Time of Renewal
When I come back
From where I go
I will know
Where to begin
Like lizard shedding skin
Renewing same old lizard.
This no doubt ancient verse always occurs to me on Returns, however often – like now in India 2015, there is no fan-fare-special orientation.
I continue wandering paths both familiar and unfamiliar, encouraging people and patting small ones on the heads sometimes . . . being the White-man seems to be my role.
Do you notice the handsome Lions’ heads at either side of the portraits of handsome young Tamil men? Nice with the peuce-pink background, don’t you think? This kind of balance is characteristic of Tamil culture but I won’t go into details here, you will have to imagine.
I include this beautiful image so you will recall the context in which we in the so-called West use the word ‘austerity’. Notice that the beautiful tree hacked down last year by Highways Department has finally found the courage to regenerate. Time of Renewal, you see!
This last image is of the new home of the happy sadhu and his wife with one arm who appeared in Gross National Happiness as well as Social Insecurity . . . You are getting to know them well. This new camp-site doesn’t seem to be so private does it, not so sweet as the homes he makes from bits and pieces, but the benefit is related to the thunder storms at night lately, brought on by intense daylight heat enabling sufficient rain perhaps to bring beams to farmers’ faces but great inconvenience and difficulties for temporary dwellings. Stone mandapams like these were originally built to provide shelter to pilgrims walking around the hill-round-route, which they continue to do for beggar-pilgrims. Notice also the little relief of a pilgrim couple on the stone pillar . . . another nice touch!
Today I cut through the forest to emerge near the Hanuman Temple, careful not to disturb a sleeping sadhu:
They were everywhere although it was quite late I thought. Some were upstanding though:
What you see here are the sole possessions of somebody in Orange. And Crow.
Perhaps you are interested in Romance. But perhaps you didnt realise that this board is the invitation for guests to attend a marriage? – no? – well it is.
And when you’ve digested that you are probably wondering about one hugely visible absence here so I will explain for you: the bride’s friends aren’t there because she’s expected to leave everything behind when she marries – including women friends. She will make new friends from . . . you guessed it: her husband’s friend’s wives! So now you know.
Further elucidation on the complexity of Indian Romance under the Bollywood table can be found in the posting called Romance elsewhere on this blog.
On that sweet note this Time of Renewal posting will close and perhaps be continued further down the track.