Malaria dream

Yesterday morning I arrived in Calcutta. I was reading The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh on the train, an exciting book on malaria disease, delirium and nightmares, coincidences and synchronicity, all set in Calcutta. As I started my rounds in the city I felt the dynamics the book was talking about. I met an Italian woman, a personal disciple of Osho. She was a natural healer, who gave me an interesting teaching on tantra and relationships and told me she is on the way to the Nicobar Islands to write a cookbook. Her first yoga teacher happened to be Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. Then I went to Kalighat, the place where Sati`s finger fell on the earth, and found a Kamaccha Devi picture on the road. In the afternoon I visited the Birla Art Academy, and saw a market behind, where there was a Bengali painter sitting with his scrolls singing the Ramayana. He was just the kind of storyteller I came here to find (this is his photo:). ChitrakarnThen on the metro a guy came up to me saying ‘this is the fourth time I see you today’. It was true, I also noticed him in different parts of the city. (Calcutta has 12 million inhabitants). In the evening I read the Telegraph, the local newspaper where a proud article said that India got the 8th place in a survey where the question was “how often do you have sex?” The article was emphasising how India has a much better rating than Britain in this respect. And who got the first place? You wont believe me: Hungary. It`s hard to imagine when I remember those gloomy faces on the streets of Budapest. This morning when I walked down on Park Street, a waiter stopped me from the restaurant where I had dinner last night saying, that I should visit Mother Theresa`s House, it`s not far. I walked and walked, maybe even for an hour, it felt like an endless hike in the heat, but finally found it. It turned out that Mother Theresa`s beatification ceremony will be this Sunday in Rome and a sister of charity showed me the room where she lived. Then completely exhausted I sat down in Barrista Cafe, where an old Bengali man came over to my table for a chat, and told me his life story and how he met the Dalai Lama in `59, when His Holiness arrived to India. Then I met a young Bengali guy in the Oxford bookshop (had to buy a book by Tagore:), who took me out for a drink, and told me he is a fashion designer in Japan, just came back for holiday, and he would take me around on his bike tomorrow to see some scroll painters and collect some Bengali patterns. Then I went to the library of the Asiatic Society to find a book, but instead I found the Acta Orientalia on the shelf, the great Hungarian academic journal with Professor Wojtilla`s article (my Sanskrit teacher from the university). These are just some of the events of the last two days. I don`t know what I`m doing here, it`s too fast, too random, too much for my brain. Maybe it`s all just a malaria dream.

 

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