Anger, ranting is such a common pastime. They say that when one gets angry it releases endorphins, or one of those drugs our bodies produces which make us feel happy. Thus anger can fast be addictive.
Driving this morning for the last time through the empty streets of Dehli on the morn of Independence Day, I felt a rant surface within. The ugly filth of fungus crawls up the cement tenements and pakka houses of the cities.
In stark contrast with the village houses, kept pretty and clean. Even the buffalo houses look nice. The tiny stove/ovens are carefully swished with clay. Perhaps some manure is mixed in. I heard people use a wash with manure for wall plaster. Manure has antiseptic properties!! Woah, n’est pas?
Yet yet yet the cement palaces sprout like a pestilence creeping over town and country. All all all those who have lived in both kinds of houses concur, the cement house is less comfortable to live in. To make it liveable you must have fans, air conditioning, heating in winter, AND it develops cracks and leaks during the monsoon. All this I’ve learnt from Heid, she’s been told that the wooden house of the village is like natural AC. And the same is true of a properly built earth house.
It’s that tightness in the chest, that hopeless feeling in the gut. As the teeming millions of India swarm, as we all swarm, away from common sense and traditional wisdom, towards concrete.
What to do?
Here is the rain outside my room at the Tibetan Monastery. Their answer is prayer and meditation. And you can feel it has an effect. My brothers answer is making earth houses.
Thanks be that I have been in the Great Bharat or India as we call it, with my daughter and guide. To reminds me of my ants status in the enormity. And at the same time make me want to do my tiny cog work well.
I actually think my little friends here below from the monastery are doing their job too.
OH …Let it end in celebration. Today is Raksha Bandan! A national holiday to celebrate brother and sister. Sisters buy the loveliest bracelets and put them on the wrist of their brother.
Many myths here – Lord Yama is Lord of death. His siter Yamuna, a river in southern India, tied a thread round his wrist and granted him immortality. He was so glad he granted immortality to any brother who protects his sister.
The great Indian poet Tagore extended brotherhood and sisterhood to be between Hindus and Muslims and indeed between us all.
Today, this very day most of the 1.2 billion Indians will be celebrating their sisters and brothers with sweets and prayers and rakhi bracelets.
So that’s the end of Legendhunting, monsoon myths for this year. I leave you with brotherly and sisterly love and a picture of this man. He was one of hundreds of men wearing bright orange carrying strange apparently useless things who I saw running walking biking along on a pilgrimage last week. They seemed to be having fun.