After arriving in the early hours and sitting some perfect time on the roof watching the mountain and the sky, I wandered along familiar tracks; here’s the beauty that passed me by: Having not slept for several days I urgently needed to catch up with Sonagiri forest that evening by entering the seclusion and quietude. The […]

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After the exalted valleys: Pits

Last time I visited the nursery for the Arunachala Kattu Siva Plantation, the climate was one of youth and vigour, full of promise; when I returned recently after nearly a year the scene could hardly have been more dismal. Nothing has happened for the trees during this time except Padmini (now widowed) had watered them. […]

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Consensual Anarchy: Roots

This story follows on from the previous one: Burial for Barbarians. Quite a long time ago a wise District Forest Officer took me to the crux of our incapacity to prevent uneducated people breaking Forest Law, thereby engaging in what – from our educated perspective – passes as ‘vandalism’: destruction of Reserve Forest causing erosion […]

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Burial for barbarians

This story follows on from the previous story in which dear friend Helga’s body was laid lovingly to rest.



Under the scattered rose petals is Helga’s two day old grave, it’s been stomped on. The rest is garbage.
This is not an isolated shock; you see it all the time.


The culprits were mourners for a rich person; see the fat cat garland on the new grave:


Only men attend funerals here. One was so drunk he left his chappals behind:


You see it all the time. The Hindu burial grounds are disgusting. This is not an isolated shock. Other than Hindus prefer their own burial sites, so as to avoid disrespect. They are endowed with basic human dignity.

Unless a fresh grave is soon covered in cement, it’s likely to be dug up within a short time and another body interred, especially in choice spots like near to the road. This has been the Hindu Tamil way for a very long time:


That’s half a human skull minus the lower jaw in the centre in case you don’t recognise it, with broken whiskey bottles and a coconut – a nice touch that.

This incriminating scoop nestled in Mother Earth just a few meters from the grave of our dear friend. I noticed it yesterday but didn’t photograph it and wouldn’t have mentioned it without the advent of the barbarians of today intruding so near to our hearts. I had revisited the graveside this morning to catch the funky face of the lion overlooking Helga’s grave, thinking I hadn’t captured it on burial day although I had.

So it was fate that enabled me to find my voice: it was the callous lack of civic sensitivity in my face again did it.

Now I mention it. Are you listening?

We are so proud of our ancestry here. Where does that callous lack of civic sensitivity come from, how does it fit in to our ancient culture, one of the oldest living cultures: Long Live Classical Divine Tamil!

Hindu burial grounds are disgusting to most Tamils too, it pains their hearts, they tell me so and I believe them, it pains mine too. Most are endowed with basic human dignity and respect. Particularly for the dead. And the living in mourning.

Directly across the road from this evidence of alienation stands the remains of the little Ramalingam statue, the focus of the previous post called WORSHIP in capitals. Here’s what’s left of that today:


Well may we ask what kind of bankruptcy begets the desecration of neighbouring graves by mourners at a funeral, but no answer quite fulfils the gaping chasm of community consent; community consent by neglect to protest. What kind of bankruptcy begets this? The answer is clear: consensual Anarchy in practice. We have it.

Lack of respect for what is sacred to others must come from abuse and misuse of power by dominant others in vulnerable years of childhood. Such unfortunate persons are to be pitied.

Consensual anarchy breeds in fear.

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The Sadhu Drag

The sadhu drag has been tarted up. The story is that the Panchayats concerned pooled all their Infrastructure resources, and the Municipal Council and Tourist Development Corporation both chipped in lavishly until we have the most pukha roadway in all TamilNadu here, where the local sadhu population hangs out. Most of the Sadhu population that […]

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