Rebirth – ‘Slow Decay and Crisp Germination” – two small introductions, and the Story


To the Goddess

A Farewell

To the Goddess of decay and loose passions – a Goddess nonetheless.

Take yourself up among the cold stars and there dwell in loneliness, for the mortals here despise your ways and have ceased to pray to you for many years now.

Relinquish your earthly bonds and ascend – the celestial bodies will ring like bells crafted of the finest silver, reverberating throughout the fiber of these, the 4 dimensions that weave this world.

We are getting old, and it is now time again to fold in upon ourselves and empty the bowl of life.

The Signified

Again, the tide of anger has risen too high – the mortals wear smiling masks while keeping sharp daggers concealed in their coats.

We must commence with our indemnification and swiftly curb this tide, lest it crash over and spill onto the material plane and drown all in its wake.

——————————————————————————————

… And the day broke gloriously upon me, its feral rays penetrating through my tattered cloak to warm my breast.

And lo! The world opened up, and through my tear-smattered eyes I could perceive the true creation-less state.

The sunlit clouds and the teal of the sky drew back like curtains, revealing the one secret that had so long eluded my understanding.

More tears came, yes.  But not the dark, dirty ones of before that sprang from the burning, relentless frustration of hope. No, indeed.  These were crystal shards of my soul, erupting spontaneously from the sheer terror and utter joy that was evoked from the scene set before me.

Laughter rang out of my lips spasmodically – preternaturally – and whosoever the sound of it touched fell down prostrate with awe and confusion.

Seraphim developed into my vision.  They swooped down from their celestial revolutions to pluck ignorance out of men’s minds, like so much weed and rotted vine.

———————————————————————————————

When the time comes for honor to vanish and eloquence to fade; for men’s dusty glorious banners to tear away from their posts and blow uselessly around in the tepid air, then will the mortals have won with their relentlessness attacks on humanity’s foundation, and all will return to a morbid state of nature to rejoin the grey origins of the past.

But that time is not now, and the day of it’s reckoning has not yet been written.

It is curious to think that all that life has fought for in this inhospitable, opposed construct of chaotic forces and matter will be denied it’s full fruition from the very entity that exposed it to existence.  We have brought randomness into symphonies of complexity.  We built ourselves out of mere floating dust particles to achieve singularities so bright with meaning that they defied their own constituents that they were made from.

Wild hope and ambitions took their place to confront their seemingly impenetrable prisons until the walls were crushed with pure will.

Alas, it was this very will, this volition of life that will one day destroy itself.  With no more true enemies to confront, fear and hatred, coupled with our will has begun to fight itself.  We are warriors with no foes, and so, since we must vanquish and destroy, we will do so to ourselves.

I have borne witness to these events in my perpetual solitude, my spirit unswayed and undeterred  by the false fantasies presented in the passing moments of eternity.  But now the old gods come to me and entreat me to allow myself to be their vessel, and I have agreed with much carelessness.  I drink of their essence, and do their bidding in exchange for nothing but the promise of more ineffable knowledge.

There is one goddess who wishes not to entreat me.  Her hair and eyes blaze with the sun’s unbridled light, and her lips speak nothing but wisdom and peace.  She takes her place among the mortals, tied to them with the karmic rope of compassion.  And in her kindness she has blinded her mortal body to the awareness of her true nature.  She is Phaedra, and she has warmed my stone of a heart so that I can now hear the calls of the innocents and respond with pity and empathy.  I am hers, entirely; I willingly bonded my soul with hers eons ago.  To her I owe everything, and it is with her that I place my hope.  She is my refuge and my preternatural lover.

                         

The Story

night sky poured darkness upon the cold valley.  It was winter, and the hills, frigid with icy mud and caressed with a soft moonlit glow, shrieked and howled under the constant wind.  Away to the south of, and eerily reminiscent of hyenas about to make a kill,  the little guest house an old man shared with two hyperactive chihuahuas  he didn’t much care for, there was the faint yipping and singing of coyotes.  A light but ever-present mist emerged from behind the coyotes, surrounding them and passing to the old man’s house, settling on it and making itself comfortable around the residence.

One of the chihuahuas, the elder of the two who looked as if she were in a continual state of shock and disgust on account of her huge buggy eyes, stretched skin, and slightly upturned nose, had previously been pawing at one of the soot-obscured windows, her back paws bearing her weight atop the old man’s worn polyester grey couch, and her nose pressed to the glass. Sandy, the elder, had a personality to match her unfortunate facial expression.  She whined sometimes in the dead of night – this night included – out of fear and agitation of the unknown.  The clattering of dishes and pots made her jump, and afterwards she would give her owner a sour bark for being so clumsy with the chicken and barley soup that was the only meal he cooked.  She told herself she would someday leave both her doddering owner and overly-compensative-for-her-small-size sister to travel somewhere warm, away from the country, away from the cold and the freezing snow, and the isolation and the desolation.  Florida perhaps.

Tonight the coyotes’ howling had gotten her riled up to an excess.  Her tan short fur had raised vertically in a jagged line on the top of her back and neck as she snorted and yapped through the window to make a cacophonous duet with her wild and distant cousins of the plains.  When the glow of the fine mist had established itself in a firm grip over the house, however, Sandy lowered herself down from the windowpane and jumped off the threadbare couch to hide herself in her favorite corner.  The old man, shuffling towards his bedroom, caught sight of Sandy cowering with her head and wiry tail down, and his first impulse was to chuckle.

“Oh, my, Sandy, at times you remind me more of a mouse than a dog.  Look at you, there, timid as a fly, afraid to even look up.  It’s just a storm, you rascal.”

Yes, just a storm.  But, it occurred to him, even as he said those words to his dog, that perhaps he himself didn’t believe his own ostensible assurance.  He tilted an ear slightly to listen closely to the screeching of the winds and the distant calls of the coyotes. His eyes glazed slightly, and as he gazed dreamily through the blackened window he saw ephemeral images float in the midst of the all-pervading mist.  Images he couldn’t quite discern; images of fragmentary creatures of all imaginable sort and variety.  They danced abstractedly outside in the grey – colorless, formless, they moved intangibly among themselves, their occupation unknown.  The old man looked at them ambivalently in a half-doze for a few seconds, and then felt a sharp tingle start from the base of his crooked back and move quickly all the way to his neck.  He shuddered painfully and his deep blue eyes opened wide.  He blinked twice, and shook his head in quick movements, making his loose, profoundly wrinkled skin on his jowls and chin sway back and forth.  His imagination recoiled momentarily at what it had stumbled upon.  He searched along his bookcase mechanically to find something that would distract him from the images that still held his thoughts even though they had disappeared from his now almost useless sight.  He read aloud in his head the book titles that caught his attention as he scanned his library.  Aristotelian Ethics, The Apologies, Le Ingenui, A Modern Compendium of Freud, Bacterial Physiology, The Labyrinth, The Holy Bible, The Feminist Papers, The Anarchist’s Cookbook.  These were old friends, indeed his only friends, unless you count the two dogs that lived with him.  The books, with their leather bindings and musty smell, calmed him a little.   He shuffled closer to his bookcase and reached out with his long, bony index finger to trace the letters of Le Ingenui.  He let out a small, wistful sigh.

“Voltaire, my friend, I wish you were here.  We have so much to talk about, so much to discuss, I have-”  he was cut short from his sentence by a blast of lightning and thunder that sounded as if it had struck just a few feet from the house. His dark house was illuminated for a split second, just long enough for him to observe Sandy scurrying into his bedroom in fright.  The images he had seen previously when he had peered into the fog were back.  But not outside – they were in the house.   Constantly in motion, these transient silhouettes made their rounds and changed form with each passing second, now what seemed like a giant eagle, snapping at a fish, now a tree, bending and growing to the ceiling.

The old man squinted his eyes and tensed his body unconsciously.  He backed up instinctually and carefully, his right hand slightly behind so he didn’t run into anything inadvertently.

What were these things?  What were they doing here in his house.  In his feeble mind, he tried to make sense of this.  His mouth opened slightly revealing yellow decayed teeth, and he grimaced, making his whole face scrunch up into what resembled a raisin.

“Who are you?  I have lived here alone in my house all my life.  I have no quarrel with anyone.  I don’t need you here.  I don’t need anything!”

The mist had coalesced into an impenetrable wall of grey outside, so that even the moon and starlight’s rays could no longer enter and his house was now pitch black, and  he could not even see his hand before his face.  But he could still see the figures, even more so now.  They were taking shape; becoming clearer in his vision.   He found himself rubbing his left arm, and noticed that it was numb.

“Go away from here, you are not welcome!  I don’t want you here!  You disrupt my quiet!  I have no qua-”

What started as an ever increasing crescendo in his voice was cut short.  He was suddenly gasping for air, and he stooped his shoulders and put his two hands on his bent knees, trying to draw air into his lungs.  The shapes drew closer to him, forming hands out of the darkness to caress him.  He felt suffocated and there was a growing pain in his chest.  His extremities turned blue.  With an almost inaudible whisper, he rasped, “Plato, Cicero, Archimedes, Kant, Popper… help me..”

“We are here, friend.  The ones you call are amid us.  We are taking you now.  You are with the ghosts you treasured above all else, and we will show you how lonely our company is.  Because you falsely embraced loneliness over happiness, we are tasked to show you what the true agony of aloneness is.  Because you chose thought over experience, we will strip you of the power of experience.  Come now, let our chilly touch fill you, and our frigid words fill your ears.”

“P-please,”  the old man pleaded as he sank to his knees, gripping his heart, “I loved you.  I wor-”

He took one last unsteady breath and then collapsed on his splintery wooden floor.  The beings of shadow swirled into a great mass of dark, and then vanished to leave the old man in a heap on the ground.

The next morning Sandy and her sister woke up from bad dreams they were not sorry to leave, and trotted into the living room.  The smell of chicken barley soup filled the room and they licked their lips in anticipation.  Their owner had left the pot of soup on the stove, without covering it with a lid.  Sandy saw the old man on the floor, and barked at him once.  She needed him to get up to feed her.  When he didn’t respond she tugged at the sleeve of his wool robe.  After a few moments of this, she and her sister stared at his motionless form.  They both lay down next to him and waited for him to wake up.

The night sky poured darkness upon the cold valley.  It was winter, and the hills, frigid with icy mud and caressed with a soft moonlit glow, shrieked and howled under the constant wind.  Away to the south of, and eerily reminiscent of hyenas about to make a kill,  the little guest house an old man shared with two hyperactive chihuahuas  he didn’t much care for, there was the faint yipping and singing of coyotes.  A light but ever-present mist emerged from behind the coyotes, surrounding them and passing to the old man’s house, settling on it and making itself comfortable around the residence.

One of the chihuahuas, the elder of the two who looked as if she were in a continual state of shock and disgust on account of her huge buggy eyes, stretched skin, and slightly upturned nose, had previously been pawing at one of the soot-obscured windows, her back paws bearing her weight atop the old man’s worn polyester grey couch, and her nose pressed to the glass. Sandy, the elder, had a personality to match her unfortunate facial expression.  She whined sometimes in the dead of night – this night included – out of fear and agitation of the unknown.  The clattering of dishes and pots made her jump, and afterwards she would give her owner a sour bark for being so clumsy with the chicken and barley soup that was the only meal he cooked.  She told herself she would someday leave both her doddering owner and overly-compensative-for-her-small-size sister to travel somewhere warm, away from the country, away from the cold and the freezing snow, and the isolation and the desolation.  Florida perhaps.

Tonight the coyotes’ howling had gotten her riled up to an excess.  Her tan short fur had raised vertically in a jagged line on the top of her back and neck as she snorted and yapped through the window to make a cacophonous duet with her wild and distant cousins of the plains.  When the glow of the fine mist had established itself in a firm grip over the house, however, Sandy lowered herself down from the windowpane and jumped off the threadbare couch to hide herself in her favorite corner.  The old man, shuffling towards his bedroom, caught sight of Sandy cowering with her head and wiry tail down, and his first impulse was to chuckle.

“Oh, my, Sandy, at times you remind me more of a mouse than a dog.  Look at you, there, timid as a fly, afraid to even look up.  It’s just a storm, you rascal.”

Yes, just a storm.  But, it occurred to him, even as he said those words to his dog, that perhaps he himself didn’t believe his own ostensible assurance.  He tilted an ear slightly to listen closely to the screeching of the winds and the distant calls of the coyotes. His eyes glazed slightly, and as he gazed dreamily through the blackened window he saw ephemeral images float in the midst of the all-pervading mist.  Images he couldn’t quite discern; images of fragmentary creatures of all imaginable sort and variety.  They danced abstractedly outside in the grey – colorless, formless, they moved intangibly among themselves, their occupation unknown.  The old man looked at them ambivalently in a half-doze for a few seconds, and then felt a sharp tingle start from the base of his crooked back and move quickly all the way to his neck.  He shuddered painfully and his deep blue eyes opened wide.  He blinked twice, and shook his head in quick movements, making his loose, profoundly wrinkled skin on his jowls and chin sway back and forth.  His imagination recoiled momentarily at what it had stumbled upon.  He searched along his bookcase mechanically to find something that would distract him from the images that still held his thoughts even though they had disappeared from his now almost useless sight.  He read aloud in his head the book titles that caught his attention as he scanned his library.  Aristotelian Ethics, The Apologies, Le Ingenui, A Modern Compendium of Freud, Bacterial Physiology, The Labyrinth, The Holy Bible, The Feminist Papers, The Anarchist’s Cookbook.  These were old friends, indeed his only friends, unless you count the two dogs that lived with him.  The books, with their leather bindings and musty smell, calmed him a little.   He shuffled closer to his bookcase and reached out with his long, bony index finger to trace the letters of Le Ingenui.  He let out a small, wistful sigh.

“Voltaire, my friend, I wish you were here.  We have so much to talk about, so much to discuss, I have-”  he was cut short from his sentence by a blast of lightning and thunder that sounded as if it had struck just a few feet from the house. His dark house was illuminated for a split second, just long enough for him to observe Sandy scurrying into his bedroom in fright.  The images he had seen previously when he had peered into the fog were back.  But not outside – they were in the house.   Constantly in motion, these transient silhouettes made their rounds and changed form with each passing second, now what seemed like a giant eagle, snapping at a fish, now a tree, bending and growing to the ceiling.

The old man squinted his eyes and tensed his body unconsciously.  He backed up instinctually and carefully, his right hand slightly behind so he didn’t run into anything inadvertently.

What were these things?  What were they doing here in his house.  In his feeble mind, he tried to make sense of this.  His mouth opened slightly revealing yellow decayed teeth, and he grimaced, making his whole face scrunch up into what resembled a raisin.

“Who are you?  I have lived here alone in my house all my life.  I have no quarrel with anyone.  I don’t need you here.  I don’t need anything!”

The mist had coalesced into an impenetrable wall of grey outside, so that even the moon and starlight’s rays could no longer enter and his house was now pitch black, and  he could not even see his hand before his face.  But he could still see the figures, even more so now.  They were taking shape; becoming clearer in his vision.   He found himself rubbing his left arm, and noticed that it was numb.

“Go away from here, you are not welcome!  I don’t want you here!  You disrupt my quiet!  I have no qua-”

What started as an ever increasing crescendo in his voice was cut short.  He was suddenly gasping for air, and he stooped his shoulders and put his two hands on his bent knees, trying to draw air into his lungs.  The shapes drew closer to him, forming hands out of the darkness to caress him.  He felt suffocated and there was a growing pain in his chest.  His extremities turned blue.  With an almost inaudible whisper, he rasped, “Plato, Cicero, Archimedes, Kant, Popper… help me..”

“We are here, friend.  The ones you call are amid us.  We are taking you now.  You are with the ghosts you treasured above all else, and we will show you how lonely our company is.  Because you falsely embraced loneliness over happiness, we are tasked to show you what the true agony of aloneness is.  Because you chose thought over experience, we will strip you of the power of experience.  Come now, let our chilly touch fill you, and our frigid words fill your ears.”

“P-please,”  the old man pleaded as he sank to his knees, gripping his heart, “I loved you.  I wor-”

He took one last unsteady breath and then collapsed on his splintery wooden floor.  The beings of shadow swirled into a great mass of dark, and then vanished to leave the old man in a heap on the ground.

The next morning Sandy and her sister woke up from bad dreams they were not sorry to leave, and trotted into the living room.  The smell of chicken barley soup filled the room and they licked their lips in anticipation.  Their owner had left the pot of soup on the stove, without covering it with a lid.  Sandy saw the old man on the floor, and barked at him once.  She needed him to get up to feed her.  When he didn’t respond she tugged at the sleeve of his wool robe.  After a few moments of this, she and her sister stared at his motionless form.  They both lay down next to him and waited for him to wake up.

The night sky poured darkness upon the cold valley.  It was winter, and the hills, frigid with icy mud and caressed with a soft moonlit glow, shrieked and howled under the constant wind.  Away to the south of, and eerily reminiscent of hyenas about to make a kill,  the little guest house an old man shared with two hyperactive chihuahuas  he didn’t much care for, there was the faint yipping and singing of coyotes.  A light but ever-present mist emerged from behind the coyotes, surrounding them and passing to the old man’s house, settling on it and making itself comfortable around the residence.

One of the chihuahuas, the elder of the two who looked as if she were in a continual state of shock and disgust on account of her huge buggy eyes, stretched skin, and slightly upturned nose, had previously been pawing at one of the soot-obscured windows, her back paws bearing her weight atop the old man’s worn polyester grey couch, and her nose pressed to the glass. Sandy, the elder, had a personality to match her unfortunate facial expression.  She whined sometimes in the dead of night – this night included – out of fear and agitation of the unknown.  The clattering of dishes and pots made her jump, and afterwards she would give her owner a sour bark for being so clumsy with the chicken and barley soup that was the only meal he cooked.  She told herself she would someday leave both her doddering owner and overly-compensative-for-her-small-size sister to travel somewhere warm, away from the country, away from the cold and the freezing snow, and the isolation and the desolation.  Florida perhaps.

Tonight the coyotes’ howling had gotten her riled up to an excess.  Her tan short fur had raised vertically in a jagged line on the top of her back and neck as she snorted and yapped through the window to make a cacophonous duet with her wild and distant cousins of the plains.  When the glow of the fine mist had established itself in a firm grip over the house, however, Sandy lowered herself down from the windowpane and jumped off the threadbare couch to hide herself in her favorite corner.  The old man, shuffling towards his bedroom, caught sight of Sandy cowering with her head and wiry tail down, and his first impulse was to chuckle.

“Oh, my, Sandy, at times you remind me more of a mouse than a dog.  Look at you, there, timid as a fly, afraid to even look up.  It’s just a storm, you rascal.”

Yes, just a storm.  But, it occurred to him, even as he said those words to his dog, that perhaps he himself didn’t believe his own ostensible assurance.  He tilted an ear slightly to listen closely to the screeching of the winds and the distant calls of the coyotes. His eyes glazed slightly, and as he gazed dreamily through the blackened window he saw ephemeral images float in the midst of the all-pervading mist.  Images he couldn’t quite discern; images of fragmentary creatures of all imaginable sort and variety.  They danced abstractedly outside in the grey – colorless, formless, they moved intangibly among themselves, their occupation unknown.  The old man looked at them ambivalently in a half-doze for a few seconds, and then felt a sharp tingle start from the base of his crooked back and move quickly all the way to his neck.  He shuddered painfully and his deep blue eyes opened wide.  He blinked twice, and shook his head in quick movements, making his loose, profoundly wrinkled skin on his jowls and chin sway back and forth.  His imagination recoiled momentarily at what it had stumbled upon.  He searched along his bookcase mechanically to find something that would distract him from the images that still held his thoughts even though they had disappeared from his now almost useless sight.  He read aloud in his head the book titles that caught his attention as he scanned his library.  Aristotelian Ethics, The Apologies, Le Ingenui, A Modern Compendium of Freud, Bacterial Physiology, The Labyrinth, The Holy Bible, The Feminist Papers, The Anarchist’s Cookbook.  These were old friends, indeed his only friends, unless you count the two dogs that lived with him.  The books, with their leather bindings and musty smell, calmed him a little.   He shuffled closer to his bookcase and reached out with his long, bony index finger to trace the letters of Le Ingenui.  He let out a small, wistful sigh.

“Voltaire, my friend, I wish you were here.  We have so much to talk about, so much to discuss, I have-”  he was cut short from his sentence by a blast of lightning and thunder that sounded as if it had struck just a few feet from the house. His dark house was illuminated for a split second, just long enough for him to observe Sandy scurrying into his bedroom in fright.  The images he had seen previously when he had peered into the fog were back.  But not outside – they were in the house.   Constantly in motion, these transient silhouettes made their rounds and changed form with each passing second, now what seemed like a giant eagle, snapping at a fish, now a tree, bending and growing to the ceiling.

The old man squinted his eyes and tensed his body unconsciously.  He backed up instinctually and carefully, his right hand slightly behind so he didn’t run into anything inadvertently.

What were these things?  What were they doing here in his house.  In his feeble mind, he tried to make sense of this.  His mouth opened slightly revealing yellow decayed teeth, and he grimaced, making his whole face scrunch up into what resembled a raisin.

“Who are you?  I have lived here alone in my house all my life.  I have no quarrel with anyone.  I don’t need you here.  I don’t need anything!”

The mist had coalesced into an impenetrable wall of grey outside, so that even the moon and starlight’s rays could no longer enter and his house was now pitch black, and  he could not even see his hand before his face.  But he could still see the figures, even more so now.  They were taking shape; becoming clearer in his vision.   He found himself rubbing his left arm, and noticed that it was numb.

“Go away from here, you are not welcome!  I don’t want you here!  You disrupt my quiet!  I have no qua-”

What started as an ever increasing crescendo in his voice was cut short.  He was suddenly gasping for air, and he stooped his shoulders and put his two hands on his bent knees, trying to draw air into his lungs.  The shapes drew closer to him, forming hands out of the darkness to caress him.  He felt suffocated and there was a growing pain in his chest.  His extremities turned blue.  With an almost inaudible whisper, he rasped, “Plato, Cicero, Archimedes, Kant, Popper… help me..”

“We are here, friend.  The ones you call are amid us.  We are taking you now.  You are with the ghosts you treasured above all else, and we will show you how lonely our company is.  Because you falsely embraced loneliness over happiness, we are tasked to show you what the true agony of aloneness is.  Because you chose thought over experience, we will strip you of the power of experience.  Come now, let our chilly touch fill you, and our frigid words fill your ears.”

“P-please,”  the old man pleaded as he sank to his knees, gripping his heart, “I loved you.  I wor-”

He took one last unsteady breath and then collapsed on his splintery wooden floor.  The beings of shadow swirled into a great mass of dark, and then vanished to leave the old man in a heap on the ground.

The next morning Sandy and her sister woke up from bad dreams they were not sorry to leave, and trotted into the living room.  The smell of chicken barley soup filled the room and they licked their lips in anticipation.  Their owner had left the pot of soup on the stove, without covering it with a lid.  Sandy saw the old man on the floor, and barked at him once.  She needed him to get up to feed her.  When he didn’t respond she tugged at the sleeve of his wool robe.  After a few moments of this, she and her sister stared at his motionless form.  They both lay down next to him and waited for him to wake up.

Writing Challenge: Map it out. The Slow Motion, Black and White movie


This is India?

Perusing it’s highways and streets from google maps, one would not find much remarkable about it.  There is nothing special that sticks out to compel one to look closer or think  a little more deeply about what the land and people are like.  All one can see at first glance are those squiggly criss-crossing  lines of different colors intersecting each other among a non-nondescript,  almost drab landscape of tepid green and brown.  The only landmark in this particular map that catches the eye slightly is the  river Ganges.  Its parabolic stretch to the east of Varanasi draws the attention for a moment; one may notice the in-congruent  widths of beach that line the east shore, or else the stark contrast of its natural dark blue waters to the synthetic yellow lineation  that symbolizes train track.

Oh!  What meaningless plasticity this map presents to the mind! Cartography of this kind alienates ourselves from the reality of what it purports to show us, all the while oppressing and boring the actuality of the earth and the life upon it.  With its cold data and inert  accuracy it builds a facade of lifelessness below.  Nothing but measurement and exactitude  can be ascertained, though this is nothing but fraud of the worst degree.  It is lie built upon lie. The map tells us that there is no movement upon the earth;  that the elements of destruction, creation, and maintenance are not at work to continue the unending dance of life.   This is, of course, ludicrous.  This is like pretending that all there is in the universe is the random vibration of particles in a complete vacuum of chaos and indeterminate energy exchange.

And so, looking upon this map, and seeing it for what it is – a misrepresentation of singularity – we can establish its inability to recreate anything meaningful about which it purports to embody.  Having done so, we can quickly set it aside and dismiss it as a useless tool for real information.  Let us instead use something that helps us understand what India is.  That something is, in truth, the only thing that we can use, because anything else falls horribly short.   And that something is experience.  

Let us embark then, onward to experience India, in all its facets and splendorous traces.  +++

As any good guide would prepare you thoroughly for a journey ahead in which he is to lead and protect you, and as he would also, during the sojourn itself, continually lead you along the best routes and highlight certain areas while downplaying or even excluding others so as to maximize your adventure, I too, shall do these things.  It matters little that our sensory organs to experience India are composed of the mind, or that the vehicle to travel through India is the words that I write and that you read.   The same essential principles apply, we just have to be a little inventive in the process of applying them.  And so, allow me to be your guide on your trip to India.  You will experience it much more fully than looking at it through Google Maps. `