Past - Present - Future

Feb 21, 2008 in

I decided not to go to China for now but come back home – with British Airways (BA0972) at 20:05 on the 28th of March. This gives me still about one and a half months to say “goodbye” or rather “see you later” to India. Before Jens and Joern arrive from Germany, I still got two weeks to travel alone.
It is a bit hard to travel alone again but after a few days, you realize that you are never really aloe. You meet people all the time.
I spent the two free weeks in Rishikesh, curious about spirituality and what else attracts Western tourists to this place. Yes, it is a very touristic place and it must have lost much of it’s original athmosphere ever since it has become famous. But there is still some kind of magic in this little town and nearly every street has it’s own character. The town is very much influenced by New Age culture: It’s fluffy, it’s interesting, it’s funny!

For example there is that guy on the northern end of Laxman Jhula who tried to sell magic healing magnets all the time which he advertised for on a big sign in front of his house.
In Ram Jhula right next to stalls where one can buy delicious cookies and Golgappa, there are even three Indians praising their self-made “past – present – future” machines. These look like plastic Indian-style cuckoo clocks with built-in headphones. (Except one which is a pink toy robot :)) Furthermore, they glued some mysterious analogue displays to the front. (Aren’t computers all about blinken lights and mad indicators after all?)
Well, at least they go with the time. In the age of computerized barber shops, it seems logic that a computer tells you the future.
The fact that these people don’t starve to death must mean that there are really people who either believe this shit or give them money out of a mix of curiousity and pity. In fact, I consulted the future computer too – out of that exact reason. ;)

I’ll really miss this Indian childlike attitude of seeing and doing things. Even though I make fun of it all the time and am sarcastic about that stuff, it’s just so cute that one has to love it. Just the thought of it will always create a smile on my face. India is so improvised, so colorful and mixed-up, you can see contradictions all the time: One time I joined a religious ceremony in Haridwar (a holy city). The sun was going down. Torches and candles were lighted in the ancient and colorful temples at the bank of the holy river Ganges. Some began to chant some Mantras (holy chants) while Hindus cleaned themselves in the Ganges and candles in little boats were set into the water. The buildings reflected in yellow light on the surface of the Ganges. The athmosphere was not solemn or quiet but in a way you could feel the holyness and serenity of the place. Before the ceremony began however, some people sold plastic blankets to sit on which were actually the overage of packaging material. So I ended up to sit on Maggi instant noodles and the Sikh person in front of me on some German chocolate crossaints for kids while a “professional volunteer” preached like an infuriated missionary or a mob-leader to get some donations for the local temples.
On another occasion I watched a sadhu (holy person) who lived in a cave near the Beatles-Ashram in Rishikesh. He was just cleaning his orange robe when… his mobile started to ring.


west nord—->
see everything, turn over every stone. Remember how lucky you are everyday to be an adventurer while others toil away somewhere living lives of “quiet desperation”... keep the blog going. And fix your camera, damnit so we can all see more India….

Peter · Feb 24, 04:17 AM · #

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