This is Lucknow's Residency. The headquarters of the 1857 rebellion. Today it is huge garden dotted with roofless ruins and cemetaries, a museum and several rusty cannons. It is quiet in here, except for bird calls and the shuffling of feet of couples who come here to hold hands and kiss behind cannon-scarred walls. In the middle of this tableau of death and romance is a small 'wishing grave'. A dargah of some sainted personage. People come here to wish away their problems and to make requests for future betterment. They come here with padlocks and plastic bags. The bags they tie on the branches of the nearby trees. The padlocks they put on a wire next to the grave taking the keys with them. They return, at least some of them, when their prayers are answered and take with them the padlocks and the pieces of plastic. As if withdrawing their petitions from the office of a magistrate.

My blog has for a long time been whispering to me to do something DIFFERENT with it... I on the other hand have been ignoring that whisper. Perhaps because I felt un-ready for anything more strenuous that the striking of fingers on a keyboard.
Perhaps, the time was not right.

Today, after spending about three months with my aloneness, on the banks of the Ganga, I have come to the realisation that a lot of what I feel, and as a result write about, can be shared with people face to face surrounded by the sights and sounds of a particular place. It could be a place of popular interest. It could be an obscure pilgrimage. Or even a village fair. But what these places will have in common will be a 'calling', a special energy.

Since you all have showered me with your attention and time, I would like to invite you all to the BODHI's HOP, a journey that will take you places, not in the touristy sense of the phrase but in the mystical sense of complete immersion. Both in your Self and the place.

Even as I write this I am not sure how exactly this will unfold but I promise you that whatever form the journey takes it will never get boring...
With me, leading the HOP, will be my friend Keshav, whom I have known for a long time and who carries with him a vast experience of LIFE and readings of a very esoteric nature.

Together we hope to show you a new way around the world.
Out first HOP will happen in the first week of January with a maximum of 20 people.
So hurry and send your requests to the ID above…

Rishikesh is a funny place. The other day when I was walking towards Laxman Jhula (one of three suspension bridges in the city) I heard a street vendor yelling: “It’s a sign from god. It’s a sign…” The sign was about one metre long. All traffic had stopped for it. People of the street had made a daisy chain of hands to hold back the traffic. The snake, most probably a non-poisonous one, seemed to be in no hurry to cross the road, taking its sweet time as it slithered out from the compound of a Catholic church, that looked like a Hindu temple, to a lepers’ colony across the street.

Some lepers were trying to shoo away the reptile with their fingerless hands but the snake was nonchalance personified as it made its way inside a nearby Shiva temple. Shiva once used to be the god of all fauna. He was known as Pasupati and only later did he metamorphose into the Destroyer among the Trinity with hooded snakes coiled around his neck, arms, waist and ankles. It was indeed striking to see the snake head for the Shiva temple and not any other place. Perhaps the street vendor was right.

Later, when I was repeating the incident to Ravi, the ferry guide, he asked me whether the snake was “domestic or wild”. Domestic snakes? That got me thinking… could a snake be like a cow, domesticated and obedient? Full of milk and manure. Or a snake by common consensus is Mystery, if not complete out and out evil. It’s more often than not a sublimate of many human neuroses… from the story of Genesis to the Greek tail-devouring Ouroboros to the Aztec flying snake to Freud’s phallic interpretations. It is perhaps an example of what Rudolf Otto referred to as “mysterium, tremendum et fascinans” or an experience that is mysterious, terrifying and (yet hugely) fascinating.

The sign from god disappeared as quickly as it had appeared and the street went back to it motions. The street vendor also went back to his selling of plastic toys and bugles.

God had signed his name with a snake. And that was that.



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About Me

As an art practitioner I work in a variety of mediums, what you see here are glimpses of my many creative projects. If you like or feel strongly something here please don't forget to comment



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