Wednesday, January 31, 2007

sui generis : in india

Ricebag's mind has been whirling and twirling of late. Sometimes I tell people "I am Indian". And I am. And I am Israeli and I am Iranian and I am Norwegian and I am Thai and I am Pacific. But more than all of these. I am Indian. More than anything else.

Sounds so fucking prosiac doesn't it? A bit of banal profundity appeals to everyone? In the worst stereo-typical way. I hate that I love India-my-India and have fallen for it in the way so so many other blue-eyed dippy hip-hip from the WWWest do. But it's not surprising to me. One of the oldest continuing civilzations on the planet, thousands of years of living and breathing and praying and and just this illahie can't but help to emanate a different energy and raise a brown people on a brown land to some kind of "other" awareness, other level, other knowing. A completely seductive one that terrifies a lot of the newly born (see them sweat it) but sounds like home to the old souls (see them want it).

So even though I feel utterly common in my Needing-Of India, I also understand that I am nonetheless totally unique in my Being-In India. Of the more than 1 year I have spent in India-my-India, all my experiences made me feel more sui generis, more uncommon, more unrepeated, more only, than almost anywhere else I have been and almost anything else I have done. Yes, there were the Kashmiri mountains to climb under cover of Pakistani shelling; and forests of rhododendrons to tent through on the Bhutanese border; and vallies of flowers to cross in Himachal Pradesh; and oceans to cover on the backs of elephants come Adam's Bridge; and remote Andaman & Nicobarese islands to robinson crusoe ... ricebag did alla that schtuff and s'more ... tick tick tick. Strong, healthy, worthy, ticks. But nothing meant anything without the endless possibilities each day in India brought of the people a body could meet - yeah yeah - the people rocked me to the core. Indians and Travellers and Indian Travellers ... the fleeting and the lasting, the moments really, and just the cinematic quality of directing, producing and starring in your very own adventure. Minutes and hours and days spent on eclectic rambling trains travelling through farmland and homeland and minutes and seconds and miliseconds spent staring at the stars and the u-ni-verse and weeks spent watching and months spent breathing. I am the boss of me in India and feeling that free meant I started seeing such beauty in ev-er-y-thing ... bit Bhuddist, bit Hindu - that. Lord, Allah, Buhdda, knows there ain't nothing like a khumb mela to make you know in your bones why mankind is greater than their providence.

I am no heteroclite, I am not an anomaly, not original or unusual. I am unique though because I alone am ricebag, just me, and only ricebag can experience all the things that ricebag experiences. It's just that when in India-my-India, I am somehow more open to all that is within me and am open to the coincidences and open doors in a day, or an hour, aware and open to the minutae without dissection, when in India-my-India. Why does it seem so goddamn geographic? Why can't I be this way in another place? Simple. Because I am not evolved enough to carry that world with me. That takes discipline.

So I am not even going to try to condense what being Indian means for ricebag. Along my travels I wrote on that a lot and blew out my kisses to the wind and I think some of you out there caught them and understood and it's that kind of understanding I crave. The knowing one. Just like I know. I know I know I know. I am Indian. Somewhere deep inside where it counts, where it lives, where its novel, where its curious and maveric and where it isn't so cliche and it's almost never passe and it's never ever bathetic, never faineant, never passive, never undemonstrative.

I am the chaos and the calm. I am perfect imperfect. I am flowing. I am the past and the future in the present. Somehow I work and I don't know how and I don't want to know how. Just why. And that is why I am Indian.


Anonymous Carolyn said...

Ok, ok, you're Indian!

31 January, 2007 17:17  
Blogger masalai said...

R.B. have you put your pics of Tibet and India on your blog?

If not, you should...did you take these ones?

04 February, 2007 01:24  
Blogger adrienne said...

i'll be honest...i happened upon your blog totally by accident but have been so moved by your photos and writing...i have it bookmarked...

the photos of the pushkar mother and the plum blossom...are they yours? do you allow anyone to use your photos as reference? i would love to paint them but understand if that is uncool with you...

13 February, 2007 13:52  
Blogger Rca said...

Your pictures bring places to life, they are uncommonly good. Where do you get them processed, if at all?


26 November, 2007 21:22  

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