italian charged 150 US for a week, more if you paid in rupees. I was polite. I went back to my room tried to write some music, then left to meet the African leaving I asked if she wanted to come to dinner and she said she was going to meet a friend. I left and went to an internet cafe and discovered there was a time limit on the unfair dismissal claim which had passed. The life I was clinging to, the past, was it right to do so. I tried to check the photos on the CD, but it did not work so I left. Went to another place and looked at some of the photos which were quite good. It was hot in there. I felt empty.

The Xmas decore in the bakery is kind of tacky. Stars and tinsel, but nice wicker chairs on the third balcony. It feels I made a mistake leaving the ashram. But that is negative thinking. I ordered a coffee and cake, as if by magic the yoga woman gets up and washes her hands. Mystic Islamic music plays. She leaves, she was oldish but a superb figure. I face the back of the Americans, but somehow feel them. The waiters hover. It seems to come down to the food. There is a bit of an expat feeling. Something tells me ignore them. The interconnections manifest as I devour the cake, The sugar like heroin flows down. I seem to be talking to the African, telling her to not give up on the man, her eyes so deep like a pool. The Americans draw me back like sirens of the deep. The slow lull of the sitar and flute, tabla create their hypnotic trance. Osho is in the air. Do not surrender too quick. I read the news that the Sunnis have claimed the election fraudulent in Iraq. They are undergoing a rapid transition to understanding democracy that though intense may in the long term have some effect even if they do return to dictatorship. I feel I have lost something and wish the African her husband. I know the Russian is wrong, the Americans though beautiful and well educated and polite are too conservative. The english yogi too old and ugly. And as I write this a toxic slick heads down the Amer River to a Russian city from China. Water is being horded. Tons of carbon being dumped in the river to absorb it, five weeks ago it happened. She walks up and the dance of Kali is coming to life. I feel the music. And the keyboard becomes a musical instrument. The punishment of the Gods for enjoying the senses, an old waiter walks up and I feel that pain, he is staring at the Americans. Love cannot exist with lust it seems. Not until they merge. I invaded the Americans it is true. They did not mind, but it was my fault. They reminded me of the Longs. Where would I drift too it seemed the karma was complete for the night, but not so. I wanted to make a deal with the African, you can have him if you give me someone, and the Englishwomen came to mind, was it the same price she had to endure. An older person, ugly in a way, though beautiful also in their figure stunning. And I saw the Canadian in the ashram with the guard and the guard was crying tears of love. I cannot reject them. But I was still in conflict with Palm, it should have been the HP. I wanted to ask them where in London they lived. Some companionship. Empathy. In walked a bedraggled I would say thirtiesh working class Englishman, like an addication. Like a plague. Try and love this person who stares at the Americans like a dog. I have no secrets, part of me said cover the screen as they walk out.

Dejavous, is some fictional writer writing this, who is in control. Words are entering my head as questions to ask them, mundane connections to London, like telepathy. Who is in? I look at her. Emotional connection. The block. The black block of the man there. The dreams of rape. Anal rape. You have to deal with him in all his ugliness. And he will not leave, pathetic in a way but sad beyond measure, he eats fruit salad. He is unshaven. Thin, short hair. Lost. Empty. Barefoot. Needs help. Seeking it in women who will reject him. So much of myself. The mirror, the dance. Osho appears and tears are in his eyes. The waiter walks up and that happy blankness cuts through. Are you ruining my chances? The thought enters use his energy to talk to the women, but if all is truly love then none can be left out and yogananda appears. And I feel him try and drag me into his despair. Which has happened so much in the past. I see in his eyes that look of longing and as I truly empathise he gets up and leaves. As I want to say to him 'I can help you if you come to me, I can send you to Sivananda'. And I see my own addiction played out as I see how I look across at the women, a look of pleading rather than equality or respect, a look of invasion. And the whole Iraq war seems explained, the women and the men. The sun of Christ and the moon of Islam. And I think you could have made friends, the African, the Americans, the starving world, the rich - the pineapples appear, the candle burns low and I think of Mills and Boon and she offers the pineapple to me. And I take some and I look at the waves and see myself in the sea 12 years ago. In the dark dreaming dreams that would not be fulfilled. And thelight o the lighthouse turns like a star, a cluster from a nebulae, a cosmic disco. Palm needs to discover a superfunding method to enter its corporate losses and begin to close something to act honestly. Tax. I feel that jump that always causes me pain. The waiter has a romance with the women. I leave and sleep quite well.

Dec 23

Wake up with temperature and sore throat, not sure what to do or where to go. Something tells me to sit it out. I go for a swim fast out. Then I shower and go looking for the yoga teacher. Eventually I find Shiva. I return and the Russian meets me as I walk out and is friendly. I talk to the Indian manager and eventually it turns to cricket. The African arrives. I go to my room. I go do some internet and burn a CD of my photos and make many phone calls trying to connect my mobile properly and locate the guitar capo. Ring KThali Resort near Ganeshpurri. No luck.
Then I walk to the veg restaurant and meet the African, Dalia, by chance, she is empty in making a connection and calls me strange. I say I am cautious. I go to yoga and meet Shiva, I am the only one there. We simply talk and he helps a bit with saying I should fulfill my sexual desires. Then I offer to help him create an ashram and accept him as guru. We agree to meet at 4 am. I go back in the dark, return to Sea View Palace and the lights go out. I am offered a candle. Dalia goes into her room when I arrived. Where to go? I thought something would happen but it did not. I know going to the restaurants is wrong. I drink lemon tea from the used tea bag and mineral water. I can not see where to go. Desire tells me to go out. I open the door the Russian is sitting there using a laptop with headphones on. I blow the candle out. I think of playing the guitar but something says no. I am in my Kashmiri shirt and underpants.

I talk to the Russian and the conversation turns to drugs and I tell her the problems I suffered as a result. She leaves. I go to Supra and sort of meet a woman who is just there where I am standing waiting for a seat. I discover she is a Sivananda yoga person and I order a banana lassi. The connection is not really right. She is a Londoner. Credit control officer, am I in a surreal comedy. My spiritual account is under review. I see this world, the Sea View with its wall with no windows facing the sea, the irony, has become the ashram. And here I am in the pure veg restaurant, she leaves pulled away by cynicism of the path and the boy in Garneshpurri. The music changes to techno classical Indian sitar. Mysticism is in the air, and I feel joy. I order the same dish she had and brown rice. I walk down to a more comfortable seat in the garden and the brown rice has grit and is rough as guts. Two attractive women are sitting a table away. A kind of joy and punishment for taking the cooked food. The happiness diminishes, surges away. I feel an opportunity may be there. All my false judgements, that Dalia was a druggo and she was an Ashtanga yoga student, that the girl who walked up was an English tourist and she was also an Ashtanga yoga student. The energy has dropped and I wonder if I should leave. Fusion seems to call. The play of maya is taking its course with or without me. At the moment it seems I still have to kick it along. I moved to Fusion, a sort of up market yuppie coffee bar at a posh hotel.

I ordered pressed coffee. I thought I was going to meet someone and as I walked up a woman stared at me. Kick it along. The package tourist families from England are here. Couples mostly. Be positive. A French family arrives. Total emptiness. Why was I led here? The woman in Supra mentioned another yoga teacher took only donations. Darna? Greed drew me here, or fear. As I told her I still am caught in eating. I must follow my karma. I am trying to expediate the process by finding a guru. Somehow I know in myself I am not strong enough. I told this to Shiva. Here I sit at a table for four and I am one, and I am thinking of pastries. Osho comes to mind as I stare at the orange with the flame. The world of art and the orange coral in a bowl. Strong coffee and techno. And chocolate cake, if you have to deal with liberating the masses, then you have to take some of their poison. I see the couple opposite as part of God's experiment. Sort of 30s. Dragging me back into the world. Sexual desire as I look at them with bliss. Not really happy, could I help liberate them? Yes. The voice says. It is all in the feeling. We know when we are hurting others. All one can do is try and impart love with all one's heart. And I feel such a heavy heart thinking of returning to the hotel. You took the rajasic food, the coffee, two cups and cake. Why? You stopped and denied the ice cream.

I need to raise a large amount of money. It is all God. I want to die. Give your whole heart. How do I walk out? Impossible. The bowl with the napkins stares, it is a head, a primitive head, a Keralan head. Almost African. Rich Indians are here. I stare, my crime was writing and my brother drew me in to his lair of fiction. I tried to get him out and he destroyed me. The classic Ramayana. Zander. And now I am in prison. And where is the key? I was bored by Siva's stories. apart from the one about the Sardhu who put himself to sleep for a month to experience married life and entered the kings body. Bettter I endure this pain now. Complete sexual freedom. Mosquitoes.

French, Indians. Money. Pay my debt. Where are you? Blue tooth. Typing speed. let go. now. fast. faster. fste fasres fasteds rast rst rasterfarien. Giansts giants the rain coms.s comes. movedment. control over the word processer. Wairte moves me accept. feels not good. accept. go. lsot something. smell of meat. accept. videnna. no mistales. none. your doing it. ''
they put me in the wron plce ad i fucking hate hthm ofro it. the basteanrds dumbe fuckeing idionts which makes me want ot treblel and crucsh the bastuards. but i am very patient at theses retarded poplel and this inefficiant word processeor which is adding ot me hll. i just muchs tbrare the hre dsotudndnso aundtl i cna l lgr toufgdj ethfgsdjsdgsjflsjhgwe. so lsetme sofsnfs fjfsjfsjfsl sdlfksdjdfs sf s

I bought a pile of sweets home and ate them before I slept. I dreamed of Melbourne Grammar.

Dec 24

I am still burning from the coffee. I got up at 3.30 am and Shiva was late. I almost left. Instead we had a long conversation after meditation which I did not do. I discovered he had a 45000 dollar debt from failed businesses hence his charges. I offered to help pay this off. We discussed operating on donation. I left when my bladder could take no more and ran back passing Dalia. I felt more empowered in a way, but weaker in resisting temptation of food, but not sex strangely. I felt I had to help him. I wanted to. More coconut biscuits. How to raise $45,000?
I went out and to the Supra, but was very tired and left and went to the internet cafe hoping to fulfill duty. But email from mother only and music spam songs. Back to Supra for porridge and cardoman tea. Humorous English elderly couple there and one attractive woman. And another old couple. Still feel blocked. Raising this money or leave. Give everything.

I go to the German Bakery and same problem. I sit next to an old American woman selling textiles. She is gnarled but bright. A beautiful model looking young woman sits beside her like a goddess and lights a cigerette, the American complains bitterly to me. I do not react. She leaves. I have German bread of sorts and cheese spread with herbs and lemon soda. I stare at the woman and look at the sea. It is hot and humid. I feel drawn to her and will her to come with me. A man from the ashram sits next to her then gets up and tries to talk to me. I ignore him. She looks as if she is going to cry. Puts on sunglasses. Another very gnarled sunburnt woman sits between us. And I give up and go.

I sleep in the hotel. Task seems impossible. I get up and go to find other yoga teacher and end up on merry chase where the combination has accidentally changed on my lock to get my money. I feel anger rise. At Wilson I am taken to ac rooms with views and tv. I spit phlegm from the sore throat. I am separated from the hawker and ironically find the yoga teacher's place who is not in. I return to the hotel, no steps can be missed. I feel it is time to leave. I am not going to inflict contamination on myself to accelerate this process. I sit on the balcony and use the Kingfisher tea masala. I read the Bible and come across Esther again and the king's palace. I cough. As I walked to the Sea View there was Dalia on the beach packing up and I was walking very yogically and erect, I maintained this and we coincided at the foot washing, and I moved in a line absolutely aware but oblivious to her and I had to to keep my posture. And I am sure she tasted some of her own medicine. Maybe I lost an opportunity because she had friends and they were with her and when I entered the room my posture collapsed.

The lights go out. The keyboard is lit up like a fairy night light and the boy brings the tea. The medicine. And the jealousy of Haman against the jews leads him to want to kill Mordecai, but the Queen so beautiful, Esther, to the king is a jew and Mordecai has been rewarded by the king as the most favoured. The lights go on. The king finds out that Haman wants to kill Mordecai and sees him pleading with Esther, he executes him on the gallows meant for Mordecai.

So I begin to see a random passage can speak a revelation. For I want a beautiful Queen like Esther. And when one comes it seems a jealous man always arrives wanting her as well. I randomly open and there Esther again. He was the greatest king in the world, His wife Vashti did not come to his celebration of his power, so he stripped her of her power and sought young virgins to replace her. Mordecai knew that to win favour he would ensure a jew, Esther received the king's favour, for the jews were still captive and untouchable. So he concealed her race.
So my wife does not appear. I seek Esther. I must look for an advisor who is my captive who will trick me in a way into believing that the woman he presents for me is not of his race. But she will be. For it will be forbidden for me to marry into this race. There will be a plot by two of my eunechs and Mordecai will reveal it to my Esther, and I will hang them. And I will appoint another advisor who is more of my race, a more jealous one, who hates these people and he will try and turn me against my Mordecai. But this time I will not lose my Queen, and his attempt to kill Mordecai will result in his own death. I am in a room not facing the sea but a wall and a shrine. It is xmas eve. The curtain is just slightly too narrow as if the owner just wanted a little peek. So India. The heat is oppressive. A fat woman and her thin friend take a room next to mine. I must seek a new advisor and the boy arrives with the refilled tea. The young boy stands at reception staring. He is eighteen, but looks fifteen. The Palace Hotel so ironic. Who are my advisors here? Mordecai and Haman.

Dalia arrives walks past my room away from hers and says hello. I say nothing. She goes into her room and locks the door. I go into my room and see the bin is full and give it to the boy. He does not want to enter the room. Dalia then asks the boy why she has no hot water. For the third time I ask for hot water for the tea, the boy takes the glass, but brings it back without the used teabag. The boy then takes the bin into my room and Dalai walks past with the manager. And I ask for hot water for my shower. India.

I see Dalia like a very young sister. Ten minutes and the shower will be ready. I have a hot shower, then go to dinner at Santana, sizzler and pancake. Old German dragon woman comes and smokes with a young Indian next to me. I move. I read the ebook Last of the Mohicans. It is 10.20 pm. I go to my room then to the bakery but it is empty. I wonder and read the bible about a good wife. I go to Fusion and order coffee. They have an irritating band. I cancel and go.
I go back to the bakery. Order coffee. They say they are closing soon. I accept. Celebrations are very limited and I feel flat. Empty. Believe with all your heart that the money can come for the ashram. When I was attuned to this it seemed to give me strength. I get a coke and the coffee comes with the waiter. The roll is stale. The pot is huge. The night will be long. And hot. I need a woman. OR suicide. The money will be the guide. More coffee, and what else. Amma? Alone to the discourse of the night and the meanderings of the retarded beings that entrance this place and bring disillusionment to the foolish. The Germans walk out and try and drag me with them but I am not fooled this time. I am alone with my conscience and this time I can see much more clearly the truth. He must ask them to forgive his debts. I drink the poisoned chalise of coffee. And all my yesterdays have lighted fools the dusty way to death. Now out brief candle because Winter is here in this tropical heat. Bitter sweet coffee. A gift of pain. To rise my gaul and gait. To assist me in seeing through the lie of why my fantasy never comes true. That is the hell. The dark prison I live in for the dishonesty of the drug. Xmas eve and a lone sky rocket goes up white then purple. I wish to die rather than persist in this boredom of failure and disgust for my fellow man, drawn into his cravings for lust and greed and hunger and thirst. How many beggars have I walked past without helping? Do I deserve help? I give a ten rupee tip.

The waiter seems relieved to see me go. Erotic fantasies that night. But not fulfilling. The manager tells me they will be booked out soon, so I leave. I go for a walk in the back blocks and come across a small basic house where a man is washing, he offers a room. They seem friendly, gold puja necklaces. I walk to Supra feeling ill. Ginger lemon tea. The humidity is too much. I am not happy here, question is whether I push myself to the mother ashram feeling ill. I suspect illness will drop when I leave Covalum.

It feels wrong. All wrong. The bible. Birth of Jesus. Keyboard is being obstinate. I have Mozart playing.

It is all getting too uncomfortable. I ask for the fan. A German comes in and smokes. I order fruit salad and papaya lassi, it feels like a mistake, I need to fast. Throat is burning. Ashtanga group left. Usual haughtiness. Germans only here and old. What is God telling me? There is no beauty in my prose coming through this Palm. Seems to be so. Change the size. I made it smaller. And it works. Better. Throat is congealed. Too close to Germans.

26 Dec

German Bakery, Italian breakfast of capuccino and cinnoman scroll. Go to Mandella and meet Siva. Most of his debt is with the bank and he has already tried to renegotiate with them. I go to Fusion. I try and dress well. My eye right hurts. I see lost people and can I bring them into my dream. I order tofu burger and lemon soda. If I can succeed and get them to offer everything what sacrifice do they have to make? Give up this hell? Is that right for them? In return they have to do every thing they can to help. I order biryhani as they have no tofu. The waiter is upset that I have moved to my fourth table and refuses to bring the food there.

I feel I have to leave Covalum for the Mother. I might as well take the taxi. I can be there in two hours, the thought of returning to the house is depressing. There was the biggest spider I have seen on the door last night, I am trying to think deeper as to another alternative, perhaps outside India, where is the ashram and the guru? Perhaps I have to be more a jetsetter, I have read the Hindu and Outlook o Natwar Singh and the Volcker Report on oil for food Iraq scandal. Am I procrastinating? Yes, of course. Where should I go? Panchachara? Where is she? I feel impotent, I attempted a colonic using the toilet hose at the room. Then was in pain that night. It is four and time is running out. Tsunami anniversary is on.

I order banana split. I feel burned by the sun on my face. I am bored. Energy feels wrong here now and I am succumbing to the wrong food again. I feel there is little hope of pulling this off. A woman comes up and says this computer is cute. I want to leave but feel stuck. No choice. Could go by train, but does not feel right. Taxi easier. Part of me says return to Australia and give this whole thing up. My waiter is like a reculcitrant dog and about the same height. I have to signal him frequently. I feel I need recharging. Where if not the Mother, one of these Puncha Resorts.

I get the taxi for 1500. Leave the friendly house. have the driver wait while I shower and pack. Go to the ATM, then a long drive, the car is fairly hot. We stop and I get drinks and snacks for us. Pass the mess of Quillon and I recognise it. Late I check in and refuse the first room which is filthy with hippies. They shift me to the ayerveda building near the sea. I am attacked by mosquitoes and cannot sleep. I go to the temple at three am. I meditate then floor washing begins. I return and half sleep on the balcony.

Dec 27

Wake up at eight and get breakfast which is porridge and biscuit cake. I volunteer to do pizza making in the afternoon. I sit and meditate in the temple waiting for Amma who does not come and I leave. The temple is like a fairy tale palace. The bakery is hot and I talk to an Israeli girl. She deserts me for an intellectual young Israeli. We try and make round pizza bread which is very difficult. My cough improves after my room mate, a German offers me chest balm. I buy a mosquito net and set it up on the balcony. I play guitar and am joined by another German and a Frenchman and it almost works. We start trying to sing my song. But the German goes and I leave and try to play the guitar on the temple steps. It seems somewhat magical in the presence of so many Indians, like a Bollywood movie set. I avoid eating and it is a struggle. I go and sit down near a woman and feel compelled to speak. I am feeling ecstatic but she not. She thinks I am drunk. She tells me not to speak to her, but I tell her she has insulted me and if she does not want to talk she should leave. We argue and she goes. Two young Indian women from Delhi come up and I talk to them. They are friendly and are singers for the music group. They are looking for a guitar player.

I buy some junk food and share it with an Indian man living in Sydney who is a teacher.

Dec 28

Up at eight. Cannot face the breakfast. Organise to get darshan through a ticket. I am offered to give prasad to Amma. However the system has been changed and men cannot give it. They say come back later. I play some more guitar and the Frenchman tries to teach me causing great irritation. Then someone starts playing flute very loudly and I slam away on the guitar, then leave. Go to the corner cafe where the German is and a Canadian Indian dredlock victim arrives who plays the guitar like a bass and does scales that put me to sleep. He is not moved by Amma and is going to Varcala. I go to my room and sleep. Then I go for a swim in the ashram pool which smells of sulphur. I get a coffee and biscuit at the canteen. Then go for dashan. I sit in the queue while they play music. The last of the Indians go. And I sit and watch in the alcove and type this diary watching Amma hug. She is greyer but full of light. A little tired looking but more graceful than I last remember. I move to the main hall where the musicians are playing and as I write some old woman pushes her way directly in front knocking the Palm. No self control. She has blocked my view. of the musicians. German with short severe hair. Another test by God for compassion. Sums up the sort of grasping for a Guru in the external form. Her energy is unclean despite the white garments. She has somehow managed to get herself into the men's side of the hall. But that does not pose a problem for her as she probably sees herself more as man than woman.

The clapping begins. I cool my temper down a bit. It still feels like she is trying to suck my cock. I feel my creativity and joy sucked away with it in that great whirl of Shakti. They sing 'Hey Amma, hey Amma, hey Amma bol'. I still have not recovered and want to punch her. Think good thoughts says the Superego. My writing is a clean closet and needs no censorship. They can read this as I type. I just have to take the power which at the moment seems to drain into the groin. People constantly step over me as I sniffle. How much more can I take of Indian manners? And these are Westerners behaving like Indians.

Somehow the respect is not fully here to the same extent as the Hare Krisnas. The energy not as holy. Somehow unclean. When I compare to the experience in Bangalore temple. It is another Sia Baba deal. Need for a being doing miracles. These doting nuns in white saris and shawls somehow seems phony. People who could not find satisfaction within themselves so come here to worship and transfer their religiousity to someone other than themselves and in so doing can attribute supernatural powers to that person.

Good luck to them. But at the moment it is the musicians that are all that interest me. For they on the basis of devotion put themselves in a totality beyond mind and do so through sound that impacts and influences others. I know enough from my own experiences how simply playing to an audience psychically attunes oneself. I stay at the front to one side of the speaker to avoid losing my hearing. It is interesting that as I write the women clear away and the other people. It is only Western people at the front. They receive dashan after all the Indians. I feel a release from suffering. Fake garlands hang in the corner and a woman has bowls of fruit to offer for a fee. The whole day she has been hugging without a break. The singer sounds Russian. I am fed up with crowds and feel to go to Varcala and find a remote hotel where I can quietly play guitar and find a yoga teacher who is truly on the renounced path. He sings 'divine mother.' She is heading to Calicut on a tour which I could join for 100 dollars for a week. It is simply whether I have the patience to go through this process. I was hoping that a spiritual wife might be here, it is proving more difficult than before. What proofs do I have to give to find this person? Let the whole thing go perhaps? My intuition says walk out. Not for reasons of rejection, just to take a break from the stuffy hall. There are still many Indians to take the hug.

She hugged a family where the son was severely handicapped. They were crying. I was waiting for the miracle. Him getting up and walking away normal. It did not happen. Do I need to see this to believe? Somehow it is in the music for me. The divine dance of Shiva I must fall into. So easy with the hash. Now I have been lost for so long. Where is the dance here? There seems to be a space in front, but I know if I take it when they sing the speakers will deafen me. So I am in an unenviable position. I waited so long to come here, hoping, not really believing that it would come true and now I am here unappreciative wanting to leave, yet knowing the illusion of the greener grass on the other side.

So as I told Shiva it is how I journey, how I leave that is vital. A mistake, a failure of full commitment and I am stranded back in the shakti of delusion and misery. Of looking for the greener valley. It is the interconnection of all coming together and making sense. Prerecorded sort of Island music comes on. Obviously I got it wrong. I think I have reached the limit. Some obstacle has to be cracked. There must be an ashram near here that I seek. Auroville comes to mind and the school there. Too much to hope for. Nature is calling.

All glories to God, and of course Goddess. The Mother. Diva. God incarnate on Earth. Yet I look at her and just see another person. Do these people see her differently? And is that a fiction? Something must be there for so many people to believe.

I missed out on giving the prasadum. I went out and got some myself. Then I was willing a wife into being. Someone thin, and spiritual. The essence of enlightenment. Of India. When I returned the Dashan was emptying and Westerners were lined up. There seemed to be a number system a bit like a lottery with a big bingo board up announcing the winners. When I had left earlier, an European woman small and elderly had tried several times to shove past me just when people were coming the other way and needed space, I finally said to her to move back and then she refused. I told her she was behaving like an animal and should know better, she said it was all in my mind. She was right it was and so were her actions being witnessed in my mind, but the reality was they were manifesting in the physical world and even at her age she had something to learn about patience. That she was simply an aspect of the cosmic illusion and as such no more than an image of the great mind beyond self, should have told me the truth, she had to push, she had no choice, it was her perfect action and my perfect action was to allow her to pass and shove her way in front while I laughed. Seeing that not getting caught in her ugly web where she would eventually be dragged to a halt by death, I would as such be released from my karmas of negativity and go on to meet a truly joyous personality, Krsna. They all stood in line pushing in a way, all the incarnations of the self and all I had to do was stand back, sit down and fulfill my duty by recording for posterity, the final surge towards me, I ignore the numbers, my own number for I will be last by choice. By sheer apathy, by wanting to rest and not push. The typing becomes a dance of fingers. Shall I conform to the numbers? 401-500

And for me the hug does not really matter, it is the sincerety of it that is important. The process is starting to drain me, I am exhausted. It is almost nine pm. There is still a queue in fact it increases when I get this machine out. I am getting impatient. They shut the door to the alcove and lock it. I wait then try and get in and force the door open when someone comes out. I have betrayed myself in a way. I am ushered straight through to her past the others, my head is pushed down and I am directed by at least six people into her chest, I look briefly at her and feel great peace and in her chest I am held. She whispers some words, 'son', 'great son' and I feel almost like Christ. She releases me and coughs like she feels my sickness, then I am pulled away and a Westerner asks if I want to stay, but another Indian takes my hand and I am pulled out and back through the door, I pass a Westerner, he has dreds is very tall and thin and seems gay. He smiles at me. I sit down and smell excrement but this turns into soap. She is very small and wore white and a shawl. She briefly talked to someone else while I was there. Prayers are made. The crowd moves up. I still feel faint. There is a strange photo of her at the front and to the right which has her posed saint like but with a shock of black hair brushed past her forehead that for some reason reminds me of Hitler. Possibly divine love knows no boundries.

I get a grape juice. Return to my room and try and sleep. I am weak. As I lie down the young German arrives and I feel a sexual tension. My left ear starts to feel as if it is exploding. I try to do a headstand to relieve it then the crow. Then lie there feeling worried. Then I go to the roof and attempt to sleep there. It does not go and I take some anti-histamines and cold tablets. I then seem to sleep as dawn breaks.

Dec 29

I wake up at 8. The German is doing yoga. The horizon is the tropical haze over the sea. The ear is better but still there as is the throat. I take more pills and the chest balm. Clean up. The Regenist cream seems to make thoughts of violence appear. The throat chakra is activating and rajasic, tickled. Usually singing is required to appease. I am not the body, but the witness, it is transformation that is occuring, do not be afraid. It feels as if I have a flame in my throat. A flame of light and I see a burning ghee lamp. The German gets up and leaves. I want to go beyond this disbalance in my system manifesting in the throat and left ear. It is our dynamic. The tsunami hit here. High enough to take lives and destroy buildings. A meter high at the chi shop. Food is pulling me as is the desire to find a wife. I meditate. There is loud ringing. I am breathing black fumes. I remember the spiral straircase walking down looking for my thongs and then finding them to be drawn into a line waiting for Amma. She walks down slowly smiling, does not look at me and heads to her house. She is almost like a dwarf so small. Tubby and round almost deformed. The great Atva is manifested in the epitomy of ugliness. A lesson in appearances. For I am still seeking beauty.

My roommate reminds me of Tintin. I want to avoid the breakfast. To the Internet. I have been having visions of the boy in the jungle. He is not yet ready. I am still waiting for that meeting here. I cough. Varcala is not yet right. The floor is dirty - a little, I sweep it. I must think more intelligently. Salt is coming up in the phlegm. It appears a number of people must be coordinated. I felt force using the dustbin and brush, somehow the broom that is just hairs was less violent. I put the dustbin outside the room as there is no bin. The road appears to be the local bin. I do not want to walk down with the dustbin as then I would have to come back up. I do not want to behave like an Indian and throw it off the balcony. I do not want to go to the ashram and wander round looking for someone who is not there. More intelligence. It should be obvious. Bluetooth. Get the sleeping bag on the roof. Are you there?

You are in danger of accelerating?

The German walks in. I go to the ashram and am reminded of the work I did each time I came here, sending off magazines in old newspaper and brown paper in the room above the temple that looks like something out of Dickens full of devoted nuns in the mustry precincts of a convent, strangely peaceful, I do not help and go to an internet cafe, I email and search for rawfood retreats at Varcala. I come across a Christian health mission in Cochin. I have some lunch. Then listen to the concert where Amma continues hugging in the main hall. A beautiful woman sings, she is joined by another and I am entranced. I let surrender take me and am moved to almost join for another hug, but buy a chocolate bar then coffee and a cookie in the Western canteen. The canteen hall reminds me of the Arjuna caves, a puppy plays with its mother. 'Govinda hare, govinda gopal' is sung. I wear my sunglasses. I see beautiful unattainable young women like a mirage. The woman who sits beside Amma eats opposite, she is shortish and looks hen pecked like a spinster of old wearing glasses, she gets up and leaves as I write this. I see in her someone who needs to attain a sense of importance by taking a place beside the guru that would otherwise leave a vacuum in her life that would otherwise be the dull emptiness of an office in the West. The music picks up with clapping like a light wind. A man clasps his hands in nameste to the music and it stops. I burp and the pressure hurts the ear. A fat Indian carrying a chess board under his arm sits down. I am starting to feel hotter. He turns out to be a negro. The ear is hurting. I consider seeing a doctor. The cripple in the wheel chair who hassled me in the internet cafe appears. He is young and quite handsome a bit rough French. He is unhappy. The beautiful young people have left and that is my signal. I go to the hospital and the doctor prescribes a whole concoction. I am grateful. It is quiet. I feel I am doing the right thing. It feels like surrender. Slightly aggressive, but I seem to have no choice if I want the best solution for me. No point in delaying the inevitable. The other choice was to meditate until it happened. And I do not have the patience. Perhaps go swimming. I have pain in the jaw as well. The gentle sound of the printing press churns away like a milkmaid. Everything is very slow. And quiet. The Malaylum script looks like ovals or circles of life. No beginning and no end.

I take the medication and feel worse, I go back to get the ear drops which they forgot. It takes ages. I return to my room and the ear is exploding in pain, I can barely crouch to lie down. The German leaves when the Indians start banging downstairs. I take paracetamol that he has. It does not stop it. What is going on? I try to sleep.

I get to sleep feeling like a huge drooping bag has been stuffed in my ear, the German gets up very early and leaves. The room is extremely stuffy and he does not want the fan on. I have dreams of homosexuals putting on bizarre costumes to impress, then this boy says he has had enough and takes them off. I decide to leave and pack up. I go to the ashram to try and find when taxis or ferries are going. Nothing is open until ten. I have breakfast of curd, crenolla, bananas and cake, not ideal. I continue with the medication. I try and get a photocopy of my songs for the Frenchman.

I am now at the railway station waiting for a train to Varcala. It is hot and I am next to pile of bales ready to be transported and an ox is beying. The taxi wanted to take me the whole way but I am economising. Kayankuam Junction. The Frenchman got his copy. I meditated in the upstairs part of the temple, basically went to sleep. i had to get a ferry across the water way to the taxis. It took ages. The Chinese fishing nets, houseboats and fishermen should have made it a blissful scene but I was just keen to leave. Comfort and recovery from this virus which had improved. I wanted at least one day with ac and hot water and a nice pool. My trip was to a large extent failing. The places I thought I would find a wife were not panning out. I had to improvise now. The next hope was Auroville after the hoiday spots.

Still had the cough. Train is due in twenty minutes. It appears to be late. A bizzare train that seems to churn up the gravel on the tracks comes by. I go to the ac third tier which still costs me an additional 200. I sleep and wake up just before Varkala. A taxi takes me to the hotel, the man smokes and I find a reasonable place at the back and freshen up. I then head to a restaurant where a Pizza place is and I think I made a mistake the keyboard is not working and the other customers are bringing mosquitoes, my gut feeling was not to take it, Varkala is feeling like a waste of time. I was being pushed north and I resisted, maybe to that place I found on the net that was a Christian hospital near Cochin. I do not like these Italians and one coughs sickly. I move downstairs, the view is black and the k on the keyboard is malfunctioning another bad sign. Generally sums up the crap I am in. My experience is things break when you go against the flow. I took some unnecessary steps that have dragged me down and that is somehow my karma. And I am constantly having to fix up these wasteful steps too far. So how to get back on track, go back to Sivananda, stay here, go to Codacanal, it seems that the one I think will work will not work and viceversa. The Christian mission feels like it will definitely not work therefore by definition it probably will work. However that is not sufficient for me, I must have a reason explaining this clearly and logically so that I can accept where my thinking processes have failed. It will work because I may have to work and laziness or fear of failure holds me back, I suppose I should ring them. the pizza arrives and is on thin sort of pitta bread and has no mushrooms and the topping is missing from the outer edges. It tastes ok, but is not really a pizza. I get the bill and leave. It still feels like a wet rag has been stuffed down my left ear. My room has been joined by some jolly rough English middle aged couple. Everything tells me to leave Varkala. I would like to meet some woman to do the houseboat backwaters trip. Will I meet her here? Believe.

The mission seems to have taken another course and the ear damage should tell me that the left emotional side is under attack. Ability to listen to the emotional voices completely blocked. I pass a dance of a boy doing Keralan style classical dance, he is entrancing in his staccato poses and intense make up and the sharp movements suggest such feminism as must have spawned such a culture before our hands tarnished it with puritanism and greed. Incredibe innocent elegance is displayed in the dance, a sort of hightened idiocy that sums up India. That empty stare and innane comment that inevitably puts the wrong thing in the wrong place, yet is perfect for India, because it was you all along that was doing the wrong thing and all India was trying to do was gently bring you back to the right way. India has a way of testing the ego in this manner that is beyond most Westerner's grasp or patience, we being so orientated to rules and plans.

I returned to my room randomly tracking through the back tracks to end up directly in front of the hotel.

Dec 31

Get up after 8 and head to the German Bakery where I check the Internet and cannot find the raw food resort here. My ear feels completely blocked and I have trouble hearing people, it seems to have now began blocking my already bad right ear. No doubt Indian antibiotics at work to make me completely deaf. I only have a 500 rupee note to pay which annoys the manager of the internet cafe. I have already stormed out of one place because their internet did not work. I go up on to the roof and order breakfast to eat with my medication. I am thinking to move to the yoga house which is cheaper and not as nice. I have this feeling nothing is going to happen in this place and I am not in a good mood.

A German woman comes in and asks to sit at my table, she starts to roll a cigerette and I tell her she cannot stay if she smokes, she tells me I am very unfriendly. A Dutch couple roll in and ask to sit, I move chairs and my stuff to accommodate them. A smaller table with a better view becomes available and they start to move there and I suggest that I take it as they will have more room there. The man declines and I feel put out. I tell the girl view is important but feelings more important. I have coffee and cinamon scroll, stale as usual. I read a book on Vishnu the preserver. He is the god that sustains and protects, the sun god whose head was chopped off and put in the sky. He works with Indra the rain god, to make a fertile world, and together they avoid drought and bring in good harvests, His wife is Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity, worshipped a lot in India. Vaisnites are also common in India now as trade is the modality of today.

I return to the hotel and play guitar and try and write some music.

This leads to sleep and heading to a yoga class, arriving late and going instead to the beach and taking photos. A group ask me to take a photo of them which I do reluctantly and obviously so to them. A man looking th epitomy of an Indian sardhu European variety sits and meditates in his sari with beads. A line ropes off the beach from the Indian sector in an unofficial apartheid. Still groups of wandering perving Indian boys throng past the Western sunbathers. The sun sets and I do some yoga, I am last to leave the beach. I have a long shower very hot and get dressed after playing guitar and trying versions of the Love is Everywhere song. I have visions of it being a top ten song. All proceeds going to creating the ashram. I end up at the new years eve party at Funky Art Cafe which has a really amateur performance on. Amazingly there is a table quite near the front free. Mostly children dance, though there is the usual Bollywood Indian men dancing and clapping. I try to get some service from another Tartu of the Fantasy Island variety. The little man seems oblivious to me attempts to order then calls another waiter, who comes back three times to clarify my order, as if I have made some terrible mistake. All the Europeans watch filling their stomachs and the Indians stand on the footpath unable to afford to see their own people performing. The tourism is a sort of neo-colonialism I fear. A whole mass of snipets of music rush by seemingly pointlessly. Is it that the music system has malfunctioned, in India anything is possible? A little tike of a girl dressed in red with heaps of makeup plonks about on the stage looking extremely unhappy. She must be barely five. I feel my view has been blocked by a gaggle of frumpy English tourists who have lit up to add injury to insult. The one with the ciggerette is holding it sort of Brideshead Revisited style. I am not sure if this screen is being read by the people behind me. The sound suddenly completely goes and there is a burst of laughter from one of the tourists. Music comes on that sounds like Peter Sellers singing a Hindi Bollywood pop song. The boys come on again but appear to be dancing the same song or choreography with different song. A sort of mix of hip hop rap dancing ensues with that spinning on the floor that does not quite uphold the professionalism of rappers. I eat Kashmiri Pulao and Pumpkin Curry that has a little grit in it, but otherwise fills the tum. The Pakora was cold. Lemon soda can't really make a mistake with and coffee and special cake I am about to try. The cake tastes like those Turkish sweet cakes that personally I avoid. They taste of maple syrup held together with cake. Coffee was pretty hard to ruin and passes the test. For some unknown reason there are a couple of dummies literally mannequins dressed as tourists on the path. I am not sure if it is some subconscious Indian joke commenting on the tourist population here. The show appears to have ended. One of the group in front is American with one of those sort of Stalinist caps, she lights up and drinks a cocktail. Sparklers splutter forth pathetically for the children. Her ciggerette is positioned directly so the wind blows the smoke right in my face. Another Indian man comes on dressed in a sort of Michael Jackson space suit.

The dancers remind me of the young men who end up at Puna in the Osho ashram as sort of gigolos for the Western women. Another child comes on not even dressed up. The audience is starting to become more interesting than the dancers. The American picks up a puppy and the group photo it. While I was on the beach contemplating doing my yoga a voice spoke to me and said not to do it, it will be abused by the Indian boys, so I waited till they left. I was caught in a dialogue with a very proper conservative Hindu who seemed to be something like the Premier of Kerela. He tolerated but disproved of Varcala and seemed to be telling me all this display of Western flesh to be very corrupting. I talked to him and I saw clearly his eyes because I was contemplating doing something good and was asking why I was being mentally stopped from doing my yoga here. Surely a good place to do it on the beach. But he was of the opinion it was not good. I told him there was nothing wrong with women in bikinis on the beach and that Indian women should be so attired here. Would that not remove the aparthied of the roped beach. A waiter comes and puts in a fresh candle, as if new light has come. But how can I change them even if I agree with you, said the Premier. Set the example to them I replied, and encourage others to do so. More than that use the government media to encourage the breaking of the old ways.

I can just imagine the government add encouraging bikini wearing. Here I am paying a bit over five Australian dollars for a meal and a show. which the locals can not afford. Does it seem a crime? I am not even offering a tip. No one here seems to care.

I try and leave but something tells me to finish this here and now, no more running away. I am unsure if this is also delusion. There is nothing I want here amongst cigerettes, beer and fish. The show is insipid and an insult to Indian culture. I cannot change this place all I can do is make sure that I leave and get to the right place. And where is that ashram? You, God, surely know, so tell me so that I understand and obey you. Because I have had enough of this second rate existence, so tell me right now. A woman walked by who I thought I recognised from the ashrams. Not back to Amma's, not to Sivananda, the Christian mission ring them tomorrow. I am pushing it to the limit as they light skyrockets and fire them over the cliff. The dwarf is wishing me happy new year at ten thirty. Perhaps he is on Singapore time. The show has ground to a halt an hour and a half too soon. The music goes 'Bring me back.' Tell me where? Universal intelligence tell me? The volume goes up. The deafness in the ear? 'Talk to your sweet melody' the music goes. The dance, see the dance of Shiva. The dance is always there. The houseboat trip, the lover, the backwaters, the dream, creating the dream, where is she? A fire dancer comes on. He has no shirt on and pushes the flames against his body. and breathes flame. Kali is manifested in the New Year night in Varcala. A group of them breathe the flames and the audience comes to life. A whirling wave of energy of flame embattles itself in the restaurant acting out the age old myths of the Mahabahrata. the pheonix diving to earth. And out of the embers of the demons comes new life. My hearing is still virtually gone. i retire to my quarters feeling defeated by Indian demons. Bored on New Years Eve and probably going to sleep through it. But did not because of the explosions and loud hailer music which at least was classical. It brought on strange dreams that were mythical and impossible full of gold and jewells and twisting dragons of love. Impossible alive palaces shimmering in riches and creatures that were in dimensions beyond what could possibly exist in our universe. It was entrancing but somehow I was not so connected to the place, the vision, as in Ganeshpuri.

Jan 1

I woke up feeling more deaf than ever. Went to a yoga class where I could not here the instructions and thought of going to a doctor again. The teacher was Sivananda style and nothing special, although he did get me into a good headstand. Two oldish ladies shared the class which I was late for. They were beginners and overweight and initially I left hoping to find a more attractive class further on. No such luck. I met Annie from the ashram Sivananda again, we just said hello. I then sort of chased back trying to find her, thinking why not and I met her on the pavement outside a clothes shop. She quickly went in and I stopped outside, she was by herself this time, the little European waif had disappeared. She told me she needed a break from the ashram and had had good experiences at the Mother ashram, but it was not for her, too much pushing. She said she had shared her prasad on the beach with her partner. I was at a loss to work that one out. I asked her for a drink and she said she was too tired after the New Year celebrations, but recommended a yoga teacher at New Haven. I headed to the German Bakery. Took the plates away and only one table was free, service took a long time.

Narayana is sung and coincidentally I am just reading about the resting place of the departed souls which Vishnu rules over. It is a Dravidian form of the God meaning place of water. Narayana creates the new world after each yuga and gives the people the opportunity to be good again. Out of his navel grows a lotus where Brahma is seated and he lies on the water as a cobra or small child.

Yaksha's were non Vedic gods connected to nature worship and Narayana appears to represent a vital part in the tree of creation and Lord of Life. I attempted to talk to two women, English, good figures in their mid to late thirties I would say. They were not friendly. I moved to the balcony over the sea. Without judgement for what god dicates for me I am trying to accelerate meeting this person or not dying of boredom in the process. I feel I am being pushed back to Sivananda and the only person there worth marrying is Durgha. Varcala has become a resort beach with couples and families and old people. It has lost the charm it had when I came here 12 years ago when hippies still hung out and there was somewhat of a hashish spirit to the place. It has been developed and was when I visited three years ago, I should have known better than to come back.

This book on Vishnu is boring me. Another couple roles up. I ask the waiter where the capucino and apple cake are. He tells me to cool down. I am kind of fed up. The couple turns out to be a young attractive woman and a washed up aging hippie, he is pathetically describing his motor accidents in Barcelona and the pain he went through. She seems to buy it. He has those weepy English eyes. The wind is quite strong. I get the bill which the boy writes on his hand.

The boy is not at the hotel and I call the manager who cannot find the key. I insist he get the boy and open the door. I have a shower and rest. My ear is ringing like a trumpet going off or a stuck car horn. Should I go to the doctor? Chances are he would do nothing except prescribe something that would make it worse like has already happened, it is hard not to become cynical. At least there is no pain or perhaps I have dulled myself to it. I am wishing to meet a woman to go on this backwater houseboat trip.

I slept and the hearing seemed slightly to improve as I bargained with a rickshaw to get to the hospital, so I went to the beach and positioned myself initially next to the bikini clad young ladies with good bodies, then thought I do not feel good and I moved to a section where they were fat and ugly and old and quite honestly I did not feel good there. My conclusion is give up on the beach. I tried negotiating with a rickshaw taxi wallah to simply go to the ashram near here but it was another rip off the whitey conversation so I headed to the beach.

Now the sunsets and two mobile phone wielding young gogetter Indian lads with far too much coconut oil in there hair have rolled up and lit up. Fully dressed they are chatting coolly trying to look impressive. The one sitting down appears to have brought his young family. The sea is luke warm like a bath. It has turned almost white blue as the last of the sun reflects off it. Bubbling and frothing. a potion and the Indians taking their evening walk begin to arrive. I move further north and walk in the sea in my zip off Mountain hardware now shorts. The sun like a pink neon light slowly descends below the horizon. And just one cloud that could be the vapour from a jet languishes in the sky. I wander where she is? A small child refuses to leave its sand castle throwing a tantrum. The mother stays and allows it to build another one, I feel I have exhausted almost all my karma with this place. There seems no reason to stay any further. I recognise a guy from Ammas. A young Israeli, he is talking to a young woman. I feel virtually nothing, no jealousy, no interest, no desire to talk to them, just emptiness, and a wish to leave and find my wife.

I have wandered in search of a life and a wife in the streets of Varcala or rather the one cliff top pavement and she aint come. She must be an obstinate old mule. I checked unsuccessfullly for an ashram for yogananda - the Yogoda Society apparently exists propagating his teachings. I have returned to the hotel lodge to discover my Palm has not charged because turning off the room power switches off the plugs as well.

I leave and go to a restaurant, contemplate the Bakery where no one comes to serve me and I feel empty. I walk out and stand there listening to House of The Rising Sun and contemplate jumping off the cliff. This existence has nothing left for me without a woman and it is denying me that, and I am not sure even with one whether it would be worth the life anyway. I can see no useful purpose for myself that the existence is letting me fulfill, so really what is the point. I had a lot of ideas and plans but none of them were allowed to come to fruition. An extremely unpleasant movie American is playing next door to the vegetarian restaurant I have ended up at.

I leave and wander to another restaurant and leave there, I end up at a little cafe. But mosquitoes seem to exist here and the hygene may not be the best. I leave.

I go to the Funky and they are not serving food. So I go back to a pizza restaurant and order there and mosquitoes also come. Caffe Italiano it is called. I see the boats out to sea and an inane American talks behind me. The generator cuts out so I go upstairs. My hearing has improved significantly. The food is good, a good salad and garlic bread. And open late.

I await the lasagne. I ask existence if my wife is here. I get this go downstairs response. I shall probably move to the scientific yoga school tommorrow. My general feeling is go to Trivandrum and get away from all Westerners. They are beyond salvation for a long time. Try and connect to the Hares. I tried to avoid the food and ended up with Italian Indian. I feel impatient waiting for something like the lasagne to arrive. Might as well wait for God to arrive.

It all seems to trivial yet we have no choice but to live through the dullness. I am getting sleepy as it is almost 12. The romantic air of Varcala is probably being enjoyed by Annie in her bed with her partner. I suspect lesbian action. My brain has gone to sleep. Vishnu seems to have disappeared and left me with the relics of evil to deal with. Shiva is meant to destroy this world for its immorality at the end of Kali Yuga. So I await the final incarnation of Vishnu as the destroyer to end this world. It would be a relief. I am vaguely curious to meet him or her or it. Would Vishnu appear as King Kong or George Bush, I guess God only knows. Probably some sort of obscure virus.

The battery ran out at the Italian joint and I was the last guest. I joked with the waiter about India and my point of being there and tax evasion and what tax was - making things disappear. I left and got some chocolate after the chocolate mousse and coffee which were good. I headed home and slept dreaming of world war two and French soldiers gliding down hills in France after the Germans who I appeared to be reluctantly one and was trying to escape court martial while seeing the Nazi plight was lost and also fearing trial by the Allies. I got up exhausted and decided to leave, I did not want to be in a war zone. I moved to the Scientific Yoga schools Diana Lodge. The room was small and dirty and old. The mattress looked like it had seen a Hamberg brothel. It was cheap and in a yoga establishment. The owner was not sure if I was going to come back, wanted a deposit I did not have and finally insisted I promise. I returned to the hotel to discover my key missing. Sure enough I had left it at the yoga place. I got money and went to the German Bakery where service was the usual slow beyond belief. The Dutch couple were there and the place as usual was full. Fisherman pulled in their nets in amongst the bathers.

Mount Meru is the sort of Indian equivalent of Olympus - Viakuntha is Vishnu's heaven at the centre of the Universe and is also called the Northern Ocean. I moved from the view I had up top, one of the Dutch couple's friend arrived and kept looking up my shorts, needless to say she looked like a pig. Vishnu usually has four arms though up to sixteen. Vishnu generally carrried a lot of weapons. The coffee has still not arrived despite asking twice. Vishnu carries a mace called Kaumodaki. It represents time and knowledge. A man carrying an umbrella upside down with stickers of Hindu gods, etc walks by. My hearing improved a lot , but now has gone back a bit. Vishnu at one stage was Krisna and another Rama, even perhaps Buddha.

I moved and the manager pleaded. Beers were being stored in the yoga hotel. The manager smoked. I took a rickshaw after some haggling to the ashram near by. We walked up to the round temple that looked almost Roman on the hill, which was closed. The big festival ended yesterday. We walked down and looked at the place where the saint had slept, I took a photo. Then we left for the Mission hospital where the casualty doctor attempted to look at my ear with a torch, and a large one. I asked if she had one of those small instruments and she told me to come back and see the ENT specialist at four. It cost ten rupees. I was killing time. The driver took me to the bottom beach and I walked to the cliff top and back down an unused path to the beach where I paddled through the water. A young English couple the epitomy of romance strolled into the water. He was strong and blonde, she strong and blonde, both with perfect bodies. Both smiling and happy. It was somewhat of a release to see them.

I had a shower and went to a yoga class where I was the only student. He felt sorry for me and gave me a very easy class that stopped half an hour early. I went to the beach and swam in the Ocean then watched the sun set. There were two young women lying on the beach, one Indian, the other English, they were in love with life and needless to say each other, and of course without a doubt themselves. I came out of the waves and they were lying there still. Beautiful glorious bodies so sensual. I looked at the English woman, though she was really no more than a girl, and into her eyes and saw love. Infinite. Melodeous, enraptured, transcendental, and as I dried myself and walked off, I stopped and crouched down to watch the setting sun of the head of Vishnu dancing and dying above the waves. And I closed my eyes and saw her eyes, the eyes of England of knowledge of pain. The sun disappeared before it reached the horizon, a trick of the atmosphere and refraction of light. I prayed that it might be. When I opened my eyes they were still there. And I realised it was more than just my choice or theirs, that existence itself had to agree and it seemed existence was saying no despite my pleas. Why? I asked. It was not a definite no. Something in my spirit that was still crying. They went into the ocean. I left. The yoga teacher gave me a very ordinary massage that did something I suppose to help the forward bend. He rubbed my back a great deal and thumped on it, then tried to fix my neck by throwing it round. I looked at the brochure that had been handed to me on the beach about the special cultural show that I had now missed because of the massage which he had not wanted to do then. And it became obvious to me it was my timing was massively out by forcing things through I had totally lost the future that was harmonious that existence planned for me. I went to a restaurant to get Mexican for a change at the Funky Cafe and there were the two women as if by magic yet existence said no to approaching them and the Mexican was not on. So I left looking for a restaurant that was empty in the hope some beautiful single young woman would come up and sit by me. I found one sat down and was shortly joined by a plump couple. I got up and moved and another couple sat next to me. So I moved back and next to a couple making out, that felt so uncomfortable, I got up and moved to a round table that was huge at the back and was eventually joined by the waiter, I was starting to wonder if I was homosexual.

The home made tagliatelle arrived and was disgusting. A sort of sodden mess sprawled on the plate. I ate it. The Italian salad never turned up. So I ordered it again only to be told I had never ordered it. Another lemon soda. Sort of religious music was playing of Tat Sat variety, this changed to trance. The waiter looked almost Italian with a bright red shirt. I realise you must be thinking that a sort of spirit was created earlier that appears to have been lost. You are right. It is time to move again. The power cuts off as I contemplate dumping the salad. It is dragging on too much I agree. No sex happening for a start.

Time to contemplate on broader issues, like is this Palm acting as a hindrance to my love sex life. The answer seems to be depends how you use it. My inclination is to leave this place if I want to catch up with my destiny, a good one at least. The salad miraculously arrives and has some pasta on top and a lot of pepper I suppose to convince people it is Italian. I contemplate risking the chocolate mouse. I think of my dreams that I would meet someone at this restaurant even hoping that they would come finally to this big table. And the maitre di is the only one that comes and does his bills. My dreams for tonight have been shattered to such an extent if I do not meet her in the yoga class tomorrow I am leaving to Sivananda. And that will be a mistake like all the other mistakes that have robbed my life because the reality is she does not exist. Another delusion. If I want to accelerate out the best choice is to go to Trivandrum and find the Hare Krisnas, they are much closer to the divine truth. I move to another cafe, the Italian Cafe, the other place was Sea View. I order coffee and mousse. A couple sits down and asks me about the Palm.

I am reaching a point where I am putting all my faith in God. Existence really is the name - Vishnu to the Indians. To the protector and nurturer, to the resting place of the soul. To re-empower myself. Rather than be crushed down by the existence. To take control of it. Bad karma.

I had strange dreams of unknown lovers and space cities, sky scrapers and business men. I prayed for my wife.

Jan 3

Time drifts on relentlessly, I made the yoga lesson and I was alone again, as I relaxed an attractive youngish woman came in sat beside me and then moved. Then several men arrived mostly middle aged. We did mostly aerobic kind of martial art movements, that involved a lot of swinging about, then trying to get the legs into positions that I did not want to move into. The woman easily managed it. His eyes were too full of rajasic thoughts, the love of lust and he was young. My ear slowly gets more hearing. He does a long deep relaxation quite effectively and for a moment I drift into the sexuality of the woman. I buy a neti container and head to the German Bakery for the usual. I take a table up the back.

'The supreme God of the Hindus is Brahman, the Absolute Universal Soul. The entire cosmos is a manifestation of him and it is from him that all forms of life evolved. He is formless, without qualities, neither male nor female, and infinite without beginning of end. He is found within us and around us, and the goal of every Hindu is to shake off the karmic cycle of rebirth, death and rebirth, and attain Moksha, (nirvana or liberation), which is unity with the supreme soul.' The book of Vishnu by Nanditha Krishna.

The Hindus conquered the Universe. By 3000 AD Hinduism had conquered Earth, or rather Christianity and Islam had been put to rest as manifestations of the greater Brahman and the population of the planet now accepted that. Islam was the last to succumb, exhausted after the terrorist war that started in 2000 against Christianity, the two sides were depleted by the middle of the millenium. Whereas Christianity in the end saw no other choice to attain the greater peace, their populations were in decline and the techno-industrial hub of the world had already changed to Asia. Indeed it was about then that the UN moved to Auroville near Chennai in India. India began its true rennaissance about then, it overtook China in producing scholars, technology, wisdom and so forth. Its population were so innovative that they now provided most of the world's CEOs and their management consultants ruled. The wealth of India subsumed the West who had fallen into an economic decline and now received substantial aid from the sub continent. India had also taken over China in the space race. They were the first to develop the hyperspace drive and monopolised the development of the first star colonies. The power and wealth that came with this ensured Hinduism would triumph. The American European hold on the first colonised planets in the solar system became as redundant as the typewriter and gramophone of the 20th century. Even the China and Japanese hold on the rest of the planets paled into irrelevence with the discovery of cheap interstellar travel.

Islam fought it out to the bitter end, but intellectually they were defeated in a series of world religious symposiums and the effective agreement to conversion and restructuring of their religion to conform with the Brahman occurred in the late part of the third millenium. Unfortunately a few diehard fundamental Islamic states together with their terror organisations launched their final jihad - a small short nuclear war ensued. They were defeated within a year by the UN. Technology was such that only a few missiles got through. Three cities were destroyed. There was no retaliation.

So I moved to the room and slept then went back to the bakery, then to the beach and meditated, the English girl was there with her friend. I almost dissolved, existence told me to stay and I would meet her, but I did not have the will. I went back to the room, showered cold, then played guitar outside and waited for the woman in the next room, she came when I left, so I went back and played some more, she walked out without any acknowledgement and I lost her. Various Englishman arrived with southern European ladies with good figures, some of whom I had seen by themselves on the beach. The place was the hotel room extension at the back of the Bamboo Huts and towards the northern end not far from the bakery. I had cricked my neck trying an obscure yoga pose.

'The Adiparva of the Mahabharata has an elaborate story to explain the association of the eagle and the snake with Vishnu and their mutual emnity.' The prophecy was fulfilled a hundred thousand years hence. The galaxy had been conquered and settled by the Hindus for that is what we had become. Prajapati was the name of the emperor and he had two daughters who vied for power. They were married in a way to one very powerful man, Rishi Kashyapa, it was not a formal marriage, but a kind of love of power. Kadru sought a thousand powerful Nagas, snakes, as her sons. These snakes were the vessels by which humanity was going to travel to the next galaxy. Rishi was master of the Empire's technology. Vinata seeing her sister gaining potentially immense power requested two sons of Rishi equal in strength, size, energy and prowess to all the Naga ships. These two enormous ships also would have the power to travel to the next galaxy. The Nagas eventually were built and sent out, but Vinata's ships were still being developed. Vinata became impatient after 500 years and had one of the ships completed prematurely. It was sent with a crew of colonists to Andromeda, however the embreyos were deformed due to the failure of the transportation system. They had heightened psychic powers, huge brains, but there bodies were deformed and weak. Nonetheless they arrived in Andromeda and began civilising it. The Nagas were already there on the other side. The partial failure became known in our galaxy and Vinata was ridiculed and for 500 years was in effect subservient to her sister Kadru. However the second ship went ahead on schedule and this colonisation attempt produced amazing results. Called Garuda it...

The Mexican tacos were good, the Cheesecake tasted like cheese. I emailed my mother saying not to contact me until I had met a woman and pray for it to happen. She was on about seeing a doctor about my ear. I left hoping to catch up with my American Indian neighbors. She disappeared when I arrived, I tried to meditate, failed and went out for a long walk and at the car park went to the cliff edge and contemplated jumping off. I returned to the hotel and the women were on a hammock, I got my guitar and got on one of the hammocks. I played very quietly but could not make conversation. Something had died in me. I wanted to get up early and meditate on the beach.

Jan 4

This time I got up early but went back to bed after showering. Woke up and went to the bakery, sat down noticing there was a new section to the balcony. I felt strangey unwelcome in amongst all the young couples and left.

I have moved again. To the Tourist Paradise Hotel which looks upon the back of a mass of huts. I have balcony and a good place to play guitar where others can listen. The room is clean and cheap and the staff friendly and like guitars, one even plays. I am making up a song called Nani Varkala, or thankyou Varkala. I head for lunch and walk out of the cheap restaurant when an ancient couple come in him looking as if he had been beaten up. I head to a poshish hotel and I am the only one, it is extremely hot there. The humidity has returned with a vengance. A breeze is starting up.

It is perspiring in this place probably why I am the only one here apart from an old couple. I want to leave but have ordered a fruit salad. The Indian American couple walk past and try and ignore me. Which tells me something. How fucking bored I am. It all seems to be pain, right the way to hell.

I tell the waiter the fruit salad is below quality. He overcharges me. I go to the coffee house where the only coffee they serve is nescafe, so I talk to a German and order a banana lassi that she recommends. The other couple, English and Indian are here. I am beginning to believe it is better to take the pain than sit something out that is disagreeable. I think I am coming to hate Varkala. It seems a deadend for my karma. Just a voyeristic hell, where dreams and desire and lust are on offer but never come to fruition just endlessly tempt.

So how my reader do I escape this or make it happen? I left that cafe after sculling the banana lassi and headed to the bakery. There I ordered chocolate cake and coffee.

I met a Mancurian at the hotel who had served in the Gulf War. Having attempted a business here that had failed. He was hanging out, drinking too much and head shaved with tatts he looked the epitomy of a soccer hooligan complete with Manchester United tattoo. I tried to enlighten him with my philosophy and we had dinner together. One of the Indian boys was good at guitar and keyboard. He entertained us. I sang a song to Varkala.

G D A-

Var kaaa La

Var kaaa La La La La

Nameskar Varka La

Nani Var kaaa La La La

Subremanya Vaar kaaa La

Subremanya Varr kaaaa la la la

I walked up and down the cliff path. Passing the Amero-Indians who were now wrapped up with some young guy. I slept badly haunted by homosexuals.

Jan 5

Force myself up for New Heaven Yoga class which is very average and I did not pay for it. As a test. The girl from yesterday was there and I avoided her. A bunch of women were up the front where I went. I felt little connection, nor even to the geriatric guy or the man with a beard who looked middle aged and Italian.

I checked out of Hotel Tourist Paradise and went to the bakery, where I had the usual. I was on the new balcony reading about Krishna and his erotic component when an Israeli couple joined me and then they spotted a large dolphin by itself in the sea. It main dorsal fin looked damaged. There it was wavin good bye to me with its strange mauled looking fin.

I got one of the boys to get a rickshaw, as usual they did not want to do anything I think because they saw the guitar going. The rickshaw wanted too much and the train was late. I sit in the station listening to a loud hailered comedy of goon like humour with hig pitched voices and lots of punching. It is god awful. Distorted rubbish that entertains the Indians. One has sort of leached himself in front of me staring at the Palm. He is an elderly refined looking Muslim with the hat cap and glasses. I c..nnot even play my music the station music is so loud. There is even a TV with it. The Indian guitar player was the son of a famous guitar player. He showed me a popular movie song and the words were poetic and transcendental as well as romantic. 'Eyes' dreaming open wide of you. Everything for you.'

The train finally arrives and it is a minor struggle to find a seat. I push someone off who is sleeping and he gets very angry. I play chess on the Palm. I get to Trivandrum and try and ring the Christian place and am given a mobile number, ring this and the priest tells me to ring back later, so I ring Sivananda to be told they are full. I take a rickshaw to the Regency Hotel and get an ac room. Tell the receptionists to fill out the forms, then watch TV in the room. I pray for my wife.

At six thirty I leave and go to the rooftop restaurant, but it is hot and the tables are not ready, so I go to the groundfloor restaurant. There is a power failure, but they have a generator. It seems they have a room available for one day. I have to make some decisions about how to meet my wife. That actually work. I would like to take her on the Kerala backwaters in a houseboat, then to Kodacanal in the hills of Tamil Nadu. It is easier to do the house boat first, so I need to meet her today preferably.

To create a romance.

The recipe.

Decency. Integrity. Hospitality. Loving kindness. Mercy.

The restaurant is very quiet and clean and modern.

There is a chinese picture of galloping horses.


Are you here?


Go for a walk.

Pay the bill.





Be friendly.


Talk to me.

Where are you?

Put it away.

I went for a walk and ended up in a temple and stared into one of the shrines, where a sort of emaciated figure that looked part deformed baby monkey and part Mahatma Ghandi sat dressed up inside with ghee lamps. The temple itself was modern building. I stared at the statue and tried to bring it to life and I prayed where my wife was and the answer came back to love everyone without discrimination and she will come.

I walked back as the attendent pointed to a card on his desk and I looked at it mystified, then he sort of ushered me out looking quite upset. I walked down the narrow road dodging traffic and went to an internet place to look up Hare Krisnas in Trivandrum. When he began to switch on the machine I knew I had made a mistake. Nothing was located in the search. I headed to Highlands restaurant which was empty, then walked on the main street past crowds and cracked pavement and garbage. Thought of seeing a movie, then headed back to the hotel. I went to the rooftop and met a Frenchman who was about 50. I did not want to talk and left to the restaurant downstairs. I had icecream and a coffee shake, then went to my room and ordered more food and then coffee and watched TV. I slept for a while then was attacked by bed bugs and mosquitoes. I got up and rang reception to get a mosquito mat. The hot water is finally on and I have a shower. Then play guitar, it is five am.

I go back to sleep and leave at 12. I get a bus to Madurai. I meet a documentary film maker, who appears alcoholic. He is taking a bus to Chennia. Also I meet a pastor, pentacostal, who converted from Hinduism. On the bus the video is so loud, I have a fight with one person trying to turn it down. I get off at Nagacore. Take the train where I meet a Spanish women. She is staying in Hotel Padman and we get a rickshaw there.

Jan 7

I get up at six thirty and get the bus to Kodiakanal. It is all Indians, loud music and crowded minibus. I am pushed on by my neighbour. It is steep climb and very slow taking six hours, then there is a fairly pointless tour as the entire mountain is in thick cloud. I am taken to the Valley View Hotel which is good. I have a good view. I meet Jeffie the customer manager who is also pentacostal minister and wants to take me to church tomorrow. I meet Nathan, a semi alcoholic Christian tour guide and buy him a meal and chocolate for his family and agree to do a tour if he promises in the name of Jesus to spend the money on vegetables for his family. I advance him 150 rupees. I take photos round the town.

I have too much for dinner and meet a couple from Bihar, there are no Europeans. I watch God channel on TV and play more guitar.

Dear Father,

I only wish good will for you. I read your letter and cuttings. Objectively seeing that this is all God and you are a messanger from him, I accept the message.

Christ states that acceptance of him cleanses of all sin of the past. We are thus born again like new babes. So your sins are forgiven if you accept Christ's sacrifice. That he died that you may have life eternal in heaven.

Your sins against your family are therefore forgiven through Christ. This does not mean that there are not consequences for your past evil behaviour. However when these arise you can be assured that you are saved from any evil that arises from them through Christ's death and your acceptance of this by living for Christ.

I give this testimony in the name of God through Christ that you were not a good father by Christian standards.

You deserted your wife. You did not adequately financially support your family after you left them. During the marriage on one occasion you badly beat your wife. I clearly remember this incdent including Molly asking us to call the police and neighbours. According to her she says that you manipulated the family accounts when married to transfer money into your private account. Her mother paid for two thirds of the family house and her superannunation paid for extensive renovations, nonetheless you demanded one third of the houses value on separation. She had to borrow this money from Margaret and repay it. The money you paid in maintenance barely covered half the basic living expenses and effectively the entire school fees were paid by her. Our school uniforms were pretty much rags and I was referred to as 'mess', my shirts were a crumpled mess as mum had no time to iron them, at times she could not afford to pay for food and had to ask for deferrment of school fees. It was not until she took you to court that something approaching a fair amount was paid. You significantly damaged my HSC results through your unbelievable selfishness when you came down to Melbourne, did not ring us and instead rang and visited my House Master, who then attacked me on the basis of your biased and unfair representation of the family situation when I was not even aware that you were in Melbourne. I refused to enter into a discussion with him. This was just before my exams and emotionally detrimentally affected me, and thus contributed to a lower HSC score than should have been expected. His report prevented me from getting into Trinity College and so altered my entire career. I would have done science at Melbourne. After you left when you did see your children you did not treat them with love, but instead humiliated and attacked them.

You remarried and were considering leaving your second wife, she commited suicide and left extenisive documentation blaming you for her unhappiness.

Your job record is not impressive. You received very poor reports from the British Army. You were twice sent before a commission for causing unnecessary deaths. You effectively lost your job in Borthwicks and Catterpillar. You received no promotion in the Australian Army who eventually tried to retrench you.

Overall your track record is not impressive in family and work.

You set no high standard for anyone else to follow.

If I were you, I would be incredibly humble towards me and the family. If you are a true Christian then on your knees you should beg their forgiveness.

Sending photocopies of religious texts and the bible that imply that you are some sort of blameless mistreated Prince being persecuted unfairly by evil doers, who you seem to imply are your own family is not just insulting them, but showing incredible deluded arrogance, showing no humility, no admission of wrongdoing and in effect is passing all blame upon them. In effect it confirms to me you cannot be a Christian, because a Christian has to admit his sins of the past and ask forgiveness. But you have rewritten the past to absolve yourself of your sin, and this is simply a lie. And no lies are admissable in heaven. And your wrecked family that you deserted may be largely destroyed, but they will not forget the past nor rewrite it to absolve you. They will only accept you when you come to them in total humility begging forgiveness for what you did to them without any reservation. Only when you unreservedly offer everything you have and all your heart will your family forgive you. And in turn you will see them transform themselves to good and loving people and in so doing they will offer their forgiveness to you for the harm they caused you through their lack of love and arrogance. And then they will turn away from sin and evil which is destroying them and keeping them in hell and suffering.

As I write this I know I write it as much for myself to follow as for you, because trully we are all messengers of God and our own brother's keeper, so do not take this letter in anyway other than with deep love and affection from your son who wishes only to have a sincere loving relationship with you.

Your first step in becoming a true Christian will be admitting that you failed as a father and accepting forgiveness of that through Jesus Christ.

These are the only words I need to here from you. So there is no need to contact me until you are ready to take that step.

Trust me that it hurts me very deeply that you were not a good father and even more that I have to tell you this that is so obvious to everyone else.

I pray for your salvation.

I also understand that I was born into this family to go through this suffering for a reason, and that there is a divine plan behind it that should be fulfilled and will bring much joy to the world. So I feel no ill will to you at all, because I understand that the past had to be and cannot be regretted for it is our lesson of existence. However learning from the past suffering to change the future to make a better world is our only responsibility to the past, otherwise it is forgiven and cleansed through the sacrifice of Christ. However this can only occur if we recognise and admit our past sins and ask Christ for forgiveness for them. People that one has wronged should also be asked for forgiveness. Whether they accept this or not is their free will. The exact measure and time that one offers them to forgive oneself should be directed by the holy spirit. For once one is trully surrendered to God then all actions are in his hands and for his glory alone.



8 Jan

Wake up with huge rings under my eyes. Go to meet Nathan, he is not there nor the girls. I ask round and tell them that I will come tommorrow. I buy some chocolate and meet an Israeli called David. He has no money till the banks open, so I buy him breakfast. We are followed round by a guide and then go for a walk around the cloudy town ending up at a Catholic church. We swap cameras as he has a model upgrade on my Fuji. We go to the hotel for lunch and the pastor brings in a whole gospel music group into my room and they try and convert us. David is a little upset as he is driving a motorbike and had an accident where the minibus drove off. He managed to stop them and a major argument ensued. Ariel Sharon is also in a serious coma. David leaves and we arrange to meet for dinner. I ask Jeffie where the hall is where the Christian's are meeting and then go to the hall which is difficult to find but they are not there, so I return to the hotel and Jeffie tells me they are in their hotel room, so I go there and they play some gospel music and I play my song which they tolerate. I have a long discussion with one of the group leaders and then we go to the hall. It is full of people who mostly sit on the floor, they are small and poor and the women sit separately and wear scarves. There are many more women. They sing gospel music that reminds me of a German beer festival. I leave to meet David at the hotel but he is not there. So I have dinner in my room, the restaurant is empty, and watch TV. I feel quite flat.

Jan 9

I wake up late and am feeling depressed. I look in the mirror and see huge wrinkles again under the eyes. I hired a heater the previous nights and it seems to dry me out. I am feeling to leave. The clouds are even thicker than yesterday. I order idli for breakfast and pack up. The power goes and the generator starts, I switch on God TV. I change it to BBC World News.

I meet John and discuss more about Jesus. Then I check out and go for a walk, I buy chocolate then head to the lake after an odd exchange in the dilapidated tourist office. I finally get a tourist brochure and head down the hill in the wrong direction to the lake. I stop at a travel agent and find there is a luxury bus going to Pondicherry at 6.45 pm. I head to the lake past the blue stone cottages and International School which does not allow entry. I take a horse, a chestnut one, and a male, I take it round the lake, but he persuades me to go to the waterfall. He lets me ride it without leading then takes the lead and I am a little afraid, for some reason I had a premonition that the horse would gallop as in Ooty and I did not want that experience again as I was somewhat more fragile now. The horse was docile pretty much the whole way and I was glad he led it. We stopped at the waterfall and I met a Singapore Indian who had Australian citizenship, he was Christian but now nothing. I returned to the lake with Nataraj the horseman. I met David on his Enfield as I was getting photographed by an old English cottage. He apoligised as I thought he had misused my friendship to take marajouana from some Westerners. I was being extremely careful on the horse because I wanted to remain in control, or rather protected from danger and so be absolutely confident when I moved to the next stage of riding. Riding by myself then trotting and later galloping. I stroked the horse and told Nataraj to look after him and not beat him.

I returned to the hotel walking very gently and with awareness and in the presence of God and in a way Jesus. Beggars approached I gave some rupees to one cripple, but not to an old lady.

I am on the bus to Pondicherry. It is dark and we are winding our way down the mountain. The lights are off. I have a seat to myself, a man opposite wears a mask for his asthama. I feel a bad spirit in him. I foresee calamities. Like the bus going over a cliff. The bus is almost empty and virtually all men. Another homosexual fantasy I could do without. Seems to dog me here. The pastor thought I should go back to Australia and become a preacher. I am tired and not enjoying the journey. I vowed I would not come back to India except on a guided tour. Feeling sick. Exhausted. Had enough. Even calling on Christ for love and a wife is taking its toll. So I am in an awkward situation. A couple gets on board. There is some confusion about their seat. The bus is luxury with semi sleeper seats. Existence is giving me a very boring ride. And I am getting extremely fed up with it. I am not sure what I have to do to turn this around, but Jesus is definitely not the answer. The batteries begin to cut out. I am getting the feeling that I am in a cess pit. A boy comes and talks to me, we have the usual discussion about what this computer is. I am losing my temper a bit with God for not bringing a woman to me. I frankly do not care who it is or whether it is my wife and I am even beginning not to care what sex it is. But I do care that I share my life with someone and have a sex life with it. And that the person is another human being. So only one thing I ask of you God is remove the bondage of conditioning imprisoning me because it simply will not work as a means of controlling me. Remove it. As far as purity goes I am willing to oblige as far as I am able and far surpass Jesus life in this respect. You could have brought my wife on this bus. You brought someone elses. I am sick of your games. I have had enough and tieing me to a dead life in a corrupted planet will not work, even if it means my death which I am willing to take if you block my pleasure and productiviy, if you continue to insult my feelings with low thoughts I will retaliate. But if I take my life by my own hand I will make sure that it will be swift final and painless.

I move seats and move back. I try and sleep then sing Christian hymns. There is the man with the mask, the kid in front, the honeymoon couples. I half sleep and finally at 5.30 we reach Pondicherry.

Jan 10

A bunch of rickshaws try and rip me off eventually I pay 200 to Auroville, more than double the price. The man insists on his brother coming but I kick him off. We go to an ATM and I withdraw 12000. He picks up his brother again and I jokingly say Nay and he gets in. At Auroville the guesthouses are full, then College seems to have a dorm bed going. Then not according to the security guard. He will not let me speak to the manager and I see her myself after saying that many Indians have lied to me. I discover there is a place.

I have breakfast and play some guitar. Reception opens and check in and check my money. 2000 is missing. The bag that I left with the rickshaw drivers and was only out of my sight when I went to the toilet after they had gone and only Westerners were around. A lesson indeed in trust and watching possessions particularly money.

I try and find the police in Auroville. The administration is useless, trying to connect me with a security guard who is not there on phones that keep failing. I also try and connect to the future school but they are on holiday. Eventually at the Solar Kitchen I get the names of some teachers. I hire a moped. I go back to the tourist centre and meet a NZ actor Wayne, who is staying in College with a Korean woman. I find out where the police station is and go there, but after waiting a long time and telling myself no corruption in my mind, the officer who said he was going to help me does not come back and the inspector who comes in says I have to go to Pondicherry. I ride there and it is getting dark. The streets become chaotic but somehow exciting.

I eventually get to the new bus stand through the sewer of the streets and general filth, although in fact Pondy is much cleaner than most Indian cities. Their is a police outpost at the bus stand and after being told I have parked my bike illegally, I go in, an officer I persuade to come with me to find the rickshaw drivers and where the bus stopped. This proves too difficult and he leaves after I cannot find the bus stop for the private bus. I eventually find the travel agent in the main street and the agent remembers and knows the auto driver. He tells me he will get his number tomorrow morning. I then go to the police station which is another saga of misdirections. The police with their French caps red striped, are none too helpful, one even tells me how lucky I am, Constable Kaumar. I take his number and he asks me to cross this out or he will not help me. He offers to go to the travel agent tomorrow. He does not want to make a police report. Tells me to speak to the inspector, who is not interested, finally I say I do not care about the money and if they get it to donate it to charity. But I say I want the driver and his friend charged for theft. The officer comes with me to the travel agent on my moped. We return to the station and he wants me to thank everyone there. The inspector says he is busy. I return after asking many people the way and falling off the bike at the turn off to Auroville.

I sleep badly squashed next to an Austrian man who is a rainbow hippie.

Jan 11

The next day I shift to the top loft by myself. I chat to the guests at Colege who mostly smoke which irritates me. Many are German and about my age, Ludwig is teaching at Future school computer science. He looks a bit like Russell Crowe. There is Steffan, a German Artist and car tester and Joing, a Korean photographer who has travelled across Tibet. Not to forget Emie, a young Greek woman who was trained as a camera operator and now is doing a massage course with Kelly, a New Yorker, who is also young and attractive and is on a bit of a spiritual journey around India.

I go to Yoga Therapy and meet a Russian man who is about 60. We meditate together and I feel a lot of peace, he does not want money.

I go for lunch at the Solar Kitchen which requires an account which they will not give because I am not staying long enough on my card. So I pay cash and meet a film director Gerrard, he is French Aurovillian, looks late 50s and weatherbeaten in a Machievellian sort of way that I notice a lot here. He is looking for a script and I arrange to meet him the next day.

I go to Bhivat Nivas and try and post the luggage tag back to Kodakanal but it is closed, I look at the flower photo exhibition and another exhibition around the overgrown empty grand buildings looking modern but deserted. It is not bustling with life. The other exhibition is full of twee paintings of fairies photographed from a doctor's surgery in California.

I try and chase up the school and arrange to meet Chali, who is an American Aurovillian since childhood. I meet her at the school and she finishes dealing with a youth group and takes me into an office where a Russian teacher of chemistry is there. She seems keen for a history teacher, but as I discuss my experiences in Education and my desires for creating super consciousness through a new education system I seem to lose her and she suggests Last School which is tertiary and arranges for an observation next Thursday. However the Russian is much more interested and we talk on for a long time.

Ghandi Mardi is the housekeeper boss at College and I try and telephone from there. But they say Kumar does not exist. I go for dinner at Solar with the College gang. There is a social night on but noone volunteers so they close it. Then a black American stands up and bursts into Cole Porter brilliantly. Another black recites a poem by heart of her lesbian desires and her family. Then the old Aurovillians emerge with washed out poetry they read out of Sri Aurobindo and Dylan - which is about the gallows. I try and work up courage to sing Love is Everywhere but lose it and just sing it quietly at the table next to Kelly, who is trying to chat up an Israeli man, then a German.

Jan 12

I get up not early enough and try and rush to the Ashtanga Yoga and get there half an hour late, they are located at Petite farm and are near the beach a long way away. He allows me into the class, but then asks me to leave when he sees I do not know the routine. I go back and have breakfast at College.

I then meet Gerrard and the Apple CD will not work on the PC. He tells me there is a major mafia and drug problem on Auroville but does not want to make a film about it. He says the vision has become corrupted. I suggest that the place needs to connect to the UN for7 funding to replace the UN here. He feels all governments are corrupt. I go to Solar for lunch, then return with the USB disc and two French women are there. Eventually after using a disc to read the plug I download the Christ script. I mention that Emie is interested to meet him.

I check an apartment which is nice but lonely and feels wrong, another man arrives who really wants it so I let him take it. I go and meditate in the Matrimandir Petals in the Equality section and see Kelly in a vision. I then meet her at the Visitor Centre where I am trying to telephone Kumar. They are closed, she tries her mobile and I head back to College where I get through to the travel agent. Kumar at the travel agent denies that he is Kumar and finally admits that the driver did not come back, he tells me he will get his name off the other drivers. He says his name is Dogball.

Fed up I go to bed and play guitar. I sleep badly.

Jan 13

The sound of two villages Pongal festivities at 5 am is too much and I get up and shower and head to yoga with the Russian at Bhivat Nivas.

It is very basic Sivananda and one old American woman is there. I get impatient doing postures ahead and more advanced.

I go to the Matrimandir and try and organise meditation in the main chamber this afternoon. She is late and reluctant to let me in despite me being there three years ago. I head back to College for breakfast and meet the American who is looking after the students coming here. She flew in yesterday and seems a bit extreme in her social, political and economic views. Overly negative of the world situation and energy crisis in that left socialist liberal borderline communist attitude of State Universities. She is busy with organisation.

I drift off. Have lunch in New Creation with the gang, then go to a swimming movement liquid flow therapy class in Quiet, a luxury German Resort by the beach. Alexander, the giant Austrian speeds off there on his bicycle not giving me proper instructions. It is a strange situation, I am greeted by elderly Germans. There is one attractive woman in her 30s. However she scowls at me. I end up with elderly German woman as partners who drag me round the pool as American Country and Western romance music is played. I try to let go. But the second partner clutches me to her breast, then whirls me round bumping into other people and the side of the pool. We are meant to be eyes closed with floaties on and a clip over the nose in a sort of state of suspended animation. When the instructor demonstrated it looked wonderful and I could see the potential. The attractive woman took an Indian man as her partner.

I finally stopped my partner and left. Later Alex told me he was transferred to her and when taking her round she resisted and tried to control what he was doing. I headed to a phone booth on the main road and rang John's mobile and spoke for a long time about my desire for a wife, the feeling I was being tortured and God. He told me to come to Chenai and said he was praying for me. I said that I could not accept a literal interpretation of the bible and believed in evolution. Scientifically the bible was simply inaccurate if not just wrong. That stopped me from heading to him.

I rushed to the matrimandir for meditation and was angry about the swimming. We all queued up with people thrusting like an Indian train station and I blurted out it is like Indians. A German woman thought this very funny though not the Indian woman taking the tickets. I headed behind her to the Matrimandir, however she chose to sit between two people when there were two mats together right in front. I thought this a significant sign and sat next to another woman, then moved twice. Finally I stayed on when only the Aurovillians are allowed to sit. A man came up and told me to stop moving and to leave if I was a guest. I stopped moving, but felt not good there in the huge marbled columned sci fi structure with its giant crystal ball and beamed light into it.

A woman took a photo and had her camera grabbed. I was rather aggressively told that I should not have stayed on.

That night I am invited to the solar kitchen for dance. But I feel it is wrong and go to the visitor's centre. This feels wrong so I go back to the Solar Kitchen, which still feels wrong. My moped had taken me unconsciously to the Townhall but I had turned back. They are doing improvised dance in the Solar Kitchen. Alex is floating round with some child. I talk to a man who was beaten up by Auto drivers on the beach. It is full moon. I feel I should do the walk but do not want to. It feels too much pain. So I go to the Visitor's centre and have dinner with Gino and a Viennese friend of his. We joke about the names in Auroville and suggest opposites. I watch the children's play from the roof. I see both sides of the curtain.

I go to leave but the bike has run out of fuel. An Indian takes me to get fuel but at the village they only have quarter of a litre. The bike finally starts without the help of the Ashtanga teacher. I am told there is a party at the Youth Centre. I go back to College it is empty. I head to the party and meet Gino on his bike, I follow him to another party. It is tribal drums and has a mixed age group with many dressed in tribal attire. The house is combination Californian modern and Flintstone with round everything and tiles. I drink some fermented lemon juice and dance outside to the drums. But I cannot dance and feel old and drained. The young attractive women draw me like a vampire and as I lust after one who is voluptuous in an Earth goddess way and moving to the beat in hot pants, till some beefy youth comes up and rubs against her, what can I say but more torture. A woman who appears lesbian, butch, short hair, tribal, nose piercings and baby at her breast sits next to me with her partner. I feel lost. I try and dance but cannot move. I watch Kelly as she lovingly chats to some Indian youth as he edges closer. And then she is gone as my mind battles saying make love to him if you want, but do not do it through me or expect my consent to something that feels wrong to me. I head back alone and depressed. I call upon Jesus to take the burden of my sin and forgive me. I sleep long and well.

Jan 15

I get up late about 11. Kelly smiles hello. Go to lunch with the gang in Aurodelle the IT part of Auroville. Kelly leaves to her beach room with the old Frenchman. I buy petrol and go to the beach, checking out Auroville Caves the beach hangout shacks full of surfie types. There is a festival on the beach. The road is partly washed out from the tsunami which the owner told me washed everything away but everyone survived in the caves. I head back to College and chat to Ludwig and try and have a grammar lesson in German and English. Steffan plays my guitar. He is good at the blues. I say I must do something in German to Ludwig and pick up the Auroville newsletter and point out the Aurovision meeting. He looks at the date and says it is today. I thought it was Monday and rush off having missed most of it. It is in the Townhall and has about forty people attending.

This time it is more organised and there is an admission that the vision has got lost. That outside help is needed especially in management planning and strategic goals if the city is to be created. I talk to Ron an expert in sustainability who says that they are miles behind in technology and he has had a lot of trouble trying to talk to Aurovillians. I arrive at College to see the bikes leaving and I am invited to the Pizzeria. I have this feeling my cap is missing and check my bag. It is not there and I go back to Townhall then the petrol shop. I have trouble getting to the Pizzeria after moronic instructions by a Russian women taking me in the wrong direction. I tell them about the cap and they laugh. Good Tiramasu but bad pizza.

Elizabeth, the middle aged Malaysian English woman, who was adopted by an English family and is very properly spoken asks for a lift to the Viking Folk play, but gets upset when I analyse possessiveness versus responsibility in looking after possessions. I go by myself and the play is fairly dull monologue which I cannot hear properly. I sit next to the little Japanese woman, Kelly and her elderly Frenchman. Kelly and the Frenchman leave half way through. Ironically when I start repeating to myself the truth, the truth.

Back at College, I sit up at the tables by the kitchen outside and play guitar till the only ones left are Joing and Emmie. The conversation becomes transcendental and I see logic is pointless. Until it comes to what we want. I say ecstasy. I tell them I feel trapped here, can't stay and can't leave and do not know where to go. Emmie says she cannot say what she wants and I say I cannot say either and we understand each other. Joing dissappears. She says she is going to bed. I talk to her about looking for a partner and just trying people out. Then I go to bed, and find my cap on the table. I forget my bag and go back and she is with Joing.

Jan 16

I get up early after reasonable sleep. Miss Ashtanga. Sexually fantasise about Kelly and the American teacher. Eventually the gang leaves for the Pongal village celebrations, we miss the running of the cows and walk to a village where few Aurovillians have gone and watch a rugby match without a ball and a pole climbing contest, then go to the house of one of the house boys and have lunch. We return get bikes and go to New Creation and the health food cafe shop and have desert tarts. I meet an Irish woman called Joselyne. She is studying with a yoga teacher in Pondy. We visit the Pongal festival and have beggars follow us for pictures. I run out of photos and start deleting. I am tired of the bustle and in the local toilet consider doing a photo book on Indian toilets. We decide to cook dinner and buy ingredients that look deformed and Elizabeth informs me that is because they are organic. I buy cabbage and tomato sauce which she does not want, and she becomes quite angry. Dictating what is to be bought for dinner. I buy some bread and she asks me if it is stale and I ask her about garlic and she curtly replies it has been bought. A German masseuse comes in and flatters her and she fawns all over him. Her polite English royal manner evaporating into steamy desire. I leave with the bread and sauce rubbing against the chain of the moped. Back at College Ghandi is complaining about the dishes left this morning. I retire for a cold shower and a sleep. The guitar is played. Alex has commandeered it to his room.

I wake up and head to the kitchen. Elizabeth tries to herd me out, but I head for the cabbage which lies by itself. I try to chop it but they tell me there is no spare knife. I find one and start chopping and Ludwig stops me very upset, I have not cleaned and removed the leaves properly. I make tea. The dinner is pasta and potato and Germanic and tasty. We go to Siddhartha the movie and it is full. I meet Pier and a friend Bergand. They come back to the guesthouse for tea and we play music, which Steffan and Joing provide using their talents on guitar and flute bamboo. We tap on the table to the quiet blues. The New Zealand girls join us and Lauren is a primary school teacher who is having trouble teaching. Her sister is a med student called Madelaine.

I have erotic fantasies that are not fulfilling and then nigtmares where I lock the door.

Jan 17

Up latish at nine. Arrange the day. Try and change accommodation at the Solar and email the Union about the school in Biloela.

Then go to the dance class the NZers are at. It proves impossible to find and finally after many misdirections largely by Indians I am losing my cool. A Swedish woman gets upset at my criticisms of the signage and I am in a deadend with a locked gate that she tells me to climb over. I see the NZers on the other side. The class has been cancelled. We climb back over and the wall falls down as I go over. I tell some Indians who say not to worry they are replacing it soon. I go to the Solar Kitchen try to open an account which they do not want to do because of the time I am here not being certain and then I do not have enough money either. I am about to meet the NZers in the dining room.

I wait alone and finally they come when I have finished. They thought it was upstairs. So I went with Laura to Transition on my moped.

We walked round with Helena past round classrooms that were now too small in their own space. Circular little shaped huts. Helena said a meeting was required before we could observe and it would take a week.

I took Laura back to the Solar Kitchen and she drove. We got lost for a moment. Then I was at College and driving Ludwig to the Industrial College as his moped had fizzled out. We somehow took the shortest route which proved to be these pebbled bitumen that was worse than dirt. Eventually when we got there the students were studying for exams and so I sat and listened to Ludwig converse in German till I could take no more. I drove the bike up and turned it round, the students from Bergart's English class were laughing and Ludwig finally got on. We headed down the main road this time and then at the Auroville turn off Ludwig realised I had left my pack. Eventually we took a back track to College and winding amongst the trees, crops and cows past excited village folk and over ditches skidding round bushes and backtracking up paths with Ludwig shouting instructions. Then we had a lot of tea and some left over bread and we were back on the road and to the meeting at Townhall. We were early, Steffan, Ludwig and I. We ordered and ate and waited. Finally Peter arrived very late, his bike had run out of petrol and old as he was he had pushed it. The American German arrived from the party with a woman. We had an argument about bringing the UN here and then they left and we moved to the Solar Kitchen for ice cream. There was no real discussion about Auroville and a brief mention was made of shifting the guest houses from tourist hotels to work and industry introduction accommodation. I got the feeling the idea would quickly be forgotten.

We went back and had tea and played music. Alex arrived with Laura from contact dancing, she sat with him and then went to bed, I strummed my guitar staring at her. Alex asked me to play something else. But it was all I knew. Joing said he wanted to connect with my music with his flute. I tried to make a song up for Emmie and in the end I talked because the music would not connect. And it came back to Osho and love and sex. And possession.

Jan 18

I did some yoga on the outside circle, then went to last school. They were having an art day in the pyramid, a huge concrete eroding structure. The teachers and parents had to draw and the student's judge and teach them. I got very involved reconnecting too how much I needed art. They were mostly girls 15 to 18. Deepti ran the place and was well educated wealthy Delhi Indian. She determined her syllabus once she had met her class and tried to holistically teach incorporating Sri Aurobindo's values and concepts in what she taught.

There was one teacher per student. I had lunch with the parents. Many smoked and ran guesthouses by the beach. They were fairly old and mostly Aurovillians for years. I left going past after school to my bike and the students were playing volleyball in a circle and the ball flew towards me and I hit it back. Got on my bike and again the ball came over, chased by the young Jack cowboy in the play.

I went to the bakery and it was empty and ended up at the Solar for cake. Went to do the Orrisa traditional dance and it was the wrong time, she was cancelling all the classes except to Aurovillians who were committed. I spoke to her on the phone. Then I left Pitanga Hall which was sort of Islamic with a courtyard. Back to Solar to the Internet where I tried in vain for more than two hours to download my Palm diary. Everything eventually worked except downloading the diary. However whatever had been making the diary use up ten times normal memory was rectified. I wanted to back it up and it would not let me. I started swearing and fought to download it. Cutting and pasting to new documents but still it refused to download. All the other documents download.

I went to a Salsa class and Laura and Madelaine turned up. The teacher was a German in his fifties and good, however he danced a lot in front of the mirror and went too fast for beginners. I soon lost the rhythmn and was pushed from the front by a woman in stilletos. I ignored Laura and danced with a young Brazillian looking woman. I could not get into the movement, but somehow the vibration was there but it did not take me in. Unlike the way that everyone else was moving.

Laura danced with the teacher and other young men and at the end I waited while she talked to them. They left and I remained transfixed and she went. The teacher asked if I was ok. I went out and they had gone. I sort of searched for them at New Creation resaurant and then Solar. Finally I returned to the guesthouse where they were talking to the gang. She ignored me as I got my guitar and sang 'can't live without you'. Then I sort of did a Salsa with Emmie and she did one with Ludwig. I wanted to talk to her and was a bit angry, but Ludwig came just when she walked by. She went to bed and I stayed up after everyone went and made up songs of lament to my lover. Alex took the guitar.


I spent most of the day in Future School observing lessons. Most were following the GCE syllabus and fairly dull text book affairs. With the last lesson by Rolf, a German, ending up with giggling as he tried to explain the basics of relativity in physics to junior students. A space craft goes off at light speed and returns from another planet, the crew will have hardly aged compared to the people on earth. Why?

An English class was interesting run by an elderly American woman and an Australian man. They were running it like a magazine with students as reporters. Some teachers did not want me observing - Sergei. Most classes were sciences and maths and languages. Ulli the Salsa teacher and German teacher ignored me as I waited at his door, so I took it that he did not want to be observed. The Brazillian was in his class which was all women. I talked to Rolf afterwards who seemed more concerned in the construction site. Classroom management and methods to relate to children without aggression were discussed.

I wanted to connect with Laura. There was another dance class but I felt it was too far and I was too lazy. I got caught in conversation with Ludwig who was going to have dinner in Pondicherry with most of the gang. I did not want to go.

That evening I went looking for Laura in a way. I went back to the visitor's centre and met Elisabeth and others. We went and watched a video on Findahorn then joined a large group that included Zena, the German woman who had laughed at the Matramandir. A Finnish girl with nose piercings was having chocolate ice cream and complaining that she missed her lover. I agreed. I looked at Zena as a hippie massaged her and got up and headed to the guesthouse. I got my guitar and started playing outside the dormitory. The American German actor came and started playing until I took it from him. Then an Indian old man came and finally Laura and Madelaine, Laura ignored me and I called her over. She finally came and had been at a play. She got distracted in talking to the Indian then went to bed. Emmie and Joing came and I continued to play till they left. I was still making up a song 'Can't live without you.'

Jan 20

I got up very early. Did yoga on the circle and waited for Laura. They got up just before they were due to leave at 7.45. I said goodbye and gave my email address. I rushed to get a pen and paper.

Ghandi Mardi was going on a holiday. A whole lot of unsavoury drifters came in looking for a room.

I rang guest services and tried to organise my accomodation and booked a place at Ami. Said goodbye to Ludwig and Steffan who were heading to Kanchypuram. Joing and Emmie turned up to say goodbye. I said sorry to Surya the night watchman who I had met on the first day and had invited us to his family for lunch.

I left College leaving my luggage in store. The students were not arriving until five the next morning. Murgon wanted the moped back but I persuaded him to let me keep it.

I then went to Future School and watched a seminar on Auriville's finances and a school small business project for the student's to run. The teachers laughed when I asked about the guest house expenditure. All money went to the Central Fund but somehow almost all was claimed back as expenses. Maybe explaining Janet's luxurious house. But then I was told that most people's houses were built from their own money or inheretances. The speaker made a major point of saying that people who retired here for the European winter and had their kids educated here but otherwise contributed little in work may be required to contribute more money to stay. After lunch I talked to Aron an Israeli history and religious teacher, who was quite young about team teaching. He was guarded about it but agreed in principle. The term had already started and he said it may be difficult to get students. My suggestion of a research project on the Mother and Auroville's vision then and now, did not go down well with him or Chali. She suggested I do a GCE history then later consider something like that. I said I did not want to repeat the Australian experience.

Rolf did not want me sitting in on the teacher's meeting. I went and spent another two hours downloading my diary from the Palm. Segments started to download but the final part, the beginning mysteriously only downloaded when I called over the Tamil in charge.

I checked out Ami which looked awful and then tried other guesthouses which were full. Samiste was mediterranean and somehow quite attractive. I met Joing at Reve but declined dinner and their place was full. A kind of jungle hut atmosphere. I had dinner at the visitor's centre with Elisabeth and Rutgard and then a mass joined us and the place was full. I left without paying as I wanted to go to a lecture. I stopped by at Bharat where a flower power dance was on with everyone joining in. I left and went to the lecture on astrophysics and creation. Then I headed to Ami and chatted to the friendly people there. But I was put in a dirty dormatory and could not sleep. I drove to College and asked to sleep there, but Surya said no. So I got my sleeping bag and contemplated sleeping in the forest. It was cold and I went back to Ami.

Jan 21

Bad sleep and worse dreams in Ami's dormitory. I tried to avoid the place. Woke up shaved and paid 200 and left.

Went to town for petrol then the New Creation Bakery and had coffee and chocolate croissant roll. Talked to a dredlocked Swedish woman who was staying in Ami. I told her it was dirty. Then I went to Solar to find another place, they sent me to Aurodam which was underconstruction and I met a weedy English man who was waiting for a massage. I left the sort of tree huts there and went and paid for my dinner at the visitor centre and had a strong coffee, then tried to find Cocoon which was up north in a clothing factory. The guard there sent me away initially. The room was functional and cleanish and a bit like a factory with a hot shower toilet and flat dining room. I have trouble locking the room.

I return to College guesthouse. And Murgon wants the moped back. He will not let me have my luggage and I tell him I have to go to a class. I take the bike and have a very uncomfortable stressed Pilates class, however I do realise that very small movements can release a lot of energy. I go back and try and organise a proper motor bike. Murgon rings and says he can get one at three. I say I need the moped till then, and I have to get money out of my luggage. He tells me to see Janet. I ask him to come and he does not want to. Then ensues a major argument where the vision of the ashram is brought up and I question whether after 35 years Janet has lost this spirit, she replies I act as if the world revolves around me and tells me to give the bike back now. I say Murgon agreed to me having it and is now very inconveniently changing that agreement. I tell her the whole issue is ridiculous because I am getting another bike and I will pay for a full day more, but she tells me I am not being respectful to Murgon and it is his right to have the bike whenever he wants it. Finally she lets me get my money and I promise to return it at three. I return to Cocoon and try ringing the travel agent in Pondy to chase the rickshaw driver again and then I ring Kumar at the police and he says he will try and chase the matter up. Then I get some Masala tea and apple cake and chocolate at the Garnesh Bakery which is a winding track to Verite. A little rundown and typically Indian the food does not appeal to me. I rush to College for the bike and run over a squirrel, stop and remove it from the road as its final life ebbs out. A scooter is waiting but he wants it hired for two weeks, he takes me to Reve where they say a bike might be available at five. A scooter is offered to me. Joing and Emmie arrive from Pondy and we have green tea and bread. Joing burns CDs of my photos and I look at his animal shots. I try and persuade him to include one of my photos in his photo book.

We go to a food fair at the Kindagarten that gradually loses its appeal as I stare at a large video screen projected on the wall of a circus performance in that grotesque European style. Alex is there. I lug my backpack on the scooter back to Cocoon where three Italians are in the kitchen. I play guitar and Joing and I have tea. He reads my article on Auroville and Biloela on the Palm. We discuss some philosophy. I let him read my diary but in the end he finds it too personal. I go to bed after a hot shower.

Jan 22

Get up fairly late and have bread and tea. Burn the toast. The Italians are helping disenfranchised village women with business finance.

I go to Reve and meet Joing and Emmie. Then I have lunch with them. Pasta that Joing cooks. I play chess with Alexander and he wins. We go to the flea market, or rather I go am disgusted and come back and tell them I am heading to Siddhana Farm. They say they will come later. I eventually find the turn off down a dirt track off the main highway that becomes progressively more chewed up until I arrive at some spread out thatch huts and a sense of spirit. They are crammed with beds and mosquito nets. A pioneer spirit exudes the air like Auroville must have been at the beginning. There is a kitchen lounge area all open to the air that is a bit of a mess. Some garden vegetable patches and lots of Australian acacias or tea trees perhaps. There are many people here perhaps sixty and a meditation camp. I take photos and walk round past a large solar panel generator, a children's pool and internet computer station, more huts and a tent. There is a nice spirit and I return to the lounge and talk and attempt to tune the guitar there unsuccessfully. I feel more at home and discover rawfooders are living here. I meet one and eat some fruit I have bought. I decline dinner. I attempt to leave but the scooter will not start. Eventually when I have fully surrendered and think I should stay a Tamil starts it. I bounce off back slowly to civilisation and feel a little sad.

Jan 23

Get up late, bad dreams. Go to get motorbike and say hello to the gang in Reve. They tell me much better bike is coming. Alex plays chess and I tell him I can't continue because I need the bike and psychically if I don't push the Indians to get it won't come. He says that is bullshit. I leave telling him not to be upset with me or the bike will not come. An absolutely noisy old shit bike turns up and I say I will take the other one, but the hirer will not let me because he says the clutch cable is going. So I am forced to take the heap of junk, mentally I thank Alex. I go to the beach to connect with Canadian rawfooders at Repos and they are not there but there messy disaster of a beach bungalow is. I feel depressed. The beach is hot and long and has old European tourists lying on it. I feel Auroville has become a geriatric home. I return to Cocoon fed up. An amma cleans the rooms badly, the bread is missing. Which is a blessing as I am trying to be raw now. I get more money and write this. I think of going back to Sadhanna.

I go to Solar and get lunch cooked, then go to Pitanga and pay for the Pilates class. Then I do some emails where I annoy as many people as I can with reminders to answer me. I meet Alex and go to Townhall for cake and coffee and Joing and Emmie. We go to the Pony Farm where Joing wants to help animal rescue but the person is not there. Only a tiny donkey that Joing wants to photo but it keeps on coming up to the camera. We then head to Sadhana Forest via a back track. They think we are going to stay and a man shows us round. Somehow the women are no longer interested in me. I play some guitar on an out of tune classical one. And try to sing. Then a lecture on homeopathy by an Indian woman bores me enough to leave. They have a two stage toilet for shit and piss. I head back slightly annoyed with an invitation to come for two weeks. I come across Joing and Emmie heading opposite direction on the way to have a rawfood dinner which I decline. The Visitors is closed and Townhall will only take an account so I head home and have a long hot shower. The apartment is empty. And I am half glad about that. I have toast and tea. Then find ginger cordial and have more tea and toast. I sit and wonder what I should do. I overlook the factory like a manager. I feel trapped. All decisions seem wrong. I feel a kind of telepathic contact with people. I feel sick, and tired. I think of taking the guitar and cordial to Reve. I finish off the loaf.

Jan 24

Still sleep badly. Get up at 8 and pack for Sadhana Forest. Reception makes a fuss about taking Visa card. I eventually leave with my pack on and wobble on the old Yamaha to Sadhana. They are sort of surprised and it appears all beds have been taken. I peel potatoes and wait for lunch, then Aviram's wife shows me a bed at the back of shed that looks like a fridge. I decline and she offers another bed where I sleep in a double bed with another guy, I decline and she offers a triple bed with a couple. I look and say I will think about it. I leave and pick up a Japanese man and give him a lift, the energy feels wrong. I go off to the beach ATM and the money refuses to withdraw, it tells me go to Pondy. I say no and the money comes out. A beggar old and almost crippled hassles and I shout at him to go. I head to Repos beach to meet the rawfooders who are French Canandian. I meet them and speak to the father who is quite enlightened. They are separated. They run the Bliss cafe but sell cooked food and junk along with juices. There is an English women who is quite young and raw for a year. I got lost in staring into her eyes. Lucy responds then says she has to go pick up her mother from the airport. I sense a lie and ask if I can come to take a plane to Bombay. She seems offended and says then that she is in fact not leaving till 10 pm. My senses seem to be confirmed and I am thinking that I have to go beyond raw to the source, the breatharian boy near Bombay.

I leave disappointed and try to get on a motorbike exactly like mine that belongs to a yank giving a lift to the Australian girl who was in the health food cafe. I go to the Cocoon to pay and collect my guitar, they are closed, but security takes the money. I head to Solar and do internet then go to Reve to discover Joing is not there. I go to Sadhana and have missed dinner. I discover the couple bed has been given away and I say I will sleep outside but everything tells me to pack up and leave. I play guitar and try and chat up a few of the women, but end up telling one I am lost in a hell. I am tired and try and sleep outside but am attacked by mosquitoes. So I move into the lounge room but am attacked there, I just feel like killing people. I decide it is too much evil and leave, the gate is locked, and I wake Aviram, he leaves it open because I am going to come back with a taxi. I cycle in the cold to collect my small pack at Cocoon. The security guard says he cannot give it to me. I say then give me a room, he rings someone up and gets me the bag, I head to Reve and wake up the boy who rented the bike, he takes ages to come to the door. I ring for a taxi and they do not want to come. Finally I get a company who agrees. Two men arrive in the night and we head along the track to Sadhana. Pick up my luggage and arrive at Pondy bus depot at 2.30 am. A local bus is heading to Chennia, I sleep across the three seat bench. At 5 or so we arrive at Chennia new bus station.

Jan 25

An auto takes me to a cheap hotel in Kaliamman along a potholed road. It looks pretty awful but I take it. I sleep till ten, then get up to book my airfare back to Sia Baba of Mumbai. I find a travel agent and they tell me the flight is full. I try to get them to book a train ticket and they will not. So I fight to get a rickshaw to the station. It is hell and I take a very uncomfortable bus. I start to go deaf from the noise. I try to get the street address and it is difficult. I am exhausted. I arrive at the railway station and try to find tourist reservation. I push ahead and ask about a fare to Bombay and he tells me ac is full. Fed up and very angry I try to locate an internet cafe to book the airfare the day after. I cross roads, ask people who look at me like I am from another planet asking for a spacephone. Misdirections continue, I end up at a huge hospital and security tries to kick me out. I refuse to go. I see a street that looks full of crap and head there in expectation. It is the usual conglomeration of collapsing footpaths, signs, and buildings, containing bits of everything, I have never come across so many auto shops as in India. Finally I come to a dirty internet place and I discover a ticket on Air Deccan leaving tommorrow for an extra thousand. I buy it but it will not accept my card, I start swearing. Demand a travel agent. Find one that will not sell air tickets, try and ring Deccan it will not answer. Ask the internet cafe where a travel agent is he points circling his hand going, 'Ayyyy', to some stairs I go up it is a hotel. I come back in a rage saying I will never ever come back to India again. I repeat this again and again as I type into the computer and it accepts my card this time.

Still feeling I have been cheated because the ticket I should have bought was out of India. Just a slight lie by myself on the form about non existent Indian phone numbers. I print the ticket and go. I care much less about money after this and get a rickshaw to a movie theatre and watch Chicken Little. I then head to the Taj by auto and have an expensive but good coffee and cake and read the paper. I take photos. I ring John the pentacostal and arrange to see him later. Then I get an auto back to the hotel. I negotiate 120, but he has trouble finding the street and I forget the hotel's name, Tower. Eventually we get there along the potholed street and he asks for more. I turn my wallet out saying there is no more, which is true and leave the money on the seat. I feel a bit mean. On the way there through the throng when he starts asking directions I get that bad feeling and when I block it a firecracker goes off in my ear. I cannot believe how fucked up this country is. The more he incompetantly asks for instructions the more I sense he is going to ask for more money at the end. What can I say, why did the bus come just as I realised I needed the address of the hotel. Why was I not notified earlier of this detail by my brain, what subconscious sabotage is creating such a fucking hell for me here. Why am I fighting with rickshaws over a few dollars in this shithole of a country. The truth is I am becoming as ugly and mean as them. But they have a better excuse because they genuinely have nothing. I am lost in the illusion that I have nothing. And so I constantly short change myself. Live as if I am in poverty. And existence plays this game with me, offering and asking me to pay more and accept better, but also sending me signals that I cannot afford this. We drive past a river full of garbage. This is what happens to nature when primitive people are given too much technology with no master race ruling them. I may sound like a fascist but I am afraid it is the truth which the facts spell out. In a kind of shock I head for a hot bucket shower in my room. The country side of Auroville, ashrams and beach resorts has left me unprepared for the merciless streets of Chennai where there is no room and push turns to shove, as people aim to run you down as you cross the street.

I head down to the restaurant and talk to a Christian who believes and then the waiters come in and one is Christian. I eat very spicy curry and naan with salad and grape juice. I ring John as it is getting late, he is caught in a massive traffic jam. I talk to the waiters and the Christian's friend says Jesus is the only way and I say that is arrogance. They leave. And I wonder if I am wrong.

I go to ring John and he arrives at close to 10. I tell him about Auroville and my doubts about Jesus. We talk too long and it is almost midnight when I go to bed.

Jan 26

I wake up with the alarm at three thirty. The boy has not woken me nor organised a rickshaw. I shake them awake, then pack. No auto is there and the gate locked. I leave the bible behind. Eventually one of the waiters hails down a rickshaw as I stop a motorcycle telling him to bring a rickshaw from the bus stand. It is fairly quick through the airport. We board are taken on a bus and can sit where we like. It is fairly crowded. I should have packed my jacket as the ac is too much. I order sandwiches, Air Deccan does not serve drinks. There is a meditative air as most people fall asleep. At the airport I have the usual ruckass trying to get a taxi. They want 1500 to go the 60 kms to Garneshpuri which is highway robbery. Finally I negotiate 1100 after walking away and buying a juice, refusing to get into an ancient vehicle for 1000, and then the man who seemed hyped up like a Kashmiri returned with another modern car blue with a huge bumper, so I took it. That was after lugging my bags to another taxi stand. I bought some India flags as it was Independence Day and the driver put them on his dash. He insisted I pay the road toll. I tried to sleep, told him to switch off the music, then we were on the road to the village, I remembered the fork and the dirt track to the temple. It was early morning and they got one of the boys who offered to take me into the jungle, but they said he had dissappeared for a month. He had come to the temple a week ago, and they had photos. So I had a bath and dressed in khaki and headed off with them up the mountain. I was unfit but they got to a place where he used to live in a hut and asked me to take my sandals off. We walked up very painfully over rocks to a rocky area with a grand view over the valley, they prostrated in front of brick altar on the rocks, then we walked up to the hut which they cleaned, it was barely even hut more a rough shelter with an altar. We waited here for several hours and I fell asleep. I suspected he would not come and told them that we should walk on to the place he had last lived which was a further two hours. They did not want to and I gave up. I said he would not come until I was completely exhausted. We went down to our sandals past women chopping and carrying wood. We waited again then headed back at 5 pm. They practically ran back.

At the mandir I had another shower bath which was going to be cold until I insisted on hot water, then they offered a nice thali style dinner, they did not eat, only eating at lunch and the boys were only eating fruit. I felt making a mistake eating the dinner, cooked food. I went and played guitar in the temple after watching a video of a ceremony here. It was fairly laborious. My guitar was a success but they were not that keen on my singing or playing style more into their ragas and bhagans which were very noisy tabla and cymbal affairs. I tried to do hare krsna on the guitar but it was not really to their style. So I just let them play. There was arti and more singing till I left to go to sleep. It was quite late and people were still building their rather ramshackle house. I had been given the family bed, the women appeared to sleep on the kitchen floor.

Jan 27

At 2.30 am work on the building started again and from then on I was constantly woken by family, rituals and building construction. I gave up at 5 and went to the arti in the temple. The women were relegated to the back and away from the musical instruments even though they outnumbered the men. The men arrived late for the part where they could sing. I got sick of one of the boys, Sia's brother laughing as he played the drum. The boy that had come up the mountain was laughing with him and it seemed in a cruel manner. He had been full of tall stories of Tigers and Sia manifesting all over the world yesterday. I left and went to bed until they woke me at 8. I asked for hot water and refused food. Had a shower bath bucket affair. Then I prepared to head off into the mountain by myself. They were concerned but I left, losing the path almost immediately and wondering up a creek bed. Eventually I backtracked to it and once on the mountain it was easy. I had thought of bringing one of the small boys. At the top I walked up to the first altar without removing my shoes and watched eagles fly over the magnificent view. A temple up the mountain had drifted temple music across the valley but that had stopped. I had some water. Blocked the sun with my Foreign Legion cap and left walking down to the fork I believed would take me to where he had last lived. There after about half an hours walk I came to a split in the track and both trails very shortly came to a deadend. I sat at the far end of the bottom trail in amongst the leaves and typed this to the sound of the birds and a slight breeze. It felt empty. I tried to meditate on him. Slight bang came from a quarry not far away. Then hooting quite loud and crackling underbrush. I wondered if it was Baba with a conch or a wondering forester. This continued for a while and then there was quite a loud roar. This unnerved me a lot and I headed out. I was not sure if it was wild deer or even a Tiger. I went up the higher track and this time found the path which was very unclear. I continued for about three quarters of an hour until I was quite high up in rough jungle forest. The path became morenondescript leaves and roots finally ending in a collapsed tree. I pushed under this and followed a sort of gap in the forest going higher up until this petered out. It was 11.30 and I gave up and returned. However just past the fallen tree at an opening I tried to look for anoher way but could not find. So I started to look for the track down and this proved difficult. It had seemed fairly obvious coming up but more unclear going down. I knew that there was a village in the valley as I had seen it from a break in the bush. So it was always possible to just head down and get there. I had run out of water and brought no food. I was a little disappointed not to see Baba, but the walk had been good exercise and an outing in nature for a change. And I had a chance to reflect on what to do now that this had appeared to have failed. I heard a sound like flip flops. It stopped. I said hello. Nothing. I had done a shit. It looked like noduled pomegranite and was dark, I rested. A tree had collapsed and rotted out, there was a plastic piece of litter. The vegetation looked luck lustre like it was covered in a layer of soot from Mumbai. I could hear trucks above the birds. 'Ucha Ucha', they sang.

I made my way back fairly quickly, only a couple of backtracks. There were no foresters carrying their headloads of long wood sticks. Children as well. I got lost in the dried up paddie fields and hit the road only to discover the house back the other way. They got hot water for a bath and gave me lunch. The next step I discovered was that most of his close followers were only eating fruit, this seemed to be creating the right energy where he could reappear for them. Then I slept and got up to visit Garneshpuri. I headed off and a boy arrived on a motorbike and took me there. At the visitor's centre an Australian about my age and suave in that smart mechanics manner of the Gold Coast where he came from, called Jake, took my details and looked fondly at me, I half expected him to say come in and stay, but after I told him my story and he looked at my filthy trousers, he told me he could not let me in the ashram even for a day pass. There was no possibility of me staying, and if I got changed I could visit for one day. Punishment for staying in the local area villages. I smiled and tried to persuade him to let me in then gave up. It was not meant to be a bit like the poor Sia Baba, perhaps out of disappointment I got a token for a sugary coffee.

I sat in the tropical day centre typing. Observing my thoughts which half wanted to nick into the temple with the pass I had been given. But then I watched and realised it was another god test of truth and honesty, and that only by obeying would I gain responsibility even if the requests seemed unfair. But obey the rawfood diet again, I seemed too weak willed at the moment. It was too easy to fall into traps in India. Perhaps because they were so good willed, perhaps the cheapness of food, perhaps the general filth that I could not bare.

The security guard came and told me computers were not allowed. Santosh took me on his bike to the river. We looked at the sunset over the bridge, back to the mountain Jess Baba was on. I took photos of the river flowing beautifully into the distance of the poetic mountains and hills in this dry and barren land. The heat dissapated. We took shots of each other on the bike. He took me back to the ashram after telling me not to photo the women doing washing in the river. The sun set.

Meditation was difficult in the temple after I had changed clothes. I wore my kashmiri shirt. Further restrictions had been added to the ashram. It closed at 8 now and there were only some old white women in amongst the Indians. I tried making out the Maharati script by comparing the latin alphabet and their one on the Arati sheet.

Santosh was waiting by the sweet shop. I had vowed to eat just fruit. We had bought some earlier. He drove me back and asked him to go fast and he did. Eventually we stopped at Heman's house and I refused food, even fruit. Then we visited another house and then headed back to the temple. They said I could stay in the temple. This proved unbareable. Crowded with village men sleeping on a rug on the floor. I went to get my mat and sleeping bag from the house, but noone would answer the door. I got progressively louder and more angry. I went to the front door and the women of the house stood there with a look of horror. I got my bag and said I was leaving. I dumped it in the temple and walked to the Seagull Hotel to book a room. But they said they were full. So I went back and slept in the temple. At four they woke me and told me to take a bath. All were congregated round the bathing area. I said I needed to take it in the house. Eventually they arranged this. I spent a long time trying to clean myself up. I missed most of the Arati. I sang one chant which they appreciated. Then I did some yoga with one of the boys. He was quite flexible. They showed off trying to lift huge rock balls. Last night they had taken me to the horse that had fractured its leg. The men watched me during the service and the women as well. There seemed to be a look of disapproval from the mother and sister. Almost hurt. Cultural differences, a man coming in the middle of the night in India probably scared the hell out of them. I went and downloaded the photos onto Heman's computer, which took a long time due to renovations and power problems. I decided I needed to check email to see if it was possible to stay in Nasik at the yoga place straight away. They told me to go to a city in that direction and get a bus, or else go to the railway to Bombay. I chose the latter. An expensive auto ride with Santosh as a none too welcome guest took me to an internet cafe and as if to confirm the mistake of letting him on, firstly Kellie had usurped me and cancelled the lunch which irritated me. Secondly Yoga Dham agreed to have me come early, which made me suspicious as it would be simply hanging out in Nasik till the course started. And thirdly the internet cafe had been full and I had had to boot someone out to use it. Overall I was pissed off. The auto driver refused to drive up to the station which I then discovered was right in front of us. Santosh carried my bag onto the train to Bombay with its hard seats, a local train. It soon became hot and crowded. I typed away on the carriage. A businessman worked beside me.

Santosh was gone, the manic man full of energy. He had taken me to his home last night where his father lived in a shop that was a pigsty more or less, The father was alcoholic and Santosh was married to a woman who lived in Rajastahn. Their marriage was not going well. The boys at the temple bathed in their underpants and were shy to be photographed bare chested. It got light after seven and was cold. Then got very hot. I am now crammed in a seat next to my luggage.

I missed Dadar and ended up in Churchill where the train headed back the way it came. I asked the advice of a man who looked like a businessman and he told me to get off at the next station if I wanted to get into the tourist area. I lugged my stuff off and climbed a bridge over to a street where a yellow taxi cab pulled up ignored the Indians and called me over with that glint in the eye. I asked him to take me to the nearest cheap hotel, then changed that to one in the tourist area. This was quite a distance away, but we arrived at the gateway to India and he dropped me at various hotels that looked in various states of decay from the early 20th century. Fortunately they were full, I ended up with a very thin man with a floral shirt in the car and at the Apollo Hotel which was hidden behind a shoe shop. On the first floor I was taken to a room which had a floor that was so scarred it looked like it was covered in dirt, the next room was slightly more bareable with ac and tv and separate shower and bathroom. I took it for 900 after looking at a more expensive hotel upstairs. I cleaned the dirt off my fingernails and packs. The organic toothpaste container had exploded as before all over the washbag. I cleaned that and looked in the mirror and thought I looked old and haggard, it was a shock as I had been looking at the Europeans and thinking how awful they looked. I realised I was no different if not worse. The last week had taken quite a toll.

I watched the end of the Terminal on tv then headed out for dinner. I walked up the street, and then after hassling by dope dealers and shopkeepers, I entered a restaurant adjacent to the hotel which was full of Europeans mostly smoking. This was more than I could bare and I left. The next place was called the Food Inn and I had Hakka noodles and a banana lassi with plastic in it. They replaced that, some single women were there and one came and went.

I walked to an internet cafe and emailed the college gang, Kellie had replied saying she was heading ou of India soon. I emailed the mailing list of the yoga teacher group asking if anyone wanted to travel round before it started. Then I went back to the Apollo and visited the latrine. Reluctantly returned to the streets carrying the photo sticker of baba and Jupiter the planet to give me guidance. I was led to the gateway past a woman and child begging, the first carrying a laurel of flowers I ignored, then felt bad, another came. This time I did respond, because she asked for rice, took me to a store where an owner appeared with a five kilo pack of the most expensive rice I had ever come across. I asked if he had some cheaper and smaller amounts. He produced a kilo packet for twice the price you would pay in Australia. I told him it was for a beggar not the Hotel Taj gourmet dinner. He said that was all he had, so I replied this was bullshit, then turned to the hapless waif with her infant, and said I give you fifty rupees buy rice, vegetables, fruit, but keep away from people like this and pointed to him. I then continued to the gateway and met a balloon salesman, who sold huge and very tough balloons. I thought maybe for the yoga ashram and tried to buy one but he produced a packet of ten saying forty rupees. But that was for each one, so I said I would buy one and he took my hundred note and said have this packet of five. I walked on and was trapped by another balloon salesman selling even bigger balloons, and a beggar woman with a child who put a laurel on my wrist. Then a person selling maps of India, one of which I bought. I gave the girl ten rupees, she wanted fifty. I told her to get something and sell it, explaining that I did not work for my money and got paid by the government and was very unhappy as a result. I told her I felt unhappy giving her money. It seemed to have little affect, I was then chased across the street to the Taj by the balloon man. In the Taj I thought of having an expensive coffee, then looked at the photo of Sai and thought not. But who was right a boy who did not eat and lived in the forest like an animal or people who enjoyed the fullness of life as it is now and do it well such as those in the Taj. I felt connected to neither. I left the Taj and as I walked along the polluted sea way more beggars came and a boy hung off my arm covered in filth demanding ten rupees. I walked on and a man came offering hashish, the hotel guide followed from earlier, I showed them the picture of Sai Baba, and he took it and would not give it back. So I asked if he wanted it and he said yes. So it went away. I walked back to the place I had dinner and got icecream cake and coffee. Then past more beggars and children lying in filth in the street and headed into MacDonalds and got wedges. Rich Indians munched away slightly overweight. I had missed the movies and Narnia as it was now almost eleven, but I was not tired. I got a strawberry sundae and felt slightly sick, the place was closing. I thought what do you do to stop the begging, and it seemed that the choices were giving them jobs and guaranteeing work for them and making begging illegal and enforcing this. Somehow my fingernails were getting dirty again. It seemed an impossibility to resolve India's poverty, the only effective fast solution that crossed my mind was a culling program. I walked past bars until I crossed the road to the Indian Coffee House and got a coffee. Very sweet. Mirrors surround the cafe, and a feeling of revolution. A man looking a bit like an Indian version of how I imagined Kafker would look like sits by me. He is small, middle aged, glasses, slightly squinting and inquisitive. I smile at him.

I try to sleep then leave and go to the Taj for coffee. I sit there motionless seeing the imperfection in a fork created by distortion in perception making it look gnarled and bent and shortened at the fork's points, so convincing that it is imperfect when in reality perfect, simply the perception angle of vision makes it look damaged. It is a lesson of our view of life and of people. Of superficial looks and substance. Of the perfect inner soul that is always there, yet the irony is the fork actually looks better distorted, looks like gnarled gold nugget encrusted in minute diamonds. The ultimate irony of imperfection.

I leave feeling I could have been a British secret agent. I feel sick with coffee. I have an argument with the night porter doorman when I try and close the door in the passageway which he insists he must guard. My sleep is erotic but that of a young Indian women in dirty jeans from a Bombay disco.

Jan 29

I get up and enquire about hot water which eventually comes through the shower. I watch more tv discovery channel, then go to breakfast after checking internet without any luck. The restaurant bar below Apollo has no proper breakfast and smokers, so I try to find the deli Indigo, it is Sunday morning and very few people around, I finally locate it near the Taj by the gateway. It has musli and western facilities and price.

I order further a bread basket and Organic Darjeeling tea. An overweight middle aged housewife changes tables with a family to sit opposite, she eventually lights a cigerette. Mahogany and racks of wine and jam line the walls. After filling myself to the maximum, I discover a bill of over 400 is more than I possess. I tell the waiter I will pay the balance later. I go back to the hotel and check out, organise a taxi and leave going back and paying for the food in the process. This involved driving round the Taj navigating one way streets. Getting to Victoria Station complete with double decker buses, sitting in a waiting room full of numbers on a screen to make a booking that seemed a definition of purgotary. Talked to some Western women heading to Goa. Then a sikh who was desparate to go to Australia. I fell into a kind of trance allowing myself to be nice to him, he had travelled overseas working. I ended up buying an unreserved ticket to Nasik. I was told to pay fifty rupees to a porter by a tourist officer to hold a seat for me, in this trance of acceptance I surrendered. The sikh sat with me and we decided to go for a walk, but when the porter saw his prize going, the tourist lady told me to go back and sit down. The sikh left and I sat and talked to an engineer with his daughter dentist. He was from Nasik and told me to go to the internet and book the ticket, he pointed to where it was, but it was not there. I teturned to be chased by the porter, got my luggage, he took me to the hard seat section, I took a look and changed to ac. I was then overcharged by the food stall and bought biscuits for the train orderly who said he would get me a seat. Finally the tc came and the ticket was altered. The trip was quite pleasant, I chatted to a surgeon, who was now mayor of a town in the east of the state. He was BJP and we discussed the need to end corruption and clean the streets. Proper clean pavements and even roads, needed to be the beginning I told him. He gave me his address and told me to come and speak to his council. At Nasik I took an auto to the centre. A man called Salil told me to wait, asked me if I wanted dinner, then showed me a room. It was a naturopathy hospital. However the room was a sort of decaying hospital bed joned to an old couple undergoing treatment. Peeling paint, and dirt. The kitchen had unwashed pots and was dirty. The place looked like it was in a state of neglect. I thought I would leave tommorrow. I went to sleep after listening to a geriatric bhagan session. The staff were none too friendly trying to push me away it seemed. They spoke little English and everything was in Maharati script. The couple kept the light on and as I slept a sort of toxic smog smoke entered the premises. My throat started to wrasp and I had trouble breathing. I got up packed my stuff, it was midnight. Thoughts of Bopal entered my mind. I woke up staff and asked for my money belt, they said it was not possible. I began to get angry saying it was toxic smog here and I had to leave the city. They seemed unaware of it. But in the street I pointed to billowing smoke. They thought that quite normal. I insisted and they got the yoga teacher from his house, and got my money, they told me there were no rickshaws. One drove by. I asked them to take me to the auto stand so I could get out of the city. We passed garbage burning on the street that seemed to be the cause of the smoke. Probably plastic burning. They dropped me at a hotel where a marriage was taking place, very loud and drunken. Many autos past but all full and heading out. Eventually one stopped. I had calmed a bit and the hotel looked safe with ac and clean. However they had a room only available to 7 am, this changed to 6 am and eventually to not at all. I agreed to go to another hotel. However I was instead driven back to the hospital. I told them to drive me to the hotel, they said they were getting an auto, but then told me to go to my room. I refused and we were in a stand off. Finally they drove me to the hotel. It was not as good and I slept badly throat rasping. I woke up and the air seemed to have cleaned, though my nose was completely blocked. I visited a temple that was not the ancient one, so picked up my luggage from the yoga place and headed to the railway. A train was going, but the ticket sold was for another train that was delayed five hours. I went ballistic. Got a refund. Got an auto to the luxury bus to Bombay. It was not leaving for an hour and a half, so I visited the old temple, that was not that old or interesting, however the old town and river ghat was a labyrinth of shrines and colour, the river being a source of bathers and worshippers. Even some ancient temples. I caught the bus to see India struggling in the final Pak test. I found my seat had a box where the legs should go. I demanded my money back and a handsome young man offered his ticket. I refused but he insisted. The bus trip was fairly boring and ended in some confusion as to where to get off. A man said not for ten minutes then in a rush I was off and bundled the keyboard I was working on into my small pack. A fatal error of rushing. I took a taxi to Dadar, put my luggage in storage, removing my jacket from the small bag to the pack, another fatal error. I attempted to book a ticket to Goa but ac was full. Finally I searched for an internet cafe, located and fed up booked an airfare on Kingfisher to Goa by phone. Using the mobile of the boy there. I see my major issue is playing off sides. Competing. Starting one process then competing it with another. With the tickets to Goa and with almost everything in my life. It was to arise again in mammoth proportions.

I checked a hotel in Dadar knowing not to, called Parklane again. It seemed too much so I took a taxi to near the airport. There everything was full and grossly overpriced. I searched for ages with the taxi driver. Third fatal error was leaving the luggage unlocked in the taxi with both of us in hotels. Finally I decided to take an expensive hotel for 2000 and paid off the taxi driver according to the meter. He was very upset. Refused to accept this. Fourth fatal error. I did not care. I got my luggage waited in the hotel for a car to take me to another in their chain. Went to start typing and the keyboard was missing. Small bag unzipped. Where had it gone? I had taken the number of the taxi. Now ensued a hunt. I insisted the hotel ring the bus company, they did and it was not there. The car arrived and I took it to Bandra and the Hotel Metro Palace. Not really luxury and getting old. I had them ring Dadar Railway and check luggage storage. Nothing. I went to the police and got a report. My bag had also contained a camera, why not take that if it had been a thief from the taxi. Bandra police barely spoke English and it took a lot to get them to do the paperwork. I was asking myself why did I want to get rid of it? I got a taxi to Dadar and checked the station luggage myself.

31 Jan

Mother's birthday. Woke up and had free breakfast, then changed flight to afternoon, and headed by train to Grant Road to buy another keyboard, the shops were not open till after 10. I tried two places in the sprawling street of computers. Plug n Play. They eventually brought me a good bluetooth keyboard for an HP. Cassette World sold me a cheap universal drive for Palm. I rushed for the train and made my car to the airport. I prayed for a woman and an elderly man with a Russian woman youngish sat next to me, none too friendly. At Goa I got a local bus to Vasco, then another to Panjim, then another to Mapsa, then the last bus to Arambol which was packed. Squashed and standing for an hour I ended up in Arambol arguing with a taxi who wanted 70 to take me to the beach 2 klicks away. He won. However I dragged him to the very end of the long street of hippie clothing stores and cafes and internet shops. I forced him down the narrow road to the end. Then made him wait while I found a guest house. Israelis welcomed my guitar. I went to sleep.

1 Feb

It is hard to really begin. Arambol so many years and even then it was hell. So much conditioning had to go. Now, what can I say Puna had to end it and was this right. Jose left me here and that night I had sex with an old gnarled hippie woman on the beach, stoned. I got thrush and left the next day to Puna. That was 12 years back.

For the glory of beauty I am drawn into a dirty resort, cheap and lost its natural charm, which was questionable anyway. For a book!
I moved to the cliffs and a little cottage with a garden overlooking the sea. It was three open adjoining rooms and a coach bed where I chatted to a German woman my age who was into vipassana in a big way. I went to the lagoon and took photos. I felt dispair at the place I had remembered full of freaks living in the forest naked and now cafes and shops lining the cliff walk to the second beach and deck chairs on the beach with soulless tourists on them. Ironically a model like Russian couple stripped off and pranced in the lagoon just as I was about to take photos. I did not shoot them. Though she seemed to be posing. I came back late and started playing the guitar outside to be shouted at by the German in the other room. I ignored him.

Feb 1

The German woman left early. I met her at a cafe and she was meeting someone so I left her. I spent most of the day sleeping in the room and playing guitar.

Looking out over the sea, past old boats and a body surfer. Small mites bite the feet. I returned the pineapple juice. Can you see my hard fight against writing. It does not want to write the language of English. Hebrew perhaps. I order the usual strong black filter coffee and cinamon roll, after musli and banana lassi. It has become a way of life. The place is strewn with cafes. The cliff has a line of shops, continuing to the lagoon. I see the horse, a stallion, white, moving in slow motion. It is computer generated. A Polish girl done up like an Amazon with rings through her nose and mouth, lithe and small. Dredlocks. Furtive.

G E- C D
I can't live without you.
You are the one I adore.
You make my tears flow.
Why did you walk away.

I seemed somehow caught in a connection with her that blocked me meeting other people, I attempted to connect the keyboard, this proved a disaster, it did not work. It was not compatible with my Palm, ironically compatible with my Palm IIIc, the item that I could not find in Australia or NZ for more than a year and had upgraded at much expense as a result. Suddenly it had rolled up a year late. The specifications had been hidden inside the sealed box which the store owner told me if I opened I could not return and written it distinctly on the invoice. Almost humorous. I returned late and went to bed without playing the guitar.

Feb 2

Exhausted. From doing nothing. I missed the German again. Lazed most of the day and felt oppressed by the heat. I had set up a mosquito net. And sent my washing off. Attempted to write in a cheap book I had brought and record some songs. Felt depressed. Finally went and hired the biggest motorbike I could get, a 150 Pulsar. I tried to get a new one but took a cheaper oldish one for 250. I headed north to a fort and beach that was ful of pines and fairly empty only retirees. I wound back from Querim and the wide Tiracol River. I then headed south to the Russian mafia beaches of Mandrem and Morgim. Masses of huts on flat long beaches. I strolled on the beach with my cap and sunglasses and track suit pants startling one Russian who looked like he had just seen a hitman. Morgim had a Russian disco section with attractive women who I was told later were probably prostitutes. An extremely expensive bar serving strawberry cream poached deserts was where I watched the sunset. I drove back and stopped at a party crunched into a small block not like the beach parties of yesteryear. It was fenced in and most were on acid or pot. The hash was thick smoke and the disco small and raised boards with trance dance. I talked to a tripping Russian lady who sounded exactly like they do in the movies. I danced for a while trying to connect and not really managing, however was entranced by one dancer, a woman, who was scrawny but moved with the beat and had a posse of men edging onto her and pushing me off. There were a couple of these thin attractive movers on the floor. Amazons moving to the beat. I decided the hash smoke was too much and cheating my drug abstention and decided to leave, I had asked the Russian to come on my bike. I searched for another to zoom off with. Failed. Headed back to Arambol and had a late dinner at the Italian Fellinis of pizza and desert. I arrived back to find my washing in front of the woman's door and the Indian man soon appeared for his money. I gave him 500 and he disappeared for a long time to get change. I panicked and searched then chased down the locals to get him, he turned up unawares with the change, upset that I had not trusted him.

Feb 3

I head off early on the bike after trying to locate the Ashtanga yoga. I head south over the wide Chapora river on a good road. Then to Chapora Fort which is up a steep hill. I purchase a drink off a bedraggled local at the top. The fort is large. A cremation is going on below and Vagator beach is clearly visible. I walk back and to the beach, taking the bike down a steep track to the beach. I get breakfast where I believe I am poisoned. Freaks or punks are getting stoned. G string bathers are worn. Families plonk about amongst the cows. I feel caught in looking for a woman. I head next to Anjuna. I leave the bike and walk down the cliff to be assaulted by drug dealers then coming back taxi drivers, my indicator light is smashed. I drive down a winding path past beer restaurants full of washed up travellers. Mostly empty. I am running out of time and head past the empty market to south Anjuna which is prettier and isolated off the track. A Russian woman in a G string sits drinking juice and pouring vodka into it from a flask. I talk to her and for a change she is friendly. I have a sandwich which may poison me further as I am starting to feel sick. I am sort of sad, she has a girlfriend with large breasts. I leave seeing an old hippie by my bike doing a line of coke and as I hit the starter pedal which has already kicked me back in the shins I head off in search of a garage. I end up in a circle back near the beach, finally stopping at a store and garage near Baga. The store has super glue and I glue on the indicator. It holds and I give to the beggars in appreciation, they want more. They look pretty healthy. I head to Baga stopping at a Catholic retreat centre and an Italian cafe for coffee. Then I walk up the beach after crossing a covered bridge. The beach stretches to Aguada bay and has the main northern resorts in a line. Calangute, Candolim, Sinquerim. Deck chairs line the entire way for mile upon mile and all are fairly full of Europeans. I walk some sections all backed by cafes and guesthouses. Mostly retirees, but the occassional young beauty draws me on like a siren to death. I am well covered. There is ironically more topless bathing here. I am drawn to a couple, she is topless and raunchy and he is older than me. I sit there on the deck chair putting on sun lotion contemplating, then I leave. I stop at Calangute and stop next to a mother and daughter. I sun bake for a while in the late afternoon. I return to the bike and make a phone call to tell them I will return the bike late, then go to an atm to discover my sunglass ear pieces and string are missing. I head back to the beach and the mother and daughter are there playing with Indian beggar boys, I ask the boys and they panic trying to search, I tell them not to worry. I am asking God for no more choices, the truth. I head back and do not find it. Finally I go to the atm withdraw money and buy poor replacement parts for the sunglasses. I am feeling tired and sick, but drive on eventually to Candolem and a huge ship lodged near the beach. I then go to the Taj at sunset and clean up and contemplate eating there, instead I head to La Fenice and have dinner there. It is excellent run by an Italian. I talk to London old ladies who have retired early, one waitresses in Turkey, they are travelling India and tell me to cheer up, one gives me a hug. But soon they are depressed by my tale. They want to indulge in life. I pay the large bill I owe and drive back in the cold of the night on the bike, it is very late. I accelerate and freeze, it takes well over an hour to get back. The bike owner is waiting and angry at losing a customer. I pay him an extra 100. I head back to sleep.

Feb 4

I have a lazy day feeling ill. The German man leaves and I pray for a woman. A young woman arrives with a man and they take the room. I try to put them off but fail. I watch through a crack in the door as they make love. They are German also. I play my guitar and make up words that say how disappointed I am and how much I am begging for a woman. They leave. She is quite attractive. I still feel ill but go to the lagoon, wondering staring at young women in their bikinis. Then I head to an internet cafe to hear from Laura who says she wants to travel with her mother. I meet an Israeli woman I met earlier and talk to her and arrange to meet for dinner. I wander the beach staring and stopping at two Aussie girls being chatted up by a chubby Israeli, I sit and meditate as the sun sets to be hassled by hawkers. Finally I walk back past the Israeli playing frisbee with locals. I point to the cafe knowing it won't work. I head back for a rest and shower. The couple are naked on their bed about to screw in candle light. I leave arriving late at the Mango Tree, she is not there. Angry I head back and the couple have finished and are sleeping. I go to sleep and they head out. They come back and get stoned and I watch them fuck, he gives her head, then screws her side on as she orgasms and starts moaning. She gets on all fours. He then does her doggie style humping, stopping to shake himself alive, he then tries to fuck her ass, but she pulls him off and puts him down and sits on him then pulls it out and jerks him off. I am bored by the end of it.

The German woman arrives with someone. I go to sleep feeling ill.

Feb 5

I am finally leaving and feeling fed up with Goa. I pack and peak. Then try and find the lazy Goans to pay the bill. He is slow and slower getting the laundry woman who has covered the armpits of my Nike t shirt in dye. She denies it. I laugh and leave. But I do swear a bit. And start abusing India. I carry my pack along the cliff path back to the narrow lane where the motor bikes are and the German cafe. A beaten up mini van takes me to the bus stop. The bus is uncomfortable and seems to drive on every small lane in Goa taking hours to reach Mapsa. I have lost my patience and resolve to get a taxi and fly out. I try and find a travel agent in Mapsa but it is Sunday. I get a cheap beaten up taxi to Panjim. He drives me round in circles trying to find a travel agent open, finally at an expensive hotel I manage to ring Kingfisher and book an overpriced flight out. His fare goes up to get to the airport, more than commeasurately. He is a flea bitten old timer Goan and I bow into his price of 550 rupees. I stuff myself with cake from the hotel and happily chug along in his car which sounds is if the wheel is about to dislocate over every large bump and there are a few. I have plenty of time at the airport and as if to give an appropriate farewell, he drops me off at the wrong gate, so I have to trudge my bags to the correct one, despite me asking him if it was correct. I literally throw the bags on the trolley. They are not checking in and the airport is seething. I cannot escape the crowds. Soon I head to a restaurant where a fat aged Norwegian woman in Indian attire greets me. At first I attempt to ignore her. But give up and sit down as it is the only seat available. She is a fashion designer from Delhi and is loaded with money. I feel as if I am getting sloppy with everything. She carries herself with humour and drinks a lot of beer, apparantly going to bring Budwiesser to India with Kingfisher. Equally large person. I grab an expensive and tasteless burger and then check in my luggage, the queue is long, security check, then the flight is delayed. I sit next too seem old French hippies on the plane. Well as old as me.

Bombay does not seem so bad. The taxi takes me to Bandra where I get another police report to replace the one lost in the laundry. I leave my luggage in the taxi and then panic, cannot find the taxi and have several police from Bandra station search for him. He turns up and I shift the luggage to the station. It is tiring and I am exhausted and still feel sick from the food. The police have no copy and make another report. I then get another taxi to Grant Road. I find the old Balwas Hotel despite losing their card, I find it on a credit card bill but it is full and end up in run down establishment called the Orient which has an Islamic prayer hall. I go to get my luggage and the taxi has disappeared again. I search for several minutes, then I think why panic I am completely insured and it would be a good excuse to leave India. At that moment the driver turns up as if nothing has happened. But it comes down to writing. The whole power of the word. And the Word has manifested here in Bombay as I try to locate a keyboard for the Palm. How can I describe myself, my actions, my feelings of impatience and why I failed. In a way the answer is unbelievably simple. Coming down just to the basic clear neat handwriting, yes so obvious. My sister unconsciously aware of this. Her writing was impeccable, mine atrocious at school. But what can one expect when one is left handed and pushed to write so fast in exams. Perhaps even beyond this is the pressure of the entire system of competition and mass produced syllabus crammed into the youth. Yet my sister thrived on this system and even I did in my own disfunctional way. Somehow it is in my speed. I am accelerated. Vastly too fast for India. Hence the pain waiting for people to act here. I am staying in a slightly smelly room. I collapse and watch National Geographic channel and the Alpha Piper disaster. Paper chase that allowed a safety valve to be replaced then another machine to be taken off for routine maintenance, then the same machine to be replaced without the valve due to separate reports not acknowledging each other. Why did the keyboard disappear? Carelessness in casually placing it in the small bag instead of the zipper pouch.

Feb 6

I get up fairly late and get a taxi to Lamington Road to replace the keyboard which has been written cannot replace and no guarantee nor refund on the receipt. The staff arrive late and they try and get it to work, then see about different software. Finally I check myself on the internet and see it is not compatible. I meet the manager who says no refund. I get into a shouting match and eventually he offers credit then tells me to come back at three. I go for lunch and check some other stores without luck. I return and he offers a refund less tax. Amazingly I hold off and ask him to try and find a keyboard. I then search for one and get advice to go to another market, I get a taxi there and it seems a waste of time, full of clothing and mobile phone shops, however they sell organisers in some stores and I find a keyboard, but it is not compatible then amazingly the same keyboard that was sent to me last week, the hp, a chubby man runs the store and digs up several keyboards, all hybrids and fairly crappy, one is bluetooth. It connects but the keys produce different letters. Finally he produces a palm one that he has lost the software for. He offers it half price if I download it from the net. I attempt to find an internet cafe to do this, and this proves very difficult as the one closest will not allow downloads, I walk a long way and come to another which is very dirty and has no usb, then another where I attempt to save the drive on floppy. The first computer has no floppy but saves the download, the second has a floppy but will not download and so on. I leave and go back to another internet cafe and download it there. Get a taxi back, but the shop has no floppy so I cannot upload it. The shop next door copies it onto a cd and I upload it using their laptop, meanwhile I discover I have left the palm cd for windows in a computer in Arambol. The shop has a copy and makes one for me. The software uploaded on the palm does not work properly, it is for the wrong Palm keyboard. The shop is almost closing, I rush back in a taxi to the internet cafe and download the correct program. Taxi back and in a rush I charge in get it copied onto cd at the neighboring shop, but for some reason it says it is faulty. So I buy the Palm keyboard and walk out. Get into a taxi and in a kind of bizarre daze head off into the night in search of an internet cafe to upload the programme. We roam round, the driver speaks no English and is uncertain what the internet is. We stop asking random passersby and are eventually directed to a place where motor bikes are rented and I ask the manager if I can connect my Palm, and he looks at me as if I am the devil incarnate. 'We don't allow any of that here. No usb, no downloading, no programs.'

We head further and I stop the driver at an expensive coffee bar and get a coffee and cake. People redirect me back to the same place as if it is ultramodern. I fall for it. I give up and head to Grant Road and have a shower, then head out again to a Muslim internet cafe there where suddenly they have everything in the grimy quarters. Even bluetooth ironically. The keyboard miraculously works brilliantly and even I manage to upload a video clip of Brazil the song onto the Palm. Allah is with me at the end.

I have a long chat with a Muslim who sells perfume and has travelled extensively. I am trying to telephone Santosh to see if I can see Jesse Baba. The conversation is fragmented and inconclusive. He seems to be saying he came to the temple last night. I try ringing Hemant but cannot connect. I decide to give up.

Feb 7

I get up late as I know the shop will not open to 11 to get my refund. I go there and the owner is out. I come back later and he is there reading from the Koran with a tea towel on his head. I wait patiently, finally he finishes and says he could not find a keyboard. I say I found one and would like the refund. He has changed his mind and does not want to give. Argument commences and he wants me to buy something else. Finally he hands over the money. All of it. I am rather amazed. Enshallah.

I grab another of the jollopy old taxis and head back to the Orient to get my luggage, but stop at a chemist on the way and by a range of Garnier face and body care products for the ashram. I ring the ashram and say I will come up today. They are reluctant but agree. I head to the station, three people trying to carry my luggage all wanting a tip. The taxi reminds me of my father's old Pergeot, absolutely in order and no religious bangles. At Victoria more porters grab the luggage and take it to the cloak room, the old codger has everything on his head including the guitar, he demands fifty. I give him twenty. More argument. Then I head off into the maelstrom of the city market area to locate an internet cafe and am somewhat relieved to find a clean ac one. The guy even offers usb to me when I don't need it. A watchmaker partially fixes my nose trimmer. All I need is spf moisturiser. Time runs out as I check my insurance policy on the net to see if I can claim the keyboard. I transfer some money and head off, getting another taxi. I buy a delicious lunch of a mixture of noodles, chips, chocolate, coke and a bread sauce mix, all at local stores.

I scoff this down in the ac compartment, the train fills up in the next station and I am booted from my seat by a fat woman. I see the ticket inspector who gets me a seat where a man is sleeping. He then proceeds to shove his penis in my face as I sit down. I tell him I do not like this and the women next door start to giggle. I sit there fed up and go see the inspector and eventually get him to change my to second tier ac. I am put in a cubicle by myself which is fine.

Finally I arrive in Nasik. Try to find a restaurant chased by auto drivers, take one to the yoga centre in College road, which he cannot find. This is in a well off area of flats and a man takes me to McDonalds and a supermarket. I eat there and come back to get a taxi to the ashram. The driver is Christian and wants to here all about my sex life. He seems to think I should find plenty of easy sex at the ashram. The ashram is in sort of hilly dry barren country surrounded by canyon and table top mountains. It is dusty and looks like it is partly constructed. It is basic. But the air is clean. The people are rough but welcoming.

Feb 8

I wake up late and have breakfast of spagetti. I chat to a Brazillian who is doing a sketch and arrange to go into Nasik with her. The yoga teacher, Mr Mandlik drives us in with a Portuguese woman. Both are young women. When we get there it appears they are going to go with Mandlik and leave me to see the ghats on my own. I am extremely angry. I say nothing. I tour the ghats feeling empty and a feeling of inevitability sets in. I try not to feel annoyed. But it feels the same deadness that I feel in all my travels now. I try not to be upset with the Brazilian. I head back and go to McDonalds and feel much better. A young woman comes in and joins me. She is Danish and we get on well. We head back to the centre as she is also on the course. The Brazilian is there, Sylvia, I do not react and am friendly to her. A German woman rolls up and then Mandlik with the Portuguese. It is too much to fit in the car. He roll starts an old Ambassador and we fit into that me pushed between Mandlik and the Dane in the front. It is almost sensual. I talk to him about Shirdi Sia Baba and mention the boy I met near Garneshpuri.

People are having dinner and we split up. Part of me feels this sort of indifference to the whole situation and part of me feels this sort of misplaced sexual attraction to the Dane. And basically it all feels wrong and I think of leaving. I end up chatting to an American man living in Montreal who is lecturing on religion. I cannot quite figure out where I should be going to, but this does not feel right. When I slept during the afternoon I dreamed someone I really loved had died. The pain was immense. That was when I fell asleep mext to the biography of Swami Rama. I tried to change huts unsuccessfully and then had a shower using all the Garnier products to clean myself, a Malaysian Chinese young man came in. I read the book, and went to sleep.

Feb 9

Up earlier, do yoga near the dining room. An elderly Indian man helps me into the headstand. Most of the people head off to Nasik. I go back to bed. Get up for lunch. I blow up my balloons bought off the Bombay gateway balloon salesman outside the Taj. Ghandida is not impressed and says balloons are not yogic. Symbolise celebration in a materialistic sense and excite people. Perhaps if they were white he suggested. These were a surreal swirl of multicolours. The local kids got them.

I walk up the hill for sunset with the guitar. That evening the Bolivian plays the guitar outside the hall. Songs for the working man. The oppressed. Many he has made up himself and of course in Spanish.

Late at night I was woken by some new room mates.

Feb 10

The day has started at after 8. I get up and go down and do some yoga. Three other people are there. Then breakfast. And I am soon reading in the library and talking to an American from devastated New Orleans. She has just come from the airport where she got accosted by an Indian who took her to a hotel and then into the shower to do health therapy and tell her fortune. She claimed she was jet lagged.

After lunch I fell asleep. More people arrived and I came down to register. My roommate has spent the last six weeks at Om Beach with the chilum crowd. I reminiss about the past. He plays guitar fairly well, learnt apparently spontaneously mucking round. The heat is oppressive and I am drying up. I have a very cold bucket shower as the pressure is too low for a shower. I cover myself in Garnier products to moisturise myself.

I contemplate leaving. Go for a walk in the village near by and look at the steep canyons cascading down into the broad valley, dry as a bone over a dry river. A woman fetching water looks at me like I am an alien then starts talking to me in the local language as if I can understand, then walks off child in tow. I cut across the fields and return in time for the introductory lecture, but miss the dance. Then dinner, there is a good meal on, and it takes time to get Ghandar's attention, he seems to want to avoid me, evenually he talks to me and I voice my concerns. He says it is up to me and gives me two days to decide. He says there is a yoga school near Mumbia but I feel my heart is set on Rishakesh for some unknown reason or Brindhaven and the Krisnas. We have another circle introduction and games of asking questions. Then an explanation of yoga.

Feb 11

I guess my time was up. I got up at the last possible minute to go down at 5.45 for the drink of ayervedic herbs that tasted none to nice. Even the milk version on offer. I was a little upset and headed to the yoga class. I sat and meditated and the Hungarian American sat in front of me. This disrupted me for the whole lesson, which was preparatory movements. It was done very slowly and as a result of the Hungarian I was impatient and could barely contain myself. Finally it was over, a relaxation sivasana that had me fidgeting in rage. I listened to the Canadian Ryan play guitar and tried to get a duo going of Heavens Door unsuccessfully. I had breakfast of spagetti stuff and old fruit and herbal tea. We were late. No one seemed very friendly and I asked to leave. I thought a car was being arranged to drop me at the bus stop, but when I packed and came down the scrawny man with a beard was fixing an old scooter. I asked him several times which of the old bombs to put my bags in, he kept on fixing the scooter. Finally I realised I was to go on the scooter, the other cars were not functioning. I almost lost my temper then, as he ignored me walking back and forth, Finally I begged him and he organised a taxi. I went into the library and calmed down. I did not want to meet the people on the course.

A jeep taxi arrived and took me to town, there I tried to negotiate a share taxi, this ended up in a deal where a group of four Rajastahnis took the taxi with me paying almost half the cost. I had the front seat, however it was so hot, that I changed to the back, crushed between two of them, with one leaning his hand on me like I was his girlfriend. The lawyer was criminal law expert who claimed he reformed criminals by acquiting them. The land became greener as it was more irrigated and this was the grape capital of India. We got to Shirdi eventually and the lawyer organised my luggage to go to a shop, I dragged it away and took it to a cloak room. Left my valuables in it despite the sign saying not to. I then went to the temple, and deposited camera and sandals, to enter the museum, which touched me a bit, of the light of Shirdi Sia Baba, the great saint who ate with the dogs. I left after trying unsuccessfully to get a vip ticket to enter the temple, then wandered through a back street to a travel agent trying to get a luxury bus out. I ended up at Woodlands restaurant and ordered a north Indian Thali. The restaurant cleared out as the bus to Mumbai left. A small girl sat near me who was completely white, an albino. The tears flowed in the velvet white of her face. And somehow the empathy of a lost race misplaced here seeped through my own being. Shirdi had not imparted anything more than this message, as I scoffed wealthy food by Indian standards and felt empty. Almost could not eat it, felt revolted.

The crowds in the temple seeking spiritual release through devotional sacrifices, spending so much time queuing to get good karma, but what acts of charity of work. As I ignore the beggars, I tried to buy a child an icecream but she was dragged off by a security guard. I contemplate buying the child in the restaurant an ice cream. I feel isolated. Why did I leave all the Westerners doing yoga? Did not feel right. The druggo youth largely from America drove me away and the realisation my wife was not there. They left as I ordered a coffee. And I felt somehow I had to get this right, where to go? Something said Pushkar, another Rishakesh, the advice to go to Shirdi seemed wrong, what could I learn from my mind. And how could I best go forward, was Australia the destination? But how could I avoid the disastrous past there? Questions upon questions. I had to get the planning right. Where should I go, a part of me said to the mayor's town I met on the train a week or more ago. Somehow innocence was the solution. I wanted to avoid the buses. A bus to the train station, a long wait for a train to Bombay, then a train to Ajmer to get to Pushkar, it all seemed exhausting, what was an easier solution, stay here and let my life waste away. The neem tree where Shirdi sat had been turned into an encased shrine. Why did you drag me to Shirdi, why? Something about colour, the abuse the lawyer poured on Muslims. I cannot see a way through it here. Small steps. Make it less difficult.

I attempted to get a bus fare, stopped an ac coach and got my bags from the cloakroom. The seat they offered was in the middle at the back and I refused swearing profusely. I got more hassle from another coach and then I just stood there talking to myself and God asking for forgiveness in this heathen land. A man stared at me as if I was mad and then he sort of laughed and sat looking bored. I was at my wits end thinking that really I wanted to leave India but needed the right circumstances to ensure a proper entry into the West. I strode eventually down the street with my backpack and gear stopping at the multitude of travel agents, now, there were no buses to Nasik, like a conspiracy had started against me. Eventually the further I got down the street the more buses were available. I booked one at 7 and went for a walk only to come across the lawyer, who said he had been looking for me. In a way he was the last person I wanted to see. We went to a restaurant and had ice cream, with my nerves frayed, I tried to be polite, but instead voiced my opinion about India and all the people that had cheated me here. He took me back to the bus stop and persuaded them to change the ticket and to visit his family. We went there and into a kind of idyllic hotel with a fountain and lawn inside only for families. His wife was there and we got into a discussion about poverty in India which got emotional. I left trying to persuade him that I had to make a sacrifice to leave India. I offered the guitar which I had tried to play for him over the noise in his hotel. Then the camera and finally money. He seemed almost about to accept and a part of me believed that if I did it, it could avoid a lot of pain and guarantee my exit from India in a happy manner. In the end he dumped me on the bus which instead of the comfortable ac coach was a sleeper with a platform you lay down on. Initially this was very uncomfortable as I knew from a previous trip, however I sort of succumbed to it. Eventually we got to Nasik and they dropped me off near the railway and outside a reasonable hotel at midnight. I had a good hot shower.

Feb 12

I set the alarm at 6 and got up waited for the shower to get hot and then had to rush to get the train. The receptionist took ages with the visa card and I had to rush for an auto to the train. Pushed to the front of the ticket queue and with the help of a kind man got on the train. The ac coach was facing the opposite direction to travel like an omen. A French girl got on. I went up after a while and asked her to join me. She was talking to an Indian woman. She replied why should she. She was heading to Delhi and was wondering why I wanted to go to Pushka. The TC came and played guitar, Elvis apparently. The ac coach was too cold. We drove, backwards in a way, past table top mountains, canyons and then began to descend. It was fully a seated train. I had sweet tea and milk, chia. Tunnels going down to the sea and the trade of Mumbai, and of course the pollution. I felt somewhat as if I was in a space capsule. Protected in a way on this Sunday morning. Slightly lonely, a little raggard after yesterday. The trees became more stunted. The terrain drier and hotter if that was possible. I could hear the French girl talking. The bleakness of the terrain resonated with my heart, the dry dust covered stunted trees, in some ways it was the Outback of Australia, strewn with boulders. More tunnels. The tinted glass blocked a clear view. Internally I felt there was a reason they could only sell me a ticket to Mumbai and not Ajmer. As if I was going the same path as before, trying to recapture my time with Josee. An attitude of gratitude was what I needed to develop. Of humility. Always looking backwards. On a train carriage facing backwards. My right eye hurt a bit. What was this internal pain? We arrived in Kasara. Josee was French Canadian and ironically a French girl or young woman happens to be on the train. It has something to do with duty. Sacrifice. Behaving properly. In all circumstances. Even surrounded by barbarians.

There is no doubt that I am on the edge of the technological revolution. I listen to mp3s typing into this Palm heading backwards. In a way in a time warp listening to Silvertrain. I need an open window to take photos. That means travelling second class. Kalyan junction rolls up. A man sits down next to me and I feel that low sexual energy again. He reads a paper. He has that same rough texture of the lawyer. A brahmin but to me of low caste. I wonder if some of these people have just evolved from animal life, maybe only one or two incarnations from an animal. If reincarnation is true it may not be an unsound judgement. We are finally it seems on the outskirts of Bombay.

A sort of swamp and flat land meanders and the train slows down. The French woman dissappears. If only, there could be a way, to resolve this. This world. Feed the poor. And the towers of Bombay stretch up, unfinished steel pylons sticking out like an ants nest and twigs, surrounded by bamboo struts. If only you could see the obvious that the creation was simply showering gifts. And for me it was simply to find the heart. The Palm has trouble playing the mp3 and typing. Another hour. The train seats ae like aircraft seats in the 1930s. And look about as old. But stangely comfortable even with a tray table. The shanty towns start to appear. The French woman gets off at Dadar. The rythmn of the steel wheels churns in unison with the dying feeling I have for India and its religion. The train empties. I meditate. I consider I could have got off at Dadar and saved at least an hour of travel.

I end up at Victoria or Chowdrie and head to buy a ticket for the one thirty train as told by the hotel receptionist. I am at the wrong station and the train is not due to leave till nine. Furthermore I go to book the ticket and it is full for today. As usual India has done me over again. I could have slept in to twelve in the nice hotel room instead of getting up at 6. I am ready to kill again. Instead I check in my luggage and make my way by taxi to the Taj to recover. I spend ages in the book room contemplating various political books explaining the formation of India and the end of the Raj. The coffee shop is packed and I head out to have taxis try and run me down and a man open a taxi door directly in front of me, I slam it shut and walk to Indigo and order lunch. A risotto I order and it turns out to be a small plate of rice done up with spaghetti for 245. I look horrified and change the order to a burger. The waiter protests and I call the manager and it is sorted out. I feel slightly sick eating the very rich burger and my right ear starts hurting. The International Herald has some news on Australia. Not good, unemployment going up and Telstra losing money.

I am going to try and communicate with you again like this is Internet chat.

It will appear that way to most people. And telepathically it will be true.

What are you doing?

Sitting in a cafe.






No w it is purely going Sen or sensitive to the touch. Do not think and just write. The words will come, just write, write, were it not so I would not juxtopose this prose on this contraption, but it is so, so I must do this distardly deed. And so you must bare witness through the connivance of time and space to the eleven dimensions. Hw is the new medium or medusa that sees no wrong and makes no mistakes ever. This is the brilliance of the brain, the brain that hseinated the truth, that managed to let go of the past. that pushed beyond the point of let go and transcended the internal mechanisms of the cognitive processes of the brain, the dendritic synapses that had been clogged with hetrotetracycline. I order a cheese cake. My intuition says it is wrong and furthermore will not taste like our cheesecakes. I think of flying to Delhi.

And the computer in a way writes the truth. The cheesecake is pretty good and with blueberry sauce with real berries in it. The price is not cheap. I head to internet cafes and the Taj, in fact the business centre in the Taj and pay ten times normal to use it. Something tells me I have made a mistake as I check airfares to Delhi. Spice Jet has a good deal, but I do not take it. Jong has sent me an email me saying he believe I am not a psychoman despite what others think. I am not sure to take it as a compliment or insult.

I move past the immaculate centre to make a phone call to Kingfisher and Indian Airlines, King is too expensive and I decide not to overextend the hospitality of the Taj and head into the city slum streets fighting past queues of taxi drivers. I think this must be the taxi drivers hell. I make it down to the internet cafes to make a phone call to Air India. They are not offering discounts to foreigners it seems. I check the internet and the price has already gone up for Spice. I feel I am being led and misled as people try to take me here and there. Beggar children touch my arm, part of me feels filth and part compassion and warmth. I go back to the Taj and decide to head to the gateway to India. I am pushed through the Sunday crowds in almost violence and I say goodbye to the eloquence and safety of the Taj with regret. Everything is telling me to leave India, but where to go. I rack my brains, and Australia seems to be blocked for me. I cannot see past being insulted in the Prime Minister's office in Canberra, or furthermore the Canberra City Walk Hotel or the new backpackers there. There seems no place to stay in Australia. So I am cornered. China however seems to be more a possibility for recognition. Maybe Beijing and the communist party.

I allow myself to be pushed round the throng of humanity, mostly repelled by it. The lying balloon vendors with their large super tough balloons and false packets of cheap balloons hover round avoiding me. The taxis in the background, I asked one motorcyclist in Goa why no spedimeter works in India and was told to keep the kilometers down, so everyone is cheating I replied, yes came a laughing response. In the mass of people under the arch to the King of the British Empire, I try to work out where I can go. I feel I am simply going insane even trying to work this out. The pain is intense. Surrender to it seems to come one answer. I stand there and then move to the front by the sea and a person selling nick nacks of plastic and a woman selling sandals, the strangest things are sold in the oddest of places in India. The rumbling old ferries potter about below. I am wanting to escape this ghetto of filth called India. But thoughts of survival in Australia still seem slim. I cannot see myself living in my mother's house, even if I renounced the entire yogic path, even meat eating and alcohol consumption. I seem to sort of switch off to become an empty automatom. I watch in a dead disjointed submerged sort of way a dog that looks rabbid, sores on its belly rubbing its arse rapidly against the wall where too young men are holding each other. A sort of synchronicity ensues as I beg for mercy for a sign and am greeted with this atrocity. Animal suffering and sense gratification and no awareness by the unevolved beings here of the plight of the dog. Not even revulsion. And somehow I am switched off too. Have become soul dead. I am saying to myself escape the capitalism of the Taj and look to the public to government for order. The gateway to India, the symbol of Empire but as I stand there mesmorised in a kind of hell I am drawn up to the bellfry top tower of the old Taj building and I am staring at it and seeing my great grandfather, the Irishman, who devoted himself to building railways in the Punjab and Pathan, O'Connor. And I see a twinkle in his eye and just a small glimmer of hope. Ancestor worship you may call it. I tried to receive an answer from him. Where to go? Then it seemed an old Field Marshall was talking to me, the last governor general of India, bar one, Auchinleck, the man who had been replaced by Montgomery after the disaster in the Cauldron leading to El Alamein. The man who had retired to Morrocco. The end of the British Raj called out to me from the gateway. The struggle for independence and these old statues of the rulers of the Raj. The Taj itself a symbol of Indian entrepreunership in the face of British racism. The owner of the Tata Empire refused entry to British hotels in Bombay. The field marshal tells me of my duty, my first allegiance to my race. That that will be my only route to happiness. I struggle to accept and somehow I simply call out to Babaji. To go beyond politics and race. The sea of filth throngs around and I am taunted by more racist thoughts, that brown is the colour of dirtiness and white that of cleanliness. I can take no more and try to surrender, seeing myself as an alien from another world observing theses strange life forms, I am directed to an icecream stand. Then sort of back to the Taj and enquire about using the business centre but this time they tell me it is really for guests though they will make an exception. I decline and go up to the top floor to the Morrocan restaurant. Go down to the coffee shop, go back up and sit down, but am told I cannot just order an Arabic coffee. I go down and sit in the lobby contemplating what to do. An old Indian woman sits opposite. I try to call upon my psychic powers for the power to stay here, to afford it. A European old woman stares. I cannot maintain the concentration, but I try and will that I can escape the filth outside. I head out and taxis slide past surreal objects of the past, of the 50s, and several stop, I ignore them, get in one, then out when he refuses the meter, then I get in one and head to Victoria. He drops me in chaos and violence as I move past the buses and taxis that almost run me down. I get my luggage, another taxi, who is Islamic and takes me into a street lined with filthy shanty houses, row after row. He takes me to an Islamic hotel where he throws his keys to the hotel owner showing he will not take my luggage. I go up flight after flight until I reach a room with dirty sheets and a mattress covered in stains. I go down demand better, then leave. I tell him to take me to the Balwas, he takes me to International Balwas which is expensive, then to Balwas which is full. Then to another hotel in a small side line near the Orient. It is clean, however tries to rip me off. I go to the Orient which is too dirty and return arguing the price down to 850. They say why argue over 50 rupees when I refuse 900 and I ask them why indeed. The driver wants a baggage charge and I reluctantly give him another 10. Then I decide there is no point in trying to work things out in my mind anymore and go to the internet cafe Cyberworld, past the sleeping vagrants on the pavement. Avoiding the beggars and cars. It is now almost midnight. The boxes of the computers are skelotal, one machine is available, I book Air Deccan early tommorrow for the same as Spice first was - 4200. I skim the age newspaper web site, Australia and Melbourne look very parochial. The usual how to have a good sex life and Crean is having problems. I head back have a hot shower and watch tv and the Danish embassies burning as Danish clerics express some regret.

Feb 13

I sleep well and wake up before the alarm at 5.20. All goes well and tell the taxi arranged refuses to accept using the meter. The porter carries the bags to another taxi along the line of them on Grant Road, all drivers asleep in them. A strange sight. None will move, a lone driver stops, he potters off to the airport and accepts my fare tossing me the chart to convert the meter fare. I pay him ten percent more. It is a relief to be in the airport and I am quickly checked in and then browse the book shops for enlightenment. See an interesting book on Osho, the diamond years and his strange lifestyle. Then I go through security and get stuck on the side where there are only snack bars. The flight is uneventful. I shift to empty seats away from a Sikh couple. At baggage check in I try to arrange to share a taxi with a young Swiss woman who agrees then disappears off. My instincts said avoid her, and as if I am punished I end up on a flea ridden airport bus to the train station at New Delhi. I have to walk miles with my bags as I have been dropped on the wrong side. I get the usual wrong advice about the tourist office, which cannot help anyway because the train is leaving within four hours. So I push to the front and buy an unreserved seat for the train at 3.30 or so. I then find a sort of gulag style restaurant on the first floor where no one will mind my bags while I go to the toilet. So I leave, check my bags into a sort of Kafka cloak room stretching endlessly. A toothless man scrawling a note. And I have to dump the bags and find room for them. I push my way out through the mass of humanity and out into the street of autos who wants five times the amount to go to Counaght place which is almost walking distance away. I take one and circle the broad street in the auto, he drops me off outside American Express who will not take visa, so I find a queued up atm and withdraw cash, then walk round to expensive restaurants stopping at Zen Chinese for a too spicy garlic business lunch that is a let down. There is a good array of papers to read, generally not crowded it built up late in the lunch hour and the date pancake was a disappointment, sort of fried. The capuccino had a heart done into the top, was very hot and tasteless. But if you want to put up with ordinary food this establishment has interesting clients. Like a groups of Sikhs in business clothes but headress, aged and looking like politicians. Looking like old elements of the Raj or headmasters of public schools, as if they may have played cricket at Eton and held the stiff upper lip of establishment. They were so gnarled with age they definitely looked Tiger Tea British. I paid by visa and left. The auto headed the wrong way down a one way street and had to be bullied into taking me into the station and not the street outside. I rushed to get my luggage and a porter in red and got to the platform two which turned out to be three and a ticket for the wrong train. I got on anyway, there seemed to be unreserved seats in one carriage. The tc came on and told me to move to a carriage that was full and contained one young American woman talking to an old lady. This time I did not intervene. She showed no interest in me either. I went back and sat in my old seat and the tc just walked past. The string of vendors plied their food down the train, 'veg sandwich, i...c...e c..r..e..a..m', I had no patience to wait days for reservations, so I was forced to be impetuous and take risks such as these unbooked train rides, which always caused arguments and trouble. I snapped shots out the window. Tried to see myself in the mirror, the American had made me feel old. Delhi has a mist of smog hazing it in. A chimney billows out thick black smoke. I am finally in Hindi country. I suddenly feel exhausted. The pong of sewers wafts through my blocked nostrils, strong enough even to overcome the smell of the smog. My head falls down. I sleep. The smoggy mist seems to prevail over the ganges valley flat as a pancake. Occasional brick works cover the fertile plain. A doctor sits next to me and we argue about Kashmir. He is an AIDS specialist trained in the USA. He recommends a hotel in Rishakesh. I take a taxi, this time I buy an advanced price ticket at the taxi stand. It seems a rip off. I do not argue. The taxi sounds like a jet fighter. I take the hotel called Om. Then go for a walk across the foot bridge to the sound of Hare Krsna. I end up at a temple by the river and take photos of the chant. It is gypsy like place and mosquitoes attack. I notice marks on my ankle.

I am taken down to the river and a statue lingam to Ram. I feel in need of food and the prasad I taste but feel a danger of food poisoning. The old priest singing Krsna has the look of a sufi master, but through his dishevilled beard and grey tangled beard and smile, I sense perhaps my journey can finally end here. I feel a sense of release and mental freedom. I leave a crowd of children who speak English and see everything has closed. I grab a packet of biscuits and chips and overshoot the guesthouse. Walk back to have them worrying about my whereabouts. I take rest and here in the distance the sound of chanting from the temple. I have a shower, hot in the large marble and clean bathroom. I overlook the Ganges.

Feb 14

I sleep very well. And get up after eight. However some of my dreams are violent, no doubt from talking to the doctor who was so viciforous about Kashmir, in fact had worked in the army medical corp there and had killed two militants himself. He could not seem to connect the all loving peace of the yoga path to the Hindu attached to Kashmir ignoring self determination, the UN and using violence to retain the state against the will of the people. On reflection I should not have incited him on this and the issue of Aryans bringing the Hindu religion from the Middle East and being basically white.

It seemed according to him that t cells that are extremely long living up to 40 years can contain the virus HIV and thus keep contaminating the body. The solution lay in eliminating the virus rna from these t cells, or being able to eliminate the t cells with the virus and only those t cells. He was not into this form of research, however I suggested he get into it. He was currently doing a Phd on AIDS. Om Karananda Gita Sadan guesthouse was well recommended by him. It was a shame he could not have driven me to Rishakesh he had two new cars, one a Honda. He was well off by Indian standards. As he said upper middle class.

He gave me his email. I felt almost sorry for him as he worked himself up into a state over Kashmir and refused to shut up about it, I had thought of moving seats. He seemed to think that I thought a bunch of stooges had been elected to represent the people of Kashmir and that Bin Laden represented a minority of Islamic people, while the militants represented the majority. I envisioned the militants as kind of HIV rna producing t cells attacking the homosexual body of India. Pak as the bloated fat gay guy infecting the Brahmachari India who cannot resist the temptation to be taken up the arse. I guess that makes Kashmir the anus of India. Being injected by the virus. The penis is probably K2, it is tall enough. But there is another gay guy in the family and that of course is China. Prodding India via Nepal with its gargantuam Everest. An altogether different sort of gay. Communistic and Buddhistic. Then you may ask where is India's penis? Chopped off? Is India in truth a unique eunich? No I beg to differ, its probably wedged somewhere between the two near Rishakesh, or else off to the side in Sikhim. Or perhaps India has more than one, like its many armed gods. After all anything is possible in a land of miracles and magicians. I consider hiring a modern 4WD and a film crew and heading into the Himalayas.

If the militants are in truth Gaiyaa's HIV virus, then the t cells are the white blood cells in the blood stream of Earth. Really the transport system, but the protectors of the transport system, in other words the civil traffic police. They indeed must be being infiltrated by the virus and now are producing militants en masse. If you want to destroy the militants in Kashmir then the long term traffic police in Kashmir must be targeted and eliminated. For these are the infected long living t cells that keep the infection alive. For a complete cure target the old traffic policeman and remove their sympathy for militants. Educate them in a better way, a democratic non violent way to change Kashmir and allow them to be the leaders in the transition to independence.

I wonder again into the town and go to Amrit by the Ganges for breakfast and meet a Dutch woman who is in the hippie attire, she has been here two months and has that convivial friendliness of a seeker. I am reading a book on Shirdi's miracles. Apparently he used to pull out his intestines and dry them and wash them by a well. The owner is a bit hyper and there are few tourists as it is out of season, too cold. I walk up the street and try and find about ashrams in the mountains, but the travel agents can hardly speak English and want exorbitant fees. Gangtok seems to be an option but the temple is closed. It may be time for my trek. Should I have my gear sent from Australia? That would mean recontacting my mother, which I have promised I will only do when I have met a woman.

I return buying a block of Toblorone and chips, then feed some to some calves on the street who start to follow me. The auto stand is a concrete car park covered up and looks like a sort of dodgem car circuit in a circus, the drivers hassle me for a lift. I seek sanctuary in my room and reflect watching the Ganges flow out my window. The boulder strewn river lined with temple ghats and a few women doing their washing, has a couple of buildings winding up the hill side that seem almost fairy castleish if they were not Hindu. I fall asleep on the bed.

I seem to have lost my phrasebook, left it in the taxi. The taxi phone number will not connect. I head down to the welcome center by the school. It is a cool place, with Morrocan style couch seating and a central garden, very shanti. An American couple are eating. I start talking and somehow drugs comes up then movies. They are northern Californian hippies who have had enough of India. Bhagans are played on the sound system. Th Dutch owner tells me Uttarkashi has ashrams to Yoga Nikotan that are popular. On the whole Rishakesh seems deserted. I think of heading to Corbett Tiger Park. And then of course Brindaven is there near Agra. But somehow I am disappointed at not meeting anyone here. In the TTC I was surrounded by young friendly women and now virtually nothing. Where is my wife? I seem to be on another wild goose chase. Depression seeps in after the Americans leave. I check the map and the treks around here. Well in a 400 km diameter.The cook has a cold. I order tea. I feel I should head to one of the ashrams for a taste of enlightenment. The owner joins me and tells me of his thirty years in India with his guru in Agra and his ashram near here. I feel bored. Frustrated. Cut off. The food is still not right, too rajasic. I am over stimulated. Now I have to balance it again and as he said it is hard work getting it right initially. Perhaps I should have forced myself to the Sivananda ashram and to the yoga class. Or go with the flow. I walk back taking a short cut over the huge dyke which ironically the Dutchman is wedged behind in his colonial manor. Even with an old copy of the Economist. I guess I have to try a bit better to get to the guru, I watched him light up a biddie as he talked of hard work building his ashram where a five star hotel now resides. He left Agra after the cottage industry of power generators drew him away when his neighbor got a super one that sounded like a jet engine. Apparently the power industry there is in cohorts with the generator industry to constantly cut off the city's power supply. I am not tired because I slept during the day. But everything closes here at ten pm. Process of elimination needs to begin.

I return to the guesthouse at ten and collapse after a delicious shower. I have moved the table by the window to look over the Ganges as I write. Sleep well dreaming of the American.

Feb 15

I wake at seven and eventually get up. Shower and sort out the mess, I have reorganised my insurance travel list. My bike torch is missing. I prepare for the day and get Swamiji to ring the taxi place, miraculously he gets through and they have the book. He says he will try and send a boy to Haridwar. I think according to my luck this is virtually impossible, so his karma must be genuinely good for me. I head off past Amrit which is empty and cross the river and walk up the valley passing ashrams and gardens in secluded spots, the larger ashrams tower up the hills in that fairy tale way and beggars and sardhus stop me, one wanting money for medication. Some yogi. I take photos of some and pay them. On the bridge I paid a boy for his photo, his worn too big jacket, dirty and dishevilled, a face worn by a hard life like a beetel nut. He throws food to large fish in the water below. Icy cold green water. I give one beggar the ripped in half ten rupee note. Later he comes up to me wanting it exchanged. I laugh and tell him to take it to the bank. I make it to the Green Hotel which is uninspiring and try to ring Nasik Yoga to find my torch, but it will not connect, then the STD office has no change for ten rupees. He seems to think I will just pay him that amount. Dissapears to get change for ages. I find a shop next door that changes the money in thirty seconds. I shout Indians are mentally retarded. I return to his shop and he reluctantly hands me a five rupee coin. I storm off thinking I look god awful. A chemist sells mud masks to make you youthful and I check them all out. A sandal wood formulation may be the answer. Although there is an ayervedic powder that looks good. I take shots of the many temples and sardhus. One of a chariot and Shiva below with a trident as men bathe in the Ganges before the statue in lotus on the rocks. The camera card is full. I delete photos in the Italian Green Cafe and read the paper, Times Of India. Have an Italian breakfast of pancake, brushetta, coffee. Ironically a quake hit Sikkim yesterday morning, when I was actually thinking I was feeling vibrations that morning and afternoon.

Dick Cheney apparently has shot his shooting partner in the face while hunting quail. Dirga on a Tiger is being used to advertise Southern Comfort and UK Hindu's have gone beserk, two have been killed in Pakistan as Western business's have been destroyed over the Danish cartoons. And Zakir Hussain pulled out his mike at a tabla and sitar concert on Saturday because the volume was too low, Ravi Shankar prefers lower volume. Iran is going ahead with enrichment of Uranium as Congress decided to vote against them despite non-alignment status.

I headed to the internet cafe and spent the rest of the day burning cds of photos to send as copies for security to Australia, emailing for my various Australian grievances and finally reading my mother's emails which were very positive including saying she would pray for me. I send photos to the lawyer from Rajastahn and the jeweller from Covalum. Then finally I left and back at the hotel I had Masala tea and some strange sweet fruit berries. My laundry arrived and I left for the Welcome Center with my guitar. This proved to be a Trojan Horse. I came into an empty place and too quickly pulled out the guitar, soon enough people arrived and then they began to talk and the mood shifted, the American arrived and played a bit, then a woman arrived with her malfunctioning camera and I had already pulled out the Palm, next thing they had put on the tape. Was it time to leave? And my food had not even arrived. I ask the owner if he wants me to stop playing guitar. He switches it off.

The food arrives and is reasonable, but lacking spice. The Guru Thali. Ginger tea. I play a little more guitar but it feels not right and the people are talking too loudly. I end up talking to them. They suggest where the Dutch man suggested. Treking does not start till mid March. I get caught in a conversation on Superstring theory with the Yank freak who turns out to be a heroin addict, but plays reasonable guitar. His girl friend is acting as waitress.

I am late getting back and Swamiji is lying on the couch but friendly. He has arranged for the book to come tommorrow night. I have bad dreams, probably connected to my father who has been in intensive care and now has a leg bag for bowel failure. I tried sending white light to heal him. I dream that I am homosexual and wake thinking I have HIV. I have a shower and move to the other side of the bed. Then try concentration techniques to control the mind. I get visual hallucinations that I do not feel comfortable with and have further fears of earth quake and being crushed under the concrete of the upper floor of the Hotel. I fall asleep and have a dream of sex with an old woman who is basically disgusting and whose vagina is covered in discharge. I wake again wondering what is happening in this hotel? I sleep and wake again this time the alarm for yoga in Sivananda ashram. But I switch it off several times and wake after nine. It is a hot day and the air is clear for a change. I have a confused conversation with the Amma of the hotel about leaving and finding an ashram. She recommends Sivananda and I go there to be told it is full and booked out for the year. I meet Swami who is an albino and fairly old and weather beaten with a decaying nose and glasses. A little chubby, he checks and signs bills occasionally quering an expense here and there. I wait patiently to be simply told it is full, but enjoy the day programmes if I wish. I am given a brochure at my request. The headquarters look a little aged, he tells me it is not possible to stay at the ashram outside Uttarkashi. I feel slightly at a dead end as the premises themselves do not look up to a standard I could put up with anyway. He tells me to go to the bookshop, I go there and pick up a book by Sivananda on morality which I think of sending my father. However I read a passage on depression and it suggests having a coffee. I walk up to the second bridge and stop at the Swiss Cottage which looks a little grubby, but has a nice view from the cafe of the Ganges. I instead go to Oasis and have breakfast in its clean but viewless cafe. I sit opposite an old woman who must have been an attractive dancer in her day as she talks to an Indian man about spirituality. Israeli women sit behind joined by an Indian man. I have coffee and choc croissant followed by black grape juice and musli. She leaves and I feel an opportunity may have been missed. I am thinking this trip reminds me of me trip to Egypt many years ago where I was hating it and then decided either I leave or start enoying it. I changed my attitude and had a great time. Iris flowers adorn the table. And I think of the auto that roared pass dropping what I thought was the head of a rose flower, a red rose, then I laughed realising it was a piece of rubbish, but as I walked up and looked closely it was a rose. And that indeed sums up India. A man with long hair, slightly dirty looking hippie about 40 plus drives his motorbike into the restaurant and sits down with a woman of similar age but quite attractive and not a hippie. She looks with adoration at him. I realise going to the Swiss place and there are at least three of them up here was a mistake. Sense pleasure in food led me here. It is time to head down into the valley and find an ashram.

My camera batteries go flat, I take some shots of a cute fluffy puppy of a sort of Tibetan Siberian variety. Leaving the cafe, I walk to the second bridge and as soon as I decide I need a tuk tuk all the ones trying to run me down dissappear, I discover they are not allowed any closer. So I have to walk all the way back to catch one to my guesthouse to replace the batteries on the camera. I get in one with two low caste Indian couples. A woman makes room for me and then her husband changes seats with her. I am sick of it, I think to just get out, and then I just tell the uncomprehending peasants that it is so sad that given they were the first to engender the sexual revolution a thousand years ago, they now have become a primitive and insulting joke to Western woman's liberation. Their women reduced to a kind of servitude similar to a domestic cow. They speak no English, but from their reaction I guess they have got the message. One of the woman starts to laugh holding her husband's hand. I try and smile vowing not to put myself in similar circumstances again. And I think of the pile of dirty 500 notes that plonked out of the ATM that was so crowded in Connaught Place Delhi and see that it is money, dirty money that has infested me in Rishakesh and may keep me longer than necessary in India. I read in the Oasis Cafe, a guide book going on about the gay British life led in Nainatal hill station and describing it as a fairy land. It then goes on to describe the history of the place as being settled by Kashirs from the Caspian Sea, then Assyrians and finally Persians followed by Greeks. It seems completely dominated by the West and no doubt copied word for word from an old British guide book of the region. Nonetheless may be true. Perhaps Ninevah did rule here. I am still feeling the effects of the coffee.

I cannot even get the room cleaned because out of the myriad servants doing nothing, the one that cleans the room has gone home. A pig wonders below, or rather a boar. The Ganges flows fast. Birds rest in the waters, looking like geese with brown bright tan bodies and white heads. My next move is back to the internet shop to pay for the cds and email. My mother has responded saying my standards for a wife are very high.

I cannot find a good torch. I download Indian Bollywood music directly onto the Palm's SD mem card using a card reader. Then go directly to the Iyengar class and have some difficulties fitting into the crowded room, it is so full people have folded their mats up to fit. Eventually we squeeze in and I do not feel that much benefit from the lesson conducted by an Israeli in mini shorts who has the typical direct response of Israeli's, 'what is this' he shouts as me as I try to get my hands behind my back with the rope. I leave for the hotel have a shower and go out to dinner at Amrita by the Ganges, there I meet a drug seller from Kalgoorie in Alberta, Canada. He is having an affair with an Italian at Nekanda Yoga Ashram. They are both paying $2700 for a one month Yoga Teacher Training course. Women outnumber the men about five to one and he is making the most of it. I try and persuade him to give up the drug trade. I tell him Jesus seems to guide me more truthfully than all the other religions. I have a fruit cashew pancake after they leave, the food is good and the vegetables crisp and well priced. The owner is pukka man always there and trying to please. The view magnificent. He is married to a Japanese woman. But she has gone back to Japan.

Swamiji is waiting there with the phrase book, he charges me a 100 rupees. He seems a little sad. I have arrived on the dot of ten thirty. Held up a little by a retard who I brought biscuits for, stopping for a coke and then talking to an alcoholic smoker from Delhi whose father lived here.

Feb 17

Wake up at 8 and have a restless sleep, half fearing earth quakes and then sexual dreams. I head out after removing the safe key and giving the bundle of other keys to the Amma to clean the room, or rather organise the servants to do so. I walk to the Kenandra ashram up the hill taking a long twisting road that takes about three times the distance as just cutting through The Great Ganga Hotel. The ashram does not take Westerners and tries to sell me a CD. The temple tout tells me off for walking through in my sandals. I take them off and continue around as he continues abusing me. I visit Netkanda where the Canadian stays and the place seems rundown, they are happy for me to stay, it is full of Asians. I end up at Amrita for breakfast of Italian coffee, musli and pineapple juice and awful cinammon toast. A French Canadian is there in hippie gear having just finished a Sivananda retreat. The Ganges sparkles, he has swam in it. Yet I feel the place has not moved on as much as I have in my life. It seems more to cater for druggos like I was ten years ago.

Flies hover round as I shift inside, the sun is very bright and there is little shade on the veranda. I check some books out, one by Secretary of Defense on why Vietnam failed and as I read it had Iraq all over it. A failed government could not succeed with all the military might of a superpower. And then a book called the Secret India about an Englishman during the Raj visiting India and discovering the yogis, it seemed to be written for my father. A Japanese young woman in Indian attire sat down and was shifted to the back by the Pukkar owner.

I caught a Tuk Tuk to Rishakesh market and put ear plugs in. I wondered up and down the labyrinth of shops there being sent from place to place till finally I found the torch, rechargeable batteries and towel I basically wanted. On the way I made the mistake of stopping at a Urinary Tract Specialist who massively overcharged me by Indian standards to check my ears and recommend a sort of vabooti ash from stones to cure it. I stuck to some wax remover and Vitamen B. He was a rather large elderly man sort of Machievellian. At least he had the right instruments to check the ear. Tuk Tuk back fairly exhausted with two women holding each other one looking like she was in a state of collapse of the Jan Austin variety. I tried to get to the postoffice forgot I had run out of money went back to the Hotel and collapsed myself in the clean room. I headed out to a closed post office then across the bridge to the internet cafe where I failed to get documents to go to work on the computer, angry I left and went to another place behind a music shop and after a torent of abuse the program worked and I saved my diary to the internet. I tried downloading music files from a CD but they were not MP3 files so did not work. I tried to find free downloads on the net but failed. Computerised out I headed to the Sri cafes down the lane near the bridge and had an average thali demanding the TV be turned off. That was after I sat next to a woman who made it clear she was not that interested me. 'Come join me.'
'You can join me but I'm leaving as soon as I have finished this salad.' she replied.
I had made the typical mistake of chosing the restaurant based on the clientele. I headed home and stopped at the music shop before the car park and bought Lindt chocolate for almost $5 and ice coffee. I had looked in at Mukti's it was full and a young woman had ogled me. I was too sensitive and lacking in confidence to join her. I headed home, the papers were all taken, I scoffed the chocolate and looked out the window with the binoculars and started typing. Across the river I could just make out ashram rooms. Loneliness filled me like the plague. All was quiet on the spiritual front tonight.

She had switched off the hot water very thoughtfully. I was getting very tired of Indian stinginess. Abundance was something missing in their religion of austerities and material rejection. The Sivananda ashram in Uttarkashi had not replied. I had got my supplies and was contemplating my next move, which was either there, Corbett, Naintal, or the Himalayas somewhere. Only I wanted a comfortable 4WD to do it in.

Feb 18

Hardly sleep after I wake up. Feel barraged, by earthquakes,parents, indecision as to where to go and what to do,I feel I need to find an ashram or place I can feel secure and relax and follow my path. Stomach is upset. I use the sandal wood mud mask on my face. The sun is hot. It is almost ten. I consider what I should do about the boy I sponsor in Kenya. My mother has not sent any information on the letter that was received in Campbell Rd. The Muslim known as Yusuf Mohamed Noor is 8 in Kindagarten, likes football and colouring and going to the shops.

I decide to write him another letter.

Yusuf Mohamed Noor
Child No. KEN 176609-2500

Dear Yusuf

I am in India. I have travelled a lot here. I am by a famous river called the Ganges. It is a holy river to the Indian people.

I have a hotel room overlooking this river where I am writing from now.

I have met Muslims in India, there are many of them. They are very friendly.

I am trying to find God here. I am going to many yoga ashrams, which belong to the Hindu religion. They have another way of looking at God. It is not like Christianity or Islam. They worship many Gods. They believe that they have many lives. They think they come back here as a new baby after they die. They believe that with enough good works they do not have to be reborn here and can go to heaven. They call heaven Nirvana. When this happens they believe that they are ONE with god. They become god. Some of them say they have become god here on Earth.

I am not sure if this is true. However they believe it. I am interested to find out if it is true.

I am also trying to find a wife.

Take care.

Love James

I had an argument paying fifty rupees to wrap my parcel. I pay forty. Post it seamail. Then cross over to do internet and plan to have breakfast at the Green Italian cafe. I try and access the music Palm I have synched, but a Japanese hippie is on the computer. All the other computers are empty, it is too much of a coincidence. I try and get him to change, save his email as a draft but he does not know how to use computers and I cannot read Japanese. The young Indian manager tells me to wait till he has finished. I leave and go back to the Green cafe to order breakfast.

I sit next to two Israeli young women. Guruji chants away on the tape.

I head to the internet cafe under the music store and download my letter to Yusuf and to dad. The letter to dad is simply some excerpts from my diary which I edit. I then download an updated version of documents to go. Try to download meditation music from the windows media player, but fail as it does not recognise Palm software.

I walk up the river to the second bridge and try and photo an astrologers saying but am chased away by him. I cross the bridge to the German Bakery with the view and the European smokers getting their fix, mostly aged, an Indian shopkeeper sits opposite me who looks alcoholic and middle aged. The sun sets, I change tables. Sivananda has not replid from Uttarkashi. The place has a pebble floor. The river must come up ten to fifteen meters in flood judging by where they have built the houses. A child and her mother join me and the Germans smile at the child as they puff away in a row on the seats overlooking the bridge. She indicates my binoculars and I give them to her to look through. She has difficulty looking through them. Mosquitoes seem to come as do flies.

I buy a pukka basic phrase book written by an Englishman connected it seems to Ron Hubbard's scientologists called Pilgrims Press. The book shop is connected to the cafe.

I walk back through the labyrinth market and try and get a Tuk Tuk. They send off some other Europeans on one who I wanted to join and want me to pay for hiring one alone. I shout abuse and walk off, at the hill top I run to jump on one. I attempt to use the phrase book to speak Hindi. I drop off at Amrita and have chop seuey which is not very good and a nice salad. I try my Hindi on him but he is not interested. I move to Mukti's health food cafe and talk to some Jewish New York women, one who has lost her voice. I then attempt using the phrase book on the proprietor who wants to know how to make a more moist chocolate cake. I empty my wallet paying for the yogart ice cream. I go back to the guesthouse and try and sleep, but have bad dreams of earthquakes. Giant fleas seem to attack me. My sheets have been changed to one giant sheet linking both bed halves, as previously I used both beds. My stomach is in bad shape and I need water. My ear begins to hurt. I cannot think where to go but Rishakesh feels like a dead end.

Feb 19

Wake up very late, feel shocking. Pay my bill and check out the ashram guesthouses near by that look very average. It is somehow Christ as I thought that seems closer to the truth. I walk along the ghats past an empty Amrita and cross the bridge, am chased by a man quite effeminate selling paint print markers to adorn the hand with stamps. I head along to the Green Italian Cafe where the Israeli woman are with an Israeli young man. I have musli which tastes as if some bad fruit has been put in it. I feel drained. I order in Hindi butter toast jam and cappuccino. I look in the mirror at the Israelis', she is ensconced in the young man.

The man selling the paints comes in with a Japanese young man. I walk to the end of the ghats, explore a few large ashrams that sprawl with guest complexes, again all fairly rundown. Then scoot back through the lanes to the restaurants and the internet where I download some songs and read the news. Packer is dead. People are resigning over the oil for food wheat deal and Howard is trying to save the contract with Iraq and SBS has shown more Iraq prisoner torture photos. Somehow I do not feel good in Rishikesh. I return to the Italian restaurant. It appears to me that I am extremely confused. Ordering food not good for me yet not sure what is good. Feel that overall India is not really right.

I have locked myself in a Western restaurant and hotel. I head to Sivananda ashram and wind up into the yoga hall overlooking the Ganges. I enter into a lecture that I soon realise is only for French people. Muktananda is giving Satsang and I listen to the Kirtan and do the meditation and I feel somehow the answer is in Scotland with a lone piper. So I wake up to Mukta speaking in French and English, and I feel much refreshed, go watch the French children play overlooking the walkway below, and I have a strange vision of Algeria and the colonists their looking down on the happless Arabs feeling a sense of obligation and superiority. Mukti like Sivananda was is huge, tall and fat. He is also bald and very good natured, and seems almost African. I have sort of hidden at the back to avoid anglo detection.

I leave and buy a Toblerone at the music shop, then make my way back to Sivananda to the top section and the main temple where an evening Satsang is on. It is almost empty bar a few derelect type Western men and some ransid scrawny unshaven sanyassi Indians, whose orange clothes are slightly discoloured. I leave after five minutes. Grab a Tuk Tuk to the hotel after getting a coke from the little grotty chai shop, collapse in the hotel and listen to Indian pop songs on the Palm speakers. Then finally have a hot shower and force myself out to the Welcome Centre with the guitar, it is closed. So I walk along the Ganges ghats to Amrita where he is chatting to Japanese women. I sit on the end drink a lemon soda and write with my guitar beside me. The dormitory is open and the Japanese appear to be staying there.

Feb 20

Shocking sleepless night. Fear of earthquake, Move the next morning to Om Karananda's cheaper guesthouse. A course is on. I take a quaint basic room by the garden. Then post the letters. Have breakfast at Madras Cafe which is by the car park auto stop. The musli is good. But I talk to a Korean about hiring a car to Uttarkashi, he is not interested. I get my belongings and move to the other Om. I telephone Nasik to discover they have my torch and will send it to Om. I take rest in the guesthouse then go for lunch at Amrita, it is empty, the sounds of chanting and flutes drift across the river. I sit inside as it is sunny outside. I feel trapped by my torch in Rishekesh or at least this area. The iyenga yoga classes are stopped because an intensive is on. Every choice I make feels wrong. I must telephone Sivananda ashram near Uttakarshi. I feel I am suffering blood poisoning. I am tired and move to Mukti's and leave as they have run out of apple pie. I grab a Tuk Tuk that sounds like an F18 and walk up to the Swiss village. I get a cheese cake that is lost in translation and will never be found, then leave the original Swiss with its view of nothing special but the sounds of the road and a hill side on the other valley. I move up to the Oasis, and get an apple crumble that is tasteless and virtually without apple. The Coke is the saving grace. I managed to ring Sivananda to discover they were closed to mid March. My plans are in tatters. I am not sure if to stay here and try and meet some people to travel with or just leave by myself as usual. I want to get a glimpse of the Indian Himalayas. I feel I am surrounded by bloated lost aged European spiritualists, and it is putting me off the whole spiritual trip. The whole place is making me sick. It is a noisy dirty hole. Even in the quietest Restaurant I could find up on the hill some retarded Indian coolie starts shovelling away behind the wall in the most remote part of the restaurant. Then a dog starts barking. I am filling myself up with coke, cakes and coffee and am feeling like shit. Depressed and without God in the city of the kings of gods. I feel intense lethargy as if I can hardly move, with a feeling that if I do move it will be to the wrong place and all the time I sense this forboding that some little Hindi fakkir is squatting with his begging bowl down in the valley on the sewered streets of Rishikesh having a good laugh. All because I could not spare a rupee, and as a result am forced to stuff my face with the products of my own greed. I feel like an euniched version of Marie Antionnette, offering a piece of Toblerone to some emaciated old man on the street. I start reciting phrases from the Pilgrim phrase book to the digger over the wall without response. 'I will pay you now. I wish to see the Indian Cricket Team - Main Bhartiy kriket tim dekhna chahta hun.' I force myself to get up and look round. Self analysis is in order.

I walk out after another Coke, grab a Tuk Tuk that comes just in time to stop me photographing a string of views of the Ganges. I get off at Sivananda and run up the stairs to the empty Samadhi shrine where a lone sanyassi in yellow is chanting. A grinding sound fills the hall. I put up a sign at Oasis for people to contact me to hire a 4WD. I look round the shrine of Sivananda, the Malaysian doctor and his rise and rise to guru and saint. 'Be good do good.' Simple words. I read that Hindus could not have sewen clothes, had to remove their clothes to go to the toilet and could not eat nor drink in the presence of lower caste. Reform came through the British education system who did not try and convert the Hindu like the Muslims, but sought to civilise them instead. But Hinduism only really dropped these extremisms last century, largely after the British had already gone.

I feel as if I am missing the place where all the expatriates are hanging out. I know many started an intensive at the place I am staying at. But that could be another trap. An old man in orange is chanting frantically. This sense of collapse, of apocalyptic earth tremors, natural disaster at night haunting me. What is its basis? In this temple of superstitious ritual what I am doing here, what is my purpose, and what should I be doing? It feels I should be using my skills for teaching, yet I can find no teacher training in yoga. Charitable work seems to be the next answer, but where? Rishikesh is seething with beggars and sardhus of the chilum variety, useless drug addicts they would be labelled in the West, and it seems in Delhi's business district as well. A bell rings incessantly as if to remind me that I cannot escape nerve deafness anywhere in India. Somehow the mountains themselves draw me, the collision of the sub continent with Asia. The rippling of the earth that I seemed to feel was pulling my entire psyche horizontal in a kind of stratification and compression of the crust, that is then buckled vertical and up. I see the Indian sub tribe as a product of their land. A sort of invasion of Asia compacting into it in their millions and going up where they cannot fit. It seems to explain their disregard for personal safety and close personal space, their taking of risks of serious proximity in moving. Like the invading mountains, all they want to do is move in and up as fast as they can, and they are doing it faster and higher than any other place in the world. That is in the spiritual game of attaining Nirvana. Soon enough I am sure it will manifest in the technological and material world. Already they are the arch best competitors at small business in the world. India's material renaissance I will predict to eventuate in approximately 150 years ending in 500 years when I expect them to be the world's super power. And I believe the most benevolent and progressive renaissance humanity will ever have seen. Hindu's reform through yoga to encompass world religions should have been achieved by then.

I return to my guesthouse then have a shower and go out to the Welcome Centre. It is still containing the Americans and now an English yoga teacher. I play my guitar a bit when they switch off the music. Sit by myself then dredlocks comes over and asks why I am not sitting with them. I tell him to come here. I eventually go over and listen to them and then decide its a waste of time. They have done virtually nothing. I have my thali by the Dutchies' Indian wife who is still sick then make my way back over the Ganges dyke. The ashram guesthouse is locked but eventually some boys let me in and I start talking to a guide from Bodhgaya who is leading a Japanese woman. His driver shares the room. He picks my age and says the British have finished Hinduism, that the country is Westernised. There is a new movie out that glorifies the soul death of India and disenfranchised youth who kill the defense minister.

Feb 21

I wake up after an ok sleep, but feel depressed and confused about where to go. I have had enough of Rishikesh. I go to Muktananda's morning lecture. I am late and he is complaining about the lack of understanding of the one. The point of it all. And I am tempted to say well what happens when you reach this great enlightenment and do not have to come back. You sit up there dissolved seeing that you are it all and then what, do you eventually get bored and decide to come back into the world again and repeat it all over again. Or is it an eternal out, where even if you wanted to come back you could not, and if so would that not also in time become an eternal hell. And if it is eternal then what of the eternity of diversity, of simply being satisfied with whatever experience you are granted with. And if this is the way out then really the whole escapism of Hinduism and all the religions is simply false and misleading as it avoids the experience we chose to go through. And if you say Nirvana is there but also here as it is beyond space and time then why is there any possible need to try and make an effort to achieve what is already here? Which comes back to simply experiencing what is. And if you do not like it change it or yourself. The only purpose I can see is to possibly simply make this world a happier place. But even that is subjective. In a normative way there probably is a general happiness worth striving for. Better to live in wealth and harmony than in filth and chaos, in general of course. People seem to respond to that anyway. But I said nothing and just smiled at him. He cut the lecture short and left disgruntled. I took a last walk across the bridge to check out the internet to find if anyone had responded to my notice. They had not, so I headed off, ignoring the complaints of the reception that I had to stay three days. I got caught in abuse with the Tuk Tuk drivers getting to the bus stop and then with the conductor of the bus about putting my bag on the roof. The drive was long crowded and painful. There were some magnificent views. However the hairpin bends and steep drops were off putting and I had a policeman leaning on me for the first half. An old lady behind grasped the back of my seat and shoved the window closed when I tried to photo out it. I got exhausted and vowed not to take a local bus again. And thought about flying out of Uttarkashi on getting there. My guitar got trodden on, but avoided damage. I was wedged up the front over the roar of the engine, which I avoided by using ear plugs. I tried the phrase book as English was not well spoken. We wound down over a pass and back to the Ganges where a massive suspension bridge was being built. The road became more one lane until it was dirt. Finally Uttarkashi, almost eight hours to travel 160 kms.

I grab the first hotel which is 200 rupees and very cheap and basic. Someone has their tv on very loud. The electricity cuts off and it takes a while to get a hot shower. It is cold up here. I have dinner in a place near by that is run by a gentleman in a tweed coat. His rooms are British but noisy on the street. It seems we are in a sort of Shangra La valley of emerald green. The people seem inbred. One wants $500 to take me up to Gangotri which is about 150 kms away, normally costing by bus about 200 rupees. A mere 100 times the price. My ear is still ringing. I tried cleaning it out yesterday using cotton swobs. A lot of dirty wax came out. It does seem that I am torturing myself travelling here. The tv is still going on. It turns out to be a movie theater. I have a short hot shower, that is all there is. I am not sure where I am going tomorrow. It is another day. Thoughts of my father clouded the day. I had a young woman, Tibetan looking sit next to me and lean on me rather affectionately, very unusual for them to sit with a man. It seems I am caught in a hell of my own creation. Locked in to poor decision making, fed up with waiting for others, I head off on my own into discomfort and loneliness. Because ultimately I should not be here, it is against my duty that I have walked away from, so to try and rectify the unrectifiable is simply impossible. Impossible to find a wife, impossible to make arrangements, impossible even to do a yoga training. Because I am in the world of the impossible, because I walked away from my duty to work. What is extraordinary is existence has permited me to get away with this hell for so long, it seems bizarre that it tolerates it. Funds it. Is there some good purpose to it, this make me wonder? If there is it seems unnecessarily difficult.

Feb 22

I am woken by the sounds of bus horns. It seems the Indian cannot distinguish between a horn and a simple request to come to the bus. Careful driving is replaced with a horn to let the person know that not only are they are, but I do not know the rules of the road so please get out of my way. I attempt to switch the shower on and turn everything on and off and finally feel the thing, it feels cool, I give up and call up a boy who turns the tap and out comes hot water. What can I say? I pack up, head to the bus stand and try to find buses to near Gangotri, finally the taxis offer for 1600 rupees to take me there. I discover share taxis can get me there for 80 rupees. I walk around the town which is quite clean away from the bus stand and find a French man who is trekking up here. He has been living in India and Cambodia for years. He recommends a nice guesthouse. I find out I can get a taxi to the ashrams nearby and decide to check them out first. I head back to a Tibetan restaurant called Shangra La. The people look Tibetan or Nepali but are dressed as Indians. There is no toilet and I finally complain enough to get taken to one by a cafe owner, it is down a series of lanes, past a locked gate and then in a locked room at the back of a house. I walked down to the ghats where some babas were smoking chilums and got upset when I photographed them. There was a swing bridge, quite long over the Ganges. The market streets were surprisingly clean. But there was little in the way of views. I feel I need to get higher up. I have a coffee with the Frenchman in a plastic cup that I exchange for a normal cup. The TV is blaring and I get them to switch it off. I feel exhausted and slightly ill. I am wondering about the hygeine in this Nepali Chineses restaurant.

A couple sits opposite and I feel slightly uncomfortable. They seem not to have enough money to pay the bill. Then the idiot brings me musli which is hot milk with a few bits of choco flakes floating in it. I finally go into the kitchen and show him how to make musli. It has too much water in it and not enough yogurt, I get him to get more yogart.

I leave and get my stuff from the hotel. There ensues a mess. I have the boy carry the bags up to the taxi stand, the taxis have now increased their prices. A Mexican stand off occurs. We both hold our ground, finally I edge up my price as they edge down. But when I edge up they then push their price up. Finally a share jeep comes by and I get in that. That takes me to the share jeep stand where I rent an entire jeep for half the price they were asking. We bump off to the ashram along a windy road, with some views of the snow covered peaks. The ashram is by the Ganges which has become a mere stream now. Emerald rice paddies adorn the banks where a sway bridge goes across to a small village. I get a small single room overlooking the Ganges and hills for 600 including meals. I feel somewhat alone, there are no Europeans and just a couple of Swamis and Swaminis. They are repairing one of the buildings. I rather cruelly get a middle aged man to carry my pack to the room. He brings me sweet tea.

Sivananda ashram of Vishnudevananda Swami is situated about ten kilometers out of Uttarkashi in Nanotal. I am thinking of going for a walk. The trees are more European. Probably small birch, rather craggy looking. I feel I want to be up in the mountains. Seeing snow. And peaks. How many people's feelings have I hurt in writing this diary? This scathing criticism of India. It feels endless this journey with no quick fixes. And somehow it seems to come down to language. Eloquence in language. Maybe that is how I will solve my dilemna.

The key is here. Devananda I feel was asked to leave Sivananda's ashram probably for sexual immorality. Or maybe simply for questioning the sexual morality of the ashram. Satyananda also left about the same time. And shortly thereafter Sivananda died. There must have been a power struggle close to his death, that possibly in effect killed him. In the heart at least. He must have lost two dear friends. Just about the time the first hippie Westerners hit India in the early 60s.

Tantric yoga powers. My spine hurts a little. Lower lumbar. Babaji somehow is hurtled above here. In some cave lodged with a loin cloth on icy rocks. Completely insane. His dredlocked hair and long fingernails, his long tufting beard and eyes that are ancient. His grime covered body, that is no body for there is no mind inside. The workers are fairly quiet and chat away in Hindi. It clouds over. I feel cocooned here and it is getting a little cold. There seems really no point. As if an icy wind could settle this whole matter once and for all. A dam has been built to harness the Ganges. If a quake hits hard enough that will be the end of Rishikesh and Hadarwar. Uttarkashi has been levelled three time in a century. It is on a fault line.

I should have listened to the gods. They said it was closed here till mid March, but I had to come anyway. Why indeed?

A knave once said there is a land lost far way from here that no sane man ever ventured. Sun land they called it a cryptic name for a cryptic place. But who cared for this from the end of time there seemed but one place that would not corrupt the people and that was the Ganges. Why the Ganges you may ask? It is in a fairy tale of a lost tribe of Aryans who sought pastures to rest. Who felt they had been betrayed. By their cousins. As usual I feel betrayed by Devananda. At dinner I am the only person there. They are charging me 600 for a tiny room in the middle of nowhere with no programme offered. I will leave tommorrow. Who have I got to blame but myself. They said they were closed. The dinner was edible but very basic rice and vegetables.

I went for a walk across the swing bridge and watched the simple village life, the boys playing cricket. The cows walking by and the women in the field. The men sleeping. I felt almost connected. But the mountains are calling. They have lost their opportunity with me. And perhaps it had to be because I do not like being cornered and forced to stay somewhere for longer than choose. That is my free spirit which I am loathe to surrender. And why is this so? Must have been trapped too often in the past in unpleasant places for too long. That simple. So now I make sure I have free reign to go when I please, no more slavery at the whim of others.

Even now I can sense they are ruining my solitude in the mountains even though they are not my wife. Not my life. Simply through the stupidity of not saying the ashram was simply closed and I would now be up the mountain and probably a lot happier. Instead I am kept in an empty building alone. And the worst of it is they could have at least come and talked to me, then it would have been a pleasant stay.

I went up on the road because I got hungry and found a road side store that sold chocolate that was rotting if that is possible. I had far too sweet tea and biscuits with a Nepali guide. A boy followed me there and he looked a sort of peevish, shrunken little peep of a child. He took me to the store and I gave him a choice, choco bar or biscuits, it took him a long time to work out what I was doing, and when he had the choco bar was taken poste haste. I left him in search of a decent chocolate bar myself. And that was when I came to the melted re-hardened Lindt. I was not going to fall for another Garneshpuri again. There is a kind of inevitable sadness about mistakes. That people want to rectify but do not know how to, like my father and mother. If ever a mismatched pair. Yet I have a feeling my mother actually feels sorry for him now he has been in intensive care in Hospital and has a leg bag.

As I said before the Palm itself seems to contain a sort of bitterness. It transposes itself in me typing. 'Upar' is up hill in Hindi. I still feel that lethargy of deep depression and sense of hopelessness, I cannot now see where my wife could be at all. If I play a numbers game then I probably should go England. If I try to target then where? Precise needle accurate targetting.

I went to get some water and met the Swamini, she was not very friendly and ordered me like a dog to go to the shop to get a bottle of mineral water. I said I would wait here. She then launched into an attack on Westerners, saying they treated Indians like servants, expected room service and did she want me to touch her feet. I attempted to speak to her in Hindi and she shouted back that she did notspeak Hindi and was from Kerela. I refused to go to the shop and said I was angry that she had agreed for me to stay here. The place was effectively closed, it was costing me 600 rupees for a small room, they had left me to eat alone and not been friendly. She responded by telling me to get out. I told her that was very rude, but I would leave first thing tommorrow as it was dark now. They boiled some water in the kitchen and gave it to me.

I was not that worried about the incident although I thought it had now probably cut off staying there again which seemed a shame. She invaded my thoughts that night, she was probably in her thirties though looked younger. I guess the stress of travelling had made me less civil. I tried to switch the lights of outside, but they kept on switching them back on and finally the male yoga teacher came up and said that they needed them on as a precaution to stop theft.

Feb 23

Another day, I get up at eight despite waking at about five, I was brought a cup of tea earlier. Had a long hot shower and cleaned up, then packed again, and left the quaint wood covered small room with a view. The yoga teacher male came and asked if I was staying and I said no. I took my pack feeling slightly nervous to the verhandah and walked up to the road to get a share jeep. It took a while from the small village to stop one. I was wedged into the front and payed fifty to get the jeep down to the ashram. The Swamini glared at me from the roof. I kept the guitar in the front and finally offered an extra fare to shift the four people in the front seat, so that one went back with the guitar. The road wound up the Ganges and became dirt and constantly broken up by rock falls. Finally we ground to a halt at a land slide where a dozer attempted to clear the way, this was difficult as most of the road was in the Ganges for about ten meters. Some Grenadiars in trucks rolled up and we were pulled back as they prepared for blasting. I sat in the car and tried to learn Hindi, the soldiers brought me tea. I tried playing music on my Palm using the speakers, but after one song the driver tossed the Palm on aside so I had to save it from falling onto the floor and put on his cassette player. About an hour later a blast occurred. I went to look at the dozers working from both sides to clear the road. They seemed virtually to be hanging off the edge of the cliff side.

The road cleared, we were on our way. Fairly shortly we arrived in Gangoni, which was a one horse town consisting of as the Frenchman had said, some dirty chia shops lining the road, then one hotel sticking up fhe side of the hill which led to the hot baths and temple. A little grubby village attached itself. The hotel was basic. Electricity did not work. The hot water was the springs. It had a very basic restaurant that had very cheap food, the menu card was about as tatty as the food that came. Needless to say I got stomach problems eating there. The proprietor and waiters were very friendly and taught me Hindi.

The room had a nice view of the mountains and one peak could be seen. The mountains were a bleak dull grey brown with little vegetation. Just a coarse yellow dry grass and very steep, hence all the rock falls. I walked up the road and saw burning off the sides of the mountain, higher up there were many fir trees. The road had improved and was sealed. I met the local teachers who spoke some English. I noticed the Indians were not very patient in teaching Hindi, preferring to try out their English. Accept those that spoke virtually no English. I felt like a Jap in Australia trying to talk to them. I tried to decipher the script in Hindi of a road sign with their help. Caused much laughter. They refused to believe Hindi was an Indo-European language coming from near Iran.

I went back for a swim in the pool. Then went to bed, made the mistake of getting up and eating. Had a watery tomato soup and chapati, I thought it would be safe. Lack of hygiene killed most Westerners till the twentieth century. I discover one of the boys' mother and father have died. Natural causes. As expected they do not like my guitar music. Also when I play Hindi music on the Palm one of them switches on the radio oblivious to the fact the Palm is playing. I use the phrase book and an old man there asks in Hindi if I have a confused mind. An aunt comes in and they call her Charchie, I say Tartie, which causes hysterics as that apparently means toilet. She is not amused. I go to bed half expecting the mountain to go tumbling down the side of the valley.

Feb 25

Restless night. Get up and have bath in hot springs. Then go down to check cars to Gangotri. Meet an American called Boris. He says one is coming soon. So I rush up and pack, come down and no car comes until almost ten thirty. I pay extra to sit in the front and remove the four people in their. But he sticks in a child. I complain. The American sits in the back. I have the guitar with me in the front. It appears we are going for the Guiness book of records. There are 14 people in the Jeep. The driver I make remove one of the people in the front. But while I am not looking he puts someone in there through his door. I give up. I still pay three times what the locals pay. The villages are fairly basic and we pass some army camps that do not look like they could stop a Chinese invasion. Eventually we get to Darhasi and the end of the ride. I try and ask if he can take us further but the road is blocked with snow. It is quite hot and sunny. A man comes and offers us a room. We then walk to the road block and past it for a total of eight kilometers. Some good views as the Ganges turns white blue from the glacial remains pummeled down. The road starts going up near Lanka and we stop just past another army camp. We sit and rest on a large rock overlooking the ranges and the Ganges. We look onto mountains that may be as high as 7000 meters. Craggy and vertical. A forest official asks us if we have permission to be there and tells us Gangotri is closed. He has a very spiritual air to him. A young American apparently is up there. Also two car loads of youths have gone up, they plan to run down all the way to their home town some 500 kms away, taking it in turns while the rest sit in the car. They are carrying Ganges water from the temple at Gangotri because it is Shivartri. Their car has flags and loudspeakers on the roof. And a large picture of shiva on the back. We head back and have chi and biscuits, the village is virtually closed. A few scruffy chi shops open. Nowhere to get a meal. So we are invited up to the man that got our room to his house up the hill. I offer his sister chocolate and cashews as she cooked the meal. We did not see her. The American was buying charos from him and smoking it outside, he had arranged to sleep up there. I made my way back in the dark to the sight of a diamond studded night sky, and got to my room to find the electricity not connected. There was no water in the bathroom, but I did not mind and dreamed of Siva and the gods up the Ganges.

Feb 25

I sleep in and am woken by Boris after dreams of Australia and commodities deals in Silver which Boris says is just going up and up in price as the supply is running out in the world. He rang up his Swiss broker and discovered he had made ten thousand dollars in futures, I heard his stressful voice on the phone, and an argument with the broker, that was last night. My stomach seems ok. We walked up to the temple in a village across the river. At the top a game of cricket was being played. We asked for tea and out it came. A photographer appeared and showed us his collection in his home. I had noodles in the chi shop and played the guitar, the locals tried to play it like a sitar. The weather clouded and got cold. I went to my room and cleaned up. Then tried to get warm under four douners and a sleeping bag. It looked like it might snow. The hotel man, Singh got quite upset when I asked him what his sister thought of the gifts we gave. It seemed to be an insult to give a gift to a woman unless you were courting her. Another couple had headed up to Gangotri walking. Singh offered to lend me his motor bike to get up there.

I defrost slowly warming my hands between my legs. Boris calls but I do not want to get out of bed. Eventually I do and he is gone. The chi shop has the usual crowd playing cards but this time there is no fire. So I leave and they pretty much ignore me as I ask for Boris. It is getting dark, I return to the room after buying a supply of chocolate and biscuits from the store at the very edge of town heading ganges way, sweets for the sweet. I feel I am picking up on the local vibe which seems not so different from those hillbilly towns in the high country of the Snowy Mountains. The retard, the old codgers, the grumpy shop keeper, the greedy youth wanting to be a guide, one came up to me offering his services. I said to him if he was really hard up for rupees he could carry my bag to Gangatri but it did not weigh much and I was happy to carry it. He suggested a thousand and I asked him if he would be happy to pay me for English lessons. A thousand dollars. I then said you treat me as an idiot then same same. He rushed off very upset. I discovered three hundred was what was normally paid a day.

Boris rolls up and asks if I want to come to dinner at Singhs house. I tell him no. I try and sleep but get thirsty. I go up stream past the houses. And shit by the stream. Then fill the water bottle up. I come back jumping through fields and drop in on Boris. His dinner fell through, the guy had gone.

Feb 26

This was a long long day, I got up or rather did not because the weather was terrible. Raining. The end of the plan to walk to Gangatri. I stayed in bed till Boris came inviting me for breakfast at Singh's house. We walked up the long path, past yaks and oxen, clouds had covered the mountains and it was very cold. I had put on all my clothes. We sat in front of his electric bar heater, tried to stay warm. His sister who was quite pretty but a little overweight appeared this time. Brought us tea which was very creamy with fresh cow's milk. Boris had complained about being offered curd that he said smelt so off that he started wretch. He had politely told his host that he could not eat it and they had been offended. The sister started sweeping outside the room quite aggressively. Boris made a joke about proposing to her, and I told him to be quiet.

We eventually got a second cup of tea from her. I did not ask her if she had liked her gifts. It seemed offensive to do so. I offered Singh my address but he was not interested. He had done Sivananda yoga teacher training in Kerala in 1996 and been to university studying history and politics. He had bright eyes. He seemed happy and was going to be married soon.

Eventually a jeep came in the rain that had stopped but was now starting again. I payed 300 to get the entire front seat to Uttarkashi. Boris came as far as the hot springs. We were worried about landslides. The road was wet but the driver did drive slowly for a change. We had two soldiers with their guns in the car. It took five hours to get down. The areas where the road had been washed out by landslides where the drop was steep were pretty scary going through. A secion before Gangnani was particularly bad.

At Uttarkashi I persuaded the driver to take me to the jeeps to Rishikesh. He wanted more money but I persuaded him to take me there. The last luxury bus had gone. We arrived and a man called out Rishikesh, and sure enough a jeep was there ready to go. I booked the front seat for 320. It was a good roadworthy comfortable vehicle. Unfortunately it was not ready to go. He needed to fill the back with four people. I went off to a chai shop and he stopped me and told me we were being shifted to another car that was leaving straight away. This proved a disaster. It was a jeep with bald tyres, a wrecked dirty interior. A noisy engine. Reluctantly I got into the car. We skidded off. Our trip proved not the express to Rishikesh, instead he stopped at every town tooting his horn to get passengers, this stopped when it got dark, about the only good thing was he drove slowly. However when he finally turned his lights on, for a long stretch we drove in semi darkness along the cliff hanging roads, the generator started to whine. This was an excruitiating noise and I put in my ear plugs. This still did not stop the noise and my ear infection got worse with the plugs in. I was still feeling a bit queasy from the food poisoning. They made a chai stop and I ordered a thali. The lights were shining down to Rishikesh, it had been another five hours when the car bounced in there. I persuaded the driver to take me to Om Karananda, I was praying the parcel, the torch, would be there and I could simply leave. I had to pay him. The guesthouse was closed, but I woke up Swamiji and he told me there was no parcel. Everything was full in Rishikesh for Sivartri. Most people were fasting. The guesthouses were all full. I had him drive me round from place to place and finally to the Swiss area. I finally found a room in a remote guesthouse there. It was a small clean room and I had a long hot shower and shampoo. I had cake at the German Bakery at Oasis. Then went to bed. I slept very badly.

Feb 27

I awoke feeling ill to the sound of Israeli rock music at full volume played through a ghetto blaster. I had terrible pain in my liver and felt very faint. I moved rooms and talked to my hosts about getting a doctor but they wanted me to see an ayervedic doctor. I handed over my washing and collapsed in bed, then the next door neighbor started up his music system. I stumbled out of bed and asked him to switch it off. Later the Israeli started off again. I just drank water and stayed in bed. I got up to go to the toilet and fainted over the toilet seat. I stumbled back to bed and stayed there the rest of the day. By evening I was feeling better, the liver had stopped hurting, but then I started getting a massive headache.

Feb 28

A fairly sleepless night, I wanted to eat a banana which was a good sign. I covered myself in a blanket over the sleeping bag. A cool wind blew in through the window with a view to the mountains. I still had the headache but I was feeling like a good breakfast. Still fairly weak, but I managed to have a long shower and shave. I recharged my batteries and cleaned up the room. Then went out to Oasis for breakfast. I managed to have musli and toast without a problem though walking up the steep slope there was a problem.

I took a Tuk Tuk down the hill full of tourists. Walked across the bridge to the Internet cafe to get my photos burned on CD. I was thinking quite a lot of my father. My eyesight also had gone blury combined with the slight headache and feeling still weak. I assumed it would fix up when I got better. I went and rang the Nasik place to discover they had sent the torch express post. I then went to the local Green Cafe and ordered Israeli falafel. A lot of memories were coming back from my first trip to India - of Josee, Christina, some tears. There were tears when I was lying in bed yesterday.

I made the mistake of going back to the internet cafe too soon, he had not burnt the CD, I then spent ages trying to burn the thing. It only partially worked and I left. I read the letter I had written to dad and did not feel good about the end of it. I headed back to the guesthouse hopping on a Tuk Tuk and blocking my ears. I played some guitar and then the hot water did not work for the shower, there were some pot smoking Israeli youth near reception and when I rang the bell, they found it very amusing as it was a sort of British door chime. Eventually we got the shower working. The little old lady that is. I got a poem out of the Hindi newspaper that was in English, written by an old man that I wanted to give to the Israelis.

I am old
But as good as gold
I am not for wealth
And only for health

I am aging
My health is failing
Still I am moving
And my work I am doing

Fascination for material lust
Has almost gone to the dust
I only seek my mental peace
Which is blocked by youngster's tease

I expect the young to respect
But they fail to see this aspect
They talk of gap-generation
But fail to give us veneration'

I pray to God
Who is the World's only lord
To give me strength and long life
So as to continue my prayers with my wife

Love and peace I want in abound
Here and there and everywhere around
And when I leave this earth at last
May I feel the blithe of my past

Then I think to send it to my father. Then I feel slightly flat. I asked the waiter in Hindi for a lemon soda and he gave a long reply in Hindi. It sounded as if he was making up a language and making fun of me. Then I asked what he was saying and he said it was some comment on use of language. But he did not think the phrase I used was impolite.

The phrase of conceit that supresses itself in all but the holiest of beings brings me unto Rishikesh, land of the begging Sardhus. Land of the lost yogis. Land of no land at all. Because Rishikesh is beyond the material world.

Rishikesh. Sitar playing by an American hippie next door. In his forties. He shows me how it works. But in truth am I an instrument of this machine or it of me. Part of me says go to Brindaven. Another says no it will be more failure. The journey itself suggests disaster. Pain. So I am coming to the conclusion it is necessary to avoid pain. Imperative for survival. Which means the answer has to be in Rishikesh.

Rishikesh, like the wax remover the Urine Specialist who wanted to give me vabooti had given me, is just a touch too strong, such that it burns the ear and although probably removing wax in the form of spiritual karma, it seems that the burning I am going through here is marginally more than I can bare and seems to be resulting in increasing infection.

Mar 1

First day of Spring or the Hot Season. The time before the monsoon when the Indian plains start to burn up, when the temperature goes up into the forties. The mad dogs and Englishman weather. I woke early tried to sleep but could not, my mind was full of global madness as if somehow returning from the mountains had reconnected me to the world insanity, of world news. I spend a long time cleaning myself, preening, washing, cleansers, scrubs, dermabrasions, masks, creams, moisturisers. I feel good afterwards. Then I play guitar loudly for a while and get quite into it. I feel very much invaded by the American middle aged hippie couple from next door in a coarse sexual kind of a way. I head for Oasis and musli, order and go back to get my bag. I had managed to get sandal mask all over my Kashmiri pajama shirt so had given it to the boy to rewash, however I had left my bag behind. I almost thought leave it and see if you simply meet the right people when you get to Oasis. But they were not there, just families and couples and all the window views taken, one by the waiter doing his accounts, so I was a little disappointed, I went back to get the bag. I stopped and dropped by the Swiss cafe and it was full of attractive young hippie types, mostly couples, youths with beards and their flopsy fopsy back to nature gals. And attractive as the view of the Ganges was I realised regretfully that this was not the place, so I went to get my Boles out, opened the plastic case and there was nothing there.

I checked my room, went and cancelled my breakfast much to their chanagrin. Rushed to the Tuk Tuks and quickly bargained one for thirty to the bridge. Crossed almost running, run walking past the humanity pushing a beggar firmly aside. I was thinking if this is gone then I will only upgrade, the travel insurance can pay. I was getting signals from them that it is your fault. I then thought well why are you not replying to my email asking under what circumstances you will make a payment. Then I thought well if you are going to be dishonest in not responding to questions about when your policy is valid, then your ethics are in question, and can you really expect honesty from your clients. I was contemplating simply fabricating a claim covering all my losses as I had done in the past, and was certain to be accepted. Or remaining absolutely honest, in which case all my losses would probably be rejected, I was not sure they would not respond. I was wondering if the torch would ever appear through Indian post. I arrived at the Internet cafe and the wallah opened up his desk and handed me my sunglasses. It is amazing what a mental argument with an insurance company can materialise.

I went back and had musli at the Green cafe and also coffee. This was a big mistake, I was hit by the beginnings of severe pain in what felt like the liver. I went and paid for the musli I had ordered at Oasis. Then went and played guitar. The American woman next door came out and sat provicatively, I went and did some yoga to relieve the pain. It did not work, so I went to an ayervedic masseur, he told me to see the ayervedic doctor. I went back to the guesthouse and asked them to call the doctor. I returned to my room to see a packed bag outside the Americans room and the door locked, it seemed the guy had thrown his girlfriend out. I waited in a lot of pain and packed my bags. Finally the amma came and told me the doctor was not coming. She asked me if I was leaving. I said yes. As I left the couple came back together laughing. I paid the bill and offered fifty for the day charge on the room, this was a mistake because she then wanted the room completely paid for. I offered a hundred, then shouted a her that her guesthouse and guests were immoral and had caused my illness and I left without paying for the extra day. My pain left completely. But then further away it hit again, I stopped to order a taxi at Swiss and a woman was about to leave but not for half an hour. The pain went, but her boyfriend said he wanted her to wait so he could kiss her. I left and went to the road where a taxi charging a large fee was ready to go. I hesitated then took it. The pain started to get worse and worse, finally I could bare it no more and asked him to take me to hospital in Rishikesh. The hospital seemed quite good. And a doctor checked me out, injected pain killers and did an ultrasound which suggested severe ameobic infection in the intestines. He gave me antibiotics and pain killers. The driver waited, he was called Jamal and was a Muslim, he spoke passable English. He drove me to a nearby hotel that seemed overpriced for a thousand a night. I tipped him generously paying five hundred and tipped fifty to the hotel staff for bringing lemon ginger which eased the pain a lot. I flicked the TV. The shower gave minimal hot water and there was a general shoddy feel to the place. Even the remote did not work properly. Still I felt a lot better. I was now completely off Australian government benefits and had cancelled my Queensland Union membership. I feel somewhat as if I am cheating going to the hospital. I am at a loss where to go. Part of me thinks the USA, another Brindaven, Rishikesh seems too doped out. Part of me just says go back to Australia. The hellish thoughts that I had in the guesthouse seem to have largely gone at least. I met a Korean Black American photographer who was connected to Ram Das orphanage. I was invited to visit. That was before lunch.

Mar 2

Wake early after bad night as expected. Pain slowly got worse after injections wear off. But not the acute thumping like I am being punched. Feels as if my entire family is beating me up. The hot water only works for thirty seconds and I get some stool for testing, it appeared from the ultrasound I am blown up with wind. I shout at the boy who brings more lemon ginger about the condition of the room and the fact the toilet will not flush.

I go to the hospital and get the tests. Then head back painfully in an auto that kills my liver. I stagger to the internet cafe and discover they have done nothing. I endeavour to do it myself and take ages burning through a mass of botched cds. Finally he comes and does it. I then have fried rice which is a mistake. Any fats hurting a lot. I talk to a Scotswoman who is young and quite attractive and a conversation with her frumpy friend ensues where the validity of enlightenment is discussed - such as what happens when you have achieved it, does it get boring being perfect up there, do you eventually decide to come down and be an ego again after being everything. Meanwhile at the next table sits what looks like a white version of Pujabiji, wearing red turban and fat as an oozing cheese paneer, this bloated figure sits morosely eating at the mirrored wall. The white maharaja is suddenly joined by a similar turbaned American and an elderly woman also turbaned, all Americans. There are raucous greetings and I wonder if they are the masters to bring the enlightenment, or the results of failed attempts and a life of chilums. I am rater dulled to the whole ludicrousness of their presence simply by the fact that Rishikesh is burgeoning with Indian sardhus attired even more extremely. Initially I was not sure if the maharaja was in fact an albino Indian. I ring the hospital and find out I have hepatitus, must likely ameobic dysentry. It is the liver as I thought. Deep anger at this godforsaken polluted unhygienic hell. He tells me to avoid all fats. To see him at seven. I basically want to get out. I can only think of Brindaven. Or really the US. India has finally poisoned me out of its system. I put up a blog at

Bush is somewhere in Delhi and I have a feeling some of his delegation have wandered up to the Beatles mecca of old Rishy. I can almost smell the presence of Yanky Tanky administration officials - diplomats. Was that maharaja group in the Green Cafe a subtle CIA disguised meeting? I stop for a chia at Amrita's to discuss mass extermination of the poor using gas chambers with a Japanese couple. The girl smiles and leaves as the owner joins in citing Hiroshima. Too many babies but government problem, he says. Like a cancer it will soon kill the organism I think. I envisioned a mass concentration camp system similar to the Nazis where shanty dwellers are bussed and railed en masse to gas chambers which have huge signs of shiva and shakti glossed up on the outside welcoming them to Nirvana. Their self sacrifice to Earth would grant them rebirth on another planet far more clean and happy and rich than this; even if possibly some of them took rebirth as a chicken or a cow or a goat there. This fact would not be disclosed. Massive pujis and artis would be performed to chanting mantras such as 'Om namaho shivaya', fireworks and sound and light show would all accompany the excited entry into the Narayana Chambers. Anyone without job and not studying over the age of twelve would receive a mandatory one way ticket. Allowed child births would be based purely on income earned, the higher the more kids allowed. Breach of the rules would require enforced abortions, then sterilisation for second breach or a free ticket.

No doubt there is a free market approach, neo Keynsian or following the good old American laissez faire economists such as the Social Darwinists, who might find a market for Tikka Tandori Dosa Sudra, that could rival Kentucky Nuggets.

Or perhaps even Lafayette might develop a policy that somehow educates them to stop breeding through market forces. The trouble is tax system will not work if they are not earning anything. I make a call to the hospital and am quite late and the doctor is upset and tells me to come in an hour, so I sit and chat to a large Swiss German about my travels speaking in broken German as his English is worse than my German perhaps. We have a good laugh. I initially wondered if he was an US diplomat dossing it here, as it has to be about the grubbiest mid range hotel in Rishy. I grab a Tuk Tuk and perch above a bride and groom who look like something out of the Brontes or Peyton Place, dressed in sari and nose bangle, it must have been to some feast or play they were heading to maybe such as that corrupting good ole Mansoul. Indeed the hospital looks like a scene from Victorian England, pajamas and saris exchanged for stiff collars and bonnets and bodices. The sort of morality of Mayor of Casterbridge. I can almost invision the old mayor appearing reincarnated in Rishikesh as a wondering medicant without the chilum offering new Mosanto seed systems to the locals and cornering the market. Getting drunk and selling his wife at the local bazaar. Remeeting his daughter years later at Dr Bhardwaj's hospital, over acute ameobic hepetitus and then her falling in love with his prodigal seed selling manager. One of the ladies starts to rush round in a state of near fainting weeping and gulping in amongst the austere puritan like crowd waiting. Her husband must be having some problems. His death could mean severe hardship for her. Dr Bhardwaj strides in, a touch on the tubby side, with a look similar to that in ER. Her whimperings lesson as she is held in the arms of an elder Auntie. I see Bhardwaj who is very busy and I wait half an hour, he thinks it should be mostly cured in three days and gone in ten if I avoid fats. I ask him why the ultrascan did not pick up the liver swelling. He told me it was hard to fully see it and view of expansion could be blocked by the wind in the bowels. I asked him about the acute sharp intermittant pain and he said it was due to movement causing rubbing of expanded liver against the abdomen wall. He recommended retesting liver function in a week.

I got a thali for dinner in my hotel room and watched BBC news on Bush's visit. The dal seemed a mistake. I was also taking a glucose supplement with the antibiotics and some Himalayan ayervedic fluid.

Mar 3

Sleep well with visions of Krisna, but then before I wake I have a horror dream about Melbourne and going out to a drug party, some sort of car accident and then meeting some girlfriends who show arm mangled off and huge scars. No doubt seeing the horrors of India's poor is taking its toll on my psyche. I seem to be in a crucial position in my future and I take it easy in the hotel room, crummy as it is and watch more BBC News. I order a continental breakfast giving specific orders for ginger instead of masala tea and of course masala tea comes. I order a taxi and pay an exorbitant 450 rupees, although it is new and has ac, which is switched on after an argument where he demanded 100 rupees which I refused and at the end he wants a tip. Haridwar is the usual sea of humanity and a porter comes up and I say carry my bags for fifteen rupees, I make it absolutely clear not fifty. Of course when he wants payment he wants fifty. I buy a large bag of chips, not a good idea, then a thali meal on the train and a pepsi, which is probably pushing my liver, we will see. I write on a table in the second class open compartment that is fairly empty. My bowels react with a burp. If I get an attack I will simply get off. We chug off and the liver seems to hold, it held in the taxi ok apart from the argument over him overtaking a truck with another coming the other way. I called the travel agent criminals for charging virtually twice the normal ten rupees a kilometer. It appears England recovered in the first test from a disaster on the first day. I make the mistake of smiling at some boys as I work and they come over and stare at the computer like mindless robots. I am sick of being a walking english lesson for them without payment. As well as a constant welcoming diplomat for Australian cricket. The Bundra-Dedra Doon Express is about as fast as a speeding snail. And I begin to think I could have simply caught the slow mail train to Agra from Rishikesh and avoided paying for the taxi. Everytime I take a swig of the Pepsi my liver pulses.

A heated conversation ensues between the boys and another passenger. Which starts to irritate me and drain my creativity in writing. I try to ignore it, but feel like they are leaching off me and my energy. I know that is a negative attitude to the situation, but sometimes the predominance of misbehaviour is balanced more on one side than another, and in this case I believe, as I was sitting here by myself, that the weight of it is on their bad behaviour, or selfishness.

I know from experience if I get caught in a conversation, that I simply will not get my work done writing. A bunch of bikes lined with milk cartons on each side line the side of the train, as we move on through the crisp green fields of the flat as a pan plain. Very hard to maintain creative thought with a loud voice in one's ear. I think of what it would be like to be in the USA. Or is the grass simply greener elsewhere? Sugar cane fields and oxen. I ask the man if he can read English as he looks at my screen, a little he says, he leans over and takes my phrase book without asking until he has taken it. I start talking and discover that the train is going to take nine hours to get to Delhi, two hundred sixty kms. So much for going for the express train and paying for the taxi. I am joined by a new crew who take an interest in the phrase book, an elderly man who turns out to be a council member for UP upper house representing teacher's union. He has a security guard with a submachine gun with him, who he says is not necessary, he says responsibility is great. He waddles off in his aged kind of worn slightly sad way, but his eyes have a little light in them when he says he cannot avoid what duties have been placed on his shoulders. He in turn is replaced by two beggar boys, one who puts on an award performance of moaning and crying until I give them chocolate, then they want more and the deaf and dumb act is replaced with some responses to my questions in Hindi. He goes off after I say namaste and I see him sort of go up to a man and start talking to him quite fluently and laughing then disappear through a hole in a window. More people come and then a beggar boy comes to the window. He seems very insistant. Slightly dirty with a black necklace cord and a jewel, a gem in a diamond shape. No doubt plastic. He looks sort of lost. The train seems to change the direction it is heading several times, as if too it is lost somewhere on the Sarinpur plain. Surprisingly a woman joins and sits opposite me, small but attractive she knows a lecturer from Regency TAFE in Adelaide who lectures in Hotel Management, she shows me his card, she lectures in home economics. It is unusual that a single woman will actually talk to a man. The fans do not work and the train has another interminable stop. She leaves and a group of card playing middle aged men come in using briefcase as table. The game seems incomprehensible.

A rather spiritual little chap addresses me and asks where I am from and then tells me his going to Brindaven. I meet a Mohammedan with a beard who speaks English and takes me on a walk up the length of the very crowded train to find the ticket collector as it turns out this train is going right past Brindaven. However when we finally get to the TC I am so sick and claustrophobic, my hepatitus has come back, and the air is near Delhi and toxic, as such I feel I have no other choice but to abhort in Delhi. I lie in a top bunk and try and sleep, until the sea of humanity and largely filth subsides, it does, and the Brindaven devotee appears and it seems he is going to join me on the opposite blue railway padded bunk, I have a slight attack of the liver and when I look up he is gone, almost like he had never been there. As we get closer to Delhi I look out the window and see the night streets, the windowless houses and apartments seething with humanity, so many objects all co-existing at once in such close proximity and managing to survive, even prosper, it seems almost dreamlike, horrific in a way like an ants nest a buzz. The shanty shacks and the chaotic disjointed, tapering, malformed, barely standing apartment blocks, and then oddly a massive expensive tower thrown in. One can understand how an earthquake in these cities results in tens of thousands of deaths. Like a pack of cards the whole shambles buckles and then crumbles on itself. From this seething disgusting pit of humanity emenates, burgeons a cancerous form of life, splitting more rapidly than an HIV infected T cell, this blossoming plethora of bacteria in the bowels of the Earth's intestinal flora can only be called one thing - the smelly Delhi. We lodge ourselves outside the red fort, over an expressway. I propel myself on exhausted in the now empty train. I supose early cavemen lived in a fair degree of filth and knew no better. Maybe some washed. But then soap had not been invented. Someone coughs their lungs out then spits it out the window.

It definitely feels as if the liver has swollen up and blood poisoning still there. My shoulder has started hurting again. I start talking to a police group with SMGs carrying a Muslim murderer, kidnapper, robber. He is only thirty and nice looking, his eyes look filled with pain as he smiles. He wants me to act as his defence attorney when he hears I was a lawyer. I have a long chat with the officer about criminal law and spirituality, that he must have chosen this life to experience doing theses things, so can one truly judge him as bad, he possibly is just carrying out his chosen destiny. At one stage he says he will hang at another get only ten years, in India it is hard to find any certainty from anyone. A group of students hang round looking on at the spectacle and to me look like potential dacoits. I am also worried at the police talking to me with their SMG positioned right next to him, hands to one side and him with only one cuff on. I tell them this and they say not to worry, but I tell them I have to go. The detritus of the planet probably ends up in the main bizzaar in New Delhi, and when I got off the train, I was met by two examples. They volunteered against my continued blank stares to take me by taxi to a hotel. I had a porter who they managed to persuade to take to their taxi, even as I talked to an auto driver. Twenty rupees, and as soon as I realised it was a long walk on to their taxi minibus I should have turned round. When the liver started to kick again. But I did not and the rest is history. I knew the hotel I wanted to stay at and directed them to it, inane comments asking its name repeatedly ensued, we got there and the hotel was full. Then as I tried to find information on other hotels they constantly intervened, the next hotel was full, and then the next of poor quality, and the next, then they started to drive me off down a main road to another part of town, I made them reverse back and told them I would take the crap hotel, The Heritage. It was only for one night. They spoke to the staff and suddenly it was full. At that point I told them I would give them their twenty rupees and goodnight. But of course they wanted two hundred, a fight ensued, where I started to call the police, a man came and cleared them off and the hotel offered its room. I got to my room which smelled, hot water did not work and watched TV, it was the size of a prison cell. And Midnight Express was how I was feeling, the liver was not feeling good. I tried to sleep and every time I turned on my side the liver kicked in. I woke early and dosed myself up with antibiotics and mineral water filled with WHO salts. In the night incessant talking by the staff in the cafe above my room caused me to get up and tell them to shut up. There was hot water in the morning. I watched more news on Bush landing in Pakistan live. Then went for a walk which proved a strain as the bizaar was its usual pool of filth. I stopped for breakfast at the German Bakery Appetite Restaurant. The Hawkers were their usual forceful selves and I had to walk slow not to hurt the liver. I also had to resist speaking at all. I shifted tables several times to avoid people, Europeans, there, and finally I left and went to Sam's and had a cinamon roll that did not go down well. The shoulder was hurting now, although the liver felt better. I was still very drained.

I get an auto who is old and hopeless and takes a long polluted route to the station and overcharges. I am met by a porter who misdirects me in getting a ticket, eventually I get a superfast train to Mathuri. The porter as usual asks six times the fee, one hundred rupees, I chuck fifty on the ground telling him and his country are a piece of shit. When I sit on my luggage waiting sick at the station to go to Brindavan to supposedly connect with the birth place of Krisna and hopefully escape the wheel of hell on Earth, I look at the ditritus surrounding me, pathetically two wallah women argue, one with both feet horrendously deformed, yet young and pretty even dressed in bangles and sari. I sit reading the property section of the Hindustan Times and look at the Indians sitting on the benches staring at me, somehow jealous, envious, curious, in a way wanting to communicate, but probably knowing it is pointless because I am beyond communication now. Young men staring at me yet unlike the Islamic world will not lift a finger to help me with me luggage, directions or to offer a seat. Just staring in envy and doing nothing. A sort of lazy curiosity laced with greed, and in such an overpopulated gutter where it trully is a question of survival or not, perhaps one can understand their behaviour. Would it be any different in Australia, I do not know. My feeling is not. The youth in our country are similarly self centred, probably worse in some ways. The only difference here perhaps is it is more crowded, there are very few women around and it stinks. Would Flinders Street be any better for a backpacker there. I guess my only comment is if your from an impoverished stinking poor country, then perhaps it is in your interests to actually get off your arse and offer a seat to a tourist, because he has the ability to bring in changes and revenues to vastly improve your country, and if you treat him as indifferently as you treat the rest of the scum floating on the pool here, he most likely will simply leave and not come back and not be interested in supporting anything to do with your country again. So it simply comes down to economics and skills base. If you treat your rich friend like dirt and do not give him any special treatment then he most likely simply will not help you. And India in its mentality, from Politico to street wallah, to man in the street, just does not seem to get it. However they seem to have gotten away with it in the Bush visit, the newspapers are full of praise and it seems India got everything it wanted from Nuclear power to freer trade into the US and much increased technology. Maybe they finally realised they simply needed to be nice to Bush who desparately needs an increase in his approval rating in the US, now at 34%. And still the poorest represented by the communists and Muslims came out protesting against the one person who is offering the most to get them out of poverty. The train is late and it becomes abundantly clear to me that the only way to survive successfully is through a group. I deparately need a group I believe in. I meet a software engineer from Culcutta who is going to the USA. He understands my feelings. The train arrives has no ac and looks disgusting, at the moment it is not full. I chose an empty cabin but am soon joined by the detritus element. The new young slick Indian that speaks some English maybe even has secondary education or college and is looking for leverage, prestige amongst his peers by association with Westerners. It seems you have to fight to get to Krisna. Because I am feeling simply to get a flight to USA. My back is hurting. God knows what is in Krisna world but my intuition says it is wrong, I am far too angry approaching this place, train late, bad trip yesterday, and although the train is not full it has no ac and a fat old woman decides to lie opposite and I feel disgusted by her, she stares at me with what can only be described at letchury and even when I make it clear that I think this not appropriate she does not budge. It seems simply ignorance of a peasant villager, but there is nothing I can do. So I sit elsewhere. But air my views about herself and India before I leave, which as she cannot understand English falls on deaf ears. My increasing anger is probably not good for my liver, I sit next to some woman to break this hypocritical divide in India. They are also middle aged peasants, they ignore me in the typical brain washed female Indian way that has mistreated them as mere domesticated animals for millenia. So I suppose one lonely old one like an old cow in search of greener pastures, could not resist depositing itself on me like the fresh manure that comes in through the window. And so my vision of Krisna's paradise and good dreams are being devoured by basically shit. And I fear that is what I will find in Iskon in Brandavan, another dirty shithole. In which case I will organise an airfare to the USA. This will put me in very dire financial straits and a lot of debt, to survive in the USA without income will be extremely tough. Or maybe not? The one thing I have got going there is basic good will and common culture. The flats of the Mathuria Junction countryside are loaded with crops. The sun is setting in a haze of orange yellow that looks like it may be affected by air pollution. It is hard to know if the haze is natural. Small trees dot the fields. It seems very peaceful. An occassional blind beggar stumbles past singing hymns to Ram, a shoe cleaner and of course the chia wallah. Above me are two young women, no doubt daughters of the ignoring ladies below. But who knows, they stare down at me with mad wide eyes, wearing jeans, they seem not to be the peasant type.

The station arrives and I get off to see the bridge over the platforms is miles away, most jump the tracks, I start walking with my full load, the auto hasstlers start to congregate and by the time I am by the taxi stand there are about twenty of them and a policeman vieing for my business. I try to get a car, a jeep is available for twice the price of the minibus, so I take an uncomfortable minibus ride bouncing through Mathuria, on narrow potholed roads and polluted heavy traffic. The air pollution seems incredibly bad for a small town and I kick out one of his friends and sit in the front to reduce the pain, which is now transferred to the left shoulder and liver. God knows what is happening. We get to Brindavan and ISKON's temple and guesthouse which looks like a fairy cake and the whole town is bristling with similar constructions wedged into the general melee of chaos. White marble and fairly lavish, the temple is humming away to Krisna chants. I pay the scrawny driver 160 because he carried my bags and another boy takes them to the room, which is very spacious, almost empty, and has a large double bed. I feel relieved in a way and have a bucket hot shower. It feels like an end. I am exhausted and one eye is bloodshot. I go to the temple and watch the crowd getting worked up into a frenzy of chanting, then go to the matramandir and samadhi temple of Prabupad. I then have dinner in the Govinda restaurant, I feel like a weight has been lifted, and a tremendous sense of peace as if the fight is over. I have a thali and banana hot shake, then go to bed. I look at the staff with adoration and humility.

Mar 5

The days are moving on. I wake at about three. My liver and shoulders are hurting, should not have eaten. I still feel this sense of doom. No dreams of Krisna. I can not see how I can return to Australia and not repeat the mess I was in. I go back to sleep and awake late, it is Sunday. I bucket shower, clean up myself and the room and contemplate what to do. The liver hurts slightly if I put pressure on it. I have kind of resolved to stay here until it is healed. I feel sick and old. The room has that old sort of colonial feel to it.

I go out and take photos of the temple. I am drawn into Krisna and stare mesmorised at his statue with Parvati. I try to bring them to life, to see them as god, as the absolute, as alive somewhere and I am kind of cosmically overwhelmed by the profusion of yellow flowers, jewellery, necklaces, clothes, pictures adorning the statue which is behind bars and it seems I almost see into another planet, a boy loudly bangs the table I am writing at in the Govinda cafe, my attention is lost, the restaurant is full of Indian devotees. The power had gone off earlier in the day. Now it was back on. The chanting in the temple reaches a crescendo and I video using the camera, the largely European group playing the bhagans, all fairly oldish, certainly middle aged. Their are only a few Europeans about. Somehow the pain in my liver increases almost as if my body is reacting against Krisna. I am shoved by devotees as I try and absorb Krisna, their flower garlands in yellow and red are taken up, blessed by the priest and handed back. I walk round the inner courtyard, then out into the street and the traffic chaos to a vendor selling mp3 cds of Krisna bhagans. I return to have brunch. In the courtyard at the entrance is a store selling books. One is of the Ramayana told like a fiction story and I am tempted to buy it.

Even in the Govinda restaurant one noisy group family comes in and one of the ladies bashes my arm as she sits down. Surprisingly she actually apologises. At another table this Indian young women dressed up totally traditionally suddenly starts speaking in an upper class English accent. She has henna written in the tatoo markings on her hands, the transcendental markings, of God.

I go and sleep then wake up and go to the temple and do some internet, communicating with my mother, who sounds very upset with me, just writing one sentence. I read my letter to dad again and my diary placed on blogspot and news about Iraq and the collaps of democracy there as civil war between Shia's and Sunni's seem inevitable. I read an article in the Economist that says the Iraquis are destroying themselves, although written by that fairly right wing English magazine that tends to oversimplify situations, they had a point, unless the Shia's who have basically contro of the government give some real powers to the Sunni's and Kurds, then civil war is probably unavoidable as the Coallition begins pulling out this summer. The country may break up as factions develop supported by opposing forces in Saudi Sunnis and Iran Shiites. A split that developed in Islam about 700 AD or earlier. I then walk through the streets to the river, after a bumpy rickshaw cycle ride that does no good for my liver. I walk back taking night shots. At the river I walk through a labyrinth of the old city and its Islamic style architecture down to the ghats, and through a weave of corridors to some young men sitting on a stone block stretching into the ghat, they ask me over, but instead I take photos of them over the old palace they are in front of. I spent the next hour asking instructions back to the Krisna temple as people shout hare bol. A dog comes and stares at me as I photo in the general smell of urine and garbage on the crumbling streets of poverty here. The dog insists on being photoed unlike most I try to photo, but this one seems to really want it, I wonder if in a future life she is some glamour model. But the streets are sweeped and cleaner than most and there are some pleasant lanes lined with quiet shops where most vehicles are blocked in the old town, and I bought an expensive block of chocolate there. I still feel this sense of the Indians are trying to run me over in the street and want to lash out at the one's that do, this aggression aggravates my liver. But I am sick of being knocked off the road by cyclists, usually young boys who seem to know a very unusual form of manners. In our country doing that to someone would usually get your head punched in eventually. Whereas here it seems to be accepted as the general fun and games of excited city life. I wack one motor cyclist on the back as he passes much to his surprise.

The very last I get a rickshaw and have him take me to the guesthouse lane which is very bumpy, a mistake. The restaurant is still open and I have a samosa.

I contemplate buying a juice but they are closing now. They fill up my mineral water bottle with filter water. I try and sleep, but the liver hurts, I play solitaire on the computer until I fall asleep.

Mar 6

I wake after 9 and the liver is still hurting. I am a bit worried, but I get fresh mineral water and take the antibiotics and vitamin B as well as a swig of a fresh bottle of Ayervedic tonic. Going out walking was probably not a good idea, especially not bouncing round in a rickshaw. Also eating the fatty food like chocolate and samosa, not a good idea. Unfortunately the Krisna's love their oil. My dreams were full of violence and pain.

I pay for another night and then go to the temple and listen to the Raj Bhog Arati, which has the gates to Krisna's statues opened. The room has chandeliers in it. Earlier I walked round Prabupad's museum, where he lived here. He certainly was not living in poverty. The paint is slightly peeling on the paintings or murals on the walls. All of Krisna's various flute playing escapades in Vrindaven. His devotees increase the crescendo of the mahamantra as the fans twirl above and the devotees clap. They make a spectacle in themselves, the devotees, they rush up when the doors open in the usual stampede fashion, and one trips on my foot. A guard comes and beckons me to stand, no doubt I am breaking protocol continuing to sit and type here. The gates open to Krisna dressed in purple instead of ornage today.

I move to have lunch and end up sitting next to a French Canadian about religion, he is not a Hare Krisna, but a Greek Krisna joins in and he soon accuses us of being worse than impersonalists, maya worshipers. When I try and explain the separation from the one, he gets very upset calling me an egotist and in a way I feel he is right, for to assert this concept I have to supress others' egos. However I counter that him calling me an egotist when I am trying to describe a completely selfless state can only be asserted by someone who has no understanding of nonduality and is lost in the ego of trying to compete with their ego over anothers. They are simply weak and trying to recreate separation so they can dominate over other entities, albeit deluded as this simply is also an illusion as ultimately we simply do not exist as separate beings. That is when he starts talking to another devotee very angrily accusing us of being maya worshippers. We both leave.

I go and sleep, then get up. It is almost four and I hire an auto to take me on a tour of Vrindavan. We visit a monkey park full of runt like monkeys and pass a water pump put in my ISKON. Apparenly the park is also ISKON. The driver is a devotee. I forget my camera and we have to drive back, he takes me to a few ruins and old temples, one established at the time of Chitanya looks like a large public works brick tower. Then we move onto the river where the Yamana flows pretty limply. There are a mass of boats who want fifty rupees to take me to see the ghats I saw last night. I relinquish as we cannot drive there and float along lazily on a pont boat past the temple palaces and their intricate weave of Arabic architecture. The river has moved cutting off some of the old ghats and circular stone piers. An ancient old tree seems to be worshipped full of monkeys. He takes me back through the old town and its mix of lattice work stone balconies and modern chaos and narrow lanes. I jump off the auto to take shots as he potters along. I have asked him to go slow to protect my liver.

I pay him 75 an hour, a total of 165 which seems a good deal, he accepts it resolutely saying if I am happy he is. He is a funny little monkey of a young man who wears a turban but is Hindu and his auto is nicely appointed. I go to my room and edit my earliery diary now on blogspot and think perhaps it is too personal to be on the Internet. When I am finished it is ten and I have missed dinner which is good for my liver. I go out against the guards wishes and buy a packet of chips. Then try and sleep when I am not tired. I play chess on the Palm. Keep losing.

Mar 7

Wake at three as lights are switched on and early prayers begin. I switch them off and go back to sleep. Dream someone is trying to poke my eyes out for sleeping in. So this sleep is rather fitful, but at nine someone knocks loudly on my door for no reason and I get up. My dreams are still full of violence. The transcendental peace of the land of Krisna that I dreamed of in Rishikesh and thought was here seems to be ellusive.

I bucket hot shower and put on creams and then go to the temple to the Bhagans, Krisna is dressed in light blue today - Tuesday. An old tough looking European devotee is singing at the top of his voice quite devotedly. He is replaced by a slower more gentle Nepali looking singer on the harmonium. Some young Europeans sit beside me and on the alcove edge a woman in her thirties, also European sits in the sun. The crowd is small today. The singer is in the usual orange robes and has shaved head with pigtail at the back, like a Chinese Boxer rebel. The singing becomes rather lacklustre as the crowd fails to back him up.

I go for breakfast and start chatting about god to the cashier their in Govinda's, I am joined by another devotee from Delhi. The discussion turns on does Krisna worship the cow and is the cow a god. It appears Krisna does but the cow is not. Although Krisna is an incarnation of Vishnu, Krisna is superior to Vishnu. Kara Bajan Das is his good name.

I purchase the book translating the Ramayana into a story by Krishna Dharma. I go for lunch and meet the Greek devotee who is a musician, I get my guitar and he entertains us with George Harrison's 'My sweet Lord'. He is rough looking in his fifties and likes to entertain a crowd. He gives the guitar to me and noone listens as I play. He later complements me on the guitar as he leaves, and one of the devotees laughs and says what about him.

I spend a lot of time on the internet, synchronising the Palm and saving the diary on Yahoo. I also try and upload photos on Blogspot. I met a German woman who had just completed a Sivananda teacher training course here. I go back to the temple for more chanting, then have a late dinner meeting the Greek again and buying his CD. He had studied law like myself then became a musician. He looked like he had had a rough life.

I went to bed and had terrible pain in the liver from eating too much. I threw his CD across the room at one stage. Tried reading the Ramayana. Slept very little.

Mar 8

I had a sleepless night and was exhausted when I got up which was at almost 3 pm. I was quite weak. Could not find my Palm stylus and went to the dinning room and made them search for it, and swear to ask whoever had been at the table if they had it. I found it under my mattress in my room.

I did more internet, decided to change the web url for my blog as I had had bad dreams about my mother reading my diary. This took a long time as everything had to be put back on again onto the new site, I loaded up more photos. I female European devotee came in and then tried to get change from her 100 rupees, the Indian said she had only given 50. I did not assist her and she left very upset and then the power went and I lost everything and had to redo it all from scratch.

I was greeted outside by a terrible storm and rain. The temple service was raging inside at high pitch as devotees danced and sang to Krisna. many were covered in paint from Holi celebrations, and thinking of last time I had been in Holi, I looked on in regret.

I avoided eating, bought grape juice packaged, then later had curd. At th shop an old sardhu hard as nails approached demanding alms, he wanted a hot mild, so I obliged. He took it as of right and completely ignored me as he went off. The boy then possible as a joke tried to return my change so he kept 70 rupees, three times the cost. I purchased apricots, some chocolate and gingernut biscuits, the latter two were a mistake, still that night I read a lot of the Ramayana and felt relaively comfortable. I also had purchased Himalayan ayervedic pills for the stomach and liver.

Mar 9

I got up at about 10 feeling reasonable. Decided to spend another day here. I went to the temple and read as they chanted waiting to open the doors to Krisna's abode. I felt touched reading the passages about Rama's exile and the pious belief in righteousness that one had to follow the truth and commandments of one's elders regardless of the grief and unfairness of the orders. Somehow the temple itself brought the incredible honor and compassion of the Kings to life. Even Rama's brother, Bharada begging him to come back and refusing to accept the throne somehow related to my own family and its collapse. I had lunch of curd and plain rice with carrots and chapati. Even this was too much. I was not sure if the Krisna temple itself was attacking me as I was not meant to be here, not a true believer. My thoughts were full of my family and where to go now. Agra, USA, Pushkar, Australia, Delhi, there seemed no limit. Even a yoga teacher of the Bihar school was on offer, as well as an ayervedic massage, and I had just met Shane, a Brissie boy who had turned Hare and also had jaundice and he mentioned another Hare restuarant here that was much nicer. It all somehow seemed like illusion, that the truth was I was trapped in this body with its various karmas that were unavoidable. I had to face them and not run on and on.

I went back to my room to rest and read the Ramayana. Rama had got bored sporting in the forest with Sita and was now slaughtering Rashakas in their thousands. Battle after battle description of his celestial powers was getting more and more tedious. I fell asleep, then got up had a bucket shower. A lecture was being held in Prabupad's museum and I joined it. It was the usual chant Hare and go to godhead. I questioned his disparagement of hatha yoga and even his attachment to godhead. However he said this attachment was acceptable and yoga done without attachment to the body was good. He said people in the West tended to misuse yoga simply with the desire to look more beautiful. I avoided entering an argument, although in retrospect I probably should have as the result was that I sort out sense gratification in the form of food, which casued me suffering in my liver, the seat of anger. Before going to eat I went to the temple, where the gates were opening and the crowd was pushing in their usual unrestrained and coarse way. I left. I had finished off the ginger nuts. I went to the new Hare restaurant round the back that was very posh and served Western food in a guest house with gorgeous gardens. I had potato, salad, curd and ginger tea, but my liver still hurt, I was thinking to go to the hospital again. I was feeling a distinct lack of exercise. And an apathy that made me want to get moving again.

I continued reading the Ramayana, as Holi was descending, Ravana was enraged at his demons being destroyed by Rama and his sister being mutilated and was planning to take Sita hostage.

I was wondering how my father was feeling if he had read my letter, I was also thinking if Krisna consciousness was the way, or even Jesus. It seemed in fact that there was indeed nothing, but something. But the truth to me was seeming to be more inscrutable, less flamboyant than these tails of superheros who seemed more exaggerated stories of warriors belonging to the early Aryans who conquered north India about 1000 BC. The Rakshasas were probably some form of Barbarian race inhabiting the area. Perhaps even Chinese or Nepali. I bought some mint choc chip ice cream and the kids at the table next door looked on in envy, smiling at first, then looking annoyed. Sad more. I thought of buying them some, they looked so angelic. Italians. I was thinking the Indians probably looked at me like I was some sort of rich albino and in turn I looked on them like they were somehow brown with dirt and in need of a good bath. I could not help but feel that they somehow lacked something, some depth of character, some recognition of pain, some sense of joy that linked us Europeans. Their coarse behaviour seemed to confirm this lack of character. I remembered it in my first Indian girlfriend. A daughter of the Health Minister in Malaysia and a Sikh. Intelligent and beautiful, studying law in Melbourne, but her attitude towards other people, to the common man, was without heart, almost cruel in my eyes. A sort of ruthlessness, that put greed and self interest ahead of humanity, that I could only put down to a lack of Christ. And in the mass of Indian humanity I had witnessed here, in India for three months and many times before, the same truths seemed apparent and the same explanation for their failure to generate wealth and the discrepencies between rich and poor, seemed more and more clear. The reason why the young boys drove their bikes at you, the reason why the auto drivers hassled and drove at you, the reason why you were conned and cheated so many times here, the reason why you were told so many lies here as if they were truth, got so many misdirections, even if at the time the people meant no harm and intended good. No accuracy. And little awareness of the harm that can result from inaccuracy.

I went to the temple again and watched the ecstatic dancing, which had its beauty as the males danced, no females dancing, the loud roar of the chanting, somehow a past glory was recaptured of the ecstasy of Krisna. The guard walking amongst them with his shotgun seemed to go unnoticed by the devotees. The Indians had some of that enlightened devotional spirit and compassion that we lacked. But they also lacked what we had. A sense of integrity and honesty and a respect for personal space. An obsession with accuracy. And a passion borne from the love of a suffering crucified master who died for us.

Rama for all his gentle piousness and virtue, his fulfillment of vows unfairly made to his detriment without complaint, his living in austerity and his great warrior abilities, to me, seemed as nothing compared to the grace and sacrifice of Christ. Rama enjoyed kingly pleasures and a beautiful wife. He was ruler of the Indian world. Christ had none of these. Christ was a simple carpenter. A builder of wooden objects. Born in a stable. Poor. No grand king.

I could see why we distributed our wealth, why even our millionaires gave extensively to charity and would empty their own bins and wash their own clothes, while in India even the modestly wealthy employed servants and refused to do the most basic of these menial tasks. To them it was dirty and beneath them, their religious system supported their attitude, and this by example spread down to the common man, and the common filth that spread through India like plague. India now trully represented hell on earth, swollen with polluted filth and overcrowding, whatever had been of the past beauty and majesty of India had been lost to a system of corruption, laziness and inequity. A system that did not see the equality in man, but instead reinforced inequality and inferiority through its castes, a system that rejected the world as evil and polluted and in fact as all the senses as polluted and false, and in doing so it put no credence on making the world a better place. The result of this religion was to create a hell here, to put no value on material honesty, and hence the corruption, the lack of hygeine, the lack of public works, the lack of respect for the environment, the failure to provide welfare to the poor. The answers were so obvious. But the difficulty lay in the truth of India!

The inner search, not as highly valued in the West, in Christianity, could not be refuted, meditation, yoga, the vegetarian diet, these truths could not be ignored. The collapse of Christianity in the West because it could not adequately explain the new science developing, yet Hinduism could in a way, suggested the inner path needed to be developed in the West now, and the East had the tools to do it. And the East in turn, now desparately needed a non-sectarian Western culture and education to make it see that its rejection of materialism was wrong, and its segregation of society was wrong. It needed to develop its spiritual base to see that spirit and matter are no less equal than each other. Somehow the East, India, Hinduism had to develop a heart of equality. They had to embrace a master who was willing to die personally for them. Rama while being pious and willing to die for his country or for the gods, or for his elders, his father, his wife, at no stage was Rama ever prepared to offer his life for the common man.

Mar 10

I woke at 3 and went down to the temple but it was closed, so I meditated and went at four, a couple of Europeans were chanting and the temple appeared closed, the Samadhi shrine was open and a puja was being carried out to a large crowd. I watched this then went back to bed. I got up at nine and went to the temple where a woman was ecstatically dancing for a change. It was overcast and many of the Indians were covered in stains and powder from the Holi celebrations. I went and checked out a cheap pair of trousers and a taxi to the railway. Then went to my room and packed and read. Rama was now with the monkeys and Hanuman, whose lord Sugriva was at war with his brother, Vali. Rama kills Vali. Then as usual they all mourn the death regretting and accepting that he had to die, and that it was all due to a misunderstanding in which the brother thought the younger brother, Sugriva, had cheated him and wanted to take his throne.

I left Brindavan regretting in a way not moving to the nicer guesthouse, the taxi passed throngs of people covered in powder and we locked the doors. I had the driver carry my bag to the ticket office as he was blocked from driving to it. I jumped the queue and for once noone cared accept the ticket officer. I then carried the bag to the railway platform and a long way up to the ac carriage, which was not good for the liver. I had a short journey where I discussed the morality and ethics of the Ramayana with a computer software engineer. No TC came so I got a free ride in the ac coach. In Agra I was accosted by fighting taxi drivers. I was taken to a hotel which I did not like, gave them fifty rupees and changed to an auto, who drove me round in a circle to various unappetising places until we came back to the same hotel and I got a room there. It was called Maya, which summed up the illusion I was caught in. It was quite prettily decorated with lots of Israeli stars and only four hundred a night. I had some breakfast.

Dear Brother

I am reading the Ramayana and it is dawning upon me that I must have wronged you.

As the eldest son, the inheretance of the family naturally affords to you.

However I hope you are aware of the moral dilemna I am in.

For it appears to me that I am living a more pious and righteous life than yourself.

For instance I do not eat meat, I do not drink alcohol, I search for the truth, I avoid immoral behaviour, I do not tell lies, I do not steal and so on.

Therefore as such it is difficult for me to respect you when I feel you do not live up to these moral codes.

I tried last year to elevate you to these moral codes and was only partly successful.

However despite all this I am not happy. I am seeking God in India, but have not found him. I am seeking a wife and have not found her. I am increasingly thinking I will never find these things unless other issues are addressed.

I left and went for a walk which probably was a mistake. I felt now in a lot of pain as I headed to the Taj, but ended up walking for ages in a park and ending up at the Red Fort. I got a rickshaw back after being chased by dogs. Eventually got to the Taj. It was closed. I walked around the old slum Muslim area of cheap hotels and bought some fruit, then decided to go to hospital and get the hepatitus checked. The first place wanted a thousand for a doctor to look at me, the second was more reasonable, and when the doctor arrived he was happy to have my insurance pay directly and do extensive tests. He then suggested I stay in the hospital. I went back to Maya and had some dinner, then returned to the hospital and Dr Jaggi. I had talked to the hotel and they said he was renowned for scamming insurance companies. I tried to stay in the hospital but got bored and left. Ended up sleeping quite well in the hotel.

Mar 11

Woken up by traffic and liver still not feelling good. Went for breakfast at the grossly overpriced restuarant with very poor food below Maya. Being limited in what I could eat and the weather being poor was making for a very dull day. On top the Taj was so expensive it was not worth going unless the weather was good and you were going to get up at dawn.

I went to the hospital and got further tests. For an expensive place Jaggi Hospital was not very clean. The toilet disgusting. I discovered he owned a hotel as well. I left and went to the Taj, it was beautiful as always. _People were walking around in plastic covers on their shoes to enter the shrine to the Emperor's wife. I sat after taking a heap of photos, and admired its serenity. Inside was babble and the voices somehow echoed how I felt having lost my wife, that in fact I had never yet met. I imagined the love of the Emperor, to build this for love of his wife. This is where I left Christina, walked away from her tears on the bus. This is where I cut my feelings off, as I strode past the Agra Fort. Deadening myself to loss. All that 13 years ago.

And now I was back in the Agra Fort, with a Muslim tour guide who disliked the British. He marched me round at quick speed. Then I sat down and typed looking over at the Taj and the tour groups as I sat on the balcony of the daughter of Shah Jahan. The white marble and lattice work, would have been enjoyed just by her. Now the sounds of the traffic, the banging of stone masons, and the chatter of tourists fill the little room where she must have sat. Perhaps wandering what her brother was doing and how her father was in jail. Aurangezabad her brother had locked him up for building the Taj. And she looked over at the Taj where her mother lay at rest and must have thought that her brother was very mean.

I went here to escape and instead it is so full of people it is like a railway station. She must have felt this way when they had foreign guests. Basically ignored as an inferior woman, but imprisoned in riches.

I headed back eventually after discovering I could not go back to the Taj on this ticket for sunset, only one entry. I walked past the buses outside where I had said goodbye to Christina so long ago. An old man wanted me to take his bicycle rickshaw, so I obliged, he had lost sight in one eye. He took me slowly to an Emporium and although I did not want to go he implored me. I looked at some beautiful gold, damond, ruby rings and even some good old silk Kashmiri carpets before leaving. I then went to Pizza Hut where a large group of American students arrived. He took me to the hospital and Dr Jaggi was indisposed, they rang him and I got some more pills and paid the driver. I grabbed an auto back to the hotel. As I paid him he begged me to hire him tommorrow, so I told him the time I had to be at the hospital. His worn old face was full of desparation, he did not even fight for more money, he simply showed me one of his missing fingers so that I would remember him and his beaten up rickshaw. The tragedy of India seemed to emenate from his face to me. The entrenched poverty, the fight to survive. There were few tourists now. The Agra I remembered had always been a fight. Somehow it seemed sadder now, sicker and poorer. And here I was the ultimate hypocrit searching for god, while stuffing myself at Pizza Hut with chocolate cake that killed my liver, while my half blind old rickshaw driver sat on the road in the filth. I poisoned myself with food I could not digest at huge prices while he begged for a few rupees to survive. I had become the ugly Westerner. And why could I not share? What held me back? The enormity of it?

I went out and talked to an old Muslim staying at the hotel in broken Hindi. Then went to the shop and bought some chocolate. The conversation in Hindi continued but with English translation. I went into Maya's restaurant and bought a banana split and pepsi after a long discussion about my illness where he suggested dal. Two German girls sat at the far end and were talking and laughing with the hotel proprietor of one of the hotels I had rejected, he remembered me. But where did the truth lie? Lay? In honesty. Surely.

And somehow it came down to movement. And perhaps music, the song, the dance, the instruments. And how much one could bare?

Mar 12

The new room was quite pretty but still too noisy. For a change, because of Finnish ownership, the hotel was very clean and well maintained and decorated. Also colourful, the Jewish stars of David were in fact ancient Indian symbols with no connection to Israel. The German girls turned out to be French. I saw them at breakfast, I had porridge and toast. It was cold outside.

I went to see Dr Jaggi and was met by the auto driver from yesterday. Dr Jaggi hoped to travel to Australia. Apparently the insurance company had rung yesterday and they had said I was sleeping. I offered to talk to them today. He wanted me to stay another day for culture tests, but I said I wanted to go to Pushkar. I told him that I had really checked out yesterday and definitely today. He made me do an ultrasound then ring the insurance company, who were not very friendly, saying they would investigate the medical report before giving a guarantee. Dr Jaggi even offered to find me an Indian wife when he heard I was not married. He was very obliging and even offered me 500 rupees to cover expenses which I declined. He made me handwrite and sign a letter saying I had stayed in the hospital and was ill. I left with a lot of pills and a promise to ring tomorrow to determine if the antibiotics were right from the cultures. He had studied in the USA and seemed to have adopted their thoroughness and manner of charging. A change from the general apathy and imprecision of India.

I took the auto back to the hotel and discovered there were no trains till the evening. I went to the station by the Fort and decided the auto was too slow and uncomfortable to continue with, so paid him off and bought an ac ticket to Jaipur tonight. I walked across the tracks to a mosque in the very poor part of the city. It was three hundred and fifty years old built by Jahan and very large. However, as I walked round directed by a caretaker, he took me to a corner and asked for a donation, I said I had no money, which was pretty much the truth as I had run out. They were praying to Allah in front of a marble shrine with Arabic words.

I end up heading back to Maya then to Pizza Hut, but am blocked by the entourage of some foreign President. The roads are completely cleared. Pizza Hut is packed. Probably a sign not to eat here. I go to the upstairs area which is empty and closed because the ac does not work. They refuse to open it. I join two German girls downstairs who are leaving India and are pretty fed up. It is hard to get the timing right. A giant rabbit comes in and starts dancing with everyone to the sound of Bollywood pop. It is beginning to dawn on me, when they charge me double, that somehow I am writing my destiny. Laura emailed me back saying she was doing yoga in Rishikesh.

I got a rickshaw back, the man wanted fifty to go to the railway and I said forget it. At the hotel I went to recharge my Palm, when a man walked up and started talking to me. He asked me about my trip and about photographing the Taj and then about my camera. He asked me where my camera was and I opened my bag, it was not there. I got up urgently and he told me to sit down and not to worry. I calmed myself. He said I could have my camera back, but he would like to have a party tonight and it would cost five hundred rupees. I paid him the money and the auto driver turned up with the camera. I said please just do not spend that money on alcohol. The driver took me to the station and it turned out he was Muslim and did not drink and had not asked for money. So I gave him five hundred rupees and told him not to take any of the money from the other man. I said I had learnt a lesson about being generous when I was wealthy. He insisted I write in his book and send a letter to him. A porter came and I agreed to pay. him fifty rupees to take my bags as my liver could not take the strain. I paid him sixty. On the train I was sharing a birth with an infantry captain. We talked about Kashmir and Pakistan.

The railway journey was only marred at one station where I tried to get back on the train and was blocked by a drunk man, who insisted he worked for the Indian government and asked why I wanted to get on the train. At Jaipur porter's smiled through the window and I beckoned them in. The usual horde was waiting at the auto stand and I made the mistake of arguing about the fifty the porter demanded. I gave him thirty. The auto driver wanted to take me on a tour tommorrow and I agreed. On the recommendation of the German girls I went to Karni Niwas and got a comfortable semi-antique room, only to discover Doctor Jaggi had not returned my passport. I spent the rest of the night talking to a Queensland daughter and father in the room opposite.

Mar 13

I woke after dreams of Melbourne Grammar and Simpson being addicted to heroin. Slightly depressed I got up and met the Australians at breakfast on the balcony. The usual India anecdotes flowed. His brother was a barrister. I swallowed my small army of pills.

On the roof two American students were sitting drinking tea and I talked to them about Auroville. They were part of the sustainability study group. They thought Auroville had become discriminatory. Female village students barred from certain guesthouses on the beach and even on roads within the community. I replied that if you look for good, try and see the good, then good things start to happen, because ultimately it is your personal journey through life. I got an auto to the astrological observatory and took some photos, to discover my card was almost full and I had left my other card at the guest house. I went to the City Palace, took a photo in the museum only to be told to delete it, despite paying for a camera on entry. The red turbaned rajastanis were a ferocious lot. I went into the Palace Cafe to be told there was not a table in the ac interior and to go outside as if I was some sort of bothersome servant. The cook came up and insisted I stay inside. The entire restaurant then emptied so I was left sitting alone eating a burger costing 150 rupees. There were some old black and white photos of the Raja and his anglo-partners in crime, one standing over a dead Tiger. I have seldom seen a more evil looking collection of characters as in that photo. I could feel the burning in my stomach of the burger. I was trying to communicate with Jesus pretty unsucessfully. Particularly after the conversation with the Australians. Jesus seemed to be telling me to get a move on. But I feel I was being led on a dead end. With no joy in sight.

I left passing a mass of German and French tour groups through the art gallery and a snake charmer with his cobra who placed the snake on various tourists. The poison is removed from these snakes, so it harmlessly bit the charmer several times. I then tried to negotiate myself through the chowk to the wind palace, this was a mistake, ill as I was feeling and misdirected by the cycle rickshaw wallahs who wanted my service I roamed round like a lost sheep from corrider to filthy parking lot around the chowk, finally I got to the main road and found a photo shop I could burn a cd and thus use my camera without having to delete photos.

The wind palace was closed and an unfriendly police officer tried to stop me taking a photo of a dressed up guard outside police headquarters. An unfortunate rickshaw driver who was renting his rickshaw for 90 a day and had only made 50 rupees was desparate for my service, but declined to wait for me to take me back to my hotel. I will never really comprehend the Indian psyche. I got another man who was extremely unfriendly and took shots out the back of the rickshaw which was open, motorcyclists posed and laughed and followed us. This annoyed the driver even more who then did not want to drop me at the hotel but at the road entry. He then wanted a tip. Which I gave simply because I had ended up enjoying the ride.

I got back to the hotel and showered and got the tv to work which had two wall switches to switch on the plug on the other wall. I then switched on the ac. Followed by reading a book I had picked up here called Coorg on a Shoestring. The Aussies arrived and we went out to diner in the revolving restaurant. I had plain rice, raita and mixed vegetables, which turned out to be an oily curry that I had specifically asked not to get explaining my medical condition to the extremely well spoken and understanding matre dis.

Nevertheless as we rotated round in the dark seeing very little and passing the band of classical singers every thirty minutes, the conversation had too much become a litany of complaints about India, I was surprised that the father viewed the sari as a bunch of rags and thought they should all be in Western dress, he was an electrician, but nonetheless this piece of intolerance made me question my own negativity against India. Our conversation ran out and we left refusing to tip, though he felt very bad about it. I said tip the people sleeping on the street rather than the most expensive restaurant in Jaipur. We went for ice cream, or I did to recover from the curry and he had a coffee. His daughter was very cheery and laughed at my jokes, she worked in human resources and said she would be very skeptical of Indian applicants now. I laughed and related experiences in Australia where I had been refused jobs in favour of immigrants who could hardly speak comprehensible English and simply lied about their experience.

Mar 14

I got up and they were leaving, I asked them if they wanted to go to the Elephant procession with me but they wanted to see the Umbar fort on the hill. So I ordered breakfast which took ages despite me ringing about three times and threatening to cancel. As a result I missed the beginning of the procession.

I got a young man to take me for the day for 200. He was not happy about it and told me his father was injured in a rickshaw accident. We arrived at the procession which had already left for the stadium, it took ages to explain to the driver to meet me there. I then ran after the elephants suffering much pain but taking many photos. They were magnificently dressed with mahoots on top leading them and marching bands. Many tourists were round. Some were running round like me, one laughing at a trumpeter who seemed to be playing jazz from the top of his elephant. One red haired woman weaved in and out from amongst the elephants laughing and in awe. The driver of my auto arrived and wanted to be photographed. At the stadium I was offered an elephant ride for baksheesh. I took a very indirect backroad where the rickshaw bounced over dirt and was very painful. I tried to persuade the driver to go carefully over bumps to little avail. We had lunch at a fairly disgusting little cafe and the thali was inedible so I gave it to him and told him to take people to the petrol station's cafe near the lake, the rickshaw was pretty old and barely made it up the hill here. Stopping at one speed bump and refusing to get over it. The Amber fort is towering above and in a fair degree of pain I walked up. It was a labyrinth of undecorated rooms. There was another castle further up which I did not go to. I took a mass of photos. I persuade the driver to take me to the wind palace and quickly go through it taking shots of the crowds of traffic on the main road that looks like a mass of termites. He drops me at the elephant stadium and I tell him I will tip him based on his driving gently. He makes little effort and I ask if he deserves a tip, he wants 50 and I make him earn it, slowly doling out 40 asking him each time if he is happy and if it is fair. He is handsome boy. I feel sorry for him.

The festival is a flair of colour and pagentry bringing up the ancient and the new, satelliete TV crews and vehicles next to aged elephants and red turbaned muhoots. Camels and horses, ox carts and crowds of foreign tourists with heaps of cameras and videos. I saw the young Americans from Auroville and waved at them twice and they looked at me, then looked away. I was not sure if they had not recognised me or were deliberately ignoring me. Perhaps overhearing my complaints about India to the Australians. Or me shouting at the waiter when my breakfast took half an hour to come. I take shots walking along with the elephants and the tourists start booing me for blocking their shots from where they sit, an old tough Frenchman comes and muscles me off. He shouts at me in French. I politely reply I cannot understand French and could he speak in English. I then continued walking up the top of the arena then walked on to the field with others. They had a competition to determine the best dressed elephant. Tourists lost in a tug of war with a female elephant. Then an elephant polo match which did not move very fast. After this holi with a heap of colour as tourists on elephants threw coloured powder covering me. A Japanese covered in powder took a shot of me. Then fireworks pettered on before it was really dark. And the show was over, but a voice said just wait a while if you really want to end your suffering. I waited for a change not really knowing why, then a TV reporter for CNN IBM reporter, Ushi, came up and asked for an interview, which I gave live. A boy I had met wanted to join me, I said it was up to them, then the lights failed and then a man came up claiming in that Indian way that he worked for Star TV doing lighting and that he was also going to be interviewed, he kept on leaning on me and the reporter completely ignored him as our rather inane conversation continued, until I asked him if he was a reporter. While waiting one thing went through my mind and that was do not think negative. So I made some glib comments about this being my best time in India and having dye thrown on me by the people on the elephant was the greatest fun.

I heavily tipped the auto driver on the way back and he wanted my wallet as well. The passport had arrived by courier amazingly in a day. I met the Aussies after cleaning up and discovered they had missed the procession thinking it would be rained out, I think they were a little jealous to hear about it. I told them the story about the man up near Gangotri whose sister we had asked to marry and he became very quiet and said he wanted to go to bed.

I went to bed with CNN IBN on waiting for Jaipur's elephant festival to appear, but they did not cover their segment on the news on Holi, instead endlessly repeating a dull story on Bhang lassi in Bihar, complete with a texted list of the ill effects of taking it. Or perhaps it was Delhi. Anyway the reporter was young ultra attractive which I thought must have explained why her story ran. I finally gave up after the third repeat and watched Baywatch with its gay body beautiful appeal and a much made over David Hasselhof.

Mar 15

Slept in such that I had to rush to leave. I quickly said goodbye to the Australians and paid my bill, the owner drove me to the station. The streets were empty and shops closed, it was Devali Holi. Only paint clad, sprayed and powdered men and boys walked round with mad looks on their faces. I wanted to check the train which he insisted would be there and on time. It had been canelled, the next was in about two hours. The porter took my luggage before I could ask him to drive me back to the hotel which was not far. I thought it best to avoid a large breakfast anyway. The porter told me to pay him as I liked. So I bought an unreserved ticket and sat in the restaurant that was virtually closed. I had bought my pills from Dr Jaggi to consume, however the little brown paper bag consisted of empty packets I had already taken. Dr Jaggi and his gynocologist wife who offered test tube baby invertrofertilisation and himself who catered to foreign tourists and travel insurance companies while running a hotel on the side, the inconsistancies of India knew no bounds.

I sat in the Government of India Railways restaurant with its obligatory photos of Nehru and Ghandi, and the non-obligatory but highly praised portrait of Shirdi Sia Baba. It was clean and fairly quiet for India and had that empty sterile look of every railway restaurant in India. And I had seen many. I suppose my great grandfather had seen even more. The porter roles up forty minutes before I asked him to come and wants to take my bags, I get someone to explain to him to come back at eleven.

Throughout the celebrations yesterday, despite all the excitement I had still felt empty. As I write this a few Indians come and sit in a table opposite smiling at me as if to reassure me all is well. The porter comes when I start to look for him. He gets to the platform and tries to dump the bags in the first carriage. This is a bad sign. All the carriages have hard seats, the ac carriage is closed. I make him walk the length of the train, then ask an inspector if there is another train with ac. He tells me at 12 on another platform. Very reluctantly the porter takes my bags over the tracks to this train telling me it will take an hour longer. He then tries to dump my bags in the first hard seated coach. Finally we get to the ac and I give him fifty, which he looks at with disgust demanding a hundred. I refuse and he leaves in a rage.

The train slowly pulls off, the ac I hope will switch on and I have put the fan on and locked the door. The conductor came in demanding 400 which seemed extortionate. I pass a maharaja's train decked out in absolute luxury. It reminds me of the contrasts of India. I am at last in a first class ac sleeper by myself and somehow disappointed. The glass is tinted and dirty so difficult to see outside. I ate some chips and cheap strawberry biscuits, Mrs Bector's, Cremica, they are worth the full ten rupees. Small broken, dry and with a tasteless tiny strip of hard cream. It sort of sums up the hard nuts I have met on the streets of India. Try to say something positive. We pass Kanakpura. I think back to the Aussie, that late fifties, wrinkled up, slightly tubby, a little self confident and very much self reliant working class man. Not very tall and known to swear at times, had been Christian, now was not sure, had experienced too much hypocrisy in the church.

The landscape becomes drier and drier. Flat and stunted trees, with sharp spikes like clubs. We pass a troop train with Soviet type tanks. We are getting closer to Pakistan. Hirnoda passes by. His daughter, what can I say, perhaps more aware than he realised, reasonably well educated, a good heart, but not averse to telling someone where to go if pushed too far. Very typically Australian, probably enjoyed the good life just a little too much for her own good. A good yoga diet and routine would sort her out in no time.

The door to the compartment looked like a door to a vault and everytime I heard Indian voices my sheckles rose. It was the slow train to Ajmer. A couple of girls had got on into the second class.

Dear Father,

I feel as if another letter is required to be sent to you, my last letter I feel has insufficiently explained my situation, which has changed in the mean time anyway.

My concerns lie with the truth in fact. The mistruths that were spread during my childhood as a result of the divorce have left me with an uncertain and perhaps skewed view of events. I am not absolutely certain of some of what occurred because I have largely been informed of events by Molly.

Some events I clearly remember and have no doubt about their truth, albeit from my perspective.
Nonetheless Molly has affected my view of you.
I suspect from my last letter that you are questioning my sexual behaviour and in retrospect perhaps I should have removed those sections.
I believe that given your up bringing and social conditioning that you may have difficulties understanding my thinking.

However if you are morally judging me as improper then perhaps you are not fully aware of how drastically our society has changed.

If you still consider me to be immoral, and I tell you morality is a very relative subject that has evolved with civilisation, then perhaps you should consider your own example set to me.

You left your first wife breaking in effect the marriage vow.
According to her during the marriage she was approached by Anne Mancini who said you had approached her desiring an extramarital relationship.
I have no idea of how many girlfriends you had before or after your marriage, you have never told me.
Your second marriage was fairly short and ended in a suicide.
So your example of committment and loyalty to women set for me is not of a high standard according to Christian tradition which you profess to be.
This may explain my own problems of trust in this area, because I very much want to get married and have children. I also want to marry someone for life.
As for Jesus Christ, I feel a special connection to this person, which is very personal. How I see him may not be the way others do. It is probably existent as a result of social conditioning from my childhood. Nevertheless whether the reality of my relationship is false or true, I believe it to be positive and good.
I see him as the epitomy of the perfect loving person. Ever kind, generous and compassionate. Never hating anyone, loving those that hate him and bringing good will where ever he goes, never a harsh word and constantly gentle and reassuring. Never jealous, having no material attachments or desires. Calming those that are angry and helping those in need.

It started to rain and I was joined by an army soldier who explained to me that Holi had nothing to do with Ram, that was Duvali. In fact it was the burning and impervious recovery of Praban, by his father a king. The people were so overjoyed they threw paints. It gets cold with the ac and it cannot be turned down. I feel a sense of apathy heading to Pushka, as if I am escaping again. Into the desert, into Hindu temples and hippie pot smokers. Into memories of Josee in the past. We are almost there.

An ancient porter took my bags and I tried to get the ticket inspector to tell me how much they charged for porterage, he declined to tell me so I bargained him down to thirty. We got them out with great difficulty as a Rajput family had decided to migrate into my compartment. The porter stumbled out with his turban over his eyes and my extremely heavy backpack half on his head, he was lodged in the narrow passage and I was concerned the train was about to head off. I would have taken the pack out of compassion for him if I had not been sick. The ticket conductor was wedged between me and the exit and we were both worried about getting off. I asked him how to get to Pushkar and he replied 'I know nothing.' Which reminded me of Schulz from Hogans Heroes. For once I was miles ahead of the porter due to his age, normally they leave me behind while I try to sort out where I am or want to buy a snack. An auto took me to the bus which was an old peasant filled crumbling jallopy. The German girls from the train were on it taking their bags right to the back and hiding behind them. I remembered the road winding up the mountain hill with its arid desert landscape. We rolled down the other side and I was met by a bicycle rickshaw wallah who took me to crap hotels until I threw a mental and found a decent one, which was full, so I booked for the next day and then he took me to more crap places bouncing along hurting my liver, till I said he was fucking useless. I then led the way walking to a place that had hard rock and drugs booming, I left and he took me to the lake and a hotel that charged 2700 a night, there was a place next door for 600 that was also fairly crap but had a nice garden called the Pushkar Inn. The drug dressed boys ummed and arred about whether they had a room, with their mutlicoloured shirts until I insisted they had one. I got dressed in my holi dye covered clothes only to discover holi had officially ended at four. I had missed out on the fun and photos. I walked round the lake taking photos and then got baptised by a charlatan at one of the ghats, he tied a piece of string round my hand and threw a flower in the lake, and gave blessings to my family and zero friends. He then asked for ten euro donation, I gave him twenty rupees, which he refused to accept. He was even dressed in normal clothes, no pujari outfit of saffron and loin cloth, and bangles and beads. I told him I would normally give three rupee donation for what he had given, but was being ultra generous giving ten times normal, he took the money. I returned from the walk, where one has to remove ones shoes while being near the holy lake. Avoiding horny bulls and cow shit and bird droppings is an art. I stopped back in my room where the floor had been covered in water in the bathroom and smelt like the lavatory had overflowed, they had cleaned it up. It seemed everything was accelerating rapidly, like a speeding train and I had been in enough of them, though hardly speeding. I went to the restaurant and took photos of the night sky line of the lake. Many French were here. A pigeon shitted on me, all I could utter, was 'Holi', and an Indian dad sitting next to me with his family of girls simply responded automatically, 'Holi shit'. Most of my shots did not focus.

I got a table and an American beckoned me over. He had a mad glint in his eye was 67 and had just fallen off a camel and gotten out of hospital. He was a New Yorker, an architect now retired and showing tourists round from the Rockerfeller center, on walks of the city. He was happy, but did not make me happy. He told me it was very hard to get into America when I said I was heading there. The waiter came and I explained I had piliya and could not eat oils. I thought of ordering a sizzler and then tacos, but the American thought I was crazy, so I ordered vegetable au gratin having had enough of rice and curd. He then related his story of S11. A cloud of dust on the horizon. People crying, he had lost friends. The paranoia. The dust cloud that may have contained toxins including asbestos that could be killing people now. He worked on a hot line to locate people. I asked him if he thought it was due to karma. The conversation died out and he left.

I moved to the lake side and my dinner arrived which was a sea of oil and cheese. I had misunderstood what vegetable au gratin was. I refused to take it making a scene and called the manager explaining my illness, he was sympathetic and got me steamed vegetables and rice.

I moved back inside then ordered a banana split as all the cakes had been eaten and moved back to the gypsy girls dancing outside to the sounds of pipes and drums. They looked a motley group sitting under the tree playing. One of the girls and they must have been about twelve, swung her hips like a belly dancer, she was joined by a tourist. They twirled in the mystic mantrad way of Rajput ladies. Half with humour and half with a sort of professionalism of a performer that knows an ancient art. A car stopped and a man dropped a fork out on the verhandah, the waiter picked it up smiling. India. Enigma. The tape machine was switched on, the gypsies attempted another drum beat, but the manager had obviously decided enough was enough. But they continued over the noise of the tape. The scrawny small men began to dance with their tawny moustaches. More tourists were dragged up and into a dance as mosquitoes attacked my legs. I threw coins into the tray.

Israelis talked in the garden outside my room till I got up. I finished reading Rama's exile as Hanuman lay ravage to Lanka. For some reason, probably psychically picking up on the Israeli's hallucinogens, I saw vivid details of the battles between the monkey and the rickshasas. As one after the other, Ravana sent his generals, then brothers and sons into the attack. Till Hunuman was overcome and carried in his shrunken normal monkey size in front of Ravana. He then escaped when they paraded him round with his tail in burning oil, burning down the city as Agni, god of fire, blessed his tail with pyromaniac powers. The celestial palaces bedecked with jewels and riches beyond imagination, went up in flames, as the wild monkey lashed his tail as he jumped across the rooves.

Mar 16

I got up after reading more of Ravana and Hanuman. Sita sat helplessly as the monkeys returned to Rama in Dandaka, but in the forest they raided the honey combs and got drunk, ripping up the trees and beating up the rangers guarding the forest. I went for a walk round Pushkar and found myself looking for another hotel, as I started to look at some crumby rooms, I stopped myself and left, getting the strong intuition that I would lose the room I had booked. I returned to the Inn and had breakfast, talking to some Israeli law students. One who had now become a journalist. They were heading to Sydney to study and work.

A trolley of colonial origins and age appeared instead of the cycle rickshaw to take my bags to seventh heaven. Seventh Heaven was in a back street filled with garbage and had a sort of castle like keep, in which a small gate opened from the much larger oaken old portal. One stooped in and came upon a quiet courtyard, filled with fresh earth in which a garden might appear one day. My room was Hilly Billy and in the bottom left corner, the occupants had left and the room had no windows and received a good deal of noise from the chattering monkeys in reception. It was bedecked with small alcoves built into the walls where belongings could be placed. And had Rajastani mirrored glass pieces embedded into parts of the wall. Stained glass lights and cloth covered lamps and a curtain across an old oak panelled door completed the pink room with its enormous double bed. A large marble bathroom with modern clean brown facilities adjoined the room through another panelled door. The power went off and I headed to the roof restaurant which was filled with coaches and sofas, and pillows to flop into on each corner. A magnificent view of the old city and temples, with the jagged rocky and desolate hills surrounding. The lake unfortunately could not be seen. A storm blew up and awnings of cane came down to stop the wind and rain. I picked up a book about the rise and fall of the Raj - British India by Lawrence James - a sort of epic. Except the rise and fall was referred to as the making and unmaking, rather like a bed. But then his point was it was an empire based on trade and manufacture. Tourists lay drooped round on the couches as drinks and edibles were carried round by young and slightly hip Rajputs. The power came back on and so did hip hop music, I asked for something Indian, and Indian hip hop was put on. I looked tiresomely at the waiter and he smiled and turned it up, then the two of them did a little jig. Chess sets and a swinging sofa rescued me away from the speakers, until I decided to go to my room. They had refused to take my Holi pink covered clothes to wash, so I had attempted to wash them. My Nike t-shirt, which had already suffered rips and dye smudges from earlier washing trips, was now a shade of varying pinks and time to be desposed of. The white trousers I had bought to throw away, had suffered less and actually cleaned. That trolley in the Indian airport on arrival came to mind, and I saw the first trolley as my current incarnation, fighting to stay in a straight line, it seemed to me the abandoning of that trolley and replacement with another that went easily where directed told me that my next incarnation would be smooth. It seemed to imply as soon as I abandoned this body, my next life would be smooth sailing. And all that was required was to give up this trolley that simply wanted to go round in circles.

The hotel had several levels with each higher level getting better views and more beautiful rooms. Yoga, meditation, internet and even massage was offered. My room was a mere 350 rupees, which seemed unbelievable. The fort seemed hardly in need of leaving and a perfect place for me to recoupe my spirits and health. I arranged to transfer into a higher level at the earliest opportunity.

I showered and put on a sandal paste mud mask and lay in bed typing into the E2. The power went again. I tried the internet but it was too slow. So I went out and tried to find an internet cafe to burn another CD, it was pouring rain again and the street was flooded, I had the usual problems trying to get the Indians to do a multi-session and gave up. I then tried to find a German Bakery, but one was dirty and the other closed. I asked a turban clad old Westerner. Walked a long way up the street and back again to find it closed. I met a couple from Sivananda Trivandrum, my dorm mate, the English man, he was friendly, but put off by my negativity. They seemed to have had a great time here.

I went back for dinner at seventh heaven and bought the guitar up, but was overwhelmed by the multitude gathered up top and retired into a corner after several requests and shiftings of furniture. I talked to some English girls who had been teaching at a private school near Delhi, one was eighteen and spoke very properly, coming from a posh public school in England. She was very pretty and a little shy and had had difficulty maintaining discipline. They left and I had my Greek Krisna CD put on to avoid the guitar. It sounded like Santa Claus hotel music to the mahamantra, with one piece close to emulating Krisna and Beethoven's ninth. I tried to explain Krisna to an English couple.

Mar 17

My stomach was under attack probably from the sizzler I ate. I slept therefore very badly, I was reading a combination of Ram's army attacking Lanka in phantasmagorical force and manner, and the English being attacked by Ghandi's Quit Indian campaign as the Japanese invaded. Rail tracks, stations, telegraph lines, police stations, court houses were attacked and destroyed, at least two thousand died as troops were deployed as the police forces in Bihar disintegrated, for six weeks in August and September 1942 the Raj and indeed the entire world stood on the brink of a truly fascist world.

I had finished my antibiotics. I got up and showered and went back to bed getting up again at twelve. I spent the rest of the day lying in the roof top restaurant, playing guitar and reading about the Raj. I gave a basic lesson to Kubli, the waiter, who was ever grateful.

This time I was reading about the beginnings, Clive and the Company, the expansion from Madras and the expulsion of the French. The alliances with the Marathas, then the taking of Bengal using and usurping various Nawabs, Sarif was one. Then the profiteering in trade, the corruption and extortion by company forces, the taking of the Imperial Mughal Emperor. The powermongering of the company in England, having 46 seats in the Commons by the end of the 18th century and its eventual battle with parliament and its partial usurpation by the crown and the beginning of the force of law in India. Pitt was too entwined with free enterprise and property rights to overthrow the Company and initially the Whigs' India bill was rejected by the Lords and George III dissolved parliament calling an election, Pitt changed sides and so a compromise was had with a government executive Board of Control and Company directors ruling India. For instance in Bengal and Bihar and Orissa, when the Company took it over the total tax revenue was estimated at 33 million pounds in 1765, in the space of five years Bengal was in famine and its revenue to the company down to 165,000 pounds. The company was in trouble and had to borrow to cover its expenses. The loot was bought to England by the likes of Hastings and others, who bought parliament seats and a form of aristocracy, that threatened the British character of freedom and honor, not to mention the pomposity and position of the landed gentry. Rascals were considered to be entering the club. Needless to say a play was produced about the Nabobs of England and shortly thereafter Clive of India suicided.

The English girls came and sit down near me. I ordered a pizza which took ages to come and probably justifiably, to give me a chance to cancel, because it was covered in oily cheese, I ate it.

I talked to the younger one, about India's exploitation of India, she seemed unaware of it and when I said I felt guilty as my family had been part of the Raj, she said why should she feel any guilt for something she had not done. I replied that I had heard that argument from young Germans about WWII and was not convinced. The collective conscience of your nation and its past does matter in how you construct policy for the future. Our conversation ended.

I went to bed.

Mar 18

I read in bed till 12, changed rooms to the next level. Met the Englishgirls who as I expected ignored me. Went to the roof for brunch. A few books were in the room, I took one by Abid Husain called the National Culture of India. The Dravidian culture was extremely old and the Indus valley civilisation at least five thousand years old. Developed in India and not transported from Sumeria, though trade may have occurred between them. Cotton was used long before other civilisations. Ornaments and bronze use was quite sophisticated. Roads, canals, urbanisation, councils, civic structure and even a form of language in pictographs was written.

He generallly considered them to be Astrians coming from the West, and the latter Aryans bringing Vedic culture as absolutely from the West, most likely Central Asia or East of the Urals. Meanwhile Rama and Lakshmana were being bound by mystical arrows from Indrajit that acted like snakes.

A German truck driver working in Lucerne came and went with his Israeli girlfriend. He reminded me Another Israeli I had seen yesterday joined them. Kubli, the waiter had taken away my guitar.

I went down to my room and sat on the verhandah where some girls were lazing in a swinging sofa on the other side. Stares were exchanged. And I had the distinct feeling I had been here before, in some colonial outpost garrison, where a life of apathy and boredom lended itself to the climate and culture. Some work was done and a good deal of loafing about in couches being served upon, with the fairer sex having ventured to India for a husband, exercising an even lazier perogative.

'Ap kaise hai?' I asked the waiter.
'You speak Hindi.' he replied.
'Kripya mujhe ek coca cola dijiye.'
'Bahoot dhanyavad.'
As always they turned up the stereo when I was trying to read or switched it on as I picked up the guitar, there was something about India, that seemed unexplainable in its incompetence. Like signaling the waiter many times and his refusal to come over, or countless times simply walking straight past without surveying the customers to determine if anyone wanted service. The inordinant amount of time it took to serve food. Usually I simply gave up, learning to smile produced better service or at least made the process bareable. Still it was a relief to be locked up in this fortress to recover for a few days, before my next sortie began.

Napier was in charge of Company forces invading Sind, basically Pakistan. Though they were pretty much subservient to the Company anyway, they had got uppity after the disastrous Afghan campaign of 1839 against Dost Muhammad which had seen company politicals overcome in playing the Great Game, vice and bribes proved too costly to sustain and when reduced under the auspices of the corrupt and licentious puppet Shah Shuja, the Company men such as Macnaghten and Burnes, it seems naive Scots, were in the former case simply murdered. The shah for instance used his telescope to spy out suitable women for his harem who would expose themselves on the roof tops of Kabul's houses to do their laundry. The nerve broke in the sepoys who made a disastrous retreat from Kabul to the Khyber and were completely wiped out. The rest of the force remained stuck in garrison towns such as Khandihar, famous now as the HQ of the Taliban.

'Ap ka kya atcha nam hai?'
'Mera nam James hai.'
'Ap kya karte hain?'
'Main adhyapak hun.'
Kubli was trying to appease me, I had heard him trying to play my guitar where I had left it in the restaurant. I took it downstairs and attempted to tune it, I still did not know how to tune properly. Then played and sung some music to the girls opposite, the Australian woman had a room next to mine and came, I was inspired by her to try Hare Krisna, then some Christian hymn pop songs. She left, came back and stopped for a second, then went and I faltered. It seemed enormous power was required to maintain zeal.

I went to my room and read more of the conquests of the Raj, this time in 1845 in the Punjab against the Sikhs modern army of 60000. It was a bloody affair, but the odds were stacked against the Sikhs whose general knew the outcome, still he inflicted 5000 casualties on the Company. Tej Singh realised he was no match for the likes of Gough, the British Commander who was of the old school of the Penninsula War, who believed in frontal charges and cold steel and wore a massive white conical turban. Brave as lion but with no headpiece remarked one officer and Anglo-Irish to boot.

The Governor Generals of India seemed to arrive through one door and be out the next as the Company and Parliament threw them out for keeping on having wars and expanding territory and spending too much. Hardinge was no different from Ellenborough, despite being Tory and professing to bring reform and education and railways. At the first opportunity he attacked the Sikhs' Khalsa Army for crossing the Sutlej River.

But two years later the Sikhs rebelled. Gough was unfortunately sent back, his rough and ready tactics were not so effective this time. He lost a quarter of his force in the first battle at Chillianwala which was a stalemate, sections actually broke and not just the sepoys. His next battle he followed the text book instead of charging and routed the enemy. But Gough was finished as a general.

Technology, strategy and tactics, but mainly good leadership and steadiness in battle combined with bravery and plenty of money provided an ability to win while massively outnumbered. In the end 250000 largely Indian troops held 150 million people.

I went outside to the gypsy dance at Sia Baba's but even as I began to walk there confusion enveloped and I knew I was being misled. The cows here rule the roads, I noticed if your walking they never get out of the way. I bought fruit and bittersweet chocolate and returned for a simple thali and talked to the Austrian girls who had listened to me playing earlier. One seemed interested, she worked in the stock exchange in Vienna. An athiest. She sort of ran away after an interesting conversation on religion and Indian poverty. Like most of the women drawn here, very attractive and demure. I returned to my room and continued with the Raj and its analysis of the officer gentleman whose integrity and gallantry ruled India, one of the company the other of the government.

Mar 19

Strange dreams of headless soldiers haunted the night. Perhaps they had come to visit stirred up by my delving into the past. Rajput warriors and sepoys, the odd British soldier curious to know who wanted to find out about their blood soaked past. Perhaps Ajmer had been a battle ground. The siege of Arcot in 1751 defeating the French and Chandra Singh despite being caught in a hostile city and outnumbered ten to one, with a Maratha war chief's help he turned to the offensive, the victory thus sealing the fate of Karnataka, was the sort of epic Clive created in India which set the tone for his officers to come. The black hole of Calcutta served as a reminder to the officer if he failed in his duty, gave any quarter, or worse surrendered to a cruel, ruthless and cowardly enemy.

I played more guitar outside the room. People came and went, the Austrians ignored me, the Australian smiled. Chord change and strumming patterns needed improvement. Particularly finger picking. I could only get an up down pattern. I headed to sixth sense on the roof. MnM was playing to the English girls, I asked them to switch it off when they left. The cafe was getting too hot in the middle of the day.

I continued reading about Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington's fearlessness, musket volley followed by the beyonet, leading from the front, and rallying the troops when times got tough. 'Disregard death without despising it... he looks around cheerfullly, orders and directs everything within his charge, and electrifies his subordinates in that noble spirit that animates him.' Sounding very like Bill Gates; or American corporate spirit has somehow drawn upon the Raj's military history. After all Clive was a product of a time when America was a British colony and stories of his dare to do must have permeated American colonial folklore.

Wellesley looted his way through the Maratha principalities, although he disliked the Company's management and officers in India who he considered retailers without integrity. Individual looting by soldiers was severely punished by the Company, however prize money was an accepted part of an officers pay and to be fair Wellesley had more integrity than most often refusing to take his share. However he came to India to fight and conquer, despite Company policy to contain. This he did attacking and wiping out Tipu of Mysore at Seringapatum in 1799 who was arming himself with French help with modern weapons. Fear of republicanism was enough to persuade parliament and the Company to support him. The Marathas followed in Wellesley's path of conquest. Until he was recalled for bankrupting the Company with 30 million pounds of debt and a bogged down war in the north. Still he had doubled the Empire's size and made it in effect the ruling power in India.

The Austrians and English girls left. I took the English girls room, they had left early, it was probably the best room in the hotel. A view looked over a distant mountain top temple and Rajput art work decorated the room. I fell asleep on the four poster bed. I headed up to the lounge chairs, red silk on the marble tiles. I was handed a newspaper pointing to the fact India had won gold in shooting. I wondered if psychically the waiter had picked up on all the battles I had read about between the British and the Indians, well in fact the British ruled Indians and the Indians, who in fact at the time were not Indians, because no such state existed, it was a collection of many countries, probably similar to renaissance Italy. He is a straight shooter as my father would say. No doubt my father considered me a very poor shot. I still was not prepared to go outside.

Most Indians I have met are only too proud to profess how India destroyed their country and that is why they are so poor today. That may be true for much of the wealth of India was sucked out of the country and in effect deposited in Britain. However this soon changed as Britain developed a social conscience of sorts and attempted to build the country up once they had control of it. How much of a flea bitten rat hole it was prior to British arrival in 1700 remains questionable. It certainly was in a state of civil war, with the rich very rich and the poor very poor and subdued. Were the poor living in filthy conditions as they do today? By most early accounts of Europeans it seems likely, though accounts of the tax revenues generated prior to British rule they may not have been as poor relatively as they are today. Certainly democracy never existed beyond the village level except in the south and this was generally only an advisory body that was elected. Otherwise it was largely feudal prior to British conquest. Still the elements of democracy, sophisticated culture, art and religion existed in India which is probably why a corrupt form of democracy has survived. Was corruption less under the British and were the cities cleaner, was wealth spread more evenly back then? Probably less than one would like to think. Judging by the failure of rationing introduced in WWII corruption was very wide spread below the British administration. Would India be richer if it had held off on independence another thirty years? My feeling is definitely yes, Britain set Hong Kong, Singapore and Malayasia up as power houses in Asia when transition came more slowly and orderly. Certainly India has not controlled its population and it still suffers severe poverty, inequalities in wealth and lack of a proper welfare system. Perhaps worse is it cannot properly clean its streets, make proper roads or footpaths and regulate buildings nor even teach many of its people basic hygene such as how to clean a toilet and the majority of the population still go to a temple and worship a cow, lingam or statue of a god very much as ancient classical civilisations did in the West, such pagan beliefs were burned at the stake in the middle ages. India emersed in computer technology, mobile phones and Western style shopping malls, cable TV and modern cars has somehow, as usual, sidestepped the basics of modern civilisation.

Still the Raj left India with only 8% literate according to James in his Epilogue. Largely because it concentrated on educating the elite to a high standard while ignoring the rank and file. For instance no state primary education program was introduced by the British according to Husain. In 1991 51% were literate. Husain blamed the British for the Muslim League's demand for Pakistan, suggesting that they had conspired with sectarian elements to divide Muslim against Hindu using agents to start violence in the villages and streets (page 131), but Husain's real gripe seems to come down to the British failure to stop Congress from disenfranchising the Zamindaris from their property rights over poor How far Husain's analysis of events can be taken seriously, he was a devout Muslim, is questionable, however he reveals a sadness amongst Muslims that India split and in effect pushed Indian Muslims down the hierarchy from once rulers to ruled by Hindus. He seems to then get carried away in blaming the British for this, as a convenient scapegoat who is no longer here so cannot defend wild conspiracy allegations, similar to another theory currently going round amongst even quite intelligent Muslims that Bush directed the planes into the WTC as an excuse to invade the Middle East. Rather than accept Muslim division, greed and arrogance for their own demands for separation blame it on the British who went to inordinate lengths to keep India together, for instance simply by not abandoning the mess a lot earlier. He has hardly a good word to say about British industrialisation, saying it was on a small scale relative to population that were forced in effect to buy British and agricultural production was backward producing uncompetitive poor quaility produce which the British made little effort to reform, thus overall India was kept in poverty. Other modern institutions such as banks were largely run by British and used as tools to keep money under their control and invested in England. Labour law was virtually non-existent, money lenders and fuedal land lords, combined with heavy taxing kept peasant farmers in a virtual form of serfdom and in effect uneducated poverty (p. 111). Husain's book needless to say was sponsored by the American Rockerfeller Foundation and written in Germany, he was a professor of philosophy at Jamila Millia from 1926-56. He must have been a direct recipient of Anglo racial superiority hence may lack objectivity. However the reality was that Britain left India a poor not a wealthy country. However he glosses over the fact that India accounted for 3.4% of world trade at Independence and this dropped to just over 1.5% by the 1970s. India without a doubt became relatively poorer after Independence and largely due to Ghandian isolationist socialism. Railways and industrialisation, hospitals, universities. rule of law, democracy and a strong army were the British legacy. Perhaps also social reform of the caste system and equal rights and humanitarian laws were a result of British rule as well, without them would those practices be still continuing as Islamic law remains unchanged in Saudi for instance.

If India had been left as China, a free market for foreign investors, to trade with but not politically control, in effect to leave them to work out their evolution, would it be richer and more socially developed now, as for instance one may argue China is? From a purely capitalistic view point I would say 'yes' even despite balkanisation and lack of stability in terms of law and order, and warfare. The drain of resources, culture and pride due to the conquest meant the internal dynamism of capitalism, self interest, was punctured in India by colonisation. This force produces wealth and equality and creativity at far greater levels even, I believe, if there is less law and order than the effects of servile peace. Europe itself is an example of this, disparate countries constantly at war yet advance they did on their own and this pride in each little parochial country was a prime motivating force, later known as nationalism. However India by the same token may like China, have become less of a democracy as a result. Or more likely ended up as a mass of different countries. I suspect somewhere at the level of Thailand now, probably with the majority having a constitutional parliamentary monarchy with a few military dictators thrown in. Britain was the wealthiest most powerful nation in the 19th century and it is unlikely it would have achieved this without the booty and pride of rule it got from India. The massive injection of wealth into the country may have propelled the industrial revolution there. The mixing of cultures that produced the ruthless, cunning nouveaux reche nabobs in Britain with ideas foreign and above their postion, may have germinated the seeds of the greedy and ruthless industrialists that Britain produced. This is all speculation and by the same token if Britiain had simply traded with others in a free trade zone of India, Britain's fall from grace may not have been so heavy; as apathy from easy wealth withdrawn dogged England after its Empire collapsed, such that from producing the best goods it became somewhat of a socialist joke in the 1970s.

Dear Laura

It seems strange I should move into a room, that appeared so attractive, with a view of a temple on a hill, adorned with antiques, yet ultimately was wrong and acquired due to a cancellation. The room I had booked was eminantly more suitable, with desk, more colonial, quiet, off the street and practical. Not as grand on the surface, but simply better, even a better mattress. More comfortable in a word. In fact in the room I took I had sleepless night, nightmares and bedbugs combined with mosquitoes. It was such a full on frontal assault to the senses I felt caught in a dilemna. To ask the staff to change my room again, for the fourth time or put up.

Mar 20

After that bad night I woke up at almost 11. Cleaned up the room and went for breakfast. Clouds of powder were being thrown as a band played in the streets. I went down into the streets and got a bad feeling. Powder was everywhere and groups of powder and paint covered youths. I watched tourists taking photos of the aftermath and small children coming up to them and throwing powder collected from the street despite the tourists protesting angrily. I decided to head to the safety of the ghats, then went back past an open air latrine where a drunk Indian was pissing. It was an omen. On the main street one of the small boys approached me and I clearly said no and he threw, I slapped him across the face. This was probably a mistake because several drunk Pushkans came up to me yelling, in some respects I felt like just taking them on, I made the mistake of arguing and one of them slapped me across the face and told me to go, I left. I walked off in the opposite direction to the hotel, then attempted to head back, fortunately they did not reapproach me although I was considering getting the police who were out in force.

It was an unpleasant experience, and pretty well summed up holi and in a way the Indian mentality and perhaps the Western. Underneath the seeming tranquility and gentleness of the Indians was a rather insensitive mischievous streak that when offended was extremely violent and behaved like a pack animal. I knew from many stories of groups of Indians beating up foreigners, fairly badly, if the foreigner used any violence or even foul language. Certainly no other Indians came to my aid and plenty were around. So there is no group control as in the West, though this is changing in the West. Holi seems to easily turn from fun into violence and probably brings the worst out in a lot of uneducated poor. Probably it is really not a very beneficial festival as it stands for the country. And in the case of the unfortunate child I slapped was simply following his drunken father's poor role modelling. I must admit to feeling rather satisfied with giving the young whelp a slap. Although in truth it was his father that deserved it for failing to control the boy. Still it gives further insight into me and other Westerners, that we will knowingly place ourselves in dangerous positions out of curiosity and then be indignant when we are drawn in to festivities that we would prefer to just observe, and when attacked in a mild way use violence to get a message across that we are not really part of this game or culture. The response from the foreign culture is far more aggressive and immediate, almost as if it is an excuse to settle perceived scores of inequality. In effect I got off lightly. Secular violence at the drop of a religious hat seems to evidence this underlying barbarism in India. One million died on Independence a mere sixty years ago. September 11 is probably global evidence of the same underlying theme. Lord Mountbatten I am sure thought simply leave them to it and get out asap. He certainly seemed to take delight in humiliating the Newabs by forcing them to join newly independent India knowing it was signing their deathnell, almost like he was taking revenge on the protection they had garnered from Britain to lead a life of indolent luxury. As if he had despised them for their pretence at Royalty, which he may of considered disparaged aristocracy through accepting weak men into it, albeit in India. But then being a leftist Royal of German parents appointed by Atlee's Labour party to dispose of India without embarrassment immediately after the war, when civil wars were breaking out all over the Empire and the public were sick of fighting, the Americans were insisting on decolonisation and the War itself was justified to save democracy and give people the freedom of self determination which was being enshrined in the newly formed United Nations, perhaps Mountbatten can be forgiven finally for bringing forward Independence and grossly inadequately securing the state against sectarian violence against all advice from his Brtish Indian administration. Lawrence James believes he was so concerned in his own status and wanting to impress Congress in particular Nehru and Atlee, that he blinded himself to reason. He directly intervened breaching the separation of powers in drawing the border to include the canals and bridgehead of Firazopur in India. His rapid timetable left Kashmir unsure where to go and resulted in civil war and its division that has plagued the sub-continent ever since. Most would probably describe Mountbatten as a simple naive and well intended fool, who just did the bidding of his masters as hastily as possible and rather badly. Rather like a school boy at Eton who professing a holier than thou humanitarianism has been asked to organise a gymkarna at some rather slovenly lesser school, once getting there and seeing what it is really like, wants to get it over and done with as quick as possible, not really caring that much about the outcome.

Still there is a growing movement amongst the intelligensia in India to significantly modify holi and this has occured already in a few states where public paint throwing is outlawed - as usual in south India.

I am considering emailing Laura. Feels heavy. I go up for dinner and meet the Belgium photographer from Nasik. She had a great time there and is now a yoga teacher. I feel tempted to ask if I can join her travelling. She goes and the owner forms a group and I talk to one of them who looks like an ex-Rock singer. He invited me to his school for poor beggar children. They light up joints. The owner plays chess, his girlfriend, the young French woman, looks on. The other friends all look like ex-hippies and seem to be French in their fifties.

Dear Laura

God knows this feels wrong, but I have no choice, the alternative is procrastination, and the truth is I am getting old at 41. I feel doubtful that you could be interested in me, however, if by some remote chance you are, then come to Pushkar and let us get married here. It sounds absurd, but there could be worse things in life, like being alone for a long time and never having children. I think you would probably grow to like me and maybe we would live happily ever after. I am a pretty difficult person on the surface, but all heart underneath.

Mar 21

I had a hell of a night. I woke up feeling as beaten up as before with huge line under my right eye and marks there from the bed bugs. The mattress was so bad I had to get into my sleeping bag.

I am waiting for my neighbor to wake up so I can convince him to change rooms. He refused. A Brazillian called Casio, he wanted the desk to write at. He was slightly overweight quite good natured about twenty eight and a gringo. I called him Castro to begin with. I then went and booked his room for the next two nights. Persuaded the staff to change the mattress and felt where on earth should I go, because this place no longer felt right. I had gone outside and just looking at the outside of the other hotels in the street was enough to send me back. Pushkar was feeling like a mistake. I had breakfast in my room and tried to work out what to do. The ginger lemon hot water was weak. My liver was feeling much better. However I was feeling tired from lack of proper sleep. The waiter last night had mentioned an ashram of cows near his village run by a holy man who did not speak English. He suggested I go there, apparently Sonia Ghandi had opened a section of it years ago. The meeting with the Belgian woman had depressed me. I had the feeling I was going to be stuck in this beautiful room another night. Irony of ironies. Whatever increase in consciousness that was meant to be gained had not occured.

I talked to the owner, Anup, who suggested airing the mattresses in the sun, this was done. My suspicion was I was in trouble. I went for a walk to the temple on the hill and checked out some crummy hotels, then ran up to get some exercise, this was not a good idea. My liver started to hurt again as I came down. It was the middle of the day and I had no water, the photos I took were washed out by the bright light. I returned to the town taking a look at Lake View Hotel and feeling how did I get out of here, I gave a sardu a chocolate bar and he was unimpressed, a gypsy boy with a one string sitar then harrased me. I bought some fruit, realised I had left my water behind, went back and got it. The internet cafe was down. So I returned to the hotel, where the internet was being used by the French girl. I went for lunch.

Some Germans, a guy working for Seimans from Munchen were up there. I did not feel much like talking nor they. Lunch took ages to come, but was reasonable. I retired to my mattressless room and read more of Ravana sending out endless generals into battle to be annihliated by monkey heros. Prahasta and Nila were the last to fight as rivers of blood flowed, arrows darkened the sky and monkeys hurled crags and trees as well as even the occasional mountain peak, which usually split the demons head open. Husain (p.33) makes mention of the Ramayana, saying it may well have occurred about 1000 BC between two Aryan principalities in north India, Lanka not being Sri Lanka. That the monkeys may have been local aboriginals. I wonder if the Rakshasa demons were in fact a Dravidian civilisation, as it appears they are made out to be of a dissimilar racial stock to Rama and from the south, more ugly and barbaric than themselves, but still civilised with cities and weapons. Perhaps a mix of the two races. Ravana is described as having ten heads and twenty arms, reddish eyes, dark skin, big looking like a five hooded serpant. The Dravidians were dark skinned, but quite small. Rewriting of the oral story with embelishments may have distorted it and added in elements from other later wars actually against Sri Lanka.

The British soldier was short, mostly a drunkard, coming from lower and criminal classes. They were paid fairly low wages and got a minute share of the booty compared to officers. Four pounds for taking Bharatpur was a large sum in the early 1800s as prize money. A quarter got venereal diseases and sixty per cent were affected by cholera, maleria and other tropical diseases particularly sunstroke, which led to many offensives being forestalled till Winter. Still he fought well and obeyed. He was supported by musket with high fire power and horse batteries, again rapid firing six to nine pounders. Most Indian armies were medieval affairs in tactics and arms, matchlocks, lances, armour and even spears and bows, often followed by courtiers reciting epic and flattering poetry. Artillery was virtually immobile and slow firing, often without proper sighting and even levers for ranging. Later more and more modern weapons and European merceneries came, but they were poorly used due to bad training and an inability to understand modern tactics. Officers were not independent commanders as the prince usually ran the battle from his elephant, thus manouvers were static and simple, leaving little room for individual initiative, hence once lines cracked the whole mass usually retreated generally led by the prince on or off his elephant. His supplies were carried in, in large quantities on baggage trains, unlike Indians who tended to range off the locals. The company always paid its debts and very rarely ran out of money due to its efficient and honest tax collecting and raising money from home. District officers collected intelligence from informers, which gave accurate on the whole information, largely because the Indian princes maintained little secrecy. British traders, diplomats and explorers gave accurate assessments of areas not under their control and in effect were spies. Furthermore Indians at almost all levels were only too happy to assist them if paid, they displayed little loyalty to their rulers, largely because the rulers were Muslim conqerors, but even amongst the Hindu Rajas there was little loyalty, perhaps because the average Indian was so grossly exploited by them and considered inferior to the extent of being regarded as virtually an animal who was required to worship his master. The British may have been seen as more reliable, honest and fair; combined with a Vedic belief that the fair skinned ones were the lost tribe of divine Aryan rulers sent by the Gods. Certainly some Hindus were describing them as fallen Brahmins reincarnated in England. This belief encouraged many merchant Hindus to embrace Britain and its dress and culture, so developed the Westernised Oriental Gentleman or wog for short. The Company certainly played on the fact that it was emancipating and protecting the people from despots, and spread this propaganda in Britain and India, often through massive paintings such as Robert Home's work in 1797 on the Mysore Wars where on defeat the enemy Sultan Tipu's kids are welcomed with open arms by Governor General Cornwallis. All these factors led to British victory.

I went upstairs after the mattress was replaced, judging from the way the elderly man was looking at me, I thought there may have been a possibility of an Indian mutiny. I headed up after lazing on the bed reading further about the English officer. Then headed up for a game of chess with the owner. I pushed my pawns ahead and took his knight, which he had advanced too far in, then his gradual advance of foot soldiers bit into my undefended pawns. From then on I was on the back foot and he graduallly attritioned me down, as I made stupid mistakes, cluttering my forward centre with too many horse and bishops. Too many pawns were lost. His castles finishing me off.

One of the oddest ceremonies the Aryans introduced was Ashvamedh. A royal horse was let loose surrounded by the army, the horse then wandered freely for a year, wherever it went could be taken by the army, unless the horse was captured or killed. At the end of a year it was sacrificed in the capital. One can imagine that occasional prompting was given. The Aryans seem to have been influenced by the Dravidians to assimilate their collection of Middle Eastern gods such as Mitra, Surya, Indra and Agni. From nomad to agriculture farmer to urbanisation, Husain thinks the written language developed about the time of the Upanishads was a script introduced from Mesopotamia (p.34). The Aryans while protecting their racial superiority through creating the caste system, maintained their ritualism, but began incorporating Dravidian asceticism and meditation, concepts of unity and truth, self realisation which became part of the Rig Veda were further advanced in the Aranyakas. The gods were aspects of nature, the universal spirit creator, preserver and recreator. Vishnu became the all powerful symbol of this spirit.

Synchronicity or the interconnectedness of all things. Realisation of this was self realisation - enlightenment. The couple that joined me, I usurped to take the light at another table. Pull out a pair of dice, lose one, find it, start playing. Life in this respect becomes a mirror reflecting different aspects of the greater self - god as unity, non-separation, dissolution of self ego to non-self to in effect become god, as self is no longer there. One's identity, personality is dissolved and one sees oneself as a totality of universal consciousness whose only duty is to fulfill the divine play. The Bhagavad Gita outlines in detail the process. The German working for Seimans arrives and ignores me, his girlfriend comes and waves hello. Then a French middle aged comes and sits down next to me. Atma the true self is the inner reality and Brahma the outer universal spirit of phenomena. Subject object duality. Relationship between the two, the action or verb. Obeying the action is duty. In other words the stiff upper lip of 'knowing one's place' as the Brits referred to it. The Rig Veda began the discourse probably three thousand years ago.

Chandogya describes atma, the true self, is that free from all material phenomena, is perfect, pure and desires what it should desire and thinks what it should think. It is not stated as renouncing all desire and stopping all thought. It is simply seen as universal consciousness. It cannot be the body, nor even the mind because these are subject to change. The gods in the form of the Dravidian Prajapati gradually convinces the Aryan Indra, perhaps in an attempt to stop beating him up.

Brahma is the source and the end according to the Taittriya. Pran is the life principal but this is not Brahma, as consciousness exists beyond life. Brahma is unchanging in the flux of phenomena. It is beyond perception, and even pure reason, as this logic requires subject and object, thus is inherently caught in duality. Ananda, pure bliss, is Brahma and can only be realised intuitively. This is absolute reality contemplating itself, as Brahma meets Atma. Universal being meets universal consciousness. External absolute coincides with eternal internal consciousness.

A cat sat on my lap and meowed, settled itself there until I started to type, almost as if it recognised ananda. And the rest of the group in the restaurant all focused on the cat on my lap as couples luxuriated in various loving reposes on the devans. The cat shifted to another couple, she was lying in her lovers arms, it then moved to the French girl next to Anup. And sat there.

I went to my room very slowly trying not to break the divine energy, however somehow it slipped slowly away. I read for hours about the Mutiny, then slept dreaming violent dreams of time machines and my brother, vortexes, television monitors, umbilical cord like objects that sucked into ears and took over the human mind, communications from the future to the past, somehow Simla appeared and Melbourne. The Raj must have been etched in my mind, as Sepoys rebelled one after the other, regiment after regiment, as terrified officers tried to rally their men and were killed. As others fled into cantonments, were sieged such as in Cawnpore, negotiated a retreat down the river and were massacred, the women and children eventually butchered and shoved down a well. Nana Sahib, a disenfranchised nobleman of Bithur seemed to have personally orchistrated the massacre. The ailing Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah was enlisted in Delhi to command the insurrection. Some officers, such as Colonel Pierce of the 6th Light Cavalry at Nasirabad, slept with their troops and moved their wives into native quarters to try and hold their regiments, it did not work, but their lives were spared.

All because of a vastly new and more powerful rifle the Enfield. Why? Rumours started about the cartridges being covered in pig and cow fat. Intolerable to Muslim and Hindi alike. And untrue. In fact it was spread by disenfranchised officers and nobles who had joined the Sepoys. The byproduct of the Company's conquests, and in particular arose from relatives who had lost kingdoms, because unless there was a direct line of heirs, their kingdoms forfeited to the Company. The Nawab of Awadh had in fact lived as a British gentleman, adopting housing, customs and entertaining the elite of the Company, yet had been subject to such an order. The British had become much more aloof and arrogant in the 1800s as more government employees arrived with clergyman to convert the heathen. Increasingly the Indians were regarded as inferior and to be ruled and changed; social reform laws Hindus and Muslims genuinely felt were threatening their religion and mass forced conversions to Christianity were feared. The officers as a consequence had lost contact with their troops, including most not even learning their language, the father son relationship was now disparaged and no intelligence was gathered as to the moral of the soldiers. Ironically the rebellion occured just when India had been all conquered, the realisation that there was no longer an enemy kingdom to fight may have caused the sepoy to realise he had in fact conquered himself under a foreign religion, race and culture, who clearly thought he was inferior.

Regiments were already being disbanded for refusing to take the cartridges, under armed British soldiers with cannons. The final straw was delivered by Colonel Smythe of the 3rd Bengal Cavalry at Meerut. He was determined to get the natives to take the cartridges. He arrested and court martialed a group of his skirmishers for refusing to take the cartridge. Sentenced them to ten years hard labour as an example to the other regiments. The regiments mutinied on 10 May 1857, released the prisoners and began slaughtering all Europeans. The fool failed to maintain an armed British guard on the regiments. Then failed to use British soldiers there to stop the mutiny once it was in progress. The British in a word were taken by surprise.

In Lucknow rather than disband the regiments, the British retreated into fortifications with the Sepoys not even in rebellion and perhaps bemused as to what was going on. However once they did rebel there was no real leadership to tell them what to do. So they remained fairly static, giving the British time to muster troops from overseas and other parts of India. 130,000 Bengali Sepoys were on the Ganges plain. And one by one they were going up against their masters. Village districts were rebelling as well, particularly the ryot farmers raiding the money lenders and zamindar landlords. The peasant farmer was effectively kept in constant debt by a combination of rents, taxes and borrowing.

Some Rajas remained loyal, but often not their troops as happened in Gwalior. The Punjab was probably saved by quick disarming of regiments by a Protestant Ulsterman Governor Lawrence. He then used his forces to reinforce the surrounding of Delhi and by September the seige was over. Despite being vastly outnumbered, British discipline had won the day. Lucknow under better leadership lasted out until February when large British reinforcements had arrived. The famous beseiged garrison of historical mythology had been rescued in November after a rescuing force in September had been besieged as well. It went into British legend along with the likes of Gordon in Khartoum. The British resorted to terror to restore order, massacres were common, but the countryside and the mutineers were brought back under control by January 1859. Pig fat smearing, forced eating of pork and beef, before being blown from a cannon, shot or hung was a common end to a captured mutineer. Those that defected back were usually let free and many had simply gone with the flow, changing sides again when it looked like the odds were against them as happened in Gwalior in March 1858 when a large Britsh army attacked. The Mutiny had been contained to the central north. It had been spontaneous and leaderless, the people involved turned to the old order of the Mughals and local nobles, who tried to set up their own kingdoms, rather than work towards creating a Nation. Though late as usual, the ex-rulers from the Central Provinces, Rani of Jhansi, Lakshmi Bai, and Tanti Topi joined forces and Topi actually advanced and attacked the Raj in November at Cawnpore, but by then the initiative had been lost. It was more an attempt to restore their religion and culture, and oust the foreigner.

I went up for breakfast and noted my new room I had booked was still containing the Brazillian. The waiter informed me he wanted to stay. I made it clear that I had booked it. I felt I had a mutiny of sorts on my hands and the rule of law was required. Anup came and spoke to the Brazillian who started to argue vehmently that he intended to stay. Anup retired plaintively saying he had to go the hotel was booked out. I waited on the sidelines and about an hour later went down to see the large Brazillian had retired to the room and appeared barricaded inside complete with a Maradonna t-shirt. I decided to retreat to reception and asked them what was happenning. Part of me thought just leave and find the yoga teacher's ashram, that would be following the path of Brahmic ananda, avoiding force and moving into purity. Another hour on and I ventured out of my room to see he had deserted.

I shifted into the smaller room which looked like an officer's married quarters from the Raj. Smaller and without the artworks of the other room. It was called Bhagheera. I had left Repunzel. Went to sleep reading about Ravana trying to wake the demon Kumbhakarna, his huge brother. A thousand elephants trampled on top of him to wake him up. Thoughts of my own brother came to mind. The officer on the train had said that my life would change after reading the Ramayana. I could only hope.

I woke up and did some typing on the little dresser desk. The room was at the back and significantly quieter. The inner spring rather than foam mattress however slumped in the middle.

I went up for dinner and they were playing chess, the Australian woman was back with a bald man who looked highly suspect and Anup and the French girl. The method of attaining liberation is through self restraint by reason. Self denial and self sacrifice allow the mirror to be cleared to reflect the true self. Thus rebirth is ended. Karma is thus broken, the endless cause and effect of actions. Sansar unconsciously effects our lives until we wake up. Koshala, Magadha, and Vatsa flourished. The state of Avanti rose up. The Ramayana was set in Ayodaha. Then odd things happened world wide in the sixth century BC. The ancient Greek renaissance occurred with Socrates great dissertations on thought and the non-existence of evil. In China Confucius was confusing people with the I Ching? In India Buddha and Jainism evolved from dissatisfaction with Vedic ritualism for the masses and intellectual asceticism amongst the higher castes, who had created a system of aparthied to keep their Aryan race pure. The caste system was probably worse because it was steeped in religious rites. The middle way was a compassionate compromise between asceticism and carnal desire. It rejected ritual and any form of social discrimination. The goal was peace of mind or Nirvana. Dhamma or right moral life was essential and layed out in the eight fold path. It is more pro-active than Vedism, advocating a law of love by right action, returning hate with love, rather than withdrawing from the world and renouncing it. The group leaves and the Brazillian turns up. It is essentially godless. Though in effect the Upanishads had already realised this at the highest level. Personally I felt in the midst of some awakening where the present reality was beginning to merge into the ultimate state, the Vedic Brahman, ananda, the play where all is non-separation and I cease to exist. Somehow the reappearance of the Brazillian represented the slothful greedy and selfish gringo, who sat on his treasure and never compromised for anyone else, then got caught out by his own laziness in failing to make a proper committment to the future. Refused to accept his incompetence and clung on to his treasure until the authorities plied it off him. The Brazillian of course was a perfect mirror of oneness - he was revisiting my universal ego as a reminder of my past karma. He showed no malice, nor friendship. A sort of begrudging acceptance. Loud music of the Hindi Bhagan kind exploded from the streets. Masses of lights heralded a night festival. The putting away of the Holi gods. I grabbed my camera and headed to the melee. Fumbling along the street inbetween bandsman dressed in old European jackets, followed by men carrying dozens of chandelair style lights attached to long dangerous looking cords to jet engine generators on wheels, I snapped shots. Placed my camera on benches to get night shots. Some chapatis strangely sat alone on one reminding me of the malovelent events of the mutiny, where chapatis had been delivered to villages as a sign of the gods spreading revolt. Hanuman passed by as stiff as a board, then floats carrying a sort of Jesus figure with two women worshipping him, then the dressed up lingam, irrodescent in finery and adorned with jewells, replete with a flashing neon board behind and several sardhus beating tabla and singing like pop singers into mikes. One was even whirling round like a mad banchi, rather fat, he was surrounded by sanyassis beating drums. Even a rotating mass of tiny statues dressed up with nowhere to go chugged along behind another generator on wheels and a mass of loud hailers deafening the crowd. No women participated but many watched in their saris. There were few Westerners. I pushed my way back and got entangled in the electric chords of the lights and had to wait for a gap. The temple was done up with flashing lights like a christmas tree and I followed the procession in to be told by a guard only for Indians. I watched from the gate. Half wondering and sensing that the gods were really there and half thinking I was more a yogi than most of the Indians there, thus it was ridiculous to bar me. And a third part regarded the whole thing as nonsensical mysticism steeped in ritual and superstition that I could never really accept. The black piece of stone dressed up was just that, and imparting a belief that it was a god, was simply perpetuating a mass hypnosis that might temporarily make you feel good, but in essence was not the true reality. Simply a conjurors trick that created an obstacle in seeing that love resided in our fellow man and not statues. Sadly I left. I sat at the cafe outside the Third Eye with the freaks, got a coke and a tough chocolate roll, passed a few words in Spanish to some Argentines and an elderly woman from Malaga, who was dressed like a gypsy and reminded me of Madame Blatvesky. The Jewish girls rolled up in gypsy attire looking peeved. I left smiling, gave my roll to a cow and headed down a small lane that turned out to be a deadend. I headed back to be accosted by two young handsome Brahmans, one was a priest and very full of himself. The Rajputs had a definite violence in them which I saw in his eyes. He wanted to give me a puja as he was a priest. I tried to explain the word humble to him. Wanting to serve others thinking of oneself as less than them, realising one's lack of importance. But all I said to him was being kind, generous and compassionate. We arranged to meet at the ghats at ten.

I opened the keep's inner door and was met by ferocious snarling and barking by the fat Labrador mongrel with little legs. I quietly returned to my room, tried to sleep and felt the nibbling of insects again. I read a bit about forays into Burma against the tribesman who used poisoned arrows, kept slaves and sacrificed children to their animistic gods and in 1928 they lopped off a head of a British surveyor.

Mar 23

Another day, I did not get to sleep till very late, playing computer chess. As usual I lost. I started to change sides, still losing.

Woke up sick from all the chocolate, coke, rolls I had taken.

Very strange dream about George Bush and the CIA. Somehow documents being passed through by him, in offices, that do not want to accept them, smuggling them through security, and somehow George Bush is doing it, but it is not in fact him but me, a kind of clone of him. Extremely fightening.

I miss meeting the boys, and decide to find the old yoga teacher, he is lying on the floor and is sick from dysentry. He is quite fat and has a smiling face and white beard. His crippled aya speaks broken English telling me to come back tommorrow at seven, I ignore her and speak broken Hindi to him, he closes his eyes ignoring me. She answers my questions, I am imploring. Finally, I say, 'Meera kuhan hai?' - Where am I? This produces a response and we have a theological discussion in English about Brahma and atma. He tells me to return to the body, to the sensations in the chakras, and follow them, all else is being lost, ananda is in the chakras. Being here and now in the body. But I cannot find how to return to my bodies chakras that is the problem, I am too lost in the mind, and in the Brahma - the external. He says he is too weak to talk, I push him on asking if I should leave my hotel. He says just all is inside. Where ever you go. But I insist asking him if I must leave my hotel to escape the bad dreams. He reluctantly says yes. I walked their avoiding any entanglements, or power, or aggression, always submitting and giving way, with humility. I tried to maintain this as I came back, but the thread was lost in the chaos of the market and I began to power through cautiously. I went to the Joshua Foundation school for the gypsy children which was closed, then to the ghats to find the boys, Brahmins parriahed on me for pujas as I sat and watched the monkeys with their fluffy white beards eat nuts thrown by a vendor, a man sat next to me who was an officer at an NGO to help the poor. He gave me his address in Ajmer. I walked along the ghat and came to a den of monkeys and imagined that they were from the Ramayana. I tried to talk to them telepathically to get help, and a cow wandered up and pushed them around. One young female monkey with a baby watched me through the corner of her as she lazed on a balcony. I asked her where to go, and she looked back to the ghats, I headed there and hoped my thongs had been taken, but they were there, and so were the boys. Ricardo, the electrician took me down to do a puja. It was hot in the sun so I pushed the pace, sure enough, despite all their words came the promise for a donation. I made some fuss then agreed to 500, he then demanded more. I said I would put it in the donation box, and he was not happy with that, asking for it to go to the charity office for Brahmins, the boxes were for the cows, I replied perhaps the cows needed more help. He came to my hotel to get the money as I had left all my money there. I took him to the rooftop and bought him lemon soda and orange juice, I insisted on talking to him about God and oneness, about my need for a wife. He tried to offer advice, telling me I looked sick and about 45. That I needed exercise and face creams. He suggested a young yoga teacher. He told me that I should look for a divorced women in her 30s. But I made it clear that I wanted an unmarried woman in her 20s. I asked him to pray for me for this. He started demanding his money and then got up to go. But I told him to sit and not be in a hurry, I played with him about the money, telling him I was in so much debt it mattered not to me. He agreed to pray for me and I took him to my room and gave him the money and wrote my name and father's name for him. He said he would return with a receipt.

I took a hot shower and used my creams. Then wrote this and went to the bed. I was feeling weak and looking exhausted, the heat on the roof had been oppressive. My arms felt leathery and burnt. I took some ayervedic pills. I saw a British officer and as I had been walking from the yoga teacher, visions of this man filled me, possessed me, he was here during the Raj, and he in a way had self-realised, the swami had said to me The Brahmin by the ghats, the elderly one who had demanded a puja, I told him not necessary, Brahma is everywhere, puja not necessary because God everywhere, and I saw Allah, he said then why you come to Pushkar, here you get blessing from priest, he got very angry and cried 'bad man go out', and motioned angrily to throw out, but somehow he was laughing in his eyes. He rushed off shouting bad man and I asked him am I bad man. He shook his head, and I said there are no bad men. He vehmently shook his head. I had said to the NGO officer perhaps better if the Brahmin priests go out and help the poor and sick, rather than sit all day by the ghats just to give blessings to tourists. I endevoured to dissolve my personality and see pure Brahma manifested, absolute truth, ananda, bliss. But part of me thought the five hundred should have gone to the desititute, and perhaps then I would feel better. My illness was a product of eating to much luxurious food as I stayed in a luxurious hotel and all the while unhappiness from simple greed. In fact illness, from the inability to give to the poor, to distribute, but it all felt such an effort, even to head off to the Joshua school run by Peter.

I fell asleep for a long time. Woke up and it was dark and went for dinner. Played a game of chess and this time packed my pawns up on the advance, the opponent Marcus, from Holland, was a beginner, I took his Queen early on, shattered through his central foot soldiers defense line, then sent in the knights and Queen through the breach. I then pushed home the foot soldiers, picking off his castle. The Queen checkmated him in the far right corner. His army decimated.

I then met a French Swiss man about my age who had just been divorced, he had been Christian, worked for Huntsman, an American chemical company, he is a chemist. His wife left because they could not have children. We talked a bit about dissolution of the ego, ceasing to exist and then Kubi brought up the receipt for the charity. It was too much of a coincidence. The wind blew gently, keeping a cool warmth in the air, he left and the place closed.

The poetic nature of the night had to be transcended and the intellect represented by this computer mastered, trully I had to become egoless to achieve this. The greatest challenge. I had to cease.

The stylus for the computer which I thought I had left in the room was not there. I searched for it in the room and in the restaurant to no avail. Were more Hindu tricks afoot? Part of me knew some change in consciousness had to dawn before it was appropriate that I find it. I was not feeling good about the puja nor the donation, the whole process felt an insincere corruption of good will that used rituals now to swindle. But the priest had a point, the old one, why had I come to Pushkar. But it was more for a memory he did not know. That of a romance with the French Canadian, Josee thirteen years ago, that had began here. It was something to do with letting go of the past and non-attachment to possessions. Care in looking after possessions was somehow not the answer. More compassion to others and gratitude at helping others, like the misplaced camera in Agra. The answer lay not in becoming more and more attached, secure and paranoid. It was much more basic, much more to do with simple thoughts. I visualised the stylus that had dematerialised in Bangalore. At the moment I could only assume someone had picked it up. But who? I interconnected it with the donation. Misuse of funds. Allowing others to exploit you without caring. The result is usually a hard lesson to make you care. By taking something you do care about it and will make your life difficult without, until it is replaced.

I pulled the mattresses off looking for it. Finally I slept on one of the mattresses on the floor, which was much more comfortable as they no longer sagged. I slept quite well.

Mar 24

I got up before nine woken by Hindi music from a temple.

I continued the search upstairs, getting the waiters and customers to look, went down and asked them at reception, then tried to get the internet to work. There was a large sign on the computer which dialed into the internet saying 1000 rupee fine for using this computer. So I gave up. Looked at some books, started reading a bit of the 'God of Small Things'. Then went up stairs for a further search, having more people look and laugh. I had fitted in the spare stylus I had from the M100, which was too wide and squeezed out the end. I knocked on my neighbors door, he looked through the curtain, possibly naked, and said he had not seen it. I even at one tourists suggestion asked the waiters to check the garbage, they refused to do this thinking it unnecessary. I returned to my room feeling I had done enough, if it wanted to come back the seeds had been sown.

I sat at the desk, looking into the mirror, feeling depleted and the comments by Ricardo echoed. Some aging loser, I thought. My stomach was still out. I felt tired.

Like the priest, Ricardo, stating the date was the next day in his little ceremony, somehow the inaccuracy of Hinduism perpetuated.

The whole thing was bizzare. Like the woman upstairs, who said, 'Man, why the fuss.' Bad association from people who were on drugs and had become selfish, was somehow the lesson. Who had ceased to care about others. Was that what the stylus was telling me? For the stylus symbolised much more, the tool for writing with new technology. 'Just use your finger, or a pen', said someone else. Apathy reigned. The stylus was a symbol of the new method of communication. A more precise and perfect method using computers.

India seemed to be saying, like the ancient Dravidians, none of it matters, but ananda. The thought of living in the swamis dust ridden, slum, as simple and unmaterialistic as it was, just did not appeal, he had not offered either. But I had not shifted hotel. My gut feeling was I was being drained in Pushkar. The life force sucked out by a greedy apathetic culture. One that lacked accuracy. That was complacent except when it came to extracting money. That spent so much on religious festivals it neglected basic public works, like street cleaning and the poor. That would contentedly watch a beggar with no legs pull himself along the ground grovelling for a rupee. Perhaps he would hand him a rupee. Maybe pass a few words of consolation.

But where was this all leading me? What comes to mind is clean offices. High technology. The accounting and law firms I spurned. But from another perspective, that of the United Nations. The Ramayana seems to be a mass of grandiose over exagerations. Khumbakharna can shrink or grow to enormous size at will. 'He shone like the Western sun setting', being an example. Obtaining happiness through pleasure by any means, is rejected hence kidnapping Sita not a good idea. Ricardo had told me Pushkar was positioned in a meteor crator. But in the Ramayana there is this contradiction between vicious war and bedecking the warriors in sandal wood paste, jewels, garlands of flowers and finery, in a most effeminate way. Even the demon lords.

Rama knocks Kumbha's arms, feet and finally head off with his mystical arrows. The head had to come off as Kumbha was still charging along with his mouth wide open. The headless body was propelled by another arrow into the ocean creating tidal waves no less. He was sixty bows high.

I went and checked my email, Laura had replied saying she was content in Rishikesh. I replied asking her if she interested in getting married and would she consider me. I walked to the ghats where a low trick was played to do a puja. One man gave me a flower saying here take it and throw it in the lake, some tourists said be careful. Another man when I came down suddenly appeared insisting a puja had to be performed. I threw the flower in and left. I uttered a wish that I be married.

I continued my walk avoiding the ghat and came across two yoga centres. The second place had a small area on the roof, and I did a class for 200, he walked off straight away when we were in relaxation, and when he came back I made it clear I would not pay if he was not going to be present. He was quite apologetic saying he had just gone to change trousers. His class was reasonable, Satyananda style and not too strenuous. A young American women was the only other student. I had used all my money and went back to the hotel, then went back to the Internet and looked for a reply from Laura, there was none. I then sent an email to Beautrice, the Belgian, asking her if she was interested in marriage. I checked for yoga teacher trainings and could find none, then checked my blog site and removed it from their search engine. Returned to my room, I had asked for the bill to be prepared.

Mar 25

I have developed a pain possibly in the testicles or urinary tract or both. I slept till eight. Dreamed of a taxi ride in Russia driven by a British cab. India was half submerged in it. I tried to bargain the driver from 300 down to 100, then a whole lot of tourists got in because it was a jeep almost pushing me out. He reduced the price to 50. I got taken to a palace hotel and looked round at swords embedded in shields and the taxi disappeared with my luggage on the roof, I looked round in panic and the taxi was down the hill, I ran down and he said he thought I had decided to stay there. Then I woke up.

I had pulled the mattress to the floor in the night.

I went for a walk and met Ricardo who took me to the young yoga teacher. I then went to the ghats ignoring the Brahmins, walked along to the Pushkar Inn and had breakfast of croissant and expresso. A Rajput gypsy started to play his three string sitar and his daughter, quite attractive sang with him. He asked for money, then produced a typed photocopy explaining Rajput musicians and their dying art as they were no longer supported as courtiers in the palace. He then handed me a CD asking 200, I offered 100. He looked askance and with peeved watery eyes refused, counteroffering 150 as 'first customer morning time'. I refused to budge and he moved on, making a sale to a young couple. The sun got too hot and I moved inside, tears came to my eyes, as I sat in contemplation willing the meloncholy mist. Some old turbaned Rajputs sat looking at me curiously. Worn weatherbeaten faces, wilder, more Pathan like than Indian. They had conquored this desert country centuries after Christ, about the beginning of the European Middle Ages, coming from central Asia, the Shakas, Hunas and Gurjars. They replaced the massive Gupta Empire which was crumbling at roughly the same time the Romans fell.

I headed round the lake, ran out of memory on the camera, stopped at the Half Moon cafe where dope was offered, it was not where Jesse and I had stayed as I thought. The place seemed to have disappeared and a bridge constructed which would have blocked its view. I dropped in at the Lotus where freak hippies, ferals, dreadlocks, call them as you wish, lazed and chatted about Brahmin hypocrisy. A South African typically said, you are only a true believer if someone points a gun at your head and you refuse to renounce your belief. He looked a tough nut dressed in sort of Conan the Barbarian outfit. Various Amazonian women some with posh English accents trickling through their rings and studs, veils, and ornaments, sort of beneign stoned Rickshasa Kali Demons of the aristocratic Aryan variety. Even ever so slightly haughty, as they did there Indian thing to be remembered in arty farty cocktail parties in London in their mid forties.

I came back to the hotel and then headed to the Joshua Tree school. Things were in chaos. Peter was not there and the project had split with a Belgian guy, Ditta, taking most of the kids and staff, the remaining teacher was worried telling me he was staying out of loyalty to Peter, Zack, an English lad turned up. He was a nineteen year old rock muso, who had done gigs in London for charity and donated money to the school, he was now being asked to run it as Peter had said he was leaving. According to Zack, Peter was dangerous, threatening and hitting the kids and that is why Ditta had left. It appeared the teacher was not staying out of loyalty but had in fact taken up an offer to teach at Ditta's school, only his crop had suffered hail damage and he had not turned up, so they got another teacher. He worked voluntarily. I told Zack, Peter was typical of habitual dope smokers and needed to get over his addiction, as Zack looked stoned it was a bit like the blind leading the blind, but I did not tell him this. Another young English lad who looked well to do but had fallen into the drugs was with him. I tried to tell the teacher with Zack's agreement that it would be better if he joined up with the other project, or else look for a proper paying job as a teacher. He was not happy with the advice and said he had to go and teach the four boys who had turned up. Apparently they were only there because they were disciplined if they did not turn up at the new school, their parents were only given food if they turned up. I offered to give them the phone number of the NGO. Zack said he would meet me at my hotel later.

I spoke to Anup about my bed and he got the boys to tighten the strings. They were afraid of being left alone in the room, but I told them if they found the stylus they would get 200 rupees. I went for a walk up the mountain temple, stopping half way. I passed a group of Israeli women, they were laughing, being pushed by two young men, all of them sitting on one of the rickety trolleys. The sun was setting over a multitude of thorn trees and the sand was thick and got caught in my sandals, Pushkar spread out before like a fairy tale with all its temple towers and ghats, its old rambling alleyways and houses bustling with verhandas, all surrounded by these hills looking like a blasted crator's entry into the earth. Rock and earth and not a tree or a shred of grass on them, yet in the flat valley were emerald green paddies and plodding oxen. I passed camels on the way down and I hurried to make the meeting with Zack. Cows blocked my way and tried to butt me, so I was forced to slow down, as I suspected there was no point rushing, Zack was not there. I stopped outside the Hotel dragged by a small boy who pointed out the most expensive packet of biscuits, I compromised getting him a mid-range pack, he tore it open passing it round to all his friends. They were laughing in the restaurant, 'your pen, we find.' They took me to the room to show me it, telling me it was in the sheets. I gave them a hundred each. They were overjoyed. Everyone had headed to a dance on a hill and so did I. I forgot my camera and was dressed in white Indian pajamas. A sort of boxing ring had performers whirling round dwarves, playing sitars, and chanting and singing bhagans in traditional attire. Even an Hungarian fire twirler. The crowd was heavy and on the outer edges I could barely see. I wondered if there was a reason I had left the camera and sardhu walked past giving me that knowing look as ancient as history. Somehow I dissolved into the night with its stars and music, with the town lit up below, its temples looking like palaces, and its streets like medieval pictures from the Arabian nights. I ceased to be and felt a presence of Lawrence of Arabia that somehow brought the place to life, the mass of Indians. The energy. But in the end I was empty and alone without my Sita. I met the Swiss guy and then left for dinner.

I played chess with an English lad, Anup tookover and started beating me, then he got frustrated at my slow moves and we quit, the restaurant was closed and we were the only people there. I had asked him about Peter and he did not want to talk about him. I discovered his father was an engineer, uncles lawyers and he came from a town near Bhopal. He was the only son. He did not want to talk and I went to bed. I slept very badly, pulling the mattress on the floor, then getting terrible pain in the liver. I sat and meditated and it relieved it. But all omens told me leave this hotel.

Mar 26

The pain in the liver subsided. I finished the Ramayana. Skimming through the battles, they had become so dull and repititive. I went up for breakfast with the Swiss man and the English lad with his girlfriend. We had a rather awkward conversation about what we were going to do. I confessed I did not know. I returned to my room and read, then slept, then read again to the end. Sita was rescued, Ravana killed, but like all Indian tragedies, there had to be a final twist.

I went for a walk down to the ghats deliberately without money. The sun set and somehow the heavens opened up, glistening light enchanted the lake, the last of the bathers left the ghats, and a dog with an eye infection from a bad scratch going down its face sat next to me. I lay on the concrete alcove and stared blankly at the scene. A tourist drawn into a puja, a cow, another tough looking wolf of a dog with a bit of a mange. The pigeons were picking seeds from the waste the vendors left. The air was seeped in vapours of cow manure and urine, mixed with the fragrence of flowers from the pujas. The stones were cracking in parts. Some boys came up and tried to pat the dog, 'you come?' I ignored them. I was transfixed on nothing but emptiness. I left when mosquitoes came and dusk, the emptiness of a lost vision that ceased to be. An idol with a swastika sat behind me like something out of Ur. Some elderly village women in saris and red and green flamboyant colours sat next to me. That rather invasive energy. I left.

Avoiding cows, one on heat was grunting with its penis slightly erect as I was coming there. I dodged my way as politely as I could past the vendors and tooting motor bikes that had caused permanent nerve damage. I went and joined the English couple doing yoga. Had a thali and lemon soda, then she came over and I was thinking of Sita and Rama and Sonia Ghandi's resignation, and Laura, and my attempts to find a wife, and just the meloncholy turn of events that kept people apart who should be together and need each other to be happy, and I sort of saw Laura there content with me, happy. Small silly misunderstandings that perpetuate misery, saving face or rigidly sticking to virtue to protect honour against vicious rumours. That can destroy a marriage. Somehow she stole that vision of Laura and left irritating me. I tuned the English guy's guitar for him, it was a mini size and cheap and hard to tune and stay in tune. The Swiss guy had hired his motorbike and seen sweeping fields of flowers. A bad combination of music and gypsy's playing from a nearby rooftop restaurant annoyed me. I asked a woman if she wanted to play chess, she laughed, then I asked her where she was from, an indignant rude squawk ommitted saying she was reading. She was the same young and fairly coarse slightly plump thing that had referred to me as 'man' when I was looking for my stylus. I said, 'terribly sorry' in a very exagerated way then very patronisingly asked her 'if ever you want to talk to come over.' Then determined in my own mind if she did, I would say very politely that I was busy or better still simply ignore her, since it was only out of boredom and lack of company I had gone up to the rather ugly woman in the first place.

I was now feeling very annoyed. Mosquitoes began to bite. I decided to go for a walk.

I huge chariot was being carried down the street with a giant chicken on it. Astride the chicken was a god in black covered in golden robes, it was hard in fact to make out if it was male or female, and it could have even not been human. Sardhus were sitting either side of it and a boy ran along the road rapidly plugging and unplugging a gigantically long electric cord that lit the chook up. I continued down the ghat side road, checked out one roof top restaurant that was full of all the dregs of society in barbarian attire. A rather bad B grade set for some series of Zena the Warrior Princess. The doped out European long termers obviously habituated this joint - and some of them looked like they had spent at least a generation in and out of Pushkar, maybe several past lives as well.

I politely excused myself from the large Amma pointing to a pile of mats on the floor surrounded by a table. 'Lying down.' She beckoned. There was a reasonable view of the lake. I instead strolled Baba Roof Top Restaurant, another Israeli hangout. Full of nude frontals of sardhus. Photos. Sleezy Indian waiters. And the same chaotic emptiness. What ever karma had seen me meet Josee no longer existed. I saw Pushkar for what it was a corrupt dirty religious town worshipping idols through superstitious rituals surrounded by the effluent of the West's dropouts pretending they were beyond materialism while they bought every sort of tatty gem, jewel and hippie clothing to sell in the West at inflated prices. And the stores full of the stuff burgeoned in Pushkar like a cancerous growth. Like attracts like they say.

All the while I was not unaware that I had become an unwitting pawn in propagating the Pushkar myth. All night discos and boozing had not yet been introduced due to religious sensibilities but I guarantee they would have been a hit. The poetry of the place was lost on my cynicism. The medievalism or rather the sort shamanic bronze age barbarism of the Westerners in their hallucinogenic diaspora. Matted hair in sack cloth, was Rama's answer to too much politics and bitchy competitive mothers and pious hypocritical father's lusting after younger wives. The West's Rama's were here in droves. Sita's had come too, but like their Rama counterparts had perhaps gone a touch too far in their liberated behaviour. For that matter so had the European Ram. Dope, piercings, tattoos, exposed parts and obnoxious stares did not go quite hand in hand with Rama and Sita's virtuous act of asceticism. And Pushkar was hardly a forest ashram.

Nonetheless Pushkar is worth a day and a night, to witness the sixties flower power revolution that may well have had the seeds of its genesus in India and its results almost half a century later. Mass travel to India and dope importation entwined with Eastern spirituality no doubt propelled the liberation movement that began in the fifties and turned it into revolution that decimated a lacklustre Christianity in the West. But to me it has become the sign and symbol of the lowest of both worlds.

In the age of Kali, the current and worst age of Iron, the human race becomes degenerate. Devolves. As I headed back stopping for an apple pie and a chai at the market square bunch of chairs, where the tout for the cafe stood looking like a prize queen in his tight jeans and shirt, ear rings and greased hair and supercillious smile. Slick. I bought the requisite bar of chocolate, it was decayed, I returned it to shouts of anger from the proprietor's friend, he replaced it apologising. There was a play in the Mandir, about Krishna's birth, it was his birthday, maharajas, princess and princesses in all their finery were trudging round on the stage, the volume was so decibellic I had to leave. It did not bother the children who were in front of the stage. The narrator and singer, sounded and looked like a gaunt pious Anglican pastor of the slightly pompous and effeminate variety. His voice echoed across the mandir like a religious sermon and political rally rolled in one. Men displaying peacock feathers strutted round. Then the evil king got into a cart with his wife which was a cardboard picture with fat paunchy horses. The royalty were dressed like Gods, I almost saw how it must have been before Europeans came, dazzling clothes to convince themselves and their people that they had become dieties replete with bangled colourful skirts for the men. Nine days of all night singing and plays was beginning. Strangely enough I was the only European there. Cultural appreciation of divine myths did not seem to be on the dopesmokers agenda tonight. Nor on many of the Hindus. Krisna's Laya or passtimes was just another layer on the wedding cake of the Hindu pantheon of Gods and Goddeses, that covered the annual horoscope and Vishnu had nine other incarnations alone to be dealt with. With sparkling eyes the local sweet vendor told me the story.
'You believe?'
'Yes, I am Hindu... well maybe not all of it.'
Another Indian turned up uninvited and proceeded to add to the story in broken English, largely repeating the storeholder. I needed to understand Hindi to really work out what was going on in this country. In particular the Devagarian script. Because the code to it all lay in the script.

Mar 27

Time is turning exhorably on. More bad dreams, being chased in underground carparks, clones changing sex, armoured cars, shotguns wrestled off villains. Why? God only knows the literature and people staying here, I assume. I wake up at 5.30. Get up and shower, then go back to bed. Wake up after nine. Play some guitar upstairs, noone is there, but Kubi and another waiter. Another float ambles down the street with a god on it and sanyassis to the march of a brass band. I pack up. See the Swiss guy go. The electric toothbrush I tried to fix in the tv repair shop, now does not work at all. Putting in those old leaky rechargeable batteries at the beginning of the trip has finally paid its price. The nose trimmer is tottering from the same fate.

Feel quite depressed, but know I have to go. There is a place very few know, where the moon does shine and the flowers grow, it is not far, not far from here, for few do know its despair, I come to tell you of its parts, which when acquired, will depart. So do not fear, your choice is right, the hope you rest on has no fright. So come away with me I say, to this place where evil's slayed. For in this place is only sun. And I implore, do not run.

For life is no great game to play, it is the very essence of today, and when my turn does sound its bell, you may shine and say, I will not run away.

It takes effort I fear. I procrastinated till I thought the omens were propititious to check the internet, I was blocked once, then it felt wrong, and finally I tried at Seventh Heaven and Laura had replied saying I was not the person for her. Stacy at the travel insurance was after being definite now unsure if unaccompanied meaning leaving with someone you had not met previously, would not include a taxi driver or a cloak room attendent. Molly had finally replied thanking me for the silver buy tip, she had been away. There was no reply from Beaurtrice. I went to another internet cafe to get information on the vipassana course. One was beginning tommorrow in Jaipur.

I ended up in a Sikh temple with a piece of cloth on my head, photoed by Sikh boys. It was simple inside, just white marble, a case containing scriptures, the man looked almost European in charge and a man outside carried a spear. I went back in the direction where I had stayed with Josee and found an old governmet RTDC hotel. I skipped round the garden and over the fence to get to the ghats and had dinner at the Pushkar Inn where fire twirlers entertained.

Went back to Seventh Heaven, collected my luggage onto a trolley, said goodbye to the dog who had been shorn for the summer like a sheep.

I took the trolley man to the RTDC and checked in. Went up to the ordinary room, which was hot. I was not sure what to do. Thoughts of Laura went through my head. She seemed to hold a Sita like fantasy for me. I was half angry with her because it seemed that she was blocking me getting to my real wife while not wanting me. Beautrice was just too tall at over six foot. She had trouble doing forward bends as well. I guess I should start believing that you are my wife little computer, because it seems only through cyber space am I going to meet her. I seem to dumb to operate in the normal world. And I would prefer to have lived before I die. When Rama's time was up a great sage met him, in fact he was actually meeting death. He packed up and headed to the forest and that was it. I wanted to get the message out that I want I wife. The universe appears deaf and dumb. Or else cruel. I am not prepared to take second best, which I know is not appropriate. The choices I made were not appropriate, for one thing I do not know if they even have given up meat and alcohol. It all is such a gamble. Yet for some ridiculous reason Laura seems to offer a vision of compatibility. And she says she is not interested.

Dear Laura

I have this untoward vision of us being in utopic bliss together, it has no basis in reality, but seems to be suspended there as a future. Unexplainable it just seems true. Like Rama I am going to perform severe austerities to gain a boon from Vishnu. Three days of silence and meditation in the hope he will grant me my wish for a wife. If it is not you then let the right person come. I have to be truthful I have my doubts if this person exists. My feelings are that I will never meet them in this life and as such my only alternative to avoiding a life of emptiness is suicide. I am sorry it had to be this way. But evil crushed down good in this universe for it was the stronger power. Virtue was a subterfuge. Placing Sita in flames then banishing her because of rumours as to her chastity, calling her back, and then her final curse, saying if she was always faithful to Rama then let the earth swallow her up, so Rama be denied her in this life. So I know I am truly cursed in this life. Because of past lives, because I had no faith. Because I blinded myself to virtue. Now I have been stabbed in the back because I know that you are lying, I just know it. Because there is noone else but you. It always was and it always will be just you.

I can't quite undestand the forces at play here, it seems my heart is not really in this little computer. My poetic soul is not here and I cannot say why accept that Palm itself is not a poetic company. So I must transform it to work with it. This is a challenge. And to help me unleash creativity I have assumed the form of a chimpanzee. But I have this feeling of a long wait between drinks. And death is stalking me with a gaze of malice and loathing. Death is approaching and wants no bargaining, death is simply hoping that I will succumb again to hell worlds, but death is wrong, for I am going to be off this planet very soon.

Mar 28

I got up with the light almost, dreams were very strange I was wrestling with my brother who wanted to remain evil, in violence and impurity, he was arguing it was his choice, and behind him was my mother, and the gods seemed to speak through me saying it is the nature of this place, but although it is acceptable they have to pay the price for their conduct, it is their free choice. But you do not have to partake and can avoid the painful consequences. I awoke, went back to sleep and dreamed of three Americans in a sportscar near Cooperpeedy, two guys and a girl and I was kissing her.

It was after seven, I was annoyed with the dream. I got up and there was no water in the hot tap. I had a cool shower, then walked through a rose field and the Half Moon Cafe to get a short cut to the ghats to visit the yogi, he was in the middle of a class. I waited then left. At the hotel I tried to find out about trains from Ajmer to Jaipur, eventually it turned out there was one at 2.25 pm. I sent an email to Molly and Laura. Had breakfast at the Pushkar Inn which I am beginning to think was where I met Josee. The liver is reacting being here. There is no point being here alone, I must find a partner or leave India. As I walked back, some beggar children started to hassle me and I automatically ignored them, then one said James, they were from the school. I had not recognised them, I felt somewhat disheartened. A gypy women with a bright red shawl and bangles saw this and came up with her baby asking to talk to me, and I remained polite, until I got to the travel agent, then firmly said goodbye.

I went back to the hotel and tried to organise a taxi, I had already been told at a travel agent that a train went express at 1.25. I got a jeep taxi to the station, and said goodbye to Pushkar. The steep hills covered in gravel and dirt led out to a view of Ajmer the Islamic city with its lake full of bullocks. It wove in and out of the hill mountains like a snake and a fort was lodged in its midst. The jeep took me to the station, a train was just leaving, all it had was hard seats, I sat opposite another army NCO, he had watery eyes of love, as he looked at me, almost with pity, he spoke very little English, but a Sikh computer engineer working for a call centre in Delhi did. I ended up putting my bag on the seat and sleeping on the platform above the seats. Gypsies came and played drums and sang, I tried to pay them ten rupees to stop, but the loud beating continued with the poor little girl done up with lipstick, circles on her cheeks and exagerrated kissing lips. She had a hoop which she placed overherself then lay on the ground while her baby sister crawled through it. The mother played the drums cacophoning away with a wry smile, her partner came on with a drum tamberine thing and started singing slightly better. We slowly rattled our way into Jaipur. Auto drivers fought for my services, I found one who wanted 150, but the Vipassana centre had told me it was 80. There was a booth prepaid, as they had mentioned, and I paid there. The drivers called me a cheat. An Islamic one took me, we made a deviation to an internet cafe and I sent an email to Molly and Laura, to Molly telling her of Laura and to pray, to Laura asking her to reconsider. The centre was on the outskirts of Jaipur in amongst hills of rock and sand, thorny trees and bands of monkeys. It was past some Mughal or Rajput gardens. It had a big Buddhist stupa shaped gold dome. Was spread out with basic single rooms with toilet and bucket shower on either side of the dome. Peacocks lazed about in amongst the trees. It breathed serenity. The Canadian German couple were there, and he did not look pleased to see me, it seemed to be an omen to leave. She was much younger than him, I checked the book, by seventeen years. He was 48 and she 31. She was a teacher.

I filled in forms and had my valuables stored away. Got my room after having some tea. The course began at seven thirty. There were ten males and two females. Four of us were European descent. A Swedish guy in his mid thirties, the Canadian and the German. Most of the Indians were fairly elderly, one sat and had a speaker attached on a chair placed next to him. For the next few days that speaker was our source for Goenke's voice. It blasted out distorted for the rest of my time there with nobody paying the slightest attention. The assistant teacher was tall and elderly and spoke with whispy high pitched voice that was gentle as it was refined. It reminded me of an old ladies tea and flower party. He stared at me as I fidgeted trying to concentrate on my nasal breath, while praying about Laura. He had that stern look of a schoolmaster.

The room's toilet had been invaded by bull ants, which I unkindly attempted to flush down the toilet. Then in the bed something was chewing away on the wood leaving piles of sawdust. I decided I had to move. Went to the teacher's quarters, then to the manager, who put me in assistant teacher's residence. This was better but like a furnace. I slept badly, had the fan on and blocked the light coming through the windows with a blanket. The liver was hurting.

Mar 29

Woke at four with the bell and went to meditate in the hall. I could not concentrate and went back to bed, this time I slept quite peacefully. I was woken by the attendant, had missed breakfast, and meditation was starting. We were transfixed by a band of monkeys coming through, I sat on a fence of stone where they were coming towards, one female stopped near me, then sat on the fence looking, a child one came and sat closer, and I sort of switched off being and entered meditation, seeing myself as no different from them, empty, then the mother suddenly came forward very curious, then barred its sharp dirty yellow teeth with large fanglike incisors and seemed to want to attack, so I rushed up out of its way. For the rest of the day I battled with my thoughts and trying to meditate, I had my room changed again much to the dismay of the well coifured manager. He put me in a rather dirty room with a Western toilet. I was struggling to watch the video, that the attendent had carefully turned down the contrast to reduce visability, but it was not this but my mind that could not concentrate, that had heard it before, that kept straying to look at the German women who had covered her head with a veil and seemed to spy out of it. I looked back at the Canadian who was looking very unhappy. I left before it finished.

I slept badly in the room with more dreams of conflict despite it being cooler.

Mar 30

I was woken up by banging on the door. I had resolved to leave. I lasted about fifteen minutes in the meditation then went back to bed. I missed breakfast, but got them to get me some. Went to the meditation which went better. Then was in the process of shaving when I was told to come back as they were giving the vipassana instructions. I struggled through listening to the distorted speakers out of politeness. Had lunch then packed to leave. Saw the teacher who was happy for me to go, the manager wanted to know more, and I told him. They told me there was a train at 2.30 and I got a taxi taken by a Muslim who told me there was no train then. I did not want to talk. There was no train, he took me to a travel agent, where I bought a Volvo bus ticket and was taken to the bus. An arguement ensued where the ticket was refunded as it was almost double the bus fare. As usual suddenly noone knew what the fare cost. They then tried to charge me for dropping me there. Bad teeth, thin and loud, the Muslims left. I gave the conductor a 100 rupee tip. The ac bus was virtually empty. I bought some fruit and gave him the change. I gave twenty rupees to a boy not to sell me a magazine. It was a comfortable trip and I was full of hope, and praying to meet Laura. I bought some junk food at a stopoff which made me feel bad. I clambered into the luggage compartment of the bus from the wrong side, as the other was locked to get money to pay for it, it seemed I was defying the rules.

It was late when we got to polluted Delhi with its smog and I felt bad omens. At the bus stop I found through the maze of buses one delux going to Rishikesh, I felt a strong sense of forboding, the bus looked wrong and uncomfortable, the conductor beckoned and I stood there suspended in indecision, smiling he looked at me and I agreed, on boarding a passenger told me he was shifting to a sleeper coach, so I went with him and took a seat on it. It felt even more wrong. I suddenly felt very much alive and in my spirit. I seemed to be directed to give a hundred rupees to a women sitting on the ground with some bags. I man came offering mandarins, I bought them, gave one to another man, ate one and gave the rest to the woman who had now bought some food, she took it with barely a look, then gave a careful smile. I went to the toilet, the attendent asked for five rupees, I gave him ten, went in, urinated, came out and asked for the change intending to give him the change as a tip, and well knowing toilets were usually one rupee. He refused to give me the change, I got angry and threatened to call the police, the bus was revving to leave, angrily he gave me the change and I tossed it back to him.

The bus was full of honeymooners lying on each other, and negative energy and sexual thoughts invaded me. I tried to repel them, but in vain. I felt betrayed, called on Jesus, but felt suddenly I had made a mistake going after Laura.

Mar 31

At a half way restaurant I ate more junk food and got a sleeper birth. This improved things slightly and I got some sleep under my sleeping bag despite the bouncing bus. I had been so sure this was the right thing to do. It had felt right until I got to Delhi. At Rishikesh I got an auto to a cheap hotel by the mountian bus stop, I asked Jesus should I accept, he said no, then as I was about to walk out said yes, so I accepted got the luggage, sent off the rickshaw, then Jesus said no. I was fed up and took it, I made them change the sheets and got some sleep. I felt very drained, bags under my eyes. I thought about Jesus and felt he must be a very confused guy or out to annoy, changing his mind so much. I resolved that he probably was not the best way to the truth and instead I should simply look for quality, then I would never have gone to Rishikesh. But another part of me said look for love.

I sexually fantasised about Laura. She felt very distant. I could not now determine if I should try and meet her. Jesus was laughing. Quality seemed to be hesitant suggesting go back to Delhi. Love was saying do not be afraid. Check the internet. Which means heading into the bridge area. The hotel was depressing me. Everything was telling me leave. I went back to Jesus, and asked him 'what is going on?', he was still laughing almost with contempt, pity I guess. He started crying - I was crying. A tear or two. 'So Jesus what to do?'
'Do not cheat me.' He replied.
'Well then where do I go?'
'You know where.'
'Back to Australia.'
'Yes. No, many places, but one is best.'
'My eyesight is failing.'
'I know. And your bowels.'
'I am tired.'
'So am I.'
'Well it seems I have to go back to Delhi, and it doesn't matter much how. I feel drained here. Laura, Jesus?'
'I have been alone too long understand, I need a woman perferably a wife. Where is she? Jesus, tell me where she is? Where?'

I got a sign to go to the internet cafe in Rishikesh city, but be careful, I tried to walk to one, asked autos who said in Lukshmi Villas, a nice big fare. I gave up, walked back through the chaos and alleys and asked the Hotel to get an auto, my luggage and out, it was a flea ridden hole, paint peeling, the lot. Auto wanted fifty, I refused to budge from thirty, he gave up and luckily Om Karanada had rooms, the same one. I took the autos number telling him before I looked, gave him hundred, said he had no change I said 'got fifty', eventually it came out.

Apprehensive about checking internet. Feel relieved to be here in sanity. Tired want hot shower, waiting for it to warm looking out at view of Ganges. Roar of traffic. Want to sleep. Exhausted. Feel like death warmed up sitting here naked typing at desk. Seems I have to beg to get a wife.

I have shower put on sandalwood mud mask. I went to sleep. Woke up at five. Was depressed, had to force myself to get organised. Met Swami at reception, he looked bemusedly bewildered at my tale of travels.

I walked to the Hare Krisna restaurant and temple. The temple was small and full of dressed up dieties and the small sort of cousin It dressed up as well. I ordered an excellent thali. It was empty. Unfortunately they had built a dike which blocked the view of the Ganges. I had been trying to second guess Laura. Thinking of every possible scenerio. The food somehow did energise me. As they said on the menu, 'Govindji's Prasadum is food for the soul'.

And my soul seemed to sink down, back into its transcendental place.I pulled out the phrase book, 'Kripya bill suchi laiye'. The mahamantra played. I knew I had to go the internet cafe. It felt like my body weighed of stones. It feels like I am going to get angry going there. I pretended Laura was sitting opposite me and started talking to her.
'What do you want me to do?'
'Marry me.'
'You should have resolved this a long long time ago.'

I went to an arti at the temple and listened to a sermon in Hindi on the Ramayana. I talked to a young man and devotee, brahmachari, who took me round the guesthouse. We talked for a long time about my life and the vedic way of living. I got back late and Swami was a little angry.

April 1

I got up at eight, it was very light. I slept badly as usual, with bad dreams. I eventually headed out and checked my email. Laura had replied saying to respect her wishes and sorry if it was painful for me. She spelt pursuing incorrectly. I wrote back a long email and saved it as draft then wrote another briefer one and saved that. I suppose it was all quite enevitable, I could have checked the email in Jaipur and avoided the whole trip. I left and was drawn to a notice offering yoga teacher training. A Rajastahni beggar woman with child came up, she wanted chapati not money, she followed me and I bought a cauliflower in a vegetable stand and gave it to her, somehow she had managed to purchase a cane juice or had someone buy it for her. She did not want the cauliflower and demanded chapati, I was about to walk off when she took the cauliflower back to the vegetable trolley and exchanged it for carrots. I approached another internet cafe and got a bad feeling that Laura was in there, but Ine, the Belgian women was there, I left. Went and got some musli in the old Green Italian cafe, they recognised me. Read the paper and headed back over the bridge vaguely worrying that I might meet Laura and what would I say. At the guesthouse Swmi wanted to know what was in the package he had saved for me before and the amma wanted to know about my Keen sandals and how much they were. I went to my room and had a shower. I thought about going back to the Krishna's but realised I believed some of the Gita, but not literally as the Krisna's did, so I would only be a hypocrit returning there. And to some extent that was how I felt about Rishikesh. Should I check out the yoga teacher training, it was why I came to India in a way? It seemed providential, yet in a way wrong as well. I felt burned after Laura's response, which had been curt and immature. I thought she must be feeling guilty about the rashness of her response. Like Ine. But greater fool was I for putting myself in that position, but I had done it purposefully, to get the message across to existence, to God if you like, to the collective consciousness, that I wanted a wife now. In truth I did not really care if it was them, I had little attachment nor knowledge of them, and even if they had agreed I may not have gone ahead. No, I simply was using them to get a message out, as pawus if you like and in truth I probably did have little respect for them, but that was almost directly due to maturity and sex. I had a lot more experience of life than them. I could have tried to lure them to me as Ine seemed to want, but why lure the wrong person, I had been fooled that way too many times in the past. Better to directly confront and remove the obstacle, clear the way for the right person. The art was doing it in a manner that bought the right person to you. For if one was too insensitive, as they had been, in rejecting another's good heart then the way became blocked again. This is where extreme sensitivity had to be exercised to open the way. And something made me believe they were regretting their replies.

I went back to the internet cafe and sent an email to each of them apologising. I had a disgusting thali at Chatawallahs?. left most of the gravy dishes as thats all they were. I then walked up spontaneously the hill and came to a narrow road with an ayervedic health store and asked the owner for a tonic for a broken heart. He produced one and I told him of my woes, a Japanese woman who was a tour guide came in wanting a remedy for a bad back. We began talking about marriage, she wanted to have a child. We left and I went to the Luxmi Villas to find the yoga teacher training course man. I found it in the old temple next to Hotel Surya, well fifty meters away. They were playing bhagans out of tune to Sita Ram and were all ancient with white flowing beards. The place was decaying with an old bed and the blue wall paint of Brahmins. A god was dressed up in a little alcove shrine, could have been Rama. There were various statues around, the usual orange one of Hunuman. The Bihar school of yoga in Rishikesh may have seen better days. Electrical wiring lay hanging from walls. A black umbrella sat on the wall. Coloured tinsel like a Christmas tree decorated the ceiling. One cupboard lay open with odds and ends, unpainted concrete and stuff tossed in, for some reason a voltmeter was there. Some long haired Europeans entered and sat next to me. They then like me began to photograph the old men. I was typing away on my Palm and the whole thing became absurdly surreal, cameras flashing and a mini-computer in this decaying old temple full of ancient Hindu sardhus playing bhagans thousands of years old to their Gods and totally accepting of these white devils with their hi-tech gadgets briefly invading their sanctuary. I suppose aliens landing on some primitive planet might encounter a similar situation, and it all might be accepted a lot quicker than we realise.

I gave up and went to a Gange side restaurant full of Israelis. A New Zealand sanyassi was there with a shaved head and white pajamas and bangles. I talked to her, she told me she was a devotee of the American woman. Her guru had given her last satsang today. She told me to come to the ashram tommorrow. Look at people as if they are your brother and sister. I agreed with her.

I took a taxi back. Swamiji was there, at the door. I went to my room, had a shower then sat at the desk I had moved to the Ganges view and wrote. Thoughts of the blind man I had given ten rupees to came to mind, as good luck charm before I checked my email. It failed. Laura was going to be very expensive. All the beggars I had turned away. Yet it was duty that would work. Finding one's duty. Selfless service to God. Then all the other things would fall into place sequentially, logically, coherently with synchronicity. That I was beginning to feel was my fundamental error, that brought the equation always to a mistaken answer. My father had tried to communicate that to me through his photocopies, his story of Mansoul. I had not been quite ready for it, due to the duplicity of good old corporate America. I felt now that my only option lay in political change. I had to contact Sonia Ghandi and offer my services to humanity.

Dear Sonia

I am a lawyer and teacher from Australia. I also have experience as a tax consultant in top international accounting firms. I wish to offer my services to you.



Apr 2

April fools was over. I am in the ashram of the American guru woman. I am sitting on the sheets where she is meant to give satsang, but finished yesterday. This has somewhat become the story of my life. I checked out of the Karananda place after another typically bad nights sleep, waking up almost at nine fairly exhausted and looking terrible. They wanted me to stay. But I paid the bill and left my luggage to collect when the laundry arrived. Air India had had another close shae, a wheel not coming down properly. Two men were playing music in the room. It had glass walls overlooking the Ganges. Shanti Mayi was leaving, her guru Maharaj was not giving satsang.

A loudhailer burst out howling chanting as one of the men played guitar,
'You have a lot of competition.'
'No, not at all.'
'The noise of that chanting.' I spoke across the room.
'What are you saying?', he seemed annoyed.
I walked over. 'That noise, how can you play?'
'It doesn't bother me.' He seemed offended and spoke with a German accent, two devotees arrrived with long hair.
'You must be more enlightened than me, I could not play over that noise.'
He smiled and put away his guitar, a women in white came and removed the sheet over the chair where the guru sat. It looked like a massive raja's chair. He came and talked to me. It turned out he was a devotee of Osho and I think I remembered him from the ashram in 1994, he had been there. He was 34 but looked in his mid twenties. Had the loving eyes of sanyassins. He now followed Mayi. He directed me to the noise which was Maharaja and sixty Brahmins doing a fire ceremony. I took a look and left, wandered to another Oasis German Bakery near the bridge and had breakfast. Then went and sent the email to Laura about wedding vows, as she had emailed me saying she was not offended just wanted to make her feelings clear. I sent a wink with it.

I then spent a long time locating and editing the letter to the Minister of Education in Queensland. I went to the cafe overlooking the bridge that was full of flies, the wind was blowing and it was clouding over. Gusts were sending dust and debri into the cafe. I had cake and coffee. I felt I was ready to leave India and go to the United States via China. I was considering getting an airfare to Beijing, if Sonia did not wish my services and try and institute democratic reform there, if this failed then I would head to the United States to try and talk to Dubwya.

Now is the hot season, and the gusty winds from the Himalayas are suprisingly mild, Rishikesh has become humid. Windows have to be shut, blinds drawn and generally the populace becomes more lethagic than usual and that is somewhat of a difficulty to beat. The sardhu's develop a sort of bent resiliance in their begging, sometimes becoming more beligerent, at other times more docile and sleepy. I checked out a yoga class that had already started, the two girls had their legs up as I approached, downstairs I enquired about a fare to Beiijing. I returned to Oasis (Two) and viewed the bridge crowded with Sunday Indian tourists, saris near blowing off in the billowing gusts. Workers on the roof hammering in concrete slabs were being all but blown off, five of them, hair black as a cat's coat looking like it was about to come off their heads, they hammered in a few blocks, played round pretending to hammer in each other's head, then wandered off, in that very Indian manner of, it does not really matter, because this whole universe is not really here anyway, and even if it is, I am not and even if I am, my attma, or soul is not, not caught in this drama, and even if ultimately it is, divine perfection though it should be, well, I have a few billion lives to get it right, so see you later boss.

Whereas us steeped in Christian subconscious dogma are thinking my god I only have one life and if I get it wrong the boss is likely to send me for eternity to the other place. And I can tell you I well appreciate this, because for all intensive purposes, I am in that other place. And Rishikesh seems to be a whole lot of the other place. All the Westerners here look from the other place. And I feel like I have been there as I was with Osho, and now I am trying to get out, and so cannot really connect with them, with Rishikesh, with Hinduism, and I am basically afraid of returning to my own land. My own culture, my own place in destiny. The duty.

I ate an Israeli falafel that consisted of a huge amount of humous, some falafels, virtually no salad, and pita bread that you were meant to stuff it all into but could not because the top layer of pita was too thin, I ate it. Then felt not like going to the yoga class which I could view from the window. Where to go? I felt like I had a flat battery like my electric toothbrush, with its corroded points. Somehow I had stuffed an old rechargeable leaking battery into my system and even though I had thrown away the battery, the points in my system were still corroded and in need of a chemical bath. I did not feel like an enema. Herbal or otherwise. Rishikesh felt too dirty to perform such a delicate task. A tonic was necessary. The woman who had sat opposite and looked like a middle aged version of the young women who had haunted me around India, had left. I had finally met her stares and she left. Pathetic I thought. But while she had been there, my writing had become much more literary. I wished for a storm. A storm in my life to recharge the battery or to clear the points. The hills above corroded down with beeches clinging like small babes to their mother. The sun was out again. The yoga teacher waved to come over and I signaled that I had eaten too much.

I went and sat down by the bridge with the begging sardhus who were looking worn, one started cleaning his toes with a razor. They looked thin and dirty. I sat there thinking of all my birthdays, and I realised very few had actually been celebrated, most simply ignored. Once in the Siddha ashram in Melbourne when I turned 35, on Gurumayi's birthday. Then perhaps in Poona when I was 30, it is unclear. A dinner with my mother and brother when I was 40. Maybe something happened when I was 28 in Ireland. I can barely remember 27 in London, something I think, with Pamela and Amanda and getting stoned, then 26 with all the KPMG crowd and Pamela in Four Seasons. 25 in Melbourne with the family and Pamela, 24 the same, 23 much the same. 22 the same without Pamela. 21 I was living with Damien, 20 with the family and so on. Virtually no friends. 19 the same, 18 perhaps with uni friends, then only with family till 13, when I divided the group of friends in Melbourne Grammar. Before that the usual school friend parties.

In the last 13 years celebrated three birthdays. When I reflected on my life something of a tragedy occurred in second form. For after that my male friends disappeared, accept for a brief period when I was in Mannix, and then again in London, and strangely enough perhaps in Poona.

I reflected through them all and realised what a lonely life I had had. I held up rupee coins and beckoned the sardhus, one by one they came to take their coin, I held up a ten rupee note and one old one had just arrived, it was almost dark and I beckoned to him, he came and looked at the note, 'for me', I nodded my head, 'yes, for me?', I nodded, but he would not take it, 'I have been sick', he coughed, I nodded, he implored looking at it, then he took it. For some reason I saw Allah, the beneficient.

I got up and walked up the alleys to the taxi stand, bargained a taxi, threw out the passenger who joined on the pretext of being staff after one minute, collected luggage from Kurananda, Swami was concerned where I was going and the laundry had not arrived, I headed on with instructions to forward it to the Hare Krisna guesthouse, I arrived there and took a room, met the devotee from the other night and invited him and his friend for juices at the Krisna restaurant. We discussed duty and reality. Life was unconscious energy called maya and conscious called Brahma or Prakrita, together they made up the external phenomena, Prakrita was life force. Prakrita seemed to exist in everything. I said according to Western science life has various preconditions, it must be self ordering, it must reproduce, later I thought it must have some form of digestive system.

As I spoke to Ananda, the devotee, it seemed more and more clear that the vedic system was too primitive, not based on fact, lacking scientific proof, too simplistic, too full of unsubstantiated assumptions. Western science was unbeatable in clear thinking and logic. I began to explain atomic theory to him. The laws of entropy. The reason why iron was the most stable substance in the universe, ironically the Krisna's saw Kali Yoga as the iron age. That ultimately all matter would be converted to iron. That is if the whole thing did not collapse into a black hole, then I began to wonder if I really knew what I was talking about, but it seemed even more clear that they knew even less than me. Nonetheless it seemed to me Vedism was not the way.

I slept reasonably and woke up with a knock to go to the four o'clock Mangala arti. I pretended I was getting up and went back to sleep.

Apr 4

I got up at eight. Felt haggard and depressed. Though my dreams were about schools and teaching. Some thoughts about Laura and a general feeling I should not have sent that email. I felt I was no closer to my goal. I had a heavy breakfast of Paratha which turned out to be an oily flat bread pancake with cabbage in it. I felt ill, went back to my room and played guitar, then stared into the mirror and thought what chance have I got of winning the heart of a young beautiful woman. I put some Skin Doctor's eye lift on which made virtually no difference. Somehow I needed recharging. I went back to the restaurant and got a drink, the cupboard was locked so they could not provide, but the key arrived so drinks of guava juice and lemon soda appeared, a man started banging on the windows, I asked him to stop, the four people in the empty restaurant, which always seemed empty, sat round looking bored. I thought back to the New Zealand woman, who told me that there was so much pressure in NZ to be the best. This drive was not here in India. Not in Rishikesh.

I moved to the Welcome Centre and met a young Kent cook, who was learning bamboo flute. He wanted to migrate to Australia. I then moved to the Yoga Nitiken ashram and asked about staying and sat in on a lecture about globalisation, according to the guru speaking it was inevitable and desirable as a true expression of universal law. George Bush would have loved him. On top of this it seemed we represented every race on the planet, there was a black African woman, a Japanese woman, the Indian lecturer and three Europeans. The Israeli guy from Kodicanal was there and I did not recognise him. He constantly interjected with, 'No! I do not agree. The universe is one, you cannot break it into parts,' all that came to mind was my discussion with Ananda in which I had said humanity is like the body, if a cell in the body does not perform its duty eventually the body eliminates it, it has to to protect its greater functioning. The cell has to behave like a liver cell if it is to function in the liver and if it starts behaving like a kidney cell, even if it does this very well, the liver will not be happy and eventually it will eliminate it. And that pretty much summed up my state in relation to society and why I was so unhappy. I saw myself and yoga, as an anomally, as a lawyer behaving like a yogi, and ultimately society did not want me to be working as a yogi but as a lawyer, and so it simply decided what is this lawyer cell doing in a place for yogis, either it becomes a yogi cell or we eliminate it. And it felt elimination was proceeding to me. I was trying desparately to become a yogi cell, believed that it was my duty to be a yogi cell, but deep down I could not deny that I was unhappy in the yogi organ and not really functioning properly inside it, and not willing to function properly inside it, because deep down I was a lawyer cell and should be in a law organ. But somehow I was in denial and even unsure if in fact I was a law cell. It seemed to me I had in fact become a displaced cell, a sort of organless cell mendicant wondering from organ to organ getting rejected ultimately by all of them. It seemed even the law organ did not want me back. The teaching organ was in disarray, the yogi organ was in a mess as well, it seemed only a huge quantity of ganga would transform my cell there. In truth I had become what would commonly be described as a refugee cell with no country body part to attain asylum.

Incapable of accepting any of the vital parts of the yogi organ, such as all the multifareous ashrams in Rishikesh, even though some of them offered me a position there, because ultimately I did not believe there philosophy, I was relegated to dingy cafeteria's to eat, contemplate and try and connect to other displaced cells, one who I might even travel around with and one day reproduce with.

The lecture finished with the Israeli discussing if he could leave his packs with someone and looked at the various females in the class, he was very definite that he needed ten days and because they contained everything he had could not be left in the care of the ashram management store room, he would only leave them with someone he knew and trusted. Afterwards the lecturer told me that most of the students were at a very low evolutionary level when I asked him where they had gone. I found them in the kitchen having tea. The Israeli was talking to a Jewish girl about the lecture and 'what is' and 'parts' as opposed to 'one' which she concluded could not be expressed in words, therefore silence was best. I interjected to find out what he had been doing since Kodacanal, he responded by saying what does it matter just running, but now he was finally seeing. I discovered he had broken his leg hitting another motorbike near Uidapur. He was limping round, with his beard, a few more wrinkles and a ferocious Russian temper. He slapped me on the back hard as I left telling me not to trust anyone but myself. I said I cannot even trust myself. He said 'you must try,' with a deep look of concern.

I went down the platform of stairs into maya and the good old cafes, poked into Mukti's Health Food, it was empty, then the one next door, then walked down to the ganges and my good friend by the river. I got a lemon soda at Amrit's and talked to a Japanese man who I had met before but did not recognise. Headed up to Madras Restaurant and got choc lassi and cassata icecream, I sat by myself typing.

I left and headed to the boats to cross the river, a Sikh man and Scottish woman were sitting together. A crowd of Indians came like a stampede of cattle. I saw them as cows, the women, slightly fat in their pajama saris, looking perturbed and Victorian. Lacking in depth like a cow. Protected like a cow. Not challenged by life like a cow. Not having to face the hard decisions like a cow. And as a consequence treated as such. Anyway these cows were quite friendly and peaceful, and bought a sense of tranquility to the ferry ride. One almost did not get on and stood there staring from a distance, then the ferry man turned the boat back to fetch her.
'We might never see you again.' He said in Hindi.

I ended up at the internet shop which had deleted my Palm programs, the other shop had failed to load documents to go and the internet was too slow there. So I sat and reloaded after shouting at the man not to delete the program, he did not want me to download any programs, he left me alone and I synched the Palm and saved the diary. I sent an email to Laura about a ring I had seen in Agra and fixed up the blog sight.

Apr 4

I did not get up for arti and slept fitfully dreaming I was in a loony bin. I lay in bed trying to work out what to do in my life. Finally I went to the cafe and the key 'u' on the keyboard detached. It would not fit back on and I headed to town with the toothbrush to repair them. A motorbike almost ran me down and I swore profusely, then went and put my sunglasses on, only to discover the loose connection had finally snapped the screw. What was the divine telling me, on the keyboard somehow 'u' meaning you were loose, protection from the sun loose and snapped, cleaning the mouth electrically loose connection. I came across a computer training centre and several managers looked at the keyboard and their technician finally deduced that the clip on the 'u' had somehow expanded and just needed pushing back and it worked. He said 'pay as you wish', so I thought I was generous in giving fifty, but he laughed and said there minimum charge was 250, but give 100.

From store to store I wandered round being nearly run over by rickshaws, to bicycles, to trolleys, to trucks. No one knew how to fix, or was interested, in the sunglasses, especially the spectacle stores. I had a watchmaker try and repair the toothbrush, he cleaned it, but it did not work, a TV repairman deduced the motor had finally shorted out, and then I went to a computer repair shop where the man said no and no idea where another place was that could fix it. I began ranting and swearing, about how could he not know having lived in this town his whole life, and this selfish, apathetic, disinterest in helping others was the cause of India's poverty.

Another electrician tried to open the motor up, but it was completely sealed. I gave up on the toothbrush and went back to Krisnas. I decided to try and superglue the sunglasses' bolt back to the frame, hand covered in superglue, the bolt would not hold. I then braced myself to head out again, most of the day had been lost, I headed to a spectacle shop that had shown me welding before and there was the Russian on crutches hobbling down the road at full pelt, he was trying to get to Ram Das ashram near Haradwar, the one I had been told about by the photographer from New York. He had nothing with him. He was hailing down tuk tuks, who kept on trying to charge him fees to hire the entire tuk tuk.

I wished him well and headed to the optician, and they still refused to do it. They suggested another optician. As I battered my way along the narrow pavementless street in the humidity of the afternoon while traffic attempted to run me over, I saw the Russian again still hobbling along, I suggested he get a bus and take a tuk tuk for three rupees to the bus stop. The next optician was not interested. telling me to go to the place I had just come from. I left cursing. In the warm exhaust fumed haze of the street where a row of vegetable stalls lined the way over dust covered pebbles and broken concrete, I saw Mr Bole of Bole sunglasses smirking above me, almost malignly laughing at his wobbly sunglasses that kept coming loose, whose lens had cracked attempting to tighten it, and finally the little screw had snapped, and then I just imagined punching his head, he dodged took a few blows, until I gave him an almighty crack. I wondered if in the USA he had psychically or physically got the message, perhaps a serious car accident. More shops, a jeweller, who suggested the TV repairman. I went back to the TV repairshop and he said he would do it, but the power had gone. So I bungled myself up the road and away from the din of a Hindi loudspeaker, Railway Road was a little less crowded and took shelter in Neeraj Bhavan Hotel. The waiter switched on the TV to let me know when the power would be working. Then his collegue switched it off. It appeared I was going to miss the yoga class, unless I fetched the glasses tomorrow. All along I was thinking this is divine punishment for teasing Laura.

Exhausted. I checked the imbroglio of miscalculations that had brought me to this planet to liberate it and thought where did I go wrong, arguably because most of them do not want liberation, but are content as they are, therefore was the greatest good achieved by simply leaving them alone. I went to sleep in the chair then left a sort of vibration throughout my body. A pulsating sensation. A tingling sensation. A quivering sensation. Whatever the sensation it was not Goenkiji.

The waiter bought the paper and I read about females in the BJP protesting about a year 11 text in Rajastahn comparing housewives to donkeys as they toiled for nothing often not getting food and water, with the only difference being that the wife could leave and return to its parents. He took the paper. The power refused to go back on. I decided to leave.

I walked down the road after checking the internet at the hotel. Noone had emailed. I grabbed a tuk tuk that then headed to a petrol station, got another and went to the temple where the arti was beginning. I sat thinking of Laura and what I could do , thoughts of the man in Patna who had sacrificed his son to Kali, cutting his throat in a crazed state, a barber of all things, like Abraham but the real thing this time, God according to him had completed the test. I was thinking it would probably be best if she blocked my emails. The whole thing was getting too dangerous. The curtains were drawn back and the gods were revealed dressed in white.

I met a LA black, tall and big as a house, who was scoffing down plate after plate of rice and pakoras and curry. He called me over and he took over the conversation, discussing Al Quieda in great detail and how to solve the problem through vedic philosophy. He suggested I start chanting the holy names. I told him about Laura and he laughed telling me I should not try and get revenge when rejected. A large Indian group, probably one was an MP, because a guard with a SMG came in. Rama, as he was called, believed the Krisna temples were potential targets of extremists in religious disputes, because the Krisna's were so hard core, I related an incident of being man-handled by devotees in Canberra and one spiritual teacher who had had his arm blown off in a Krisna temple in India. The group of Indians were staring at us in a concerned curious way like we had stepped off another planet. Rama then proceeded to describe very loudly quantum probability theory in terms of throwing a grenade into a crowd, knowing the result, having the will to do it, but not having to control exactly where all the shrapnel went. The Indians were looking more concerned. To him God was like the thrower of the hand grenade into the sea of phenomena, it did not matter where each individual particle went, that could be random or the particle's free will, God did not have to control that aspect to be the supreme creator and ultimate controller of the explosion. But the analogy was flawed, because how could God be the controller if the exact path of the shrapnel was outside his control. Creator but not controller. Some control was there over the position and timing of the grenade, and the general result, but the exact details of the result were outside his control. This well explained the uncertainty principle in Quantum theory, and maybe was a correct description of God, but not one that confirmed him as supreme controller. He countered that God was controller of the big picture, not the minor details. But it seemed to me that the minor details made up the big picture and indeed it was the hand grenade itself that was the controller, once it had left the hands of the thrower.

He wanted me to come with him to his hotel up at the Swiss village to get a bottle of mineral water, as the shop was closed here. I declined and went to bed, he came back rather desparately to reception to order a rickshaw and offered me a place at an ashram he was going to set up there.

Apr 5

I eventually got up at five and went to see what the racket was about. The Hares were playing away in the temple, Venus was shining over the mountains and the sun was about to rise. There were suprisingly few devotees there and one asked me to head into town with a cart of prasadum and a drum. I declined and went back to bed. I had bought an expensive eye cream called Shanaz Husain. It was like a glue and I had bad dreams of Islamic mafia. My eyes looked terrible in the morning and I decided I had had enough of the Krisnas and packed up and checked out. I went to Rishikesh to get the sunglasses, he had repaired them, but when I tried to put the lens on the screw broke off, he tried to fix it and finally I gave him twenty which he tried to refuse and left. I went back to the spectacle shop where the motorbike had bumped me and I had discovered the glasses broken. He had a broken pair of spectacles and I used their central frame as a replacement, he was an old pessimist and kept saying it would not work but I could have them for free. I fitted them on and it did feel uncomfortable, however till I could get a replacement part under my guarantee with Bole, they would have to do.

I returned going to the cafe next to Mukti's. Read the paper and went down to Amrit. There were a few people there and it was very hot. Kids were swimming in the Ganges and I felt like joining them. Perhaps the truth was just going to Luxmi Julla.

I was in the wrong place it is true and the betrayal occured on the bus to Rishikesh, it is true.

I went to the Nikitenda ashram and checked a room which was cool in the heat, I then booked a room in their down road side guesthouse that was noisy and had the proverbial dwarf on reception. I had to check airline tickets and a sense of hopelessness descended, the American last night had somehow put me off the USA. There seemed little I could do accept chant the holy name. I went back to the Krisnas and into the ac restaurant and ordered a pepsi.

I was seriously wondering how I could get back into a rawfood community. And I was wondering about returning to Auroville. It seemed a huge leap and not necessarily a correct one. The only rawfooders were by the beach running a non-rawfood cafe and at the Israeli's development and they may have left, furthermore it was the middle of the hot season.

I met an Austrian called Thomas, then got my bags and dumped them on the roof of a tuk tuk and shifted to Niketan guesthouse. The room was noisy by the road but with a view of the Gange.

I went up to the lecture and met the lecturer who remembered me and said, if you want Krisna then leave Rishikesh, maybe in Haridwar you may find. His lecture was over, so I practised asanas getting advice from a yoga teacher on how to do the scorpion. I tried and he recommended I do preliminary exerccises first, and a woman there squawked that I could injure myself when I fell down. It lwas a big carpeted hall, the class was full and I was surrounded by middle aged women who I was not attracted to in the slightest. Though at the back three very attractive young women looking very Russian placed themselves. It was a bit too slow for me and the difficult stretches did not work for me. I ended up getting bored, trying to do forward bends with one foot on the opposite thigh, toes down and heel up, while the other was stretched out. The teacher did the postures facing one Japanese student who both looked dotingly in each other's eyes. Meditation was taken by the old bearded, bespectacled lecturer and resident master. He droned on and on very peacefully about cosmic oneness, dissolving in the infinite and watching the breath. During the silence I gradually lost it and he began leaning further and further over until he was almost horizontal on the podium, covered in a white shawl that stuck out at an odd angle where his legs jutted out.

I went to the dinner which was at eight and a fuss was made because I had not paid and had to because guesthouse members did not get meals included. They relented. The woman who had been talking to David sat next to me. She was not Israeli but Belgian. A criminology student and a little plump and dark skinned for a European, but in a sensual way, we spoke in French and got on well, but she left with no apparent interest to meet again. She was curious to read my diary.

All the local cafes were deserted or had people of no interest to me in them. I took a sheet off one mattress to use as a cover, the mattresses were stained with probably semen and the bed creaked at every move.

Apr 6

I woke at three, then at four thirty with the alarm, then again at nine, I felt too disillusioned to attend the early classes which had felt uncomfortable yesterday. I had breakfast at Amrits and read about Miss World and India in Men's Forum Magazine. Ayllisha and her movie success, how she had ended up in hospital after a stage accident proclaiming there is a god, so one should not play the role. Then returned to my room. I had put on my bathers to jump in the Gange but it did not feel hot enough.

I was at a loss at what to do again. There was a feast going on for lunch at the ashram. I thought of trying to consult Ram the giant American black at the White House. Or attempting a private audience with the American Shanti Mayi before she left for Australia. Or hiring a motor bike and going to Ram Das ashram near Haridwar. They all felt incorrect. I saw visions of Laura. Somehow I had to go to Delhi, but I wanted to avoid the pollution. The only answers that came to me were organise your flight here, and where to go? China, USA, Australia? All felt wrong. Puna and Osho was too polluted, Bali and rawfoods in Ubad? Auroville? Sivananda at Naggar Dam? Durga? The American Rama had even offered me a mantra to Durga. I was brainstorming. Somehow it was the rawfoods. And that cut the possiblities to Auroville, Sia Baba of Mumbai, Bali perhaps, and perhaps California. Even north eastern Australia.

But diet vital as it is is not everything, hence the previous collapses. For the final duty is to serve God. And then one has to ask what and who is God?

I went up to the feast and sat next to a Canadian couple. Everyone was on the floor sitting on parrallel mats to each other in long lines. Out of the blue the Russian, David appeared in full hop glowering, he refused to acknowledge me and sat with his back to me. The food was in tin buckets and heavy and oily. The Belgian woman pretty much ignored me. The Russian girls were not there.

Deflated I left.

What is god? Collective will. Perhaps? And more.

I fell asleep.

Connection not made. Got thongs left outside Hare Krisna temple. Started reading Sri Prabhupad's Sri Isopanisad. The absolute truth must be consciousness. I went from there straight to the yoga class at Niketan. It was another teacher who kept on telling us to smile like happy butterflies, it was quite effective motivation. I felt recharged and more in my body afterwards. More upright, on the right path, self confident, straighter in a word. My spine certainly felt it. The Gange wound its snake like path as the sun set past the rows of ghats and temples, more singing to the Gange was emenating from a temple below on the other side, hundreds of people were singing. A large group were dressed in orange in the centre. The mysticism of the river, of Krisna's divine emanation of Brahama flowing past, meditation began and I tried twisting and vibrating to remain concentrated, visions of Krisna in his full glory as king and god dressed in gold and diamonds briefly entered my mind as the old teacher continued a repitition of yesterday including leaning to the horizontal. But the dream changed to a sort of ancient Hong Kong karate movie with women swinging about with swords in robes, one of them being a pretty young woman in the room and then Luke Skywalker entered with a light sabre and I gave up. I was wondering if it was the result of the vast number of young Japanese in the room.

His alarm went off, which it took a while for him to find how to turn it off and he started talking more about the self effulgent inter galactic creation beyond time and space, then someone's mobile went off with kind of appropriate Indian galactic music. He finally made an announcement of an important sacrifice to be held tommorrow morning that would be beneficial for all. His emphasis of the word sacrifice brought up a vision of some young virgin damsel about to be offered to the Gods.

I headed up to Swiss village to find the black American, Ram, he had divinely gone out. So I had dinner at Oasis One and in the courtyard met the American, Derek, whose room had been next to mine last time I had stayed here. He seemed to want to avoid me, but I caught his attention. He knew Ram and thought he was too much in his head, a hyper-intellectual spiritualist. Derek was still with his woman and another couple were dining with them. I left them to it and went inside.

I met a young Melburnian with long hair, beard and ring through his nose, he was into Nick Cave, and had a sort of Russel Crowe look about him. He seemed to be a muso living in St Kilda. He had been to the Raj Yoga ashram in Mt Abu, Rajastahn. He was friendly and came and sat with me. He was thinking of going to Niketan. Mentioned a great Rieki healer based in Camberwell junction.

Apr 7

I slept better, but despite putting the alarm on snooze several times could not get up and missed the yoga. I was still at a loss with what to do. Still thinking of jumping in the Gange - for a swim. I packed and decided to leave. I just wanted to check the internet first and airline tickets.

I checked out and the dwarf said I would have to stay another day if I wanted to see the sacrifice then failed to give me the five rupees change, which he at last obtained from a servant. A cow bucked in front of me and some Indians, almost hooking one, then continued peacefully on its way. I took a boat across and met the Belgian woman and an Australian guy from Perth, they were heading to a lecture and invited me. I went. It was in a large ashram with a beautiful large garden.

Prakriti has three qualities Gunas - Rajas, Tumas, Sattvas. Tumas is 'that' or sat. Rajas is 'is' or chit. Sattva is 'bliss' or ananda. These manifested in the world, they tumbled together unequally creating matter or phenomena, she lectured. Thoughts of quarks merging in threes came to mind to form hydrogen. She continued, the linga mantra creates intelligence. This is avishaysha and has five subtle elements (touch, etc) and sense of self - om kara - ego - which is inseparable from consciousness. Mind, unlike its adoration in the West, is considered the grossest form of consciousness. Om kara is sense of I am. The process of evolution is taking us back to origin to the state of equallibrium of the gunas. Samadhi is the ultimate state of liberation - but each part of the journey is different. Patanjali used Kriya and Ashtanga to achieve this is they are all designed to focus the mind. Doing without doing, find your own self, she patly drubbed out to finish off. The crowd was young and Western. The American teacher was quite old and obviously a yoga teacher as she still maintained a good figure, yet reminded me in a way of grandma giving an apple pie recipe as she lectured, and being not absolutely sure of the ingredients or the way to mix them, but pretty sure of her apple pies. Boys in orange monks robes started playing outside and singing, they were all shaved headed. She had not finished, 'the sutra is a mneumonic device to stitch the teachings together, it should simply inspire an immediate insight into the teachings as a whole. Today we do it backwards. We search for the knowledge after looking at the sutra to work out what it means. But when you are reading do not be confined to the pupport. Interpret it for yourself.'

The class ended as she breathed a sigh of relief and a yoga class began. I decided to join it suspecting it was closed. I got changed in the store room as fortunately I had bought my long bathers to swim in the Ganges and went to my mat with my gaudi Kashmiri shirt tucked in to the bathers, as the class had began.
'This is a closed class.' She loudly said to me.
'I am sorry, I did not realise.'
'We were waiting for you to come out of the store room.'
'You could have come in there and told me.'

I left feeling quite upset and checked my email, noone had replied, I wrote a draft to Laura about oneness and finding a spouse for each other. My stomach was not feeling good. I went down to the Gange for a swim but the water was shallow and surrounded by rubbish. I went for breakfast at the Italian Green Cafe.

I stared into the mirrors of the Green Cafe looking for signs of my age and I did not look too bad in the dim light.

I met the Austrian again and he mentioned an American swami who lived by the river in a hut beneath where the babas hung out at the statue of Kali on the road to Luxman Jula, just before the petrol station.

I spent a long time in the internet cafe by the bridge in an airconditioned nook of the music shop. I wrote a long letter to Laura, editing it many times, it took three and a half hours. I sent it. Walked out after checking the Sri Ram foundation on the internet and trying to ring them but the number as usual was disconnected. I had run out of money to pay for the internet. I went back to get more. As I walked out a young man smiled happily at me and I tried to smile back but what I saw was Laura. I crossed the bridge and tried to block all thoughts out, and my heart suddenly started to pulpitate, I slowed right down and stopped the block of thoughts, the pain immediately went. Got more money at the hotel, returned stopping at Amrit where I met a French woman and told her to get married. She was a fashion designer and thirty one, but looked younger, she was tall and elegant in that dark Spanish belladonna way that was 17th century courtesian in manner, she wanted to meet me again. Some French men arrived and she began to talk to them, I smiled to myself, felt some sadness and left. I took the boat back over. The ferry boat across the Gange, and somehow Siddhartha and the eternal flow of the river, always moving, impermenant, with no beginning and no end simply because that was the nature of the flow to the water, always on the move, geographically in the grand scale there was a beginning and end to the river, to the course of the river, the geostructure, the riverbed, but the actual river itself, the water, knew no beginning or end, it just simply flowed on its eternal journey where it might end up in the ocean or in a stomach, only to be evaporated up into the sky and blown over the mountains and rained down back into the great Gange again, or some other river in some other country, and I saw human beings like the water molecules in the Gange, one life flowing down this river, the ocean being Narajana, the abode of death, the evaporation into the skies was surely the brief moment of conception, the next life another river.

I paid the internet and went to the toilet in Chotwala's?, and felt overwhelmingly depressed, I ordered hot chocolate and a triple sundae. I gave half the change as a tip and the other half to a sardhu. Quickly walked back to the hotel over the bridge and ordered a taxi to Sri Ram orphanage and school, paid for a lemon soda I had bought two days ago and drove out, stopping at Niketan to get my luggage, the tour guide I had met at Om Karananda many weeks ago, chewing pan and looking washed out, accosted me, it took a while for me to place him, I said goodbye and was caught in one of those Indian stares that says wait you have some connection here to be met, but I did not wait and was on my way.

I had that imperial feeling sitting in the back of the Ambassador and saw again the British army officer watching the dismantling of India. It was eight when we left and nine when we finally got to Sri Ram ashram. An enormous woman greeted me when the car was finally let through. She was American in her fifties and full of cheer. Her office looked like a disaster and a Canadian man was pestering her about his trip to Naintal and other sights on the Hari Das pilgrimage list. Hari was over eighty and had been in mona or silence for over fifty years, he now lived in Mount Madonna in California. He had just left this ashram. I went to bed and was kept awake by the sound of trucks and then a siren, the local police chief was apparantly keeping a vigil on the ashram since Hari had talked to him.

Apr 8

I found it hard to get up, just made breakfast and was in time to see the Canadian off with a pretty young woman he had met here. She was dressed in fancy pajamas. They were the last visitors to leave. Only the staff remained. Three large American women, although progressively larger according to their status here. All above forty. All it appeared now single. And one black man in his forties. I was taken to the school and spent some time getting a lesson in Devagari script from a children's book by a Hindi teacher. I took photos and went back to the orphanage for lunch and slept. The buildings were well built and modern and clean. Two Canadians arrived, one a doctor wanting to work at the clinic, but the clinic was closed and they left. I had tea and spoke to a retired devotee, who loved cricket. He talked about Hari and how this place unlike the world was a place of unconditional love, a young girl came up and tried to sit on my knee in an overtly sexual manner and I pushed her off. I suddenly decided that there was no point speaking and went into silence. I played cricket with the orphans, the older girls were quite good batsmen. Two games ensued depending on age, with one bat missing half its side and they ended up agreeing to place me last as batsman. I did some wicket keeping as they bowled the tennis ball. A tough looking little boy with a scar on his face did not want to let me bowl. One of the ammas started to hit repeatedly one of the small girls shouting at her, I went over and called her to stop. She continued shouting at her and I walked up and just remained nearby. It was the same girl that kept trying to sit on me. I did not wait to bat, cleaned up the sitting room in the guesthouse and began typing.

I went to the kids prayers to a statue of Rama. It all seemed like so much dogma as they chanted away, and I thought I need to understand what I am saying in these chants before chanting them.

I arrived in time for dinner, gave up the silence, had a discussion about whether I was contagious with hepatitus. Had dinner with the old man who turned out to have been an off spinner as a cricketer. I showed the large woman my credentials and she took particular interest in the police report. Went to bed to the noise of the trucks and attacks of mosquitoes, I was not tired, but felt flat as usual.

'I want you to leave here, you will go to Haridwar, there you will meet a young man, he will tell you where to go? Be careful. These are dangerous times, your writings upset the balance so in a way you are to blame for the miseries on this planet particularly the attack on the World Trade Center. You will be tempted to check the internet, do not do this, if you do there will be no response from Laura. Nor your mother. You will be tempted to invoke your previous claims in Australia, do not do this. There is a crime about to occur and you can stop it. This is very important. It is so simple.

'The crime is unmentionable.'

'Then I am wondering why I am in such a hell, why is it it tell me why?'
'They want to tell us something is not true, you are lying to think this is sexual abuse, abuse, not sexual abuse.'
'What is the crime tell me my friend?'
'I have to go faster and faster, very important, still being agtt checked wht few hfsdks n d fsn kslfeofskrwonsf sndoekdn f dkjdsids e dkkdsjdfljsla dfks djsdf pthge ggj '
'Why is it not working?'
'The reality is corrupted, too slow.'

As you can gather a very bad nights sleep, in fact virtually no sleep.

Apr 9

I changed rooms and went upstairs but still could not sleep. Went back down and got some sleep. I woke up feeling terrible like I had been dragged through a mine field. Huge rings under my eyes, it was almost ten. I went to the office and asked about other ashrams, the nurse knew of one in Haridwar that had foreigners, I took the address. I did not have enough money to pay and had to wait for a lift to Haridwar so I could get money out. I met the old man and he was in search of a TV to watch the cricket which had been delayed due to rain, I found him in a weights room full of posters of muscle men and a TV and the boys.

Eventually they were ready to go in a jeep station wagon. The nurse was there and two others. It took a lot of persuading to get them to take me to the ATM machine to get them their money, it was Sunday and a strike had been on, many of the ATMs were closed. The driver hailed me an auto and I should have known by its noise and rattling that I was wasting my time. I got to the Ma Anandmayee international centre and it was closed for painting. It was in an area on the outskirts near a canal, long sweeping plains of wheat. Very humid, the only other ashram was an Indian basic dwelling looking like an ancient palace. I cursed myself for trusting the old Indina lady running the Ram foundation who had insisted I go straight there and not check on the internet first and ring. I felt that was the last time I would trust an Indian when my intuition said otherwise. I wondered round looking at the temples, then went to the market and did some internet and printed off a letter to my father. Walked back and saw the museum of the mother, she looked quite attractive in her youth, vivacious. I tried to organise a taxi, they wanted 550, I knew 400 was enough but they would not budge. I went back to the guesthouse. I wandered why I was wanting to go to Rishikesh anyway. Corbett National Park seemed an option, the other ashram they had recommended near Nainital, Sattal, was full. Their recommendations at Ram like the sleep I had there were poor.

Where could I go in Rishikesh? Niketan was not right. Green Hotel, all seemed wrong. Back to square one. The stench of toxic paint started to effect me. I sat. Felt.

Eventually I managed to get a taxi for 450, a nice new Tata. The driver was friendly but tried to bring a friend along. I stressed several times I wanted to be dropped at the Green Hotel in Rishikesh, on the other side of the river. We passed a bridge and I said I think we should cross, he said no. We got to Rishikesh on the wrong side at the wrong second bridge. He drove back to the first Ram bridge, and then explained that the road was closed at 7, on that side, it had just turned 7. I told him I would only pay him if he carried my pack to the hotel, which he did without too much fuss. We got to the Green Hotel and I got a cheap room for 200, then had a shower and a meal in the restaurant. A large group asked me to move to a table in the corner, which I did happily but then felt somewhat cheated.

It felt somewhat better to be back in Rishikesh, though not right.

Maheshi ashram.

Thoughts of Laura still entered my head. I wondered what she was thinking, if she was thinking at all, and what was thought if the supermind existed and all this was simply maya. Illusion of the supreme. Covering the truth. All theses entities that were convinced of their existence, of their importance. Yet were they even really there. Such a solid long term existence, consistent for billions of years of its creation, yet ultimately could it be false? Could the senses truly be fallible? To the extent that the input into the brain from the six senses was not the truth? This shared reality with other entities, egos, could be completely transcended, that it could be changed at will by the mind, completely changed without all the physical labouring we believed in. Just how interconnected were we? How much telepathy is there? As for Laura I could see her like a baby sister, or even a daughter. As an equal I was hard pressed, she was a pretty play thing. Her depth of analysis of events seemed superficial and it appeared she just reacted according to what suited her best at the time. There was little there to respect as far as wisdom or intellect went. Adorable, cute, sexy in a way, curteous and kind, she had all the attributes for a good wife. If she got a message she did not really like, she simply, it appeared, rather distastefully ignored it. What was stranger was I could predict these things without even needing her to be present.

But Laura truly was simply in my dreams and did not really need to exist in reality. She was simply an archetype to locate and marry. A preprogrammed object molded by society and conditioned to perform marital duties. If not her then another similar creation would do. I could only ask God why he was being such a bastard to me. Why he was giving me the desire for someone who did not want me and why he did not simply place the desired object before me. What little trick in the mouse cage had I missed to get my partner, for it appeared I had some psycho owning the mouse cage I was caught in. My brother came to mind. In fact my entire family. They were a virtual human catostrophe in the making of odd bods and wierdos.

It must be obvious by now that I am using this computer to try and communicate with the unreasonable psycho-sadist in control of my experimental existence. I am trying to basically reason with in favourable language a being who appears to be a complete nut case.

I went for a walk to the bazaar. A sardhu in orange loin cloth attire and an orange tea towel on his head winked at me. I ignored him, he was smoking a biddie and had a nice torch, so I figured he was not desparate for a rupee, however some better part of me drew me back after investigating several books on how to learn Hindi. He turned out to need a battery for his torch, so I got one, and then of course he needed two, and then I thought why not get him a chi in the Green Cafe, I was sick of going in there alone, and I thought the rich Europeans might do well to see an impoverished renunciant in their luxurious gluttonous midst. I mean why else why they in Rishikesh. To attain enlightenment surely. So I dragged him in for a masala chi which is all he would take. I attempted a conversation using the phrase book in Hindi as he knew no English, and tried to get him to write some Devengari script on a napkin, which he felt very guilty about. The Europeans tried to ignore him, some laughed, others smiled, some gave a look of love, others of curiosity, and he had a sort of unspoken appeal like the potential was there for him to be molded into a guru. He got the phrase book and started to turn to t the pages on illness and fever, I then asked the waiter to ask him if he needed any medicine, the waiter asked him in the sort of tone one would speak to a rather dumb dog, semi-shouting, and not suprisingly the illness completely disappeared.

Apr 10

Another day a bit like Tom Hanks in that movie where he wakes up to the same day over and over again till he gets it right. I missed the action yoga, slept through it after the usual shocking sleep in an airless and windowless hot room, I put a blanket across the skylight to block the street light. Bland sexual fantasies possessed me and thoughts of George Bush and Iraq policy, a strange combination a bit like Abu Graby?

I ventured out finding an ashram with a beautiful large garden, but it was full, divine providence, went for breakfast at the Green, read the paper, another guy wanted it, left leaving 500 without waiting for the change as he had none, and went to check airfares. LA on Air China via Taiwan was 29,000. Hong Kong 16,000 with Bangladesh Air. I went to another place to check airfares and discovered one to LA on the internet for 25,000. Checked out Hari Das's Mt Madonna ashram near San Francisco, which was expensive to stay, US$50 for a dorm bed and no program. Actually finally made a connection to Yogananda on the web at last. But the phone number did not work for their centre in Uttaranchal. Sattal was confused when I rang again. I deliberately did not get the change for the 500 using it to try and direct me. In effect buying my way out of India. I knew that if I collected it I would lose. He had to win that tip. I knew it, he knew it, God knew it. I could be on a flight to LA at 3 am tomorrow morning.Something was in the balance here. Four hours to the airport. Leave here at eight pm to be safe. Four hours to work it out! Like his flashlight I needed those new batteries.

It is eight thirty needless to say I did not work it out.

Perhaps I got close, I went and patted a calf, I tried not to take the money, the change. I went to an internet cafe. There were no replies from anyone, I checked air fares that become increasingly pointless. But mostly I felt betrayed by the lack of response from Laura. I therefore began to head to the Green Cafe, I tried not to go there, I asked God for help, he put a crippled beggar pulling himself along, a handsome young man, more a boy, smiling at me, begging, and I stared and thought of Hampi. I smiled but could not stop, I asked for something else, a begging sardhu, and I thought shall I give him money, will it help, and I got an answer back, no it will not, that is why it does not work, money is not enough, will not solve the problem, it is that system that is the problem. And God was dissappointed with me because I had left the cripple. He was saying to me now it is too late. But I did not want to listen, I stopped and walked down to the ghats, to the sardhus, one beckoned wanting to smoke, I spurned him, and slowly I returned to the street, to the Green Cafe, the man outside stared guiltily at me. I went in in hope. Sat down to order like nothing was knew. I got out my pen knife to fix the Bole's which were coming loose. This time the screw had chipped the lens. The waiter who had taken the money was staring trying to smile and looking so full of guilt. He asked if he could look at the knife.
'How much is it?'
'Very expensive.'
'Can I look?'
'Well, I would like to trust you, but if I give it to you can I trust you to give it back?'
He looked confused.
'I will give it back.'
'Yes, well I know you are very poor compared to me, but if someone had given you a large amount of money and you went to get them change for it, and they left, and later they came back, do you think the honest thing would be to offer their change back to them.'
I played with the pen knife.
'I do not understand.'
'I think you understand very well about the value of 500 rupees.'
'Oh, I did not remember, you are the person that forgot their change, I have it here, but please I have to wait for the manager.'
The manager seemed not to want to appear. Finally I got up to leave, and he handed me the money and apologised. I took it thinking to hand it back to him would make the strongest point.
'It is not the money, it is the honesty',
I felt as I walked out, betrayed, betrayed by people I had thought of as friends, who I had joked with and learnt Hindi with. I also felt a hypocrit, because I had wanted to give him the money, I had wanted there to be some sort of unspoken release that would set me on my path in exchange for that money. But it was not to be, and I felt I had lost more than him. He had his guilt, his feelings, but for me I was left again soulless, empty, without feelings again. I had hoped for it, had prayed for it, had prayed for it at the internet cafe for that response from Laura. It was abundantly clear to me that he had not forgotten, the temptation of relatively such a large amount was too much to give up. Like the last steps of my feet to that restaurant. Too much to walk past my change. Too much to stop at the cripple, to give up the materialistic desires completely. I could not blame him. Everyday he watched people eat like kings, while he could never afford to eat there. But he was not poor, and he was better off than most of the Indians. Sadly in the end I just saw him as dishonest, and I had no desire to go back there. In the end greedy.

I went across the bridge feeling pulled by some unseen force, that took me along, I seemed to be headed for the Krisnas, but I rebelled at the taxi park and turned back to Sivananda, a yoga class was on for females, it had just finished, I went up to the top temple and chanting was finishing in the samadhi shrine. I left and took a tuk tuk to the Krisnas where I briefly paused at the temple, they were chanting and singing sitting down to the dieties who were dressed in white today. I walked down to the restaurant and met a Mancurian with tatts covering both arms and a necklace with a signet picture of Rama. We discussed the Ramayana and the harshness that Sita was dealt with by Rama. He left and after having herbal tea, I went back after ten to the Green and got an ac room, which I bargained the price down for. The TV suddenly lost reception and I went to sleep and had more peaceful dreams, of old school friends.

Apr 11

Up at seven, tried to locate the yoga here but it was a course that did not start for a week. Ordered breakfast in the room, and read the paper, then watched BBC news. Stared in the mirror and felt ancient, ugly and lost. As if my chances were up. A film was on about an LA cop and his affair with a rich woman who killed her husband. Somehow bizaarely it seemed to reflect me and Laura, she even looked a little like her, young wife, middle aged cop. I went down to the restaurant, started typing, left and went to the room to enjoy the last of the AC and TV. I packed up and checked out again, and went for a walk, going to the internet cafe under the muscic shop near the bridge, tried to write to Laura but gave up. Typed up the edited letter to dad. A pretty Canadian woman sat next to me. It was cool with the ac there. I left after trying to talk to her, when she said she enjoyed a glass of wine. I walked down to the Ganges and then upstream to the beaches and went for a swim. It was ice cold. A cow had tried to come up and eat my sandals, they must have smelled so bad it thought they were food. A man carefully washed himself near me, scrubbing his feet with cloth and then made a little prayer before he left, I swam in my underpants. Dried in the sun and took them off to put on my tracksuit pants. I went up in the boiling heat back to Chotiwala's where I had vowed I would never eat a thali there again and ordered a thali, that was I had forgotten an oily disgusting liquid. I looked in there mirror and was shocked at how sick and yellow and old I looked, how haggard.

I felt almost suicidal, and helpless and hopeless. I could see no option anywhere that would work. The only option that would make me remotely happy was too a large extent outside my control. If Laura or someone like her agreed to marry me. I had to eliminate possibilities rapidly. I was almost certain there was nothing left for me in India. The place was in effect killimg me through its low standard of hygiene.

I seemed to have no energy. The throng of people the heat evaporating into the place. The constant flow of Indian tourists. Part of me said go up to Jalan, another part said fly to cool LA. Whatever and wherever, it was sure to be the wrong decision, because the right decision should have been made many years ago and was not. Therefore I had only myself to blame. And as such the pain to extract the right decision was going to be enormous. And I was pretty sure if there was a God, if there was something more than us that had some incredible ability to perceive into our lives, to effect our lives, to encroach onto destiny, just as millions of American illegal immigrants were marching for citizenship in the USA, just as I had been contemplating going to the USA and maybe immigrating there. At the thought that I decided that they should all be given citizenship almost as if in a dream I saw the black secretaries of state, first Colin Powell, sitting by a river wondering where he had gone wrong, something to do with honesty, compassion, non-violence, and then I saw Condalizza Rice. She was crying. The concert pianist, the lawyer, top of her class, fitness fanatic, at the peak of her career, or not. And the same words were haunting her. Honesty, compassion, non-violence. An undeclared civil war in Iraq. A disaster. But mostly it was her blackness. Her traditional status as second class in American sociey, a black woman. And I tried to communicate with her telepathically and simply told her, give the illegal immigrants amnesty who can prove they have lived in the USA for three years, then tighten the laws. Because laws by their very nature must embody justice or honesty, compassion and non-violence. And the Ganges opened its gates to me, out of compassion it allowed me to enter its waters, allowed my mind to make that decision. The scorpion I had seen a few days before, crossing the hot road at night, as I walked down from the Swiss village failing to have met the American Rama. Its huge stinging tail raised in attack on the road lit up by headlights. Scorpio, the deepest stinging pain that can kill. yet strangely it seemed harmless tottering across the road, almost friendly, as if a world really did exist where all the creatures loved each other and were friends. That did exist. I envisioned a saint sitting there with all these deadly creatures, poisonous, man eating and all were happy and in peace beside him. With or without their violent propensity. And it all depended on one's state of mind, which affected theirs.

So it really comes down to my march here on Earth. To peace. To compassion, honesty and non-violence. To the very nature of the Law that binds us all. Bound me to my delimnas.

I went back to the Internet cafe and checked Sonia Gandhi's website and emailed the webpublisher to volunteer. She was a Maroni?, completely Italian, Catholic and her father was a building contractor. Rajiv had met her at Cambridge where she was studying a diploma in English. She had avoided politics and wanted Rajiv also to do so. She refused after his death and only entered in 1999 when Congress was in disaster. She was caught at the moment in an office for profit scandal and had just resigned all chairmanships outside of parliament, and had resigned her seat to recontest in a byelection. The Bofors scandal still haunted her - alleged defence contract kickbacks to her husband.

I got a jeep up to Luxmi Jula and got taken to a Sewi Ashram, by a small boy, my initial reaction was 'no'. But the boy came and I surrendered, he seemed nice, saying 'comee nicee roomee.' and 'you likee.' and 'I take luggage', he was so small I could not see how he could take my backpack. However a man came back with him and took it, he took the small pack and I carried the guitar. The room was small and looking like a prison cell with shuttered barred windows, a large prison cell with a double bed like a rock and pillows to match. There was a shared bathroom with bucket hot water and two dirty toilets, well not I suppose by Indian standards. An attractive woman had the room next door, Israeli, young and tall and European looking, with a child like face. I started playing guitar she passed by a few times then left. I went for a walk with the guitar over my shoulder and got smiles from many of the hippie backpackers. I crossed the bridge and got to Maharaji's ashram and they had a classical concert on, an old fellow came up and took the guitar and tried to play it like a sitar at the back of the hall, despite the music and cameras playing. I saw the German Sanyassi again but he ignored me. I left and went back to my room and played until another Israeli woman came over, she was quite attractive of Yemani origin and hardly spoke English, and there was magnetism between us as she sang and played, and somehow even I could play and sing as well with a sort of beauty that she appreciated, she constantly asked me if she was invading my space, and I had said no, because of hope and loneliness, yet somewhere deep in my heart the answer that came out emotionally was 'yes'. She was not right for me, too short, and simply the energy did not quite connect. Came close to it, very close and we moved our chairs across to under the full moon on the balcony over looking the Ganga. I made the mistake of talking, and then her friend woke up and wanted to eat, so we went to the restaurant. Then another couple joined us, and most were Israeli's, an American Englishman started to play the guitar, and then she did, and I could see he was entranced by her and it seemed viceversa. I felt old compared to them, they had guessed my age and they were all in their early twenties. The magic was gone, and I was tired and left taking the guitar despite one of them requesting it stay. I had a very bad nights sleep, the room was hot, the fan loud, the bed like a rock and I felt depressed and alone. I dreamed of artillery fire.

Apr 12

I woke, then went back to sleep, then woke with knocking, a latin man wanted me to switch off my fan. I switched it off, but it was too hot so I put it on again. It rattled loudly but I was so tired I could not get up, my eyes were like huge bags, and deep ingrained lines, I used the lift to get rid of them. He had left a note, 'I think you not care for fellings of other people, instead you very SELFISH, I have not speep for 8 nights because your fan. But what goes around comes back on you.' I sort of smiled and agreed with him, I was selfish, I made a choice for myself and I was pretty sure it was the weaker choice. It seemed to be the nature of Rishikesh to hurt people's feelings. To push them beyond what they were comfortable with. And I was sure this was a humble message from God telling me why I was so unhappy.

I walked the bazaar looking into mirrors and into shops with mirrors and I did not like what I saw, a middle aged man. Jowells and that slightly gaunt haggard look of a lost soul in India that has been there too long. I went back and ordered musli at the ashram restuarant overlooking the Gange. A Dutch Osho sanyassi I had met yesterday, who was in his sixties but looked ten years younger, was there, he also had played the guitar. I regretted ordering it, the kitchen was not clean and I felt ill afterwards. I had a coke and left. Checked out. Went to meet the Russian from Sivananda but he was not there, then continued my mirror march going into jewellers with mirrors and pretending to want a male gold ring. They only had female. The heat was starting to beat, I went into an ac internet cafe, and tried and failed to email Laura. By my own volition. There seemed nothing I could say that would work. I got email back from Sonia Gandhi's web publisher giving an email.

I went to a restaurant. Jhula Italian near Sajay Hotel, and the cricket was playing, I took a position in the back lower section, it was empty, I ordered a tomato and cheese salad and coke. The cricket was playing on TV, riots had broken out when the last one day match was cancelled because of a wet pitch in Assam.

England had lost the series four zero to date, but now they were in a winning position. The Indian side did not seem to care, letting fours through without much interest.

I ordered a lasagne, which felt like a betrayal along the lines of switching the fan back on in the room. Yoga Niketan seemed the only solution. Luxman Julla was too drugged out. Delhi too polluted, Nainital, Corbett National Park felt like a lot of effort on a bus with doubtful reward. Although being in nature would be a bonus.

I needed yoga.

The thought of the lasagne was even making me heavy. In truth I wanted seclusion, away from TV and druggo hippies, away from the hang it all out disenfranchised youth who shoved past with their dreadlocks looking peeved. In truth I wanted my wife. She was not willing to surrender, why? Because I was not in the right place and where was the right place? Next door, yes or no? I was beginning to doubt my belief in God, perhaps it all was probability and one had to play that game, nothing fixed. Perhaps it all was what you had to offer, evolutionary competition for survival nothing less. I got a cornetto and an expresso to top off the decadence.

I was wondering how to re-enter Australia. I could not return to Campbell Rd. Not unless I gave up the dhamma or became a hypocrit again. The only solid truth seemed to come from raw foods, and just a touch upon Sia Baba of Mumbai. Some plump young Israeli women came in as if to sum up my indulgence.

I sat alone and tried to dissappear. And I did appear to dissolve through the tears, the room began to disappear. I felt a connection to Sonia. That seemed to hold promise. But I checked the internet and she had not answered. I further edited a letter to dad. Went back to the ashram, then back to the internet café and finally sent an email to Laura letting her go. Then got one of the boys to carry my backpack to the taxi stand on the other bank for 50. Then I took a taxi, an old Ambassador for 100 to Niketan where the driver did not want to drive in, complained, then wanted a waiting charge and called me a bad man. I dropped the luggage and joined a feast of overcooked dull food, mostly gravy slush, where a Californian by no coincidence, sat next to me, she was young and short, but pretty enough. Our conversation became stilted, fill ins. I talked to an Indian on my other side from the Punjab. His family was there, his aunt in Sydney.

I took my guitar to the garden at the front and played but no-one was interested. So I went to my room.

Apr 13

I did not get up for the yoga, in fact did not get up till almost ten. The Israeli, David was sitting quietly on a seat in another block. I dropped my laundry off and then went and talked to him. He was silent, then stopped and said he was counting his breath and would have to start again. He came to my room, then went into someone elses room to use their toilet, I cannot explain why. He then told me to go within and left. I tried to meditate in the room, but building construction was going on, the library was closed and the hall had a talk, bhagan festival going on in Hindi, very loud as usual. Any mundane questions he ignored. I met him again in the garden and he took me to a spot that while secluded was near what appeared to be a sewerage tank, and not very protected from the sun. He insisted on reading from Satyananda's yoga book and having me try the postures to alleviate my stomach pain. I got covered in leaves trying and the heat and sun was too much, so I left making an excuse to get his ayervedic laxitive, as he put it he did not want to spend half an hour straining in the morning. I went down to Amrits, but he was watching TV, then took photos of bathers in the Gange, and went to Madras Café and ordered musli. This took a long time, the door kept being left open letting the heat in and finally I said if it is not ready in five minutes I am going. Everyone in the cafe looked quite startled, but the musli was produced.

I trudged back up the steps to Niketan wearing my Nike t-shirt, no coincidence, which said 'just do it'. The feast was on, slightly better oily gravy, the Belgian woman was there. David was as well. I went to play guitar outside my room and David approached, followed by the Belgian woman, they began to argue about putting his foot in a bucket of warm salt water. She replied, 'you are more of a burden not letting me help you.' He lay down on the lawn after arguing wiht a group of Indians who told him he was 'not invited'. An Indian had joined me and wanted to play the guitar, which he said he knew how to play and he said he knew some Hindi songs. He took the guitar down to the group and began to bash away at the guitar. After a few minutes he asked me what I thought. I said it sounds fine. It was quite apparent he had never played a guitar before. He looked at David and said, 'He is a madman, I asked him where he came from and he replied from my foot.' I laughed.

Then David went into the room next to mine, the one he had been in to go to the toilet.
'Are you sure someone is not using that room?' I asked.
'Yes, they are.' He laughed. 'But, I do not care.'
The Belgian joined him in the room where they continued a religious argument as they bathed his foot. Then the Indian man went in and finally myself. I was wondering if this was simply a meditation room as there was no mattress on the bed and no luggage, just a few books, a blanket and some flowers. I opened the cupboard up which was empty, bar one shirt. They were staring at me.
'Do you know whose room this is?'
'He does not have much stuff.' She replied.
'Possessions are unimportant, even this I need to get rid of, it is too much.'
'So this is your room?'
'Of course!' He looked at me like I was mad.
'David sleeps here,' she replied.

I left and as the argument got more heated and I could not sleep because of it, I went back with a copy of Sri Isopanisad and gave him the section to read on the complete whole. Everything being perfect and one. I walked out and went to the library, the lecture was cancelled, I went to my room and slept waking up to discover I had missed a third of the yoga, I went to the hall and nothing was there, then I saw a sign saying it had shifted to another hall above the library, so I joined it fairly apathetically, and the yoga teacher came up and asked me what was wrong afterwards. A group of people stood round in a circle speaking French, including an English girl and the Californian. I joined them. Spoke to the Belgian again and then drifted back to my room. I was beginning to think the only solution was to fly back to Australia. The question was where to go there, and it had to be get a job as soon as possible.

This tragedy, I saw no solution for. I shifted back to the meditation after getting water. Had a lot of trouble concentrating. Drank from my water bladder, moved about, when I remained still I seemed to get an erection. Meanwhile the guru had gone to sleep on the stage, leaning over to his side again, I wondered what I was really achieving there. David asked me to the dinner, but I could not face it and went back to my room, thinking it would be just easier to kill myself. I racked my brains to think of where I had to go to meet my wife, but all the probabilities seemed to evaporate into uncertainties, and in the end I simply saw my brother-in-law laughing telling me I would never meet her. Never have the wife that I should, because life Ravana he had stolen someone else's wife who he should have never taken, and karmically we all in the family had to pay the price for my sister's destruction. He was a low demon and I guess I had no other choice but to pray either for his transformation, or for Rama to come back and reclaim his wife. I had heard the Belgian saying they were going to go outside to eat when I was at the diningroom. And out they went. And in the bedroom I prayed for deliverence, where was she? Nothing. All options wrong. I left.

I met them at Madras, thinking I should have gone to the welcome centre. It was a stilted conversation and I simply complained about India saying it was not possible to create the Utopia here, it was too polluted. They left, I get a fruit curd and Slice, then I typed this and left.

I returned just as the guard was about to close the gate, it seemed I was caught again in the wrong place. I had bought a small block of Lindt chocolate at twice the price you would pay in Australia. David gave me some of the laxative solution. I slept, woke up at three, confused sexual fantasies of the women here, I ignored the bell and woke up at six thirty and thought I had missed the yoga, though it was actually when it started. I continued sleeping, half awake, until eight when the workers started. I headed down to the ghats in my bathers, walked in to my knees but the river bed was slimy, so I left and went to Amrits. He told me noone comes in the morning so he is closing then. And I therefore headed to Madras for musli, a sannyassi was reading the paper, and I asked him why he was wasting his time. I was still caught in a deadlock. Sia Baba Mumbai, Auroville rawfooders, Australia and America and maybe even Bali. When I sent my thoughts out like snake like tendrils to these places, Sia Baba seemed to say I have to come back with another, it seemed he wanted a young woman. Auroville was more confused, there had been a young English woman there, and I sensed she might agree. It would not be easy. She had her eye on another. But had not made her mind up. I got the distinct feeling it would be better to sort things out before leaving India. Australia felt like it would be lonely confusion for a long time. Or a lot of aggression would be required. USA had that dumb happy feel. That seemed about to be toppled. If I went to LAX and tried to contact rawfooders, I was getting that let down feeling. Bali was another story and basically I would have to fly to Denpasser and I was not sure if there was a direct flight to there from Delhi.

I went to various internet cafes, and kept to water, mango and a mandarin. I emailed Auroville to find out if the Englishwoman was still there. I drafted various emails to Laura and one to Molly and continued editing the letter to dad. I felt I was losing, I sent none. I walked round the back to the Ayervedic Cafe where I had met the Japanese woman, but it felt a dead end, the two people there happy but not wanting me there. So I crossed back by boat full of Indian tourists and I took photos, there was a happy communal feel on the boat. I headed to Amrita and got a pinneapple juice.

Then ordered bread and salad. It felt like a mistake. I was losing. Too hot. There was only one hope and that lay just outside Bombay in the likes of Sia Baba. In Sia I was sure rested the hopes of mankind. He had proven that he did not need food stuffs, If he was telling the truth and that was always a nefarious factor with the brazen inscrutable ability of the oriental to tell a carnard with a straight face and a supercillious smile. I felt a huge error had been committed as a result of the salad and bread. I had set back humanity generations with just one meal.The question was I had to go through Sanjay the irrescable half wit who lived in a shack, but had the mobile phone. How was I to find out if Sia was prepared to meet me? Only through the devious machinations of hyperactive moronic motorbike rider, who was about as reliable as a two bob watch made in India and found in a garbage tip. Whatever question I asked him I was assured of a 'yes'. The tourists had dissipated.

The yoga class was dull as usual, and he came back afterwards to talk to me. I had left and come back searching for my key which I had lost. The manager found it for me, and while I waited I opened up the suggestion book and the comment said where is all the profit going and what charitable activities for the poor does the place do. When I had handed my money over I remember he looked at it a little to lasiviously. I asked him about paying for the laundry and I thought he said follow me, but when I did he simply turned round at his room and asked me what I was doing, and angrily told me to pay for it tomorrow. Meditation I left irritated. I went down to the welcome centre with an English girl, who seemed to be a sort of London private school drop out, chillums in Gokarna, but thinking of giving up and with a philosophy major boyfriend who was into 'god forbid' olde suicidal Kirkigard. Fear and Loathing and Abraham sacrificing his son for god, brought to mind David. I was wondering where he had gone, he did not come back that night, and I slept badly.

Apr 15

I got up this time for meditation and found it quite good. Yoga was annoying, too slow, stenuous when it should not have been and not when it should have. I left just before the end when he had us lifting our arms for the divine repeatedly. He also had us run into the middle of the room pretending to be lions, which pleased Heather a lot and judging by the stares they were interchanging, and his rather slick manner, I wandered if she might be on the list for the next yogic marriage with a teacher. I went and played guitar, did not enjoy it, and went to breakfast, Heather was there, I tried to ignore her, she sat elsewhere, and as I went to get my cup and bowl, I took a good look at her until she caught my eyes, and I realised I was trapped here because of her, and it was absolutely and totally a waste of time, because I knew she was not my wife. In fact I categorically knew my wife was nowhere in this ashram. I packed my things, went to the office and said I was leaving. The manager offered me another room and tried to persuade me to stay. As I left, I felt a presence and two of the women walked up, the Belgian and the Englishwoman, and as I saw them I smacked the top of my head into the roof of the guardhouse. I headed to the Welcome Centre for musli, the English flute player was there, where was she?

A group of people came and they were all about my age or slightly younger. I did not talk to them. Instead I had coffee and toast. From there I have to say I walked out again after checking a Lonely Planet for places to stay in Corbett. I went up to hear the Israeli chanting Om in his room. I went in and received darshan from him, then the girl he had been with the night before arrived and waited on the lawn. So I told him and left. I sexually fantisised about them making love in my room. More emptiness. Then I went to the lecture and we had to write questions down, so I asked 'Where is my wife?' And he seemed annoyed and said 'you should know, she is within you. Your sister is equal and outside, but your wife is within.' The Belgian was there and seemed upset by the question looking as if she was about to cry, the middle aged Russian woman simply scoffed, and the Japanese boy seemed to think it was quite reasonable. His question was 'what is meditation?' I switched off to the answer, as it was another, within, inside, with quietness, the Russian asked what the aura was. This perplexed the old man as it took him a while to understand what aura meant.

I went to the office and said I felt like killing myself. Swamiji came in and they asked me to talk to him. He said, 'I have already given you the answer.' And left. I tried to organise to change rooms. I went to yoga and struggled through, Heather was not there. I went to meditation and sat right in front of Swamiji. Then the manager told me I would have to wait till tomorrow to change rooms. My feeling was he was making a mistake. David got up and walked away in a huff. I met a South African called Lauren, by all coincidences, she was friendly and sat next to me. She took a long time to eat and we had a long conversation where I told her I was looking to get married and wanted to do a yoga teacher training. I asked her rafting tomorrow and she said she would think about it.

David was doing oms and I finally asked him to stop.

Apr 16

I just experienced violence from his thought wave patterns and slept very badly. I tried to connect to Lauren but it seemed distant, I imagined going on the rafting and her meeting someone else, then I considered hiring the entire raft without telling her, and then I thought she might be attracted to the raftsman, and so I considered bribing him to try and get us together. Finally I simply gave up. Consequently I missed yoga. I woke up in time for breakfast, but decided to avoid cooked food as the dinner had gone down badly.

I felt that it was more important to get back into the rawfoods. My feeling was Lauren was not the person to marry. She was a food scientist. Right height, slim, good looking, 28, single and looking to get married. But I felt some block there. She had had an Australian boyfriend and had gone to Perth and decided against the place. I tried to imagine kissing her and seemed to be blocked.

My feeling in fact was to fly to Mumbai and meet Sia Baba. But I had been badly burnt last time and left a raw food community to go to him, which had led ultimately to an unhappy mess. I was not even sure if he was honest.

Then I attempted to move rooms, which a new manager complained about. And I threatened to leave. A Nepali helped me and then refused to give me the lock. I went to the office and they said I had to provide one, so I got quite angry and told them just to go to the room and lock it and leave the key back in the office as I was going out.

I went to the Welcome Centre for Musli and Buck juice. What was I to do? It seemed I had to bare pain. Immense pain.

Options were closing quickly, Sia Baba had gone awol, and was somewhere unknown in South India. I rang Santosh. I went back to Niketan, fed banana skins to the monkeys, I had left my yoga mat outside the hall, to then discover it gone when I came back. I went to the office and discovered the manager had let a Japanese boy keep it for safe keeping, I did some yoga in the hall where a couple were and her boyfriend left. We did yoga together while discussing ashrams. She left when I had a lot of trouble getting into the headstand and a security guard came in. I went out and played guitar and as I walked out I left a message in the book which asked what you are doing and I said, 'to fall in love'. I was about to take one path, then changed to try the other stairs down and there I saw David, he was with the most beautiful young Swedish woman I had seen in a long time, this was his love.

I tried to take the energy of that encounter to find my love. But lost the lightness of it and headed along the Ganges to The Welcome Center, but I left when I got there, crossed the bridge, and the English woman from Niketan, the short precocious tiny bit overweight one came up to me and asked me twice if she could borrow my guitar in Niketan, twice I said yes, but that magical energy to meet someone was sucked away, as she walked off saying maybe you could play some songs as well, I went to the puja for the Ganges at Paramath Niketan. Then was somehow finally disempowered by two tall young European women who looked at me with contempt when I smiled at them. I retreated to the internet with my guitar and got a reply from Auroville saying it was doubtful she was there and who was I, then sent two emails to Laura and one to Molly.

I ended up going back to the Welcome Centre via Amrits. A had a soda there and played some guitar. God spoke and said I take pity on you, go back now to the ashram and I will give you a woman, she will sit next to you in meditation tomorrow morning. At the Welcome Centre I played more and had salad and pakoras which were far too fatty too late at night. Another woman also rather plump asked for my guitar and this time I said no. I talked to another Englishman whose friend had been killed by a drunk driver and as he was a truck driver, he had taken some time off to get over it. I lost him in conversation telling him my woes, suicidal thoughts, attempt to find love and a wife and my doubts about yoga. He said make a CD of my music and sell it.

It was 11.30 pm and the gate locked. I climbed over the fence going up enought to avoid the barbed wire. The guard smiled at the top. The room was a furnace, the bed a rock, no cover sheet this time, the food heavy in the stomach, mosquitoes attacking, I tried shower bucket to cool down, but I hardlly slept, going to get water after some hours.

Apr 17

I never really slept and the movie Midnight Express haunted me. I therefore was awake for the bell and was the first student in the hall. A woman sat straight next to me, at the end I looked at her and was shocked to see it was the girl I had done the yoga with. She looked startled at my expression and went away. During yoga she walked straight past me, and her boyfriend put his mat right next to mine. During the forward bend which the teacher explained carefully after he watched me and in front of me, she came up and I had that distinct feeling I could have taken her, but just missed the eye contact. After that she appeared to try and reconcile with her boyfriend. I left without looking at anyone. I isolated myself in my room. I masterbated about her and him. Removed all objects into cupboards. Lay on the yoga mat. Tried to see truth, I saw monkeys. Monkeys with tribes of women, one male monkey and all those lonely other males kept away by brute force. I had closed the shutters and switched the lights off. It was dark and I imagined I was locked in solitary confinement unable to leave. I urinated into a cup and drank, I was begging for a solution, for an answer that did not repeat itself in misery. Failure, lack of meeting a companion, endless cafes, walking, yoga classes, meditation, all endless never resolving, never meeting her. I was contemplating suicide. A painless death. More than that I was desparately trying to find in an emptied mind answers. I asked simple questions and waited for answers. 'Do I want to marry?', 'Am I going to marry?' , 'When?' Confused and contradictory replies came back.

I lay on the bed, because the mat became too painful. Then I got up and splashed some water, got the guitar out and played and sung, then typed this. It is almost time for the lecture, rain started to pour, and thunder and lightning struck as huge dark clouds loomed over. I arrived with a Japanese woman and her Indian translator there with Swamiji. I asked why I seemed to be going down dead ends and nothing working. He told me the mind was wandering and needed to be controlled, negative thoughts removed by transforming them to positive or chanting om and using the breath. Gradually more and more Japanese women arrived and then one Japanese boy, the one who had taken my mat. He started discussing attraction and repulsion and remaining equanemous. I tried to say they may be good things and he made me write that down. I described it may be good to be repelled from a snake for your own safety. His response was if the snake is disguised as a good thought then you must be wary of it. I said joy could be an attraction but is considered a good thing. He said joy is something that comes naturally and is not sort after in external objects. Afterwards he said I did not understand he could see, and he was partly right, so I asked him how do I find my wife. He said it should just come when it is right and should not be forced, for that is rape, if there is any force in the mind to coerce her, even if she agrees will lead to negative consequences. I nodded. Went to my room and avoided the tea. The sky was dark with clouds.

Tea coloured clouds and a wind howling like a siren, husshing its way down the Himalayas. Yoga was full and she went to one corner and he another. After I left I realised I had left my key behind, I went back and she was still there. I waited trying to observe the old man's precepts of non-force, he came back and tried to talk to her and then left and she somehow just slipped out as I remained still. I went to my room then to meditation and went to the front and could not meditate and left. I was in my whites. She was not there nor him. The South African, Lauren had disappeared. An attractive Russian it looked like had arrived, very young. I went to my room and felt starving and exhausted and fed up, and basically wanting to leave and commit suicide because I could not think of a place to go. Every thought ended in a dead end. His technique was not enough for me. I did not look forward to the night. My only conclusion was America.

I went to dinner and walked out without eating. Went to Amrit and left then to the Welcome Centre. It was all wrong. I sat next to a Welsh woman romancing with an Indian with a Welsh accent, I moved, the Englishman was there but ignored me as he tried to chat up the fat woman, who wanted to know where my guitar was. I waited for half an hour for the thali, then gave them two minutes and left. Went to the Madras and the Englishman turned up and asked me how I was, then left. I ordered an Himalayan paulo and nan butter with coke and cassata icecream. I read the paper which said 150 Naxals had attacked a police station killing 11 officers and taking the armoury. Feeling dejected I went back to Niketan for another night.

Apr 18

Cool winds blew in so I got some sleep, but dreams were of Africa or Papua and wild tribes and a museum dedicated to a genocide, that was under armed guard. White workers were there heavily armed and seemed to be my relatives, it was linked to a past dream of Africa and the Podmores. Somehow Afrikaans robbers tried to enter with shotguns and I woke with shotguns fired at point blank with vests on, finally fired at the face. Jammed, then the others gun went off killing me.

Meditation was already on. I joined it and sat next to the Russian girls. At yoga I placed my mat where an empty space in all the mats was. It was behind the middle aged French woman. As usual all the pretty girls were at the back and the Japanese at the front. The English couple seemed to be a couple again as they were together, however thoughts of her invaded my mind and I had trouble again with the postures and concentration having to speed up the asanas and sometimes simply stop. I left rapidly at the end and simply blocked all thoughts, went to my room, washed the floor of dust by throwing water on it and using the scraper. Tried the guitar but it did not want to play. I tidied my things in the cupboard. Shaved and showered using the bucket in cold water. Put on some of Shazam's eye cream. Lied the yoga mat on top of a blanket and put a cushion down to meditate, I had been naked, but because of the cool weather, but on track suit and thermal undertop. Meditation was not successful, thoughts invaded. What is going to end this? I pissed into a cup and began to drink. I was progressively getting colder. Ironic. I put the books of the Niketan trust for students on the blanket as well as the Hindi phrasebooks and my watch and the cup of urine. I took the headphones out of the case, Rubbed and palmed my hands to my face. Took a sip of urine. Switched the music on. I turned to 'Crave for Yoga and Pranayama.' I started listening to REM, got my guitar out, but it did not connect, the music changed to classical piano. I took the headphones off. I am trying to work with you, put the guitar away. Ok, now, shot your mind. You were too a quick. So I am ogoing to spped up the writing whill appear wrong. All is here, Nkitna is a path. not a good one but not ab dab one. it is corruopted as hou realise. too lenient for most and otst likedly you too. its hechaeat . and chealp if you want better then go to usa. australian is better but there are major problems and this is that your duty is to be a politician there. why becaue of hereditatry karnma j whydav you failed there so much becuase hyuou are wya havhead of hour time sso fat haghaed that in faxt you were ufjdged as incane,. SO sine ce you have that karma there are na number of options the ussa is slightely confussing you at the moment, you are wondering why you asre co sspatcutallryl unsuccesful with swomenener the simpolela nser ids lkike the monkey you just aren nto aggressie enougth abd yioyu are cuaguth in seuclaul lust.

Swanuiji had a romo directlyu below me. and I was picking up on his vibes. The easiest answer is go to a rawfood yoga ashram probably located in Bali,

Nada Brahmin is the sound of Brahma. i nedded to go for a shit but didn not and got blcked up. more usine music and switched off enon electricity bartteried low.dd

I went for lunch and met the Belgian we spoke in broken French. Then I told her in detail about Laura. The South Afican, Lauren then appeared and asked about the rafting. She then brushed me off and began talking to the Belgian who was now joined by the English girl. I sat with the Belgian on the lawn and tried to discuss yogic concept of non-separation, but she did not want to listen and left. I went to my room and masterbated about Lauren, then to the lecture where she was and there was a space next to her. I sat there and felt energy sexual. But after she ignored me and talked to the girls, I waited near the gate unsure what was happening she came up and talked. We sat down and I reiterated I was looking for my wife, told her I was attracted to her and then asked her if she was attracted to me. She said no, I then asked her if it was my age and she said that did not matter to her and I thanked to her, I should have left then, but I felt a strong connection and that that I felt sure would lead me to my wife. I told her that meeting people may have a reason and that we could learn from each other why we were not meeting our spouses. That the unreciprocated attraction on my part was a pattern and I had to see where I was going wrong and she could reveal that. She had had a tough childhood and had been humiliated by her parents. There was a lot of sadness and she knew that she was not meeting this person because of something within her and she felt lonely. Yoga was about to begin and she left. She rushed in and I got the feeling she did not want to be near me. I stood at the door for a long time. Began the class but kept looking over to her. She went up to the English lad whose girlfriend had not come. I left went to my room changed and went to meditation. She was there at the front where I usually sat and there was a space in front of her, I took it.I felt her energy. Afterwards she left quickly. I missed dinner and went to bed, but before I tried praying on my knees to God and to wish people well and that they find their spouses, I went through a long list until I was exhausted. But when I went to bed the bad thoughts came again. I saw visions of her all night.

Apr 18

I got up with the sound of the alarm just before meditation, few people were there and I sat at the front, but struggled through. At yoga I took a place at the back and tried to feel peace, the Russians came next to me on my right. She came and took a place at the back far away. I felt pain and rejection, and more than that, from looking at her and the way she avoided me, I saw she was smiling, it appeared she enjoyed hurting me. It became clearer to me what my problem was, at some pathetic level I was a masochist and wanted to be hurt by women. But unlike a masochist I did not sexually enjoy this humiliation instead I was drawn to it and simply felt unpleasant pain. That released a lot for me and I no longer felt such a need to look over at her. I was able to go into quite deep relaxation, but after when I was feeling calmed and I thought everyone had left, I looked slowly up to see her at the front flirting it appeared with the yoga teacher. I did nothing and looked down. She did not come up to me, but the yoga teacher did. I said I was getting better. I went to my room, missed breakfast and lay on the yoga mat on top of the blanket. It appeared everytime I ate cooked food I drew pain to myself. There was no other answer. I lay there and tried to see. But confusion still reigned and the desire for a partner. I went to the bed and lay there and visions of her came to me and finally I masterbated about fucking her. It was a deep fatalistic feeling.

I bucketed myself with cold water, looked in the mirror and felt ok, I ...

I have avoided using the computer for a number of days as I am questioning whether it is beneficial for me. I will try and recount the last four days.

I decided to stick to a fruit diet and missed lunch and avoided people.

After a lot of contempation I went outside to discover all the young women doing yoga on the verhandah on the ground floor of my building, pretty much in front of Swamiji's room.

I went into town across the river and checked the email.

I checked the email and Laura had replied saying she did not want to here from me again. Mum had written deliberately avoiding saying anything about whether she had prayed for me and it sounded as if she had not. I got the distinct feeling that I had willed this situation into being, that my loose tongue in particular with the Belgian had altered reality in Laura's favour so engineering a justification for her lack of response and foul reply. A Quantum alteration of space time, the Kalaba Yau, the rip in space that alters vast segments of the infinite universes and pieces them together like fragments of a vast labyrinthic tapestry. I truly was the master of my own destiny through my actions. Because as Schroedinger's cat had pointed out about Quantum uncertainty 'God does play dice.' and nothing is certain until the observation is made, the rest including all the past, until it is known is simply probability. With such massive implications at hand, it seemed that our thoughts truly do create our entire reality and navigating through this dangerous cosmic mind takes us into infinite universes of possible futures still all within the structure of this universe, so giving the appearance that it is absolute here, as the physical state changes very little and only in accordance with the physical actions of all the objects within that universe. But due to the infinite nature of all the universes and realities, the reality is there is no fixed future and past, no reality at all, until observed, and even this fixedity of mind can be broken eventually given samadhi state. In truth there is no absolute to locate, only relativity. The brilliance of it is the way in which the relative existences of each object coordinates precisely with its own actions into the whole, and that is how destiny is created through the flow with the whole, and why each of us actually does have ultimate free choice and is totally responsible for our future. Like the wings of a butterfly creating the cyclone. Chaos theory - order within order within chaos.

I received an email from Auroville from Maranda, which was very friendly and took some of the sting from Laura's. It said the Englishwoman had worked out who I was and they looked forward to seeing me and SMILE. It seemed that there was a chance with her.

I saw David and he was on his crutches outside a herbal shop, I wondered if to get more laxative. I waved and came over although something said stay away. I went up and walked with him, he was heading to Nepal with nothing but his crutches, to renew his visa. He seemed to be lementing his relationship and I thought it must have ended, but it turned out he was going to come back. I left him smoking and having a chi in a tea shop, with him tellimg me that god loved me and tears came to his eyes when I told him about Lauren and my attempts to find if she was my wife. He said build the foundation first and find yourself before looking for another, then they will simply come to you without any effort.

I did not reply. I went back to Niketan to find the girls still there doing yoga, the tall blonde Russian girl kept staring at me. I went to my room and masterbated about them.

I went to yoga and decided to stick to the diet. At meditation Lauren was not there. I skipped dinner. I battled with Laura in my head and decided I would respect her wishes and not contact her again. She still invaded me but as she had said she felt she had never been there in the first place, I was wondering who I was really battling with in my mind. I got the feeling that it may have been someone else I had been thinking about deluding myself it was her. But I could not think who.

Apr 19

Lauren was not at the meditation and at yoga she was either not there or avoiding me. I got the feeling she was avoiding me and I did not feel good about it. Half of me said ignore her she is not right and the other half said try and use her to find your wife, by resolving the blockage in your psyche which is what we obviously had in common.

I stayed in my room I think most of the day, only buying some fruit and going to the lecture which I walked out of it was about meditating on objects using trachea.

I went to yoga and meditation, missing the dinner. I was contemplating whether to go to Auroville or try and resolve my situation here.

Apr 20

I slept thinking of the Englishwoman in Auroville. It seemed that there may be a possibility. But I was afraid of getting hurt again.

I got up for the meditation and Lauren was not there. She was at the yoga. I went to the front. Blocked all thoughts, but we did an elephant walk and a young woman caught my eye and she also mine. She was slim and wearing a top with a silver embroided object that may have been a heart. At the end of the class I waited to stay in peace. As I walked out she was still there and looked at me, almost seemed to be shaking. I smiled and she talked to me, told me her name was Dafney, she had a strong northern English accent. She wanted the hall to be opened during the day to do yoga, I suggested we go to the office but she said it would be closed. I had forgotten my watch and key and so had to go to the office which was open to get back into the yoga room. I went back up to my room and isolated myself, I tried to meditate on what to do, but ended up masterbating about Dafney.

I went down to email that I was going to go to Auroville, but decided to see the doctor in the ashram about my broken toe nail, he was an old man who put antiseptic and a band aid on it, then told me to 'go'. My intuition had said do not take the antiseptic it is unnecessary and not natural and will delay you. I stared at all the biscuits in his room. The bandaid fell off as I walked back to my room.

Against my instincts I went into the library and there was Dafney reading a magazine sitting next to a Japanese boy who had shaved his head and spoke only to the Japanese and always remained rigid in meditation. I remained in the room smiling at her for several minutes and she did not look up, so I took it as a sign to go. I went back to my room and tried to meditate.

I was feeling drained by the people in the rooms next to me and I was wandering if the negativity was due to the cooked food they were eating.

I felt pretty sure that Auroville was the right place, I was just not sure if the Englishwoman was my wife. Swamiji was walking up after having given his lecture and he told me my wife was in Australia. The managing trustee was an astrologer and said she was there and I could talk to him. I found out he was also the doctor, and he asked me to fill out a list of things about myself and my wife, which I gave to him later feeling I was doing the wrong thing.

I then went and checked the internet, checking flights to Chennai, the earliest flight was now 50% more at 7500 on Deccan, it left tommorrow. I was still only eating fruits. I emailed Martananda saying I could be there tomorrow night very late at 3 am. I had written 'will she marry me?' but deleted that and felt that when I did that I had cut her off as I felt a good energy that said 'yes'. I was nervous. I did not want to push her. I felt I had to get this absolutely right. I felt it would be better if I telephoned her first and I checked for the number of Repos on the internet and found it, but I did not ring. I then went to a juice stall where two young and quite sexy women were and had several carrot juices till the machine broke and a strange little old American lady came talking to the Indians about the peace conference she had been to in Bangalore.

I went to bed resolving to not let my attention be drawn to other women.

Apr 21

I deliberately missed yoga and meditation, got up after 8 and tried to meditate. I tried to go through every scenerio of the woman in Auroville accepting or rejecting, and how I would speak to her on the phone. I came to a point where I considered the most negative scenerio I could imagine. No partner with anyone ever. No more sexual relationships.

I was determined not to make the same mistake as with Laura. Creating a delusion that a relationship may occur.

I started using the mantra 'I love you' and imagined people coming into my mind and telling them this, I did not have to force this people simply came to my mind and sometimes I cried and sometimes negative thoughts came with some of the people, but I simply repeated the mantra until they understood. I experienced a great deal of bliss and sadness.

I became somewhat exhausted as I realised it was early afternoon, I had only eaten a little fruit and was feeling weak. Furthermore I realised I would have to make that call if I wanted to take the flight tonight and I felt uncomfortable about it.

I succumbed to the bed and masterbated and slept, waking up in mid afternoon. I now had to make the call to get the flight. Something held me back. I slowly got ready and went down, but at the phone shop, it felt wrong, so I told myself do not rush as you have done before, you have plenty of time, so I decided to check the email first and casually walked along the beach and took the ferry, I bought some fish food, then handed it to a young man who I felt was invading my space, he refused to take it but I insisted. In the end his friend took photos of us. At the other end I was approached by the gayish man with the hand stamps for women, I declined but gave him twenty rupees. I gave coins to sardhus in the street, more to a peacock fan seller, and ten to another stamp seller. All had approached me. I went into the internet music shop and there was one email from Martananda, saying she could not get hold of them. I sent an email asking if the Englishwoman liked me. I bought some fruit and went back by the boat, I thought if I want her then I must cut off from all other women, the English couple were at the entrance and he smiled while she looked away. They were avoiding the yoga class again. As I walked up I thought you are wrong, let everyone be free.

I met or ran after Lauren who was heading to yoga, she was standoffish. I told her to run ahead the yoga did not matter to me. I changed and went to the class, for a moment I stood there thinking walk out now and make that phonecall. But then I got a 'no', so I stayed putting my mat next to a pretty young woman who was right by the entrance, it was pretty much the only spot available unless I went in front of the middle aged Russian woman or to the back where Lauren was. I had eaten a fair amount of fruit so I took the class easy. It did not feel right, the woman behind me moved to my side, then when we namasted at the end she gave me a nasty look. As I walked out I tried to catch Lauren's eye and she deliberately ignored me. I went to the meditation going to the front as usual, the young woman took a seat not far from me. His dialogue at the end I struggled through wishing it would end. I went out again to the gate and met Lauren who was coming back, she walked straight towards me on the concrete path as if she wanted to push me off it. I stayed on it and we met, she was laughing saying why are you shaking your head, I said,
'I am smiling and saying hello.' In fact I was forcing myself to smile and repeating the mantra 'I love you'. I did not follow with the connection, but wanted to telephone to make sure they did not expect me in Repos at 3 am. I telephoned, deciding not to ask to speak to the Englishwoman. I got a French woman who was coordinator of Repos and spoke poor English, eventually she gave the phone number of Gerrard. I rang and got no answer. Then I rang Santosh and spoke to the woman, Udjana, she told me Jayesh had rung and said he was not coming back to Bombay for a while. I told her that if he cared about me he would come back, as he was only in Puna, it was not far away for him to return. She told me he would visit me in Australia, I said I was a lot older than her, she was twenty, and I told her this, that I could tell pretty well when people were telling the truth. I told her when he next rings to tell him that he must come back to Bombay straight away, I would ring in three days, and either speak to him there on the phone if possible or I would fly straight down once a meeting was confirmed and a time arranged. If when I rang in three days he had decided hot to come back to Bombay, then I would take it he was not my guru and I would no longer have anything to do with him.

I went to the email, noticing that it was a lot easier avoiding cafes being on this fruit diet. And more importantly avoiding the negativity associated with them. There was no reply to my email. So I sent an email saying I had not taken the flight. I sent another email trying to arrange a time to speak to the Englishwoman by phone. I wrote an email to my mother trying to explain my situation and saved it as a draft, sending only an email saying where I was and that Laura was not wanting me to contact her.

I went back after ten buying melon, mango and chiku fruit. I climbed the fence, meeting the guard in the process. I went to bed but was not tired. The bed was very uncomfortable and too hard.

Apr 22

Another fairly sleepless night. Caught in dilemnas. I did not go to yoga or meditation as I did not want to mix with others energy. I got up after 8. Eventually went to meditate on the lawn and an Indian couple sat down and started talking. I rebuked them and went to see the managing trustee, he kept me waiting and then checked my palm, and told me I had had one relationship and should have another, it may be just a friendship. He took measurements and told me that the person would be north of where I lived. He said he needed a few more days to work it out. I went back to my room.

I wrote this then went out, avoided the library and went to the office, my ten days had expired yesterday. I asked for an ac room was shown it, then went to the office to ask the astrologer about the woman in Auroville and he said if she is North of your home. I was then told that the ac rooms were booked out.

I went to the internet thinking the unnecesary pain I had put myself through in taking that room. The ac room had everything, hot water, comfortable mattresses and was not much more. Although the price had gone up fifty rupees that day. I was pretty much convinced my God was a sadist. And there was no way round that.

Kids hassled for money on the bridge and I was angry. A little. There was no reply from Martanda. I sent her a reminder. I fixed up the blog with more photos. The English woman who was a little short came in with her French middle aged friend. I was leaving.

I went to a juice bar and ordered pinneapple juice. I realised even too much fruit was misleading me.

I was beginning to understand the suicide. I somehow had to die for love, that was the only way I would ever meet her. And this existence was controlled by her, truly the shakti force. It was granted out of mercy. Pure mercy of love. I looked at the paper, ironically Nepal's King had agreed to democracy.

I went back to Niketan. Foreign long haired monkeys had invaded Niketan and one large one tried to steal my bag of fruit. I had to use my bag to fend it off and shout. I checked out of the room, I left my luggage in the office and just about ran across the bridge to the internet. There was no email. I went back and did the yoga, almost everyone of the pretty young girls had gone. The class was quite different with a different teacher, more warm ups and then quite hard postures including headstand. I then moved afterwards into the guesthouse, then went to meditation but left. As I walked out I bumped into the English woman who I thought was Dafni and she seemed evasive having been to another yoga class, in fact it was not Dafni but Mary, the English couple. I felt like I should have insisted that we go for a walk because I could see there were problems in her relationship taht I might have been able to solve.

I was going across the bridge to check the internet and felt the whole of existence coallescing, interconnections firing across my brain, as shear bursts of energy, of glory, of light, as if the gods were descending. There was no reply. I walked to where the young sanyassis in yellow, the young boys were chanting to the gange in front of the huge statue of shiva in lotus, where an orchestra was playing, I thought I might make some connection but there was not. I went to the Green Hotel hoping I might see the Swedish girlfriend of David, I might have seen her eating in the restaurant but the vision of her eating cooked food turned me off her. I tried telephoning Santosh, he told to ring back in ten minutes, I went to the internet, still nothing, then I rang back and got hold of the girl, Udjna, she told me Jayesh had rung and said he was not coming back to Bombay and maybe could meet me in five years, I got very angry and accused her of lying, but she insisted he had telephoned just after I had rung. She was very evasive in answering questions directly. Finally I said if he telephones get him to ring at 8.15 on Monday in the morning, and leave his number, I will then ring at 8.30 and telephone him at 8.45 am. It was pretty much my last hope. I checked the email again and there was still nothing from Martanda. So I felt I had nothing to lose, I tried telephoning the number Repos had given me, but there was no answer.

I was at a stage of let go and patted a cow, a pretty white one. I gave up and went and got some bananas and then avoided buying any more fruit, but mistakenly stopped at the juice bar where a group of young yoga students were, I got a pineapple juice and briefly talked to them, but the Americans started talking about movies and deregotary paintings of Christ. I left.

It was after ten when I got to the guesthouse.

Apr 23

I got up at 8 and spent the entire day in the room. I went through many scenerios in my mind as to how to meet my wife. I fasted, then ate some grapes washed in urine. I came to the conclusion the Englishwoman in Auroville had to say 'yes' to me because it was the best possible solution for the evolution of humanity. For the beginning of Project Eden. I went and filled my water bladder with filter water and came back, it was almost five. I had not shaved for almost a week. I was wearing the white pajama suit and Kashmiri top. The traffic was noisy outside and a radio was on. I got very mild diahorrea and it leaked into my pants before I could go to the toilet. I felt I simply had to wait until I got the right signal to either check the internet, or wait until tomorrow and the phone call to Jayesh. It seemed I truly did have to 'know' what was right, and had to wait until it was right. Even if that was painful, to speed up or try to interfere simply slowed it all down. Sometimes perhaps, one actually had to simply be quiet and bored. Indian floors seem to collect a lot of dirt and I had black scuff marks all over the bathroom and bedroom. I had the floor cleaned and got some fruit, mango, banana, and papaya.

I came back and ate the bananas. Scoffing them. It was too quick, I should not have started the eating process until I had got into my room. I wanted to start on the mangos next, but the essene diet said one fruit at a time. I looked in the mirror and felt good about myself. There was a slight yellow patch on my white pants from the faeces. I had changed to go out into the American drip dry trousers with zip off leggings. It was hot in the room even with the fan, and I took off the Kashmiri shirt that had also got stained with yellow faeces. I looked at my physique in the mirror and thought I did not look too bad. Fairly thin round the waist from fasting. But quite a good figure. Very little fat and also not much muscle. I was contemplating going to Niketan to check out the celebrations though was pretty sure they were over. It was the Guru's birthday. I gave the whitener for coffee to the boy in the canteen. The one I had carried round India with me since the Kingfisher flight to Bangalore. I finished a mango off, ravenously eating on it like a primate. I contemplated jumping in the Gange. I still felt I had to isolate myself as other people created other conflicting scenerios. One could throw them all together and see what happened but that had not worked so well for me in the past. I wanted to open a window but it seemed still too hot. I did and it was only marginal the difference. I looked across the Ganges hearing the sounds of the festival about to begin at the Shiva statue, There was a pretty green garden and lawn outside my window, with yellow daffodils, I still thought to connect with the rawfooders, with Jayesh and with my wife, I had to keep away from people. I picked up the pocket knife to hoe into the next mango and stopped myself. Dots of yellow monks appeared across the river. Or rather they were tan to orange, not unlike the skin of a papaya. There were three cone like towers, in front of Parmarth Niketan, and a gate with a chariot, horses carrying a god, a clock tower, with a Byzantine top, sugar dome. The cone towers were more the typical Indian mandala spire. Music began, and a mosquito lazily flew in through the open window. I cut a chunk of mango and one of the Indian boys leaned against the balcony rail then went. As I ate I began to think of how I could sell Jayesh to the media and how much they would pay for the story, it somehow seemed mercenery as I was thinking of keeping half the money for myself and half to Jayesh. I looked at the paint work on the window and noticed it was spattered with a pool of brown, little flecks of paint all over the white sill, as if the painter had no idea how to paint without splashing. Poorly skilled it summed up India to me. The next mango disappeared, I almost lost it to the floor as I weilded the pocket knife. I felt drawn in by the chanting as if the ghosts of the Gange gods were beckoning me to my end. It seemed to me all my days of reckoning were being drawn to a close, I practised surya bhedi then chandra bhedana pranayama. I inhaled as much as I could into the right nostril, kept the breath until uneasy, then released through the left nostril. I alternated nostrils. The latter is meant to remove excess heat. I again felt trapped, that all moves were wrong. I then went on the bed and tried Urdhwa Mukha Bhastrika which consisted of rapid forced exhilation in and out the nostrils for twelve times, then breath retention holding Jalundhara Bandha, then rapid exhalation through the nostrils. I was eyeing the papaya. Somehow even the fruit was controlling me, everything, the book on yoga, the bed, the fan, the light, the chanting, the view, I even thought to go over there, but from previous experience I saw the only point being to meet others and I doubted that would occur, I was somehow removed from the mysticism of India. I could not see that happening until I had a wife. My nose was still dry. There is something about Rishikesh that offers you hope then puts it before you as if it is there and you have it, but as you start to go towards it, it simply takes it away. Like chasing after a dream. Exactly a week and one day had past since that fateful decision to have dinner and so meeting the Lauren. I urinated into a bowl and tasted it. Bitter sweet, pungent a touch oderous, not a bad year, Ghandi of course drank a glass of his urine every day as it is a common yogic practice. It is meant to balance the Gunas. Like homeopathy ingesting a little more of what malady you have, cures the excess. Positive feedback to the body. Slightly salty, it was a choice between the urine and the papaya. The urine was winning. The papaya required more effort, I took very small sips of the urea. It was slightly sad, a little sexy, and had a touch of humour, and seemed to be waiting like a waif. I placed the plastic maroon bowl mum had given me next to the phone. I thought of Jayesh and wandered if I was really interested in him as a biological anomilly, a freak to take to the press, I felt I was waiting like a soldier for an offensive to begin, bored with nothing to do, but knowing soon a huge amount of action would be occuring. I simply had to remain calm and not interfere until d day. I am pretty sure the Afro American woman moved into the room next to mine, I thought of leaving that room. Then I spent the rest of the night willing the English girl in Auroville to say yes. I somehow slept and woke up and masterbated about fucking the black woman next door.

Apr 24

I got up and made the phone call to Santosh and as expected he said wait ten minutes, I clicked the phone off. I then headed to check the internet, it was burning sun, and I had no hat, so I turned back to bump into Lauren, who was wearing sunglasses and trying to avoid detection, I said hello and she quickly past by. She was looking quite beautiful, her blonde curly hair and baby face. I went back and a rickshaw shot across in front of me blocking my way and asking if I wanted a lift and I leaned in with my fist and he got a huge shock, but I smiled just to let him know it was ok. I decided to pack and check out, then missed the ferry just which I took as a bad omen and walked across the bridge to the internet, where a message awaited. It appeared she did not know who I was after all and Martanda gave his cell phone to call. I rang him and explained who I was and he said she really could not remember. He offered to talk to her and I said let me ring her and explain. I tried ringing and there was no answer. I was getting a sinking feeling.

I went back across and contemplated ringing, then thought try Niketan and the astrologer to see if he has pinpointed her location. The guard did not want to let me in, and I ignored him trying to go to the astro-doc-trustee, and he forced me to go to the office, which told me to go to his rooms, the guard then tried to stop me again, finally I got hold of the astrologer at the back of his house,
'What do you want?' he said gruffily.
'Have you finished the chart?'
'No, I am too busy, a few more days.'
'I am leaving.'
'She is north, 100 degrees north.'
'How far north?'
'Cannot say, only the direction can be worked out.'
I felt like I was talking to a Chinese navigator of thier fifteenth century world fleet, who were trying to locate the Southern Pole star. Who could determine latitude but not longitude in their world map.
'So it could be one step or five thousand kilometers.'
I thanked him and left. Lauren had walked past watching the guard and his antics from her balcony, I felt I may as well go and talk to her. So I approached her room and the guard told me to go away, I told him I knew her, he was insistant in stopping me. So I called out to her and she disappeared into her room. I went up the stairs and knocked and there was no answer, then the guard reappeared telling me to go. I ignored him and called her name. He started to try and grab me and I told him to go away. Lauren then answered and said she wanted to be left alone. I asked her if I could speak for five minutes. The guard then tried to pull me away and I got into a slight scuffle, telling him that I knew her and just to give me five minutes. I then tried to talk to her through the door.
'It is pretty embarrasing having a security guard try and get rid of me. I am feeling like an idiot.'
She agreed to come down to the bench.

She stood up and said that I made her feel uncomfortable and did not want to have any more long conversations with me. She still had that drawling South African female accent despite living in England for many years. I asked her to sit down and she was clearly very nervous. I told her that she was avoiding me and it made me feel uncomfortable and that she had agreed to finish our conversation and had not honored that. I tried to find out why I made her uncomfortable and she gave an example of mejoining the yoga class late and standing for several minutes before I started the class, then stopping during the class and looking round at the people, she thought this was very abnormal. I asked her if she had discussed this with anyone else and they had also thought it strange, and she said no. I told her I had done hundreds of yoga classes and it was not unusual what I had done, she seemed not to believe this. In actual fact I had turned round and stopped an asana because I felt someone draining my energy. and I had turned round and seen her and it felt as if she was the one draining me. I told her I thought this was not the real reason and what was the real reason.
'You seem so unhappy, I just want to have a good time in the ashram and it really upsets me talking to you. You stare at me for a long time not speaking and you told me you were attracted to me.'
'I am trying to find my wife, and I believe there is a connection between us that needs to be resolved before we can meet our spouses. I told you this before.'
'It is nothing to do with me. It is not my problem, I do not want to get into this with you. I am happy as I am.'
'Do you want me to leave the ashram?'
'No, but I do not want to have any long conversations with you.'
'Passing pleasantries alright?'
'Look I have not being avoiding you.'
'I think you have. What is avoiding someone? Walking past saying nothing, or quickly saying hello and then leaving as fast as possible.'
'That is not avoiding.' Her refined drawl emphasised the point.
'Just tell the truth. That is all I ask.'
'I am, you make me feel uncomfortable.'
I was thinking because I was honest enough to tell her I was attracted to her. And even more honest to ty and help both of us resolve that uncomfort which to my mind was the reason I was not meeting my wife. And it seemed she was so couched and conditioned by a dishonest world she could not see the truth when it was put in front of her.
'Look I do not want anyone feeling uncomfortable around me in an ashram so I will leave.'
'Well, don't do it because of me.'
'Ok, if it makes you feel better it is not because of you.'
In fact she was right, I had already packed to go, the place felt wrong.

I knew I should have just obeyed the security guard and all that nonsense could have been avoided, with its repurcussions. It was simply the irritation of following a laborious protocol to get in that drove me to usurp the poor man. But protocol has a reason and if you ignore it you just get booted out.

I left with the guard smiling. In a way I felt quite cruel as she clearly was very tense. And the karmic consequences manifested very quickly.

I went to the phone booth, rang Lucy, Martanda had told me her name. I got through and the French woman answered and told me to ring in ten minutes. I rang and got hold of her, she vaguely remembered who I was, and said she felt no attraction, furthermore she had just done some rebirthing and had discovered she had covered up sexual abuse as a child and so did not want to have any contact with men for a while. I could have yawned, heartless as it may sound, her slightly posh English accent, had become indistinct as she became somewhat mushy on the phone, and I could not understand a word, finally I rather calously said 'can you speak up'. She was heading to Sri Lanka in two days with the divorced old Frenchman, who I began to wonder if he had participated in the rebirthing. I explained I was simply trying to find my wife and I thought it could have been her, but obviously I was wrong. I said I was desparate and getting old and apologised if the whole thing sounded a bit ridiculous. I got the feeling she was thinking of the German man, who Martanda had mentioned she had thought I was. It seemed clear that I was simply too old and in her words intense, to garner that instantanous attraction of youth. It appeared to me that I would have to work to gain that attraction and it somehow seemed dishonest. I asked her if there were any other women doing rawfoods down there, she said everyone had left. She wished me well and that ended that.

I immediately rang Santosh, got Udja's number and rang her. Jayesh had rung and had simply left a message saying 'he had told me what to do, and there were no excuses.' He was angry with Udja for not making that clear to me. It sounded sort of right if not misplaced, and I thanked her and humg up. I then sat down felt like crying on the Ganges beach and instead bought a little boy some fruit who kept on saying five rupees. I changed using a towel near some young Indian women who had put up a blanket to change, then jumped in the Ganges and swam coming past a raft full of Indians. It was shallow, the river bed. Full of fish. I had tossed bread rolled up into balls from the ferry earlier. A rather ugly amma, young, held the blanket up as young jeans clad women changed in a deliberately provocative way, I ignored them. The amma was left to clean up while they headed brashly off. I felt sorry for her in her drab brown sari and terrible teeth.

I decided to ring John, the pentacostal from Chennai, and my mother, I left a message for her. John was busy and I rang him back from Swiss village where I bought a yoga mat case. I had a long conversation with him and he said turn back to Jesus, come to Chennai or go back to Australia. I told him I had tried Jesus and it had not worked, he said try harder, I told him I thought I had to die, he said no, Jesus had taken all our pain. I said I would try and signed off.

I walked into the cafe to look at a young woman who ignored me and I knew I was going against the flow. I then walked to Luxmi Julla into the Maharaja ashram with its huge windowed glass hall overlooking the turn in the Ganges, they were chanting, and I thought, no there is nothing here, I do not believe this. I do not believe any of this religion or any religions, not even in God. It is all self created, up to you to make the best or not, it is simply science, that is the answer. I crossed the bridge, almost went to the Bihar school and thought what is the point, I bumped into the Canadian couple who suggested yoga with the old American woman at seven am.

I walked in the dark on the twisty back lane with its stone fences, wondering why I found what could be quite a beautiful world so lifeless. What had taken that beauty away and the answer came back as women. No woman no love no life no beauty no joy, the last time I had seen the beautiful world was with the German woman Astrid. Four years ago. I crossed the bridge at Ram and bought fruit, took my luggage and moved to the Krisna temple.

I felt much happier and they were smiling, but I felt that same lag as they checked me in which said this is wrong. One of them wanted to learn guitar. I was tired and went to my room.


Apr 25

This is a new file for a new day. I missed the yoga, slept through the alarm. Fasted most of the day. Finally capitulated having a thali at the Krisna restaurant at almost five pm. I met an American devotee who tried to persuade me to keep the fruit diet and refused to go into the restaurant. He told me the spiritual master here had been in jail six years for grand larceny and racketeering. Someone had been murdered on his property as well. ISKON did not like him because he mixed in too much Christianity. I had done a lot of emailing trying to sort out messes back in Australia which were probably going to be ignored. I phoned mum in the morning and it was a mistake, I got caught in asking her what I should do, and she clearly did not want me back in Melbourne, Zander was unchanged or worse. I ended up going into the wife thing and this led to me saying I could not return to Australia and lead that same life. And that I would prefer to commit suicide rather than to go through that again. She did not believe me and said there was nothing she could help me with. She said she was an atheist so there was no point asking her to pray, she said she would give no advice and only was prepared to listen, she then preceeded to continually interupt me giving vieled advice like comments, like 'what do you expect approaching women in their twenties' and when I said other men my age do, she said 'when you are unemployed' . The negative comments continued, like, 'I've heard that before' when I said I could not go back to a disability pension, I would prefer to die than live a lonely life doing nothing. When I said I was thinking of going to the USA, her only comment was 'and how are you going to pay for that', I said do volunteer work. Finally she said she had an appointment to go to. In truth I suspected that she probably would prefer me dead rather than have to deal with the horrific upbringing we had had under her and admit she had mistreated her children. Neglected them, verbally abused them, put down men and her ex-husband in a cruel and thoughtless manner, sworn at her children even hit them. Used intellect to crush them in arguments rather than support them with love. And somehow was so self obbsessed lacked even the conscience to realise she was doing anything wrong. Basic love. And so her 41 year old son haunted her from the past like a ghost to tell her all was not right. For he was the by product of her treatment of her self centredness. Of her put downs. Of her own failure to get on with others. Of her own failure to admit she was wrong, to apologise for cruel behaviour. Though that was in fact the main cause of the problem, as a child she would have outbursts of scathing attacks using sarcasm such as 'you are my paragons of all virtue', then later she would rush in crying and apologising for hurting us or me. These mood swings from good to bad were so unstable that it was impossible to develop any sort of trust. Hence my paranoia or fear of others, and my incredible shyness towards women as a youth. Which was so often mistaken as arrogance by others.

The Krisna devotee tried to persuade me to stay in the temple, he was quite insistent and did not give me a chance to speak. When he told me my desire for marriage he said see Ammamitrananda, she is the living Durga. He was obsessed with curing my pilya or hepatitus telling me to go to an ayervedic ashram in Rishikesh, or Hardewar, meantime I had ordered a taxi and was relieved when it had arrived. He suggested I send it away as I tried to get my bags. He had already given me a rendition of the Ramayana, describing the Rickshasas as vampires, telling me that it all happened a million years ago when people could shape change, but there were still a few out there that occasionally took a hermit or two in the dark. He was a young 45 and had those mad eyes of someone living in India for seven years and a devout Hare Krisna devotee. As I waved goodbye I had this sudden sense that I was doing the wrong thing and the Krisna devotee was sent by the Lord to show me the truth. But this thought was overridden by that of a more palatable fact that the world is a hard place and if you want to face the truth of it you have to accept its hard cruelty, that of evolution of the fittest, the Krisnas rested on ancient scriptures with parcels of truth in amongst myth, to accept the myth as truth was simply to escape the world and live in an escapist fantasy as the devotee did. A nice protected fantasy world of Krisna and the gopis in amongst a planet of cows. But there was one reality and that was the shiver that went through me for a long time that night in Niketan when I asked who else was in the room and the answer came back your dead daughter murdered by your will in the womb of your partner - now 17 years old. I who now tried to so value life that I tried to avoid killing mosquitoes, had not eaten meat in 9 years, had executed my own child, and it seemed she did not forgive me, her mother as far as I knew had not married and was now likely never to have a child. But these were facts not ancient exagerated stories of the past, so manipulated by time that their consistency to the truth was as nebulous as the gas clouds surrounding the Milky Way. The old taxi driver took me to the Ram Dev ashram on the Krisna's advice, it turned out to be the ayervedic doctor I had met at Garneshpurri so many months before. It had a feeling of peace and was located in a wealthy quiet area of Haridwar, but there was no accommodation and it was a more a medical centre. I got confused by them trying to direct me to a hotel and a mob of rickshaw wallahs descended like a plague of locusts and I got into the taxi and told him to simply drive me to a hotel near the bus stand to Corbett. He took me to some dirty noisy hotels, and I complained bitterly and eventually I made him stop outside a nice hotel with ac and give him a tip. Somehow I felt a huge surge of relief being out of Rishikesh and the people of Niketan. In fact the whole place, it was like a wait was lifted from my shoulders. Even the depressing chaos of the streets was somehow a relief if only to appreciate the quiet ashrams of Rishikesh. There was even a circus in town.

I checked in feeling relief and bargaining down an ac room for 800 which as usual had peeling paint, but otherwise was nice.

I had an unnecessay meal of ice cream cassata, milk shake, pizza and coffee. A feast if you like to indulgence in the clean ac restaurant with its quiet Islamic music. I read the paper. The Nepali King was trying to back track on his deal. Iraq was deterioting into civil war with the elected government unable to even decide on a cabinet. The shower did not work and I got them to let me go into another room, I started using my chemical products again. I watched TV which was mostly violence, a rerun of Lethal Weapon. I stopped and tried to sleep but the confused thoughts of Rishikesh crept back, like where is my wife and what should I do? Which seemed like endless circles. Unresolvable. Somehow bugs always bit me and I had a line of spots on my chest from bites. I needed hard physical exercise and wanted to get to the National Park and mountains.

I knew I deserved better and my mother and father were keeping me in hell. There refusal to evolve with my enlightened message was also an indictment on my own inability and lack of strength to communicate it. In general you could reiterate that with everyone I had met. I somehow new Corbett was an escape from spiritual life to see Tigers and mix with mundane unenlightened boring people just having a holiday and without the pretensions of yogic perfection. But I had tried hard to be the yogi with diet and asanas and meditation, and in truth I had felt betrayed for my austerities by the gods. They had not given me a suitable partner and in a way made a fool of me in front of women. And it seemed to me that the pain I had endured for that reward was simply more delusion in the respect of thinking that I would be rewarded as a result. I was reminded of the article in the paper about the nineteen year old Indian American Harvard student and author who had been accused of plagurising another woman's book. She was called KaavyaViswanathan and it was about Opal Mehta getting a life and falling in love. Sloppy Firsts, Ms Megan McCafferty's book seemed to have a lot of similar passages. Having been in India where piracy and copyright go hand in hand it seemed quite appropriate that she was of Indian extraction, although her passages seemed actually better written than Sloppy Firsts. Usually in India the piracy is a poor fudged obviously fake and badly recorded copy of the exact same thing. It made me consider going to Harvard.

In trying to visualise Tracy, in those days in Niketan, I had somehow seen a sort of German goddess that I could not really place except on a beach with long blonde curly wavy hair and a round face. She seemed totally in bliss. I could not place the beach, meanwhile in this room, I have switched on the ac which sounds like a tuk tuk of the Rishikesh variety. I am getting a vision of her again and it is similar to the woman I travelled with in the Sinai so many years back, but it is not her. She seems to love me. The astrologer told me from my palm I was not a businessman or rather would work for others. I did not ask him what it was in my palm that confirmed this, though my delvings into business had been unmitigated disasters. I was not ruthless enough. I wondered if he had seen her in his quest to find my wife. Directly north of Melbourne on a beach could be Cairns, Papua, Japan or Siberia. The beach seemed tropical so Cairns or Papua. Or the Mariners. Either way she seemed to say no. Pointing to Seaspray in Gippsland for some absurd reason.

Or maybe it was to do with the fact that India was signing a deal with Germany as PM Singh was there in Hanover shaking hands with a robot and Chancellor Merkel. Pune based Force Motors should be worth investing in now as a major bus manufacturer.

I fell asleep after watching an Arnie movie about clones. There it ended. Becoming a clone.

Apr 26

Got up at 8 and could see the results of the cooked junk food, bags under the eyes and a sick feeling in the stomach. And depression. I took a cycle rickshaw to the bus stop and found only a local bus could get me to Kashpuri now, then change to Ramagnar? The hotel manager had said the only other choice was a taxi. I got the bus, which was hot and cramped. I purchaed two seats, for 200. Bought plums, bananas and mandarins. And water. I should have bought three seats. It clearly caused resentment to those standing who wanted the seat. But I had the backpack on it. We drove through flat plains with gum trees and stunted small trees. Brick factories broke up the fields of crops. Maize I suspect. Nepali type people were in front and spoke no English. The trees by the road were marked with white and red stripes. I had bought a paper and read it most of the way. It appeared Kaavya had admitted unconsciously borrowing from Sloppy Firsts and apologised. We moved into orchards of probably mango trees. The bus got rid of its excess cargo. A boy borrowed my paper. There was a long article on China to be more powerful than America by 2042 according to Goldman Sachs. And it crossed my mind that if America was to do any good for the world it needed to exert its power now for that purpose before it was too late. It seemed to me that currently it was misusing that power for its own gain. It also crossed my mind that Australia may be economically forced to populate with Asians when they gained world power. We may not be given a choice by them given our position geographically and our empty land mass and low population. European dominance may become historicallly a mere blip on the history of Ausralia. It may be that if this is to be avoided Australia may have to act now to rapidly populate to say fifty million with European immigrants whoever they maybe.

We stopped at a checkpoint that seemed set up by the government to check on bus records. The road was good and with little traffic. We were almost at Kashpuri and the heat mixed with the air flow from the open windows crated a cocoon like effect, I was dehydrated but at the same time needed to go to the toilet so could not drink the water I had bought. Tamil Tigers had broken their truce with a massive suicide bombing by a woman disguised as pregnant who almost killed the army chief. Just as I broke my fast of fruits and headed to the Tiger Park at Corbett, Was god having a laugh. On other simian fronts a gang of chimps in Sierra Leone had gone on the rampage killing a taxi driver and inuring three Americans. Were they unhappy with Bush?

We stopped and I had a lassi and a pakora and managed to urinate in the ladies as the sign was noly in Hindi. The attendent came in as I pissed and outside waiting was the lady I had moved off her seat in the bus to take my two seats. Cone shaped haystacks filled greener fields as we headed on to Kahpuri after a long stop. They had little spires at the top. A few palms appeared. I realised somehow it was in the small steps that the future lay. Like being generous. Not always easy, the sikh old man who watched me drink my lassi and looked longingly on, I wanted to buy him one, but I could see he was too proud. The middle aged woman in the bus who eyed my backpack as she stood, I thought shall I offer it to her, but then where would the backpack have gnne - blocking the aisle to others annoyance. It was a weak justification for not going the extra mile, and as Jesus lived if you don't do that then you die inside as another selfish law abider, who acts without love. And India was populated with a plethora of such Pharisees. It was almost three and still not there. Certainly none of the young men got up for her. We arrived to the sound of horns and corrugated iron stalls.

I ended up in an empty bus station and the oldest most dilapidated rusting falling to bits rickshaw was procured for me to get my luggage to another bus stop to Ramnagar. The bus was waiting to go and it was one of the crushed in seat squasher types. I was crushed in but again took two seats. A young boy stared at me and I felt that drain of energy to the groin and swung my legs as if I might suddenly kick him, he seemed to back off and strange thoughts went through my mind, like how much it might cost to procure someone like him to kill. He had the beady eyes of a thief and kept staring at my waist bag. Eventually in an hour or less we were at the town which was almost pretty for India with winding streets, narrow and picturesque. I was dropped and a jeep without a top offered to take me to the tourist office, but I grabbed a lift off a passing jeep when he said it would cost fifty to go one kilometre. The office was sleepy and slow and run down. They did not want to let me into the park, but I insisted and got a bed at Bijrani, it was closing at five the gate, I had just made the last bed. I then had the usual squabble with jeep drivers who wanted two thousand for three days, which was really one day. They would not budge and I ended up with the guy who I had refused to take, he had the newest vehicle. Although I rather regretted that I had not got the old man. He refused to take my bags and wanted loud hindi disco music on. And again I felt my energy go to the groin, he insisted on going at a snails pace through the ten klicks to the guesthouse in the park. Termite mounds, deer and dry scruby bush greeted us. The guesthouse was old and decayed and the room tiny and decrepit. Almost dirty. Electricity came on at seven and off at ten. It was costing me a thousand a night effectively. I had a cold shower and shaved off the beard with the blunt razors I had, in the jeep I had stared into the side mirror and seen a worn out wrinkled old face, tired and weatherbeaten, it had depressed me as the driver pointed out deer that I photoed.

A British Indian ex-Marine was cursing the guide about the conditions and the six thousand he was paying for it. I tried to calm him but he was in a worse mood than I usually got into, I felt quite cheered by him. But he was not going to be calmed and demanded electricity all night. There were tables outside the canteen. And no other foreigners, only Indians. The sound of the generator, a tall tree and the smell of earth. I felt somewhat relieved to be out and away from habitation.

He went to bed and I joined some people under the stars, a doctor and forex dealer. They recharged my Palm in their room. It was pleasantly cool. They paid to have the generator on all night. Complaining a little about the cost and making it clear that others unpaying would benefit like myself. I told them that I prefer silence. Reflecting eyes in the dark could be seen in the far distance. I dreamed of Tigers, man eating ones and that my time was up.

Apr 27

I was woken by the doctor's wife who handed me my Palm at five twenty, the guide who was meant to get me up was nowhere to be seen. I found him half awake outside his quarters and yelled across the compound for him to run. Slapped him on the back and asked where the guide was. Made him wake up the warden who said there would be no guide. We drove off into the dawn light and I immediately told him to go faster and gave directions as to which tracks to take; I was taking the advice of the Marine, and the driver complained bitterly as the Marine had said he would, but then they had found a Tiger by following the Marine's military instincts, Sikh background and going off the beaten track. Almost immediately he insisted waiting at the place Tigers had last been seen. But after five minutes I suspected he was happy to wait the whole three hours here and save on petrol, so I told him to get going. He tried the same thing shortly again, and I ordered him on, soon we were being overtaken by other jeeps which is exactly what I wanted to avoid. 1,200 square kilometers and we had hardly moved. We got to a tree hut and I climbed it, and like the camp it looked as if it had been there since inception of the Park on 8 August 1936 by good old Jim Corbett, ironically pretty much when India got home rule, I wondered if this was a coincidence, or a result of an enlightened Indian government, or a desparate last ditch attempt to get through a park to save the Tigers before Indians took control. I was tired, and sick from food poisoning from the meal last night, and exhausted from another bad nights sleep. The room was tiny, dirty and hot even with the fan mosquitoes had attacked and the sheet felt dirty so I got into my sleeping bag. Deer had come close during the night, I had seen them through the wire netting.

We passed Barking and Spotted deer, one larger variety, the Sambar which had a sort of arrogant elegance in the way it casually looked around, my driver said they were a favourite dish of the Tiger, and hairy monkeys. Even a peacock displaying its plumes. A few wild birds some apparently were quite rare, a Muggar, but no Tiger. In fact Corbett has more bird diversity than all of Europe, 600 species. He located Tiger paw prints, faeces and stopped to listen for a roar, barking deer barked which was meant to be a sign, and he even let out a few cries himself to imitate the deer and draw the Tiger. He looked hopefully when he heard a reply, but I felt it was all a sham and had this knowing feeling we would not see a Tiger. I surrendered to his directions, and the throng of vehicles that arrived thinking old Jim would turn in his grave - thirty jeeps were allowed in at a time in just this section of the Park. His greatest concern was that the tour should end in three hours exactly, which seemed to start from the time we should have left not the time we did. He had the look of a Tiger, even a Tiger smile, and complained like a Tiger. But he could not manifest a Tiger. At one stage he even banged his arms and head in apparent frustration at my directions. Towards the end I basically said what is the point of driving along roads where other vehicles are just in front, because surely the Tiger will be scared off. I wanted to do as the Indo-Brit had suggested and take a route no-one else has been on, and he did see a Tiger this way. I could not seem to get him to understand this, instead we stopped at waterholes, where cars circled round and overlooking stream beds to the noise of passing vehicles. At one point five jeeps passed in a convoy of Indians balanced standing up on the back, and they packed them in. Jeeps went by as we headed back and each time the jeeps stopped for the drivers to pass comment, with the perplexed look of no Tigers or 'sher' as they were called in Hindi. It was as if the sher market had collapsed, or perhaps a bear market had arisen. In fact Sloth Bear, Jackel, Jungle Cat and Leopard all existed in the Park. I put the seat back and slept, as we bounced round, I was too sick to give any more orders.

At nine we arrived to two TV cable crews from Sahara and ETV. They wanted to interview me. I had managed to organise a guide for the afternoon, after another its impossible routine and I have to go the main gate. A guide turned up and then said that he or someone would turn up and I demanded that it be him. The heat was beginning to soak in and the guide told me to give a positive interview. ETV switched off when I said I had not seen much widlife, Sahara however came to my room and conducted a closet interview where I complained about the food and the room. The park itself was quite clean. However the scrub had that worn feel about it like a quarry or rehabilitated rubbish dump in Australia. It somehow just did not feel wild to me. The TV interviewer said Dakka much further in was much more wild and scenic. However fewer Tigers had been seen there as the complex was large and modern. Wadi like streamless river beds full of rocks made up breaks in the scrub, where Tigers should have been wandering, it was in the camp that I actually spotted a wild elephant up a hill side. A Bengali family moved in next door and the insurance assessor insisted it was lack of rights that kept Indians in poverty. I said that and more importantly a work ethic to provide good service, such as guides who wanted to turn up and guide. I went to the canteen and risked a sandwich and drank heaps of orange juice as I dehydrated in the midday heat. I ordered a stuffed paratha that lived up to its name and was at melting point temperature when it arrived. Most of the items were not available, like chips, lassi, desserts, chinese cuisine, in fact almost everything I attempted to select, I got the distinct feeling that god was against me. He had warned me not to go here. He had made sure I remained isolated, certainly from Europeans.

I slept and was woken up by the driver. The guide was not the person I had asked for and spoke little English. He took us on a merry chase, down back trails that were quite rough and the driver complained, until I told him to shutup and I would drive if he found it so difficult. There was a slight rocky uphill stretch that he did not like, where I got out of the car to get a photograph much to their protests about Tigers. I told the driver that I knew he was trying to save money on petrol by driving so slowly. There was a deathly silence in the car afterwards. We were going through cooler forest for the afternoon heat, but no tigers. We did get a good view of a Crested Serpent Eagle. Finally I offered money if we saw a Tiger and gradually increased it to 250 rupees each. This cheered them up, but we started to get back on the main track and passed a throng of jeeps full of school children who had seen nothing, so I was not hopeful. They also told me that people offered them thousands of rupees if they spotted a Tiger. During the last stretch we came across a band of the 600 wild elephant in the park, they were down in a river bed and trumpeting along at full pelt, even with a baby, the guide told me they were the most dangerous animal in the Park and had attacked jeeps. Finally we dropped the guide off and I offered a thousand to the driver if he took me on and we saw one, he drove me back a pathetically short distance and to a water hole just in front of the guesthouse. I basically thought it was a waste of time. A1though when he drove further away and stopped in the bush beforehand I thought perhaps he had something worthwhile to offer. We sat and waited and it seemed as if he was willing one of the 140 tigers in the Park to come to us and I almost felt something coming. Tiger, tiger in the night burning eyes ever so bright, the dusk was coming and I felt somewhat relieved that the day was over. Yet in that bit of jungle I thought you have made a mistake, if we had gone slowly and waited and willed the Tiger to us it may have come. But it seemed my driver was such a young tiger and I was rather middle aged that we were both seeking different Tigers and as a result could not agree on a method that suited us to find it. Ther result no Tiger.

At the camp some Dutch young people had arrived and seen a Tiger inear Dhakala, They were just out of school, two women and a man. I asked them to join me for dinner. They were overcoming from illnesses of the stomach and hardly touched their food. Later I tried the guitar at my room. And then because it was so hot that evening, I went back to the canteen and ordered cold drinks, there was a strange man who said he was just living here and claimed he was a political science masters graduate, spoke good English and was a communist. He in fact ran the canteen as a cooperative, he shared out the profits with the workers, and I was amazed that he was so genuine in sticking to his ideals. I bought drinks fo the staff which they did not charge me for. I slept better that night thinking of the whisky drinking, bearded unmarried Marxist and his crew of Nepali and local workers; he even had taken in a neglected young boy. In fact the back of the premises looked a bit like an African village. .

Apr 28

I was woken up on time by my driver today, Ansar was his name, the driver's name, I had to get up and go to recepton which was open and the gruff officer took my details for the elephant safari. I managed to get some toast and chi. The Dutchies ignored me as they headed off. The elephants were large and lumbering, we sat on platforms on top, like a Maharaja hunting party. No Tigers did we see, but some wild elephant through the jungle at a distance, watched us. Puna businessmen and their wives kept me company. The Bengali family led on their elephant looking somewhat miserable. Even grandma was up on top and the kids. Three hours later we returned and Ansar was straight up to me wanting to know when he could leave. This irritated me, but in fact he wanted to take me into the bush to see if we could spot a Tiger and earn his thousand. I had had enough and said no. I packed up, strummed a bit, and we headed out, I asked him to switch off the tape deck he wanted to play and we were back in Ramnagar.

I made a phone call to Sattal saying I was coming. Sameer took me to Satal ashram in his Suzuki Maruti. I became sick on the winding mountain road, largely because I was typing into the Palm. The plains were invisible under haze. He stopped and let me take photos on the way, and even allowed me to do a tour of some caves. We drove past the Imperial High Court and its granite stone blocks to the lake and the mass of hotels, then into the slums and finally down the other side to Bhimtal and the last stretch to Sattal. This was confusing as it was not signposted, and we initially went to a Krisna ashram on a dirt road. Christian and Krisna got confused. The turn offs were at the same place.

A winding lane led to this non-sectarian ashram where stone houses built in European style with slanted rooves congregated around a lake or just above it. In a sleepy dining hall was the large elderly sister and some young Indian men. They had that dark malevolent look in their eyes of suffering and hardness. The driver said he had no change conveniently, and it took a while to get him the exact amount. Seemingly strange since he told me he had already done one long drive this morning. I went to my room and slept very peacefully. Was woken for dinner and met Kim a Canadian teacher in Qatar and Imka, a young Israeli. We talked till late and that night I slept badly on the hard mattress.

Apr 29

Got up late for breakfast and talked about teaching with the foreigners until almost lunch. Then got the guitar and played to a small boy, had lunch where Kim gave me a verse of Mathew on carrying the yoke and went to my room. It was very basic with a fireplace. The place did not feel right. I did not feel protected by Jesus. It seemed I was avoiding responsibility in Australia and working.

I played guitar then went for a walk to the lake where a mass of Indian tourists and row boats were. I cut directly up the slope, struggling amongst the sliding pine needles, dry brown on the ground. Met some tracks and came across a row of cottages, continued on to a chapel, quite modern and roundish, where a pastor met me. We talked and I told him that on the walk I had asked God what I should do, as all I had tried had not worked, and I got back an answer saying love your brother. Go and help him in Melbourne. I told him I was not sure this was the truth. He prayed for me. A woman appeared.

She sat on the steps outside the main house and I was sure I would meet her at dinner. When I came down, she was not there, just the two men in silence. I broke the silence and the Israeli seemed angry and left. He was in fact trying to remain in silence. I discussed a bit of string theory with Kim. But he was more interested in talking about Christ. I managed to get another mattress to sleep on, I slept on both on the floor.

Apr 30

Woke up to dreams of Grummet and school, borrowing a towel off him and returning it late and damp in amongst two other towels I already had. Offering to wash it. Him refusing and saying he will not lend to me again and me replying I won't lend to him and him saying yes I will.

I missed breakfast and played guitar. The little boy came again and switched on the tuner and the notes it plays while I was playing oblivious to the fact. I told him 'no' and he left.

I overlook some steepish hills with a hut or two on them, the trees are some pine but mostly probably beech. Not very large. The birds sing. A dog barks. I can hear children playing. It comes back to the same issue. What to do?

If I try and tune into Jesus, it seems to call me back to Melbourne. But I do not feel good about this fearing the association with my mother and brother, I am not even sure if I could stay at Campbell Rd. America seems an escape, that may work. Possibly teaching there.

I could try and find some remote place to write. Victory for Christ written by the American, Dr Stanley, a psychiatrist and missionary who set up Sattal was recommended by the pastor. I looked at one of his books Christ and Communism written in the thirties and predicting the world would have to make a choice in the next twenty five years between the two. He seemed to believe the communist propaganda about how successful they were in production and failed to see that lack of inovation due to supressing ideas would cause its collapse. He was convinced capitalism would fail because it was profit motivated and did not distribute fairly, so keeping people in poverty. He was wrong. Capitalism won and it won because it distributes more efficiently through the market than any other system and its competiveness keeps it efficient and supplying what the market wants. Furthermore it does not keep people in poverty, it tries to enrich them for its own survival and growth, if they cannot purchase then it dies. However, he did not agree with Adam Smith and thought it had to be up to Christianity to offer the alternative, peacefully distributing equally to each other through loving kindness.

I was thinking of making a day trip to Nainital. Trying to find an ashram there. I had less than three weeks on my visa. Time was indeed running out. I went outside the dinning hall and played more music, then succumbed to asking for breakfast in the antique kitchen. The cook always seemed sullenly, maybe for rejecting his religion of Hinduism. For it seemed to me that I was in an impure place, where you did not take off your shoes to enter a room, where eggs were served and meat accepted. Simple and biblical tables looking like that of the last supper sat before an iron cross made of metal poles. I still felt unfullfilled, in part I knew I had to get this part right otherwise I would move into another mess. It was not perfect here, but it had solitude. I had gone through the guitar chart sheet trying every chord. But my singing had sounded out of tune, I was in truth out of tune with this place. My soul in fact was out of tune with existence and all I wanted was to bring it back in tune. Bring it back to what it was cut off from. Remove that deadness, that part that had died inside. Let it die the Israeli had said. I had this dread feeling I had to be doing something and I was not doing it, I was not fulfilling my duties. All my attempts at a holiday, at meeting a partner, would all fail, because I was seeking my own pleasure, and not willing to give back to society. To God if you like.

Like the unfulfilled explanation of space time by Kim as he tried to expand upon the pythagarus theorem to show how relativity allowed time to be a dimension that could be moved about in like a coodinate just as space can be move in. But Kim's weakness was when it came to explaining the very simple he would lose patience, seek to go or jump into the complex. He was no different from humanity, like learning Hindi from the Indians who had no patience to simply speak very slowly and in the most basic language.

At lunch yesterday, the elderly Sister had arrived late. The boys were talking about motorbikes and obviously wanting to play my guitar as one of them had one. I told him I had to be truthful and I felt he was invading my space. This shocked Kim who attempted to explain what this meant to him. However as I said before their energy here seemed somehow impure compared to the yoga ashrams. Kim remarked that it was not what you took in but what came out according to the scriptures. I tried to point out that what you consumed did have a physical and spiritual affect on you. Kim shook his head and his large tum wobbled. He was only 52 but he looked older. He was clearly stressed by his job and family. He was convinced in Christ and had a good brain. But something was missing. There was a chauvenism in his belief the male was the head. He could not grasp the trinity but then did not want to hear my explanation. He admitted his pride, he clearly had an intellectual pride, not unjustifiably, he had been contemplating a Phd on superstring theory and mathematical compacting of the dimensions. I was still guilty of forcing people to talk beyond their limitations.

Subject - the son. Attma the self perceiving itself and the creation.
Object - the father. External creator and creation or Brahma made up of maya and prakrita.
Relationship - the holy spirit. The mystical interconnection or energy that binds and experiences, relates the external with the internal.

Duality requires a Trinity to connect it. The binary code.

I had felt an agression when I had rung Sattal and now it was more obvious. God had said no and I was drawn like a fly to a sticky flower to be consumed. The well of gravity had overcome good sense to propel me towards a goal from the past, the past of Christianity, so Kim was right we do in a very tricky way travel through time like a coordinate, and I had gone back in time, only the body was still aging going forward in time. But the psyche had gone back. And here I was in India, the land of my grandmother and its foreign Christian rulers. What was I avoiding? Epirrhapto is the Greek to stitch upon according to Strong's exhaustive concordance of the Bible. The library was opened. I checked the phenetics of the Greek script with the Latin and it seemed the colonists of Italy had misplaced their alphabet, mistaking pi for p, which was in fact r in Greek. In fact the whole Roman alphabet must have been a source of great humour to the ancient Greeks; as it is one mistaken transfer of the Greek after another. h is confused with e, although there is some excuse for the Greek e is a shortened form of e. Everything is out of place accept a and b and d, i, o and arguably. Gamma or the greek g somehow became a y in Latin. Ger and cer must have been confused with the half T of capital gamma being misdraw as a C. The triangle delta must have got elongated and put on its side to get D. Z got dropped to the end. H which is eta must have got mixed with chi or the Greek X being added phonetically to the end of e, so making e-ch or aych or h.

I had lunch and walked to the lake with Kim. We talked for ages about God and Christ and a scientific approach. First principles and existence. I saw my brother and even Dr Stanley in him. I asked him to pretend he was God. He was making too many assumptions, not coming back to the basic first principle, the processing of the information and the validity of the data. Before even the I. All the sensory input and the response interacting with the received information. Then along comes this other processing unit that seems independent of this processing unit and it is unsure whether it is a distant seemingly separate part of the same processing unit, but it is definitely received as part of the input information. The question then becomes how is it known if it is a separate entity from the processing unit. It certainly sees itself as such, when responded to and feels it is as much receiving information and processing it as the processing unit, it even conjectures the same hypothesis to the processing unit that in fact it is a part of it. Somehow both units are denying the others relative existence. Are unsure of the others existence although certain of their existence. There is a possibility that the information being received is false or incomplete. How can it be tested? Using the other entity.

I had dinner and more conversation with Kim. The Israeli appeared briefly. Even the other entity could be exactly misinterpreting the information from its perspective, therefore that could not be used to test the truth of the information. It seemed there was no way to test its absolute truth. The question was then is it of importance whether the information is true or not. And a more fundamental question. What is the function of the processor and how is it processing? To best process and respond to the information in order that the processor feel in harmony or happy. The purpose or function to process harmonically. Or to feel good. This is achieved by best processing the information. This is not a given as what is meant by best, and observation suggests that inefficient processing sometimes produces happiness and efficiency can result in unhappiness. How does the processor process? Information inputed is sorted according to past stored memory, determined if relevant, stored, overall data is assessed in accordance with memory information and actions and results also stored in memory, conclusions or decisions are then made as to current input and past memory, this is stored, action is then outputed through the body. There is an overlap going on throughout this process with all these steps.

May 1

Last night I slept very badly having eaten too much. I dreamed of some psycho Gordon Highlander obsessed in his regalia and swords, rolling himself up in gigantic newspapers and being locked up for self harm. It was so unpleasant I could not sleep the rest of the night and felt that some nutcase might be outside. I felt the impurity of the place, the fact that the founder had been a psychiatrist and the food, even Kim, made me feel it was time to leave. I had tried to pray to Jesus and had felt nothing good. The more Kim had tried to persuade me the more it felt wrong.

I paid a visit to the pastor and he gave me a new testement. Then got a lift on the sister's jeep to the town of Bhimtal. A bus took me to Nainital, where I elbowed people leaning on me out of the way, got up for a fat elderly woman. And sat finally at the front next to school girls, one of whom put her hand between the legs of a middle aged fat man, supposedly to stabalise herself, though I doubted it, I stared at him in particular in pity. I thought of Christ and morality, noticed I had become more aggressive since being in the ashram. Less tolerant of them, I vowed to get a taxi back. The Dutch people from Corbett were at the bus stand as if to give a parting farewell to me and as I chatted to them I wondered why God had placed me to meet them then. To taunt me as if to say you could have had some pleasant days with them instead of being alone or talking with a kind of emptiness with Kim. I walked round the lake telling myself it was all for a good reason and that I should trust Christ, that there was a higher truth to be learned in Sattal. I ended up finding a restaurant called Purohit, pure veg. As if God was reinforcing my prejudice a white woman dressed as a Hindu with an Indian man came in and sat down in the next restaurant within my view and looked round at me. It irritated me, somehow there was something about them that seemed corrupted. I shouted at the staff to get the meal or I would walk, and it came straight away. I moved again so I could not see her. People were rowing on the lake, I decided to go up to the rope chairlift. It was a pleasant mix of cool and warm air outside. I went to an internet cafe and sent emails and printed out my letter to dad.

It was 70 not cheap, and I was pushed in with couples giggling. At the top were a mass of air rifle game parlours, the usual outdoor cafes all facing each other and none towards the view. In fact the view was blocked by large pine trees almost everywhere. I walked by a small village clinging on to the peak. I was feeling wary from the altitude and out of breath. An amusement park with a giant propelled straight up ride marked the highest spot. I found a cafe with a verhanda where one could look over the lake and valley in peace. The other side down to the plains was blocked by the Summer haze. I had an expresso and read the new testement. Randomly I selected a passage on gifts to the parents and the hypocrisy of the pharasees in not truly honoring them, this was combined with them criticising him on being unclean because his disciples were not washing their hands before eating. Jesus thanklessly said it is what comes out of a man not what goes in that makes him unclean. He obviously had not been to India.

I came back hogging the front of the cable car and then went to a secluded pastry shop for a chocolate cake, Sakley's in a line of shops near the walkway to the ropeway. I referred to the bible and hit upon Corinthians where it was said it was disgusting for a woman to speak in church. The gist of it was only speak in tongues if there is an interpreter present otherwise hold your tongue. I was still alone and still unhappy and as Kim had said you are not alone you are rejecting the living God who is always with you, and if you feel alone and rejected by women then imagine how Jesus feels you have treated him. Accept God through Christ and you will never be alone. I contemplated this and more than that the ability for my sins to be forgiven by his death. It seemed impossible, how could such an act redeem me. It also seemed true that almost everything I did was failing, was not right, was not bringing me happiness. It seemed no matter how hard I tried to do the right thing that I was going to do wrong. That I like all of us was inherently imperfect, subject to error, no matter how hard we tried. All my attempts at austerities and purification to obtain oneness or enlightenment had collapsed. How could I get it right, how could I reconcile with my existence, God if you wish? How could I meet my wife?

Act with unconditional love. Accept reconciliation through Christ taking all the burden of my imperfection, of my mistakes on his shoulders. More than that through his sacrificial death. I imagined him hanging on the cross in agony saying James this is for you so you can stuff up and not feel bad about it. But that was not it. It was so perhaps that I could feel bad about it. And change my actions, if I could see that if I cared about my actions, really cared to the extent of seeing another suffering terribly for me, then perhaps I could change my actions to release him from that hell.

I got a minibus taxi to the High Court and the guard stopped me entering. I walked along the park outside it, and up to the English cottage hotels above and St Johns church. I walked around its pines as thistles grew out of the spire and parts of it were beginning to break off. It was a typical Norman Gothic style church and still in use. There was no graveyard like in Ooty to find out about the history of the place. I went to one hotel called Swiss Hotel and looked at a room that was massively overpriced at 1200. It must have been badly constructed even in its day. I could not find the Hotel where the landslide had hit in the mid nineteenth century and killed over a hundred, with a couple of women in a second storey of a shop surviving unharmed as they were carried down on top of the mud. I came back past the Court and tried to take a photo only to be stopped by more police. I was tempted to say I was only doing it to capture the Imperial beauty of the English architecture built by my forefathers who ruled over you a short time ago. They had kept the court in good repair.

I walked down the steep market lanes full of shops and vegetable stalls. I only saw two Europeans, it was out of season and off the track. I passed wallahs who were used like pack horses to carry goods round with a rope across their head holding a basket on their back. Many of these itinerants sat by the park lake in dirty clothes smoking beadies. One even had a chilum pipe. The salt of the earth. I was accosted by a young tout wanting to rip me off in a boat trip. I threatened him with my fist before he left. An old man offered to take me across to the bus stand on the other side of the lake. He was a gnarled old walnut of a fellow. Another tried to follow as I attempted to located a toilet and was taken by both of them to one on the street. The old man misdirected me into the local rowing and yacht club that kept up Raj appearances including yachting jackets and tie and would only let me in for a 200 fee. It was a wooden affair and old yachts sat outside it looking about as old as the Raj itself.

The old man pushed off and his friend offered to take me across for 20 rupees instead of the 80 I was paying him. Half way across I decided to take command of the oars as the man was wheezing and complaining about his stomach and he also had a bandage on one hand. He was not too happy as I stroked away and the boat began to turn round, I then spent a good ten minutes attempting to turn it back round, it just would not budge getting on its side and because of a strong wind just sat there. He wacked me on the back continuously trying to get me to steer the oars properly or let him do it. Finally I gave up and slapped him a few times across the chest telling him not to hit me, he attempted to drop me off short then wanted the hundred note I offered him complaining about the additional time.

I approached a few minibuses about getting back to Sattal and they wanted 400 minimum for the 22 kilometers. They were greedy and refused to budge, however a young man appeared almost a boy, who agreed 300. I bought some fruit and 280 was agreed. It was night now and the lights lit up the lake from the surrounding hotels like descended stars. A dark blue silouetted the craggy mountain above the lake. Como came to mind. A small car appeared with his friends in it and it appeared also that he was simply driving home for some extra cash. I kicked one of them out, but he refused to let the other go. As I headed down with him I had that bad feeling. He coasted at high speed on the winding dark downhill road. It turned out that the car belonged to the judge's assistant and he hired it out for a bit of taxi work to supplement his income.

At the entrance to Sattal I had them head down the wrong track to the cottages. The boys were back and after a light dinner I showed one of them who was going into the army as an officer, how to play guitar. He was a fast learner, but showed no patience at listening to me play and even started talking when I began to sing saying he had to go. There was something mystical in the guitar that perhaps brought out jealousy if not played properly even if played well. I had sung the same to the Israeli woman and she had been entranced. However when I asked him if he wanted to listen to a song, he did stay and seemed to appreciate it. It seemed also that the Indian brain did not resonate to our melodies, they simply did not hear them as tuneful, much as we probably felt about their screeching and jigie jig sounds. Although I now could enjoy many of them in small doses.

I slept better, but had more dreams and my thoughts had returned much to Australia and working out plans of action there. I was feeling at a loss of what to do there.

May 2

Fifteen days of visa left. I woke wondering where to go next. I tried to contact Jesus but nothing much happened. I tried to reduce everything to operating as a processor of information trying to find harmony. Again I seemed blocked and my stomach was upset. I even went into analysing the pain in the stomach to try and gain some insight. The processor felt incomplete and believed it needed another processor to complete itself or just to feel happy. It knew the other processor may not be the truth in the sense that the external information could all be false, but regardless even if it was simply an aspect of itself that had been misplaced or switched off in its memory, it seemed to require to be switched on now in order to function properly. The external processors and the whole externality may simply be an aspect of its processing function, a distant networked feature of a larger system it was part of and could not quite picture or assimilate with, but in a bizarre way saw itself as not just part of the sum total, but in fact as the sum total, yet cut off from that full experience by some programming error that had isolated its integration into the whole. It seemed to know it was an essential feature of the whole, yet the rest of the machine was actively ignoring it. Almost as if the component was too advanced for the rest of the machine to understand and ironically felt threatened by it. Because perhaps this new component that was not that new at all, would make redundant a lot of the old system. Or more correctly require it to change or relearn its operational functions and programming to perform its functions.

I went down to the lake after cleaning the room up and doing some washing. There was not much happening down there, just the small kid fishing. I played guitar, hitting two strings at once at top and bottom to make a spiritual sound to add. I read a bit more of the bible about Paul and his arrest and trial of sorts in Caeseria by Felix then Festus. It appeared no crime had been committed. Even Agrippa wanted to let him go or get rid of him, so off to Rome he was sent. Then I read a bit of Mathew about Jesus. Then Jude about unbelievers infiltrating the church with immorality. There seemed to be no women apart from the sister who resided in the ashram.

Jesus seemed far away. I was hungry and returned from the lake after going in to my waist. I felt little connection to the Indians here and they irritated me. They tried to be kind, but it was in me. I missed my own people. The question was whether it was appropriate to go to the USA, I did not think I could take a third world country again, and even moving to somewhere like Japan where the culture was so different and language, I was exhausted with. The question was whether I could just leave it up to God in the USA. To what extent would I have to plan, or just arrive in downtown LA with nowhere to go. An ashram worked out would save a lot. I was not sure if I wanted to stay in backpackers, although I was curious about LA, to take a look at the old icons of Hollywood, Venice Beach, Disneyland, all dreams as a kid. What was Christ telling me? I had lost track. Going back to Australia seemed fraught with dangers. I was not convinced of Jesus, reading the bible was making me less convinced.

If I analysed simply as a robotic processor, then there was a distinct energy drain occuring here, and it seemed unlikely to be rectified. I was in truth sick of India's filth, chaos, bad manners, reckless stupid and insensitive youth, and hypocritical morality. The question simply became where was my wife? A plethora of possible answers arose, was it a case of improving the odds. A probability game. There was a chance that she might come to this ashram, but something was working against that apart from the remoteness, out of season, semi-closed down state of the place. The very ethics and theology of it was probably in conflict with myself and herself.

I had lunch with Sister and Kim, the library was opened up and we retired there and chatted about Greek and Roman phonetics and the possibility of it being an error in transcription or deliberate changes to fit in with local language and accents. A wind storm blew up outside and thunder and clouds but no rain fell. It passed by and so did Kim. Kim said remember three things, God loves you passionately,

I was bored and apathetic bordering on morose, simply had little energy in the afternoon heat. Somehow the lack of other people was making me sad and feel dead. I could not even mount up the energy to go down to the bottom lake for a row and snack. I needed other like minded people, yet I knew if I was inundated with them as would happen back in the West I would simply close up. The power had gone.

I put on some lip blistex and moisturiser. I read Peter who sounded like a misinthrope full of repressed anger, taking out on supposed wicked and lusting slaves of depravity his own suppressed desires. Full of revenge and days of judgement for the ungodly that seemed to miss the point of Jesus coming, to love not hate, and to forgive your enemy, to end an eye for an eye. Though if it is read closely it is not the ending of an eye for an eye simply leaving it to God to extract the eye. There was simply too much anger and vengeance, punishment and repression in the bible for me. It was too exagerated, too extreme to be true, to be even taken seriously. If your hand sinneth chop it off for instance.

I had dinner alone and ate too much, the boys came and I got the guitar, but he did not want to listen to me and instead came up and said 'I play'. I ignored him until he could develop better manners, and he went off. I went to bed and listened to MP3s.

May 3

Got up early at about 6.40. Did more washing, cleaned up, wrote a letter thanking the Agra auto driver who had returned my camera. Did some yoga on the mat. My bowels were farting away from all the beans yesterday. I wanted to leave and Delhi seemed the only option. Either to meet and travel with someone or leave. I contemplated going to the Krisna ashram next door where I had misdriven to initially. Sister had seemed disappointed to hear that I wanted to move to the cottages.

I was trying to call upon Jesus. Reading the new testement about Jesus cursing the pharasees as belonging to the devil, that there father was the devil, just felt too extreme. Power has been off for a day now. I had some breakfast and brought the guitar down, Imka was there and knew how to play, and I let the boy, Manish, take it, after I had taught him to ask for it nicely. He was a quick learner and had the basics for a song of three chords, Knock'n on Heaven's Door.

Where to God? I feel frustrated here. If I go to Delhi I might meet someone in the Bazaar. There seemed something quite vital to work out here before I left. Something to do with Christ. Something to do with planning. And humility. It seemed I could not allow myself to sleep, even if I was exhausted, was to allow corruption to enter. The dreams last night had been of Australia and schools. It seemed accuracy lay in the West and impure as our life was, as corrupted with drugs and promiscuity, was it still better than trying to live in India. In chaotic corrupt poverty, in incompetance and inaccuracy, in a repressed society that was simply to poor and to ignorant to step outside the bounds of social taboos. That was in a way two dimensional as a result.

Yet cooked food was upsetting my stomach and mood, I wanted to go back to raw. How could I get my processor in harmony? Bali? There had to be an answer? An obvious answer. One which integrated everything - a grand universal theory. The leap was just a little too great to Delhi. I needed that rawfood ashram. John Fielder, Dana Clare, it just was not in Australia. Possibly I had to call Jayesh. Repos? Hawaii? California?

Was it rawfoods? And yoga? Near here? Yet it was not religion. Any of them. Not even Osho and he came about the closest to it. The power was dissapating from the Palm. It had to be rich and clean. Unpolluted, state of the art. Technology at the best. It had to have massive funding. Project Eden.

The power was almost off on the Palm. I had few choices. And many. I had lunch. I went down to the lake and took a row boat round one of the lakes playing and singing the guitar, serenading the boatman and a few amused other boats. I got back and played the guitar at a cafe. It was late and only the boatman were there sitting round laughing. One was middle aged, weatherbeaten and a drinker. He seemed to connect to me and I started asking him about Christ. I knew he could not fully understand me, but it did not really matter. Finally I told him the only way to improve his life was through Jesus. Would he like to come with me up to the ashram? He declined saying Ram. However he wanted me to come back tomorrow and row in his boat. I had touched something, even though I myself was unsure of Jesus. It just seemed Ram was going to be an endless circle for him.

I met Kim and Manish up at dinner. Had a long conversation with Kim. I told him I would leave tomorrow. He said I could ge a lift with him to Delhi if I stayed. That night I had very bad dreams of murder. So much so I woke up and thought someone was trying to get into my room.

I went late to breakfast and waited for Sister so I could pay my bill and organise a taxi. She took a long time coming and Manish played the guitar and copied the chart chord sheet. He did not trust that I would send him a copy. At lunch Kim and Sister tried to persuade me to stay, I said I would think about it. I questioned Kim about forgiveness. How if you were totally forgiven, did you keep on having to ask for forgiveness after you had accepted Jesus. He explained it as forgiveness of your sins forever past and future was in relation to the law of God, but not in an everyday sense. I said if the forgiveness was a kind of recognition that we were in fact in a spiritual sense perfect, even in every sense perfect and it was simply a state of mind that judged our errors or sins as imperfection, then simply this realisation in itself freed us from imperfection, from the guilt of not being good enough, from perceived evil. And that alone could be done by a thought process without any need for any other being including Jesus or even God. Furthermore that freed us forever from the need for forgiveness or asking for forgiveness from a third party, because there simply was nothing to forgive once the reality had been grasped. It all was perfect, all the imperfections were perfect, there was no wrong at all, not even after God's acceptance of repentence for everyday mistakes. Free choice simply produced its results based on cause and effect.

One had to take the consequences of one's actions, but whatever happened it was simply a case of seeing it as perfect.

Sister worked out my bill as now I had decided to leave. She had no change so I gave it to her as a tip.

I went down to the lake and Manish ran after me asking me if 500 was ok for the taxi, I knew the fare was 350 but something inside said just agree it is all perfect and the perfection is in the acceptance of it, of the flow, so I said that was ok, but there was some hesitation and I asked about the taxi and he told me it was modern with ac. At the lake the Ram drunk was not there. One of the ashram workers was there, a sort of respectable almost British looking fellow of my age, who like all the workers was a Hindu. None had converted in the village. Laws against forceable conversion were very strict in India. He wanted me to row with him round both lakes. I checked out the RTDC hotel and it was old and in need of repair, the dining hall like a railway canteen, but it had a pretty garden with a nice log hut. I went back to the string of cafes and had some snacks, handing out kit kat pieces to the boatman and a kid. I got the guitar out and played it and Manish magically appeared wanting the guitar. We went round the lake playing, him to begin with and me later. Some boats stopped to listen and even followed us.

I ran back part of the way up the steep hill as Manish was goading me saying he could beat me. He did not race me, he was carrying the guitar. I had an early dinner with Imka in silence and said goodbye to him in sign language. The taxi arrived, it was a bombed up old minivan and my feeling of the flow went out the window, as I heard them say 500 very happily.
'Not 500 for this. Modern ac car 500. This 350.'
A hasty mobile call was made and I was driven to the local town and got into a Honda. It saddened me that India always tried to get an edge. And one had to fight to get the truth or one's rights. The car was good, new and with ac, pleasant music was played, and the driver was friendly. We drove past lovely quiet villages full of fruit and vegetable stalls, then to a beautiful lake where hotels and trees overlooked the mountains and the setting sun. A modern complex on the far side reminded me of shaded malls in Australia and a kind of peace. Suddenly we were over an edge and descending rapidly down a steep mountain and below were the lights of the cities on the plains of the Gange. We got blocked by a jeep and traced it down the mountain, the road was constantly being widened and road works halted the way. The lights of Nainital looked from way above as strips of pink lined the sky as if brushed in by some Indian god and all around was darkness descending. Kothardam was where the railway station was and porters refused to take my bag for under 50 so I carried it myself. I got a second ac sleeper and met an Israeli woman who had lived for six years in Almora.

She knew a bit of guitar and we played. She had been a lawyer in Israel and was probably about 30. Thin but nice up top and a bit of a tortured face with character, some sadness which showed listening to the music. She had reddish blonde hair, and a bit of arrogance. She was a little short and I felt I was forcing things a bit as she was tired and wanted to sleep, had vomited on the windy roads down. I closed the curtains after she left, she NGO manager with a Phd had gone to sleep, and I switched the light off and as was just pleasantly drifting off when a young man came in.

May 5

The next morning at five we arrived in Old Delhi, I got a porter and declined to even bargain. She came out and was lugging her bag on wheels up the steps, and I thought to come back and help her carry it, but instead waited at the top, she seemed to see me, but went straight past. So I let it go, and half way out I realised I had left my waist bag under the pillow and sheets, I rushed back and there it was - Palm still in it. Jungle class may have been a different story as the pastor called second. At the entrance the rickshaws wanted a lot, finally I gave up and got in one refusing to bargain, I simply gave the porter twenty, we got to the main bazaar and almost everything was closed. The Shelton opened up and showed me a dirty hot and expensive room. I headed to another place further up and they offered an ac room of average condition with TV for 550 so I took it. I handed the auto 50 to his complaints and went to bed.

I got up at about ten and tried to get information on airfares. It was possible now to fly to China for a few days on the way to LA, and cheaper. I had a bit over $3,000 in credit on the visa, the flight was about a thousand. I figured China might cost $500 and that left $1,500 for the USA to do volunteer work. I was hoping there would be enough points to get back on Qantas using mum's frequent flyers. I was already $5,000 in debt on visa.

The other options were Nepal, UK or Australia. I scrounged shops looking for razor blades for the gillette and face products. I needed a haircut. I got the boys to clean the room, and did some emails hearing from Rama and Education Queensland, Sunglass Hut for Bole was quick and the travel insurance sent a rude reply finally.

I wrote a long email back to Rama on Christian forgiveness and perfection versus imperfection making it illogical. I went off to buy razor blades which almost matched my requirements, turbo mach 3 but not diamond. I got the face products and headed to a barber for a shave and massage and haircut. I got a military style short one and watched an Israeli get a number two electric crew cut. He was heading to Thailand via Culcutta, the cheapest way possible flying through Dakka on Bangladesh Air. The dirty walls and old chairs and his rough combing and slapping of my hair added an exciting edge to the event. The ac failed in the room and I finally shifted after a group of workers came in as I took a shower using my just purchased Himalaya products. I headed down to burn my photos to CD which as the guy was not a computer buff and required a multisession and two cds with photos being transferred, proved a nightmare, that I had to do in combination with him. In the meantime I ordered a falafel at Sam's and a mango lassi. The paper told of the BJP president who had been shot by his brother finally dying despite world's best doctor's being sent in. Pramod Mahajan and fundamentalist Hinduism in my mind that day. I was sure Christianity had a part to play in the new religion that would radically transform Hinduism and the planet. And he was an industrial reformist - laissez faire Hindu. But something of the pain of suffering of Christ had not touched his family and allowed petty jealousy to boil over into murder, something I could just not envision occuring in Australia, in John Howard's dull middle class Christian family for instance.

And it all came down to ethics, morality and honesty. Not what you ate. Prim was probably a vegetarian, and same with his brother, yet corrupt violent behaviour seemed to dominate Indian politics as opposed to the vitriolic Australian meat eaters who remained fairly honest and pretty physically peaceful.

I moved back to the internet cafe and he told me the cd was complete, but most of the photos were not working, which he knew and then blamed me for, for removing the card while burning. I refused to pay and he scuffled with me as I threatened to call the police. I walked out to the old Israeli haunt where I had purchased my air fare to Perth many years ago, they did it cheaper and correctly with very little need to explain. I then tried to find a tailor to fix my torn Kashmiri shirt and a Kashmiri shop dragged me in and I agreed at an exorbitant 80 rupees to have it mended, but no patch was put on and it was a ten rupee job, I complained and the owner simply told me to leave, it was gratuata. I took a good photo of them. And mentioned my grandparents connection to Kashmir and my visit there, and old Yasuf Muluk the JKLF leader. The owner said he knew him.

I took it to another tailor as various rickshaws and auto drivers offered lifts that I declined and something of the connection to the whole where I had to go was being denied by me against the will of existence. My obstinancy with India's dishonesty was the crux of it. Of trusting it. I found a tailor who offered to do a better job then searched for t shirts only finding poor quality and labelled with India or Van Diesal or Nike. So I did not purchase. Ram had replied on email giving me Hindu advice on marriage and examples of enlightened beings. I replied explaining my philosophy of going with the flow as unity. The perfection of the errors. Till the samskaras have dissapated. And so enlightenment was that and purely an individual experience that could amount to anything at all, even being a mass murderer. The photos looked all darkened until I realised there was something wrong with the monitor. I strolled to a juice bar and a begger with polio ridden legs lay on the pavement outside staring at me. I finally called him in got him on a seat and asked his story over a watermelon juice, he was from Varanasa, his father a drunk, his mother in trouble and needing money, he was begging for her. He said he needed 4000 rupees for an operation to fix his legs. There was a weatherbeaten Frenchmen who recognised him over his years of visiting India, I asked him if we should pay for the operation, he took a while to understand what I was talking about, then laughed as if I was mad, 'so many of them', he said and walked out, the store owner replied, 'some foreigners bought him a wheelchair and he sold it after they left', he then insisted I had bought a mixed juice which I had not. I went back to the tailor and he was closed. At the hotel the ac in the new room was not working because the power for the whole bazaar had gone down. I had a shower and went to the roof top restaurant of Sam's and took a seat to the chug of the generators below. The subliminal interconnections, told me do not stay here, but I was drawn by temptation to a table not far from two Northern European young women, very leggy, almost buxom, with Scandanavian smiles and blonde hair. Shorts sort of dragging up there legs as they sat and leaned back. And I asked the devil is that temptation and she looked straight at me. I had not taken money with me on the off chance they could put it on my room bill. But everything said 'go'. But where to ... This somehow was the deceipt because I felt I might have more chance at the Metropol. They were nice enough to look at but they simply were not right. Too young. Even though they were drawn to me. It was not it.

I went to the Metropol and then all I saw was a bar full of alcohol. There was no-one there. I walked out and went to the Hare Krisna hotel, past the little synogoge as it was a Jewish hotel in effect though run by Hindus. Full of Israelis, it always had the best deals. The roof restaurant was noisy with music and TV. The roof above was empty, I stood there overlooking the smog of the night sky of Delhi, looking through the haze to the tall buildings lit dimly up, the miniature business sky scrapers. I thought what to do. I went down and stood in the lobby till the staff got agitated and asked me to leave, an argument ensued, I did not move, as I was waiting for energy for a flow, I betrayed myself and did some email. Mainly checking hostels in LA then Hong Kong. It did not feel right. I checked the frequent flyers mum had and worked out I could get a flight to Hong Kong and from LA to Australia, but not enough points HK to LA, I would have to buy myself. And it may be cheaper to fly direct to LA from Delhi. LA reminded me of Australia. Ironically a bus went over a bridge near Nainital into the Kosi river killing 26 on the 3rd in the early morning.

I went for a burger at the Israeli hotel opposite, where I had eaten last time in India before I left, I remembered the lost feeling I had then, before heading to Perth. I felt still caught in the same danger. It was after one when I headed to bed. Somehow in the sleep, in the dreams I was possessed.

May 6

11 days left to leave. I woke late. Lay in bed masterbating. Finally on intuition got up and dressed like clockwork in clothes dictated by the moment, by sexual drive, and went straight down to the Sam's. I stood till a seat was available and a women with elegant studs or piercings if you like, wearing Indian hippie clothes sat near me. She did not look at me. She was thin, attractive, youngish, could have been a model if taller. She was possessed as well and she stared at my crotch. Avoided my eyes. There was a man behind me. I tried to move into the flow. To adopt compassion in association by not imposing, by avoiding the direct stare and trying to connect more by the empathy of love, of no expectation, of simple being. She kept staring over as she bit into an apple pie and this time I looked through her. She was probably a Londoner and had dark brown long hair, slightly gauntish eyes, yet that high cheek bone structure and thin desiree deprived look of raw passion, of small cruelty. I slowly moved taking my key and wallet to judge her reaction. She was not going to break the silence. For sex. I simply decided unclean. I left and the man caught my eye and I smiled and he looked familiar, I spoke and he was from Sydney, slightly younger than me or perhaps a lot. We tried to determine if we knew each other and it seemed not. Mace was his name. I felt I was being drawn away and left him and returned to my room and showered and cleaned myself using a mud mask that burnt the skin red. I watched fashion TV. It seemed psychologically I was not prepared to just go for sex, I knew it had to be more, and I knew pretty much what she would be like, and I simply could not compromise. The question was where she was? I put on my white pants and white Nike t-shirt that was now a worn discolouring to brown mass of holes. I decided to pay the internet man his fifty for the mis-burnt cd. In retrospect it probably was my fault for pulling the card out. And the money was nothing.

I went down and gave money for the CD to the Sikh manager to give to the Internet man, then I went in search of a t-shirt. I wondered in the burning heat, with its slight wind down the baking street, that was largely empty in mid day Saturday. It was a long walk and many shops were past, the usual haggling and most were poor quality. I almost bought one with a flag of India, but the Flag Act I remember reading forbid commercial use of the flag, I was not going to take the risk, so I bought a good quality white t-shirt with a small insignia Moments. I went further on and came back before I purchased it letting my Nike shirt lay to rest in the shop. I put on more sunscreen and walked back half hoping for a cycle rickshaw but none came. As I walked I became obsessed about my face and tried to stare into mirrors on the way back. A Sikh stopped me in front of Sam's saying he was an astrologer, he said I was insane, wrote on a piece of paper and handed it to me then asked me my favourite colour, I felt compelled to say red, though it was not my favourite, I opened the paper and red was written down. He was plump and middle aged getting older and had his turban on a bit lopsided, I told him he had implanted the colour using telepathic presuggestion, he said I was insane again and then told me to come to his tea shop, I would soom meet a beautiful woman and marry her. I said it is part of the answer but you have come too soon. The Sikh receptionist had not got my CD and a man attempting to sell a miniature chess set distracted me so that I bashed my knee into the hotel door.

I crossed to the cafe opposite to find a mirror but there was not one, instead the Sydney man was there looking tired and not wanting to talk. His short hair was starting to bald, and his eyes were deep brown and glistening in sadness. I went across to Sam's and ordered a musli and lassi. A tall English woman with dredlocks came in and she had been in the other cafe, she sat down next to me and I asked if she was from Israel, she said no and I asked her if she would like to talk and she said no and read the paper. She had a round face and southern looks, seemed sad and worn out, she was young. Full lips and figure. She did not acknowledge me and paid her bill and left. I got an apple pie and coffee and three English girls arrived and sat next to me, they did not have much choice as I was on the only seats available in the cafe for three. They sat down with their backs to me and talked, I tried to engage them in conversation, but they slipped back into their own secure egotism with their backs to me, and what was God saying really. My time was up, were they even alive apart from a sort of biological robot for reproducing. As far as the whole was concerned they were no more independent of it than I was, and the thoughts threw my mind may as well have been through theirs, in the sense of the cosmic mind, it was perfection. And it came back to whether I wanted to continue feeling drained by them, leave or dominate. Basically invade their little clique, if I had the energy. They were at University. Probably Summer holidays.
'He is 18 and I got an allowance, I do not have anything against it, but...' they were art students heading to Simla, no doubt its British origins. One had the hand paint work of Rajastahn, that I had had half finished, the ochre handiwork of women, the name alludes me, but it has been blocked from my mind for a reason. Was it shyness, that cut them off from me? Or was it something in relation to power, and submission of power. Something in me that caused them to be blocked. To evacuate their mind of speech and interfere with mine. Was it that I was in the wrong place? Doing the wrong thing? Pretending to be the wrong person? And the mental jump was too much for both of us? Or the three of us. They had a well worn lonely planet that had obviously been handed on by friends. Becky was unsure about the change being handed out and dividing the bill between the two of them. They flowed out in deep conversation about the bill. I was hassled outside by a vendor on a bicycle selling amongst other things fork, spoon pocket knives, he chased me up and down the street, and finally I emptied my wallet handing over 80 rupees, he wanted 300, but took it sadly. I returned to my room.

It crossed my mind to try and connect with the Essenes in USA. Or even try ringing old Jayesh. I even had a shot at calling up Jesus. Jesus did seem to be in Kashmir. I tried to draw her to me like a fly in a spider's web. Only I was the fly willing my death. Death of the ego. Submission to another. I was up in Sam's roof, I had gone up there earlier after checking out another better room in the hotel. I was sick of the attendent sitting outside my door. The TV did not tune into most of the English channels well, and BBC was a shimmering haze, it had just been criticised for biased coverage of Israel by its own board. On the roof was the dreadlocked rishi woman, she arrived as I took photos of the lights in the street below, the general chaos. She ignored me rather obviously and I left seeking another rooftop cafe, but the ides were not with me and I returned against an obstinate lift that would not go up the last floor. I got there and took a seat on the far side away from her. A German invited me to sit with him and I refused. I ordered a pizza when it arrived so did her dreaded boyfriend. And I could see the synchronicity the pizza was as fat drenched and oily as there hair. A clear carnard by myself and contrary to Jesus's clean is what comes out. In the build up to the pizza, an American couple came that looked something out of Beverly Hill Billies and before that a man bald and my age or younger who sat by himself at a table pretending to ignore me. As I gave him the eye, he probably thought I was gay. He had eyed up the dread before seating himself, and was now rather morose as her boyfriend had arrived. I probably subconsciously wanted to imbue the cruelty of the pizza. And its reflected karma, trance disco music came on. And it felt as if somehow a good aspect of India had been imparted on me, that of Krisna, of the asexual, bisexual, transgender Krisna. The being that is never upset, always a loving being to the very intimate end.

I went across to the Krisna guesthouse and Russians were playing guitars. Out of tune and acoustic Indian brands, I tried and damaged my fingers. An Italian did better doing a good rendition of Hotel California. The dope came out and I left, as Israeli girls took photos of the soprano. An English public school boy with long hair was there having a shot as well. He said he believed in Jesus and had the occasional joint.

May 7

The heat is on, 46 degrees in Delhi. The smog in the bizarre is overpowering. I got up and received an email from my mother saying she would not agree to me going to the USA, her email was confused rash and based on a misunderstanding of the email I had sent which was clear in explaining my situation. I wrote a long reply and saved it. The internet owner gave no acknowledgement for the money I had paid for the faulty disc. The laundry had come back virtually unwashed last night and I demanded my money back from the manager. I packed my stuff and checked out.

I tried to get a rickshaw to the Tibetan Colony, but they proved difficult, wanting me to visit Emporiums. I talked to an Italian woman in Sam's then emailed my mother. I headed off to the Tibetan Colony and almost gave up with rickshaw drivers hassling but one appeared who took a fare of 150. I went there and drove past the jungle parks of north Delhi, the colony was mostly a collection of apartment blocks crushed together. It was quiet and clean for India. I walked round checked some hotels and rang the woman connected to Jayesh, Udjna, I told her to tell Jayesh, or ask him, where my wife is. It took her a while to understand. I met some Asian Osho followers in a restaurant. Got back late to the rickshaw and he insisted in taking me to Emporiums, I looked at gold band rings. Then he took me to another and I thought this is a lie, and walked out, even despite his large fare, he wanted to take me to another, I told him he was greedy and he complained he had not got backsheesh at the last store. He dropped me off and I went to Sam's and met an Australian from Prospect Hill Road who had worked in Kashmir on earthquake relief. Then got drunk with his girlfriend in Thailand. He was 20 and had been to Camberwell Grammar. He was tall and fit and had a slightly vacant good nature. Wanted to get into yoga. I told him of some of my journey and philosophy. He gave me his card.

I got my luggage and headed to the YMCA but was taken to the YWCA. They looked a little startled and said I could stay one night. I had a thali in my room and it was too spicy. I woke up at five and pretty much got up. Had an early breakfast with a group of Pentacostal pastors. One boy sat next to me and was very uncommunicative. Then a pastor sat down and we chatted. He gave me his mobile number. I went back to my room and watched tv. I had a view onto a Sikh temple with golden domes.

I checked out and got a rickshaw to the YMCA taken by a Sikh man. He wanted to take me to another hotel and I was not going to be forced into going, so I checked out the rooms in the YMCA taking a threadbare basic ac room for 1000. I then shifted to another room as that had builders working underneath. The ac did not seem to cool the room. I watched the Guru movie on tv. The remote was missing. I discovered the gym and pool cost extra. Went for lunch, a woman was waiting and left as I ordered water. It was a nice dining room with a lot of ac. Two businessman replaced her. Sikhs seemed to frequent the YMCA as well. I had this feeling I had lost the battle.

I had lunch of salad and veg cutlets which was quite good. Then went and typed a long email to mum but saved it. In the mean time she had replied finally saying yes I agree, to one email I sent saying an option I did not like was staying on in India till the frequent flyers could let me fly out and also asking where I could stay in Australia, which was unanswered. I went to the pool and swam in the heat of the day, it was cool in the pools waters, and then I went to the gym and did some half hearted weights, and began to sort of dance as a joke to the music while using them, this sort of amused the Indians. I made no effort to change any settings, just lazed round pretty much as they did. Just let the flower open itself. I got on the jogger machine intending just to walk and gradually pushed it up until I was flying and I saw little Josef Muhammed in Kenya and I heard the drums and he was flying too. And the music and the rhythmn just took hold and it was no effort, in fact it was joy, and I could not stop, after ten minutes, I could not stop and all the Indians had given up and either left or were staring as I danced on the jogger to Kenyan dreams of running. Then I fell off, well tripped and landed on my feet and I left feeling like I was on drugs, heady and light. I jumped in the pool and floated on my back, then did some laps, but Sikh children in funny red hats covering their bob hair floated in the deep end blocking my way. And a few girls ventured in wearing riskee bathers with lacy skirts just covering the top of the thighs and tops that covered all the midriff.

I returned to my room and showered, watched more tv after shaving. The theme seemed to be African rape on BBC, the ANC assistant President had been cleared of rape of an HIV positive prostitute of sorts, Liberian aid workers were molesting young girls, in fact so were the army and just about every other man in Liberia. I finally got the tv remote delivered and a juice from the pricey restaurant. Then went down for my free dinner. Met the Brit Christians who had been in the pool and just out of uni and very eager. One had been doing a lot of volunteer work in India living with families through their gap program.

I checked email and edited my letter to dad. Then went and watched tv, history channel, a rebellion in Haita, and the diplomatic security forces mission to rescue the UN delegation there. The violence was horrific and it was only a few years ago. I had not even noticed it on the news then. I had a depressing nights sleep. I had further checked hostels in California and found one at Venice Beach that might be ok costing AUS$30 a night, but it all felt much like what I had been through in Australia.

May 8

I woke at nine still feeling bad.

Went straight to breakfast and a young woman was there by herself but avoided me when I smiled at her. I felt keep away from her, and sure enough the boys, the English lads with their whispy Jesus beards sat right opposite her. But she left and so did they shortly afterwards, they did not have the courage to approach her. I did. And it annoyed me, because courage is not everything, and the bottomline was I wanted to meet my wife and not waste anymore time. But the anger was still there at another stuffed up exercise, that was increasingly making me believe there was no God at all, and simply random chaos reigned and it was a simple survival of the fittest, and for the individual with intelligence that meant dealing with the random nature of the universe. Ironically as I write this the waiter comes up and tells me to select anything it is all included in the price.

I one plays the probability game then one can use one's intellect to avoid the myriad traps in this universe, the time wasters I call them. The boys or lads from Britain absolutely totally ignored me and I realised after a while that's what I had to do to them to get there respect. They did not know good manners Christian and English though they were. So playing the game of universal dice in the world casino, came down to mathematics. And that meant if I wanted my wife with all my heart, I had to virtually create her, visually see her inside as Swamiji had said. Once I could see her then it would be a lot easier to see where she was. The probabilities could then be vastly reduced. The irrelevancies ignored. Mathematically I was seeing my chances of success in the YMCA were virtually zero. I was not Christian, not a meat eater, wanted to move back to rawfoods and continue with yoga.

It became clearer that there was another factor in the probabilities as according to my desires the woman in Repos, Tracy, should have been the one. There was a subliminal factor at work, an unconscious truth written into my entity. The contradiction there had to be faced, the probabilities there had to enter the calculation. Moral protection reduced chaos in the YMCA and cleanliness and order, to enter into such calculations. The unplayed part of Sattal. The flow was insisting I get a coffee before it was put away, but the higher instincts said let it go. Which would work better for me?

Rama was telling me to go to Amma in Kerala. Swamiji from Niketan said north of Melbourne. The f key is playing up. Part of me was saying Puna then Melbourne, another LA.

If I came back to the wife. The superficial criteria seemed to suggest a rawfood community. In Australia I had had no luck there. Auroville struck out. The Indian ashrams were too set in there cooked food. And same in Australian ashrams. Nine days left. The coffee has gone. Why the f key? F for fuck? Even the Palm seemed another hell trap.

The best place to find her seemed a rawfood ashram. And it seemed this was not acceptable in Australia. It had become too international. Destiny had a hold here. And America for moment was the only superpower and would remain so for the next thirty to fifty years. Effectively my life span. And I was of similar race, culture and language as them. Perhaps the move had to be made there? Not for my sake, but for the world's.

Australia perhaps did not have the resources to set up the community I had in mind. They had the location, but not the will. They had the money but not the intellect. Did this have to come via the USA? Was the whole thing much more global than I had ever realised?

And I can categorically say my motivating force was simply to find my wife.

I checked out and noticed my credit card had been charged an extra 260 rupees. I rang up the cashier and was told it was taxes. Furious I packed and went down to reception and asked to see the manager, I was kept waiting, finally she saw me and offered to refund the money until I suggested that they show the taxes on the card. Then she changed her mind and told me she wanted to speak to the receptionist who would not be there till 3.00. So I walked into the town to an ATM as I had run out of money. This led me to the American Centre, which I was reluctantly let into after a guard asked why I wanted to go in. There was a library full of Indians not a single European. I read the Herald Tribune and asked about using the Internet and they said I had to be a member. I tried to find out if my passport was machine readable so could get the visa waiver. They did not know and telephoned the embassy and I was disconnected and they even rang the wrong number for the Australian. I left unsure about my passport and rang the Australian embassy and was put on an answering machine, but the girl operator said I needed a chip in the passport. I went to McDonalds for a combo meal. Finally I checked the internet and found out my passport was ok, the only problem was I had a one way ticket and the American site said it was descretionary to allow entry. I then rang Molly and had a long conversation costing 720 rupees. I had gone to the telephone exchange and it was no cheaper than anywhere else, I had thrown ten rupees on the ground to the rickshaw driver who then tried to block me leaving, I pushed him aside. She suggested I come back to Australia on the ffs. Thought the US not a good idea. I agreed with her in the end.

I got another rickshaw to the YMCA and the receptionist was there and swore that he had told me. He even explained how, but his English was so bad that I could understand why I had not realised. They were not going to refund the amount. I talked to the assistant manager and said to him I feel God is telling me to put on your tarrif rates the amount including taxes. This would avoid future confusion. I got my luggage and left, bargained a rickshaw and got to Hare Rama guesthouse, I had made a decision to leave India and go to the USA. I bought a ticket on Asiana Airlines via Seoul for 29,650, paying part of it with the money I had just withdrawn from the ATM and the rest by visa. It was 7 and the flight left at one twenty in the morning. I booked a hostel at Venice Beach in LA. Emailed mum that I was going there and repacked my backpack for the flight. Went up with my guitar to the roof of Rama to meet the English lad of a few days back, but a Canadian and American girl were there instead. They left when I did not tip the waiter, almost the same instant and I played to the chaotic symphony of the street of the main bazaar and it sucked out any solace from the guitar and voice. Noone else came and I left the boiling night heat to the ac of Sams. Then headed to pick up my taxi, I should have realised 200 was too cheap. The driver was not there, when he came he was obnoxious and unhelpfully, going for a chia, and only carrying my small pack. He said not to worry. But I headed off to the taxi which proved to be about a kilometer away and my luggage was put in one minivan then transferred to a wrecked minivan. I kicked the door and told them I would never come back to India, the people are too selfish and lazy. He told me I was crazy. It was blasting hot wind through the window and the ride was uncomfortable but the driver was a young man who had helped me with my bag and friendly. I tried to block India and all thoughts out of my mind as we bumped along the engine almost failing sounding as if something was about to fall off at one stage. I ceased to care. I gave him a 100 rupee tip and he helped me get a trolley. Some aspect of myself knew it was all inside me, but another knew it was outside and virtually uncontrollable as well, the duality of life, India is what it is.

They took a long time to check people in and when I got through I headed pretty much to the executive lounges, I had visited a book shop where what appeared to be some Dutch aristocratic couple were browsing, I felt an automatic affinity and against intuition went up to the lounge leaving them. I then went back, they were gone, I had five hundred rupees and a choice of a book or sitting in the exec lounge, I took the lounge, chatted to some Austrian travel agents, a Dutch man and three star general of the Indian Army heading to Hanoi. He laughed when I told him I had searched for spirituality with Osho. The bachelor's guru he replied and left. His son was in LA and an accountant. I felt slightly deserted by him. I boarded the plane and got a seat next to two Korean women. One was a hotel operator in India for a Korean company. She reminded me of Suzanna. The plane was fairly new with video screens on each seat. We were heading over Tibet and China to Seoul. It seemed erring on the conservative side was the way to go. And I was resting on a discretion not a certainty to enter the USA, and that was taking a risk. If you are going to play the letter of the law, then you have to roll with whichever way it goes. And the test is riding the dragon with absolute stillness.

May 10

We arrived in Inchon and I was still concerned about US Customs, I made a vow to myself to uphold the law of the United States and not work for a wage or stay beyond the three months. I was fairly tired in the vast terminal there and found a chapel to pray in. I then found free internet and wrote out the letter to my father. I then headed to the gate twelve past immaculate cafes and dutyfree shops where coffees cost five US dollars. I waited for the flight briefly talking to a woman from LA whose husband was based in Okinawa. I then slept across the seats. Got up and checked in. It was a special jumbo and an old one. No personal video screens. It was going to be a long flight mostly in the dark over the North Pacific Ocean probably flying over Midway. I sat next to an old Korean couple who did not speak English. There were very few white people on the flight. King Kong was on. I was still worrying. I wanted to sleep. I got a paper out of the toilet the Herald Tribune and discovered almost exactly when I had done my exercise jog in the YMCA, a small impoverished Indian boy from Orrisa had collapsed in a massive marathon. Human rights organisations were very upset as politicians had been using him to show how a slum dwelling kid of seven or so could become a super athelete.

On the flight the Korean couple handed me there immigration form and I filled it in as best I could.

At LAX I was almost confronted immediately by customs, the officer asked me about a return ticket and I told him I did not have one and was not sure how long or where I was leaving to. I told him the truth, he asked about money and I told him I had a visa card with $8500 limit. He let me through, I did not mention only $2500 was left on it. LAX was looking a little rundown. At the airport I talked to a woman to help me as I was trying to use the phone to ring the hostel. She let me use her mobile and refused money. I got a bus and helped a kid with his bag, it felt like omens were good, and I was being given an opportunity to help others. The people seemed friendly, but on the third bus it got a bit crowded and the driver complained about my bags blocking his door. It was a funny old Chevrolet shaped 50s bus. And I had trouble getting off it. I felt I was being pushed. I asked instructions from the post office at Venice beach and an Australian woman reluctantly helped me find the hostel. The Cotel was pretty crumby. I checked in and went to bed in the dorm. Woke up at 6 pm. Had a shower and shave, cleaned up. A Swedish couple came in and I met them outside in the street that was full of homeless people begging for quarters. It was cold and a little foggy. Several police cars were there, as a shooting had been reported. I bought some food at a kind of milk bar, general store. Took a short walk and it reminded me of a rundown part of Sydney. Or more Melbourne as the beach was flat, perhaps St Kilda, but more rundown and full of tramps. It was somewhat of a shock to see old white people begging after India. The beach was lined with palms. I talked to people in the lounge, an Egyptian neuro-surgeon who was 32 and working in Japan. I played some guitar in the room, and the Swedish guy had a shot at House of the Rising Sun, then I took it to the lounge and it closed and was too noisy, so I went to the stairs and everybody left to the bar. So I went to bed, where the Swedish couple lay opposite, and a Brit came in above them. I did not sleep much. She slept fully clothed and he in his underpants with the sheet keeping on falling off.

11 May

I got up early at about six and went for a walk. Venice was in fog and cold, I had met an American at breakfast in the lounge, though I had no breakfast just a cup of free Peko Orange tea. The bag people were sort of risen, with their shopping trolleys full of bags of stuff they had collected from the bins near by. Some psychiatrist would have a field day determining why they collected what they did. I had the feeling Americans had good hearts. They jovially asked us for donations. He was a computer artist who was using strange attractors to form graphics that became paintings. Or were transfered to huge and very fine quality printers. He was a little disillusioned with the American Dream. We headed back there were a few joggers and apart from that empty. The Swedes were heading off to Universal Studios and I went and caught the bus to Santa Monica. This was a big shopping mall area, full of expensive shops, I got lost in a huge bookstore and drifted to the section on movies, felt as if there may be an opportunity there, but it would not seem to manifest so I moved to travel. Then I left to discover the rubber coming off my Nikes. I spent a while trying to find a shoe store to fix it and ended up in Garbo Shoe repairs where a ferocious Italian offered to fix them for $4. I declined and looked for super glue. Got a bus to Hollywood after trying to get to the Getty Gallery and discovering there was no direct route. I met a Melbourne couple on the bus, she was an accountant with Sara Lee. She made it clear when we got off in Hollywood that she did not want me with them. So I left them and wandered round the boulevard or street till I sat down and got out the Palm, and fixed the shoe with crazy glue. My sunglasses were loose again, Sunglass Hut in Santa Monica no longer stocked Bole so would not honor the warranty. The 512 memory card for the camera had seized up. Retribution for storming off and pulling the card out while it was burning in Delhi. I sat there typing and an oldish man came and sat down nearby and asked about the Palm. He had been a model, seemed gay, and had ended up doing bit parts in movies, his name was Thomas Dolan. He wore a sort of Lubaracci cap with a diamond on it. A beaten up car picked him up.

Lots of dressed up people as film figures walked round and I took a tour of the stars houses with a group of young Swedish women in a kind of A team van. A shooting on Sunset Avenue cancelled the tour half way due to bad traffic. One girl lost her bag, but it was located back at the store. We passed The Green Bean where people went to be spotted by the directors. And also a restaurant called Dolce where all the stars went. It was a bland brown brick building. We returned and I wandered round the academies building and shops, then got the camera fixed as the memory card had jammed. She reformatted it. Then McDonalds. I noticed helpings were very generous in America.

I took the metro to Downtown, it was modern, and at Pershing Square I got off and was surroundered by massive skyscrapers stretching for miles in all directions. I got on a bus going the wrong way and a businessman I asked instructions from told me I was miles away. I cursed as I headed to another bus stop, it was getting dark and he told me it was dangerous down that end of town. Next thing he turned up in a sports car and drove me there. He kept on turning short and as it was a one way street on 5th, he would have to do a loop to get me there. He insisted on not dropping me off. Where the digital centre of the Arts was or rather just west of it was something that looked like a set from Escape From New York, or Return of the Body Snatchers. Hundreds of wandering homeless people with trolleys were aimlessly wandering through derelict streets. And they looked mean. Or crazy, many were talking to themselves. The art centre was a small and oldish, a number of exhibitions were on. His set was one of the less frequented. He barely acknowledged me. I went to an exhibition next door. I sort of got emersed in the crowd which looked sort of Arty Australian, and I felt slightly at home with them. But there was that slight power mode, different and more subtle than the Australian modus. They also seemed more humble than Australians. And polite. But arrogant. People were downing wine. And some attractive socialite lesbians in suits. Young and hopeful. But there was an indulgence. In all of them, a sort of plumpness that seemed weatherbeaten. In all of them. Maybe the sun like Oz. I went back. Viewed his strange attractors again, most were done as web graphs. He had a computer which many different designs could be made by fiddling with buttons and sliders. However the graphics were not that great. The resolution. Also his buttons were not aesthetically presented and the controls not clear enough in what they did. There was a nice manipulation in which you could move a 3D image around, twirl it about. Disintegrate it into a singularity and re-expand it.

He had a hire car, but was not sure if he was going out to dinner later, so I left and caught a bus, working out the time and schedule from the Internet. I ran and got the bus just in time, however it was crowded with blacks and hispanics of a fairly undesirable type and I had one crack addict shaking in a black satin track suit, he was also young and black. I kept falling asleep on to a black woman next to me and finally she said 'oh my god' when my head fell on her. There was my room mate from Venice in the bus, he had checked out the roughest neighborhood in LA, Crompton? for some reason. Black and hispanic gangs fight it out there. A couple of Norwegian girls arrived late in our room as I tried to sleep.

May 13

The Norwegians came with me to Hollywood on the bus. We sat at the back and this time there was a lot of traffic and it took over one and half hours to get there. The girls were sitting near two more Norwegian snowboarders, so I suggested we go to the back, there the bus bounced so much I got sick. We got another bus to the Boulevard and booked a limo tour in a huge black limo, I bargained him to $25 then he charged the girls $5 tax. Visions of Delhi YMCA came to mind. I refused to pay it and failed to get the girls money back. They were happy staring at the sights, the Kodak theatre, the stars on the pavement. We were accosted by dress up people out to make a buck by the hand prints of the stars. I crossed the road direct and this seemed not allowed as cars tooted. Everyone crossed at the lights. At the limo they gave us the backseat with windows down and the sunroof open. He was also southern French. He was not as knowledgable as the other driver. We skipped the Hollywood sign and headed to Sunset Boulevard and into the houses of the stars. Brad Pitt's wife, Tom Cruise with fans waiting, even Frank Sinatra's wife, a small place. George Clooney also small apparently because he lives in Italy. Britney on a palace on the hill. Speilburg had a weekend house on a hill more in Hollywood itself.

We wandered if anybody thought we were stars in the limo, but most people completely ignored us. Though a few stared in to look at the buxom Norwegian girls. One young Indian boy, obviously a tourist, not knowing better, stared goggle eyed at us. Rodeo Drive we stopped for twenty minutes and the girls went off almost at a run to see the whole street and this to me was Hollywood glitz and wealth as I expected it. At the end were classic almost European style cobble stones and shops with flowers adorning the lamp posts. We looked for stars to no avail. I walked back on the opposite side as the girls on the way back to view some galleries from the outside. I seemed to be trailing them. They took shots of themselves from the sunroof of the limo.

More rows of stars we followed to a diner for a faccacio. Then more stars to the Scientology museum. Where we were offered a tour, when I persuaded them to take it suddenly two young Swedish guys appeared like a tortured magic. We went round Ron Hubbard's sci fi life. Tell a strange gadget with lots of electronic chips, the dianometer, was used to test our thoughts and emotions, it seemed to register well with the Norwegian girl and not with the Swedish guy. I tried it and I had a distinct feeling it did pick up on subtle vibrations, but not in an obvious way, just flickers. Engrams of the reactive mind, a video, clicked straight into my father's behaviour when I was a child. I sort of had resigned to losing the girls to the Swedes, but I refused to speak to them, and at the end it seemed as if we would leave together and then one of them headed to the restroom, and the girls were not prepared to wait. Through a side entrance black and white clad members looking like something out of a neo-nazi movement came to and froe. Back at Kodak I took the girls to a traditional 50s diner for a coffee. And it was like Happy Days.

They walked the road to Hollywood with all its stories of hope against the odds. Then got photoed with Zoro. Then walked to Sunset Boulevard for miles, stopping at Music City where all the musos handprints were I think, I tried to hook up an electric guitar, one of the girls knew drums but we got separated. They asked if I wanted to stay. We got to the Green Bean Coffee House and walked in to try and be spotted. I said to myself 'believe' and let them lead the way.

They wanted to go and we walked to Santa Monica and caught the bus. It was getting late. Almost ten we got back. I felt distanced from them and uncomfortable, Heidi was on a high in the bus, they were leaving the hostel to stay with a Mexican American's friend at Venice. I went to my room I was exhausted and in it were two English girls or rather Welsh from Cardiff. We had a long friendly chat and they were jet lagged so we went to bed. They were also buxom. And about 21. Puppy fat. Ollie the English lad arrived late.

May 13

I got up about nine and everyone else slept except one of the girls Aimee got up. I went to the beach in the fog and cold. Eventually I took a walk to Santa Monica in the Saturday crowd, the bag people had evaporated some setting up bizarre stalls selling poetry or other bits of junk from their trolleys. There was an anti Bush greenies stall as well. Even the flag outside the hostel was frayed. I began a long venture attempting to locate an adaptor plug for Australia to USA. First department mall had sold out. Then Circuit City only had out of the USA adaptors. They recommended Fry's, a three hour round bus trip to get to, and comprehensive instructions including bus timetables and transfers was located from the web and they rang the store and said one was there. I was about to catch the bus and something just said do not do it. I saw a camping store and went in, they had heaps of adaptors but all for leaving the USA. They even had a universal one but it would not take an Australian plug. Charlie helped me and he looked like a middle aged surfie, he was humble and apologised that they did not consider foreigners needing adaptors in the USA, he said that was the way of America. I said it was Zen and the flow was against me getting it and I should give up. I resigned to take the bus but the info he had written was missing. The store attendent was skeptical and suggested double checking Fry's. I was fed up and went and got a Burrito, but did not realise there was a stand for the sauces, I had thought it was a salad bar. So I had a very plain Burrito. I met a Melbournian there who recommended another Radio Shack. Just as I was about to sit down two tables were suddenly taken and I had to share with a black woman who had her bag across the other seat. I went up to radio shack and they only had a massive heavy voltage changing adaptor for Europe to the USA, the charger was universal voltage so I did not need it. I got them to contact Fry's and as I tried to double check if it was there a woman on the other side said it was not, I asked for a supervisor who said it was and then as I got him to double check the phone went dead. I got the idea to stick my European adaptor into the adaptor they had and I bought it for $41. I walked out and was drawn into an esoteric book shop in a kind of mesmorised trance and a woman, a customer was in there and all I could think of was MILF, I gave up and outside there was a organic vegetarian cafe, but it was full, only one bar seat crushed in the corner. Then I thought maybe I could use the European adaptor for the universal adaptor in the camping store. I checked it out and it was loose due to the fact that one pin had been bent by Molly as it had been hers. I went to their bike repairs and asked them to straighten it, she did, and I asked to try a bit more and she said it might break, and went off and broke it off. Now I was back to square one. I tried to find out where I could get it soldered back on. They did not know.

I was about to walk out and a lad came up and asked me if I needed any help, I asked if he knew of a hardware store and a place to get soldering, and he said he could do it here in the bike shop, extraordinarily the other bike repair people had not realised this. He fixed it up so it was still bent but not quite as bent as before. The plug sort of just held. I got a bus back and tried it out and it worked. I was sapped of energy.

I went to bed and about 12 the girls arrived. Much much later Ollie. I stared for a long while at her beautiful face as she slept.