Indian Deliverance: #Mathura #Uttar Pradesh #India

Getting redy for holi celebrations inMathura, India

Getting redy for holi celebrations inMathura, India

Delhi suburbs are z-z-z-l-e-e-p-y, (y-a-w-n-n-n), and you could almost convince yourself that life inside the cocoon could always be like this, z-z-zlow and laz-z-z-y, but all good things must come to an end, soooo… spike my veins with pure caffeine, catch the early morning bus to Uttar Pradesh, Mathura to be exact, got a rep as a hot place to party for Holi festival of lights, festival of colored powders, festival of partiers without borders, guard your private parts if you want to keep them that way….

Bus takes on passengers from an undefined spot in an undefined lot, on the outskirts of town, ready to go whenever from wherever, transvestite comes on the bus posing as the ticket collector woulda had me fooled if he/she weren’t such the fool herself, with her fanny pack as decoy and her silly grin as the main ploy, posing as only God knows what when the sun goes down and Lord only knows who or what else, nobody else gives her money so I don’t either…

Rickshaws in Mathur, India

Rickshaws in Mathur, India

Bus finally sets out south by southeast through vaguely defined suburbs and shit-stained satellite cities, dodging pots and holes and potholes and sh*t-holes, chaiwallahs and kitabwallahs and thaliwallas and sariwallahs, fire starters and trinket vendors and carnival acts and money lenders, sliding and slipping through mud and debris and water puddles the size of cricket fields, reminds me of the bus to Tsetserleg, Mongolia in the rainy season traveling through yak pastures along horse trails…

Dirt tracks finally become highways and slums become pastures and suburbs become country towns and bellies become hungry so the bus stops on the side of the road, what passes for a pit stop selling what passes for nutrition what passes for comfort what passes for relief to the weary and the hungry and among them the desperate and the hopeless, combination restaurant restroom rest area, bus finally sets off again driver’s belly inflated and passengers somewhat sedated, given over to the onomatopoeia of exhaust emissions, and the synesthesia of nocturnal emissions, that this is somehow simply the way things are…

Man in Mathura, India

Man in Mathura, India

So a three-hour trip becomes six and the bus doesn’t even bother with stations, stopping on the side of the road at Mathura, dropping us off without further ceremony, auto-rickshaw says one hundred rupees to my crib, then demands one-fifty, par for the course of course as I’ll find out later, sliding scale of wages and honesty and basic human dignity mostly lacking here, civilization reduced to math numbers equations and variables that don’t seem to vary except in the minutiae and details of names faces and body parts…

Men stand with dicks in hand pissing on the side of the road not even bothering with the final firm flick to send a message to the rogue droplet, women need not apply, cretins stare at me flashing toothless grins at me yelling HEY YOU and other treatises on psychological theories of value, philosophical dissertations on the human condition, and speculations on the origins of consciousness, all while eating bananas with one hand and masturbating with the other in a consummate  act of synchronicity….

slum dwellers in Mathura, India

slum dwellers in Mathura, India

Car horns blare and people all stare, cows roam the trenches and mechanics wield wrenches, this is the automotive side of town, auto parts and body parts intertwined in compromising positions in an attempt to establish order and the rule of law over what is essentially chaos, rickshaws coaches automobiles and autos-da-fe in the act of execution, sideswiping me, bumping grinding jolting and jostling me “why should I go around when I could bump into you?”

I avoid the lucky masses, flip off the unlucky ones and cuss out the misinformed motorbike driver who thinks he can do the rude-driver-routine to me without a backup in the passenger seat, that’s pressing his luck, poor sumb*tch dumbass motherf*ck, touch me with that motorbike and you’ll go down, these the original clusterf*ckers, show them a tight spot and I’ll show you a crowd ready-made for it, preselected by prior arrangement and special disposition of mitochondrial DNA God willing…

Guys having a smoke in Mathura, India

Guys having a smoke in Mathura, India

Hotel is no better, Gaurav Boarding House by name, usually havens, but here cretinous counter clerk just clucks when I ask for the WiFi password, yeah right, no serious, I give you later, no you give me now, whenever you’re ready, I’m ready NOW, withholding my money and passport until they prove they can produce the slippery stuff of dreams and deliverance, the other dimension that threatens to render biology superfluous, room itself a miserable mass of misanthropic mosquitoes and miasma, it takes a raucous ventilator, rogue renegade from World War II war-plane wreckage propellers to keep them at bay and keep me at peace, diving for cover under the covers…

There’s only one escape, and that’s by the tracks, on the edge of town, but that takes time, and that takes money, but not if you just want to walk the steel rails, dodging the turds, ignoring the piss, the stench of garbage and the wretch of vomit, a world in which the color brown just naturally looks like sh*t and the sound of steel wheels just naturally sound like piss, but there’s another world there perched between the pale of what’s civilized and the call of the wilderness, where human kindness is currency and smiles are calling cards and a cup of tea is an invitation to drink, people too poor for pretensions, that’s my world.

Inside an Indian train

Inside an Indian train

I’m saved by the bell and the the growl of my belly, a will to survive and a wish to fulfill, the universal response to hunger a force to be reckoned with, thalis and dhosas and curries and samosas, hot from the skillet and right off the grill and fresh from the oven and straight from the fields, saved by the sound of a train whistle blowing and another city calling, saved by the sound of a lady’s name, a sound like the wind and a whistle in my mind, the only direction up and away by morning’s first light, back to the big city and its dreams wholesale, promises warehoused to be packaged for retail, odds are now it’ll Delhi for Holi, C U…

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