XIV: I Can See Dead People

 

I’m not dead, which is pretty fly if you ask me. The doc in Calcutta said its muscle damage & a dislocated shoulder, gave me a sling & some medication & I have recently felt a little better. The headaches have gone & I’m startin’ to get back into the swing of things. It’s been pretty weird the past week or so as I’ve been full-on zombiefied & it’s not that appealing a thought when you realise you are ten thousand miles from home in the middle of a crazy country like India.

After three days in Calcutta being nurs’d by one of the Oz birds (unfortunately my libido had completely disappeared in the smash, so no action – but she did wash all the blood from my hat) I got on a train to Varanasi. I am never gonna complain about the English network again. My journey across those endless alluvial flatlands took 20 hours, it seem’d to stop and wait 20 minutes at every minor station & even a few that didn’t exist. But I got here early yesterday morning & boy am I impress’d.

I took my first glimpse of the Ganges as the train roll’d over it on its way to the station… a breathtakingly romantic river, cushion’d in a hazy mist & flank’d by some of the most gorgeous phantasie buildings I have ever seen. After being rickshaw-whisk’d to a hotel I took a stroll thro’ the city’s narrow streets – very Italian. Varanasi is the holiest site in India & there are temples at ev’ry turn. Also, if you die here you are known to be bless’d & this brings me on to one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. At one of the Ghats corpses are draped in silk & flowers & placed on funeral pyres of bamboo bier. Their souls fly to the sky, their ashes sprinkle in the Ganges & their bones return to the soil – very trippy.

Water Buffalo.JPG

I found a much cheaper hotel today, & have unpack’d… my library lines the shelves, my weed is looking good & there are monkeys masturbating at my window. I think I’ll stay here a few more days as you can hire boatmen to row you up & down the river which sounds perfect to do some writing, lounging around a boat with some nice charas & a pencil. Tho’ a place of death, the place is also full of life – from the water buffaloes that wander up & down the riverbanks, to the huge snakes hanging from the old geezers necks. However, unlike many of the hippies I don’t feel exactly ‘comfortable’ here, so I’ll soon head up to the mountains before turning south for the trip thro’ Delhi & the desert to Bombay – where I’ll be taking a plane home on April 17th, which is just enough time for an ecstasy-fuell’d whistle stop tour of the UK before arriving in Burnley to see Gazza score the goal that clinches automatic promotion.

Varanasi
23/3/2002

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