IN THE WINTER CAMP. What satisfaction! This is the best moment of a good week, when I start the delivery of a new chronicle singing what will be, will be? During the next three hours I will spend some time typing and others looking at the screen waiting for the indispensable help of Our Lady of the Holy Imagination.
I have set up my winter camp where I have done so most often in the last ten years: Sauraha. After so many months in the hot Southeast Asia, and although in the previous chronicle I complained about the cold weather in Kathmandu, I like to find again this fresh air of Chitwán that is not cold but that in the morning and at dusk forces me to wear a shawl (temperature: 10º of minimum and 22º of maximum). You may find this hard to believe, but one of the things I like best about this place is the refreshing water that flows from the shower in the morning; a pleasure impossible to get in tropical countries where something hot always comes out.
The fact that I drop by almost every winter here also has to do with the good local friendships: Ranjana, Narmada, Shankar and, of course, the Russian friend. Thanks to the fact that this one belongs to the Orthodox Church and that it celebrates Christmas I think that on January 5, every year we stick two Christmas festoons, the Celtiberian and the Estepeño.
As would be expected, during this decade I have seen children become boys, and boys become men or women, while dozens of babies were born every year. However, while these changes were taking place, there was someone who remained unchanged, invariable and incombustible: I am referring to the century-old great-great-grandfather, who is now estimated to be one hundred and nine years old, and who is still so fresh: he takes the buffalo out to graze, takes his walks in the woods and even collects wood for the fire.
Ah yes, the yoga of the fire is also responsible for my addiction to Sauraha! In each place different social activities take place, and here it is the sessions around the bonfire. What a good time I have watching the flames while around me the always surprising Nepalese comedy is performed! This year they had a good corn harvest, and what they burn most at the fire are their cobs (of course shelled); it’s a good fuel because it quickly creates coals that give off a lot of heat (like bamboo).
As is usually the case in this town, which is only separated from Chitwán National Park by the placid River Rapti, the local news will be mainly about events related to wild animals. I was shown a video showing a rhinoceros peacefully walking through Sauraha’s bazaar one evening among a crowd of surprised people. Sad news: a baby rhino was found dead with injuries, possibly caused by an adult male.
The elephant Ronaldo is still around and is the star because of the mess it makes, whether it is destroying houses or crops. I don’t know if you remember that last spring Ronaldo killed a poor man who was collecting firewood in the jungle; the local friends sent me a picture of the body, which I only looked at out of the corner of my eye so as not to disturb my peace of mind, and now I’m told that this angry elephant had been at him, even though he was already dead, twisting his body as if he wanted to drain it.
Elephants are frequently featured in Nepali press and TV news. In one village in Triyuga, six people destroyed thirty houses and destroyed crops in the last week. They always attack and create chaos at night. Can you imagine how those people must feel knowing what’s coming after every night? Although this type of confrontation is almost always related to the growing presence of human beings, sometimes it is due to the imbecility of officials, as was recently the case in the Indian district of Sarlahi, where they built a new railway line and erected a wall that isolated an elephant herd.
Be sincere, honest. Sauraha also satisfies me for another reason. I’ll tell you with the lyrics of a Manu Chao song: “I like marijuana, I like you”. Smoking the good cost of the Himalayas is very inspiring to me, and when I write, I type to a rumba beat instead of syncopated jazz. Being a mediocre typist, the muses now go before the fingers. Of course, on the other hand, that subtle high has caused some of the mistakes to be made, as happened in the previous chronicle despite having corrected it: this is what happens when you relax the discipline. If I were to return to our “liberal” country, I could be arrested at the airport for having been advocating cannabis from Asia.
HINDUSTAN. Between October 2011 and November 2017, 259 imbeciles died in the world when they were making a Selfi: 159 of them were Indians! Interestingly, the number of deaths caused by sharks in that same period was only fifty.
India holds the record in other respects as well: an estimated 59,000 people worldwide die annually from rabies, especially in Asia and Africa. Forty percent of them are children. And 20,000 are Indians.
The government of the United States of America criticized the growing Hindu fanaticism in India, where Muslims, Christians and Dalits (untouchables) are constantly harassed. Prime Minister Modi’s response was emphatic: No to interference in other countries’ domestic politics!
Proof that times are changing: in the years 2015 and 2016, 17,723 rapes were reported in India. In the past, they were usually kept secret for fear that making them public would only worsen the situation of these poor women. Apparently, it is also considered rape even if there was a promise of marriage that did not become a reality; of those, there were 17,723 complaints. Would you marry someone who had raped you? In Pakistan, girls from poor Christian families are being sold to the Chinese marriage market. Indian newspapers frequently carry photographs and details of people who have been kidnapped by the mafia.
SEE WHAT I THINK.
It’s just as bad to get used to bossing around as it is to obeying, right? Do eunuchs feel the nerve endings in their testicles like those who have amputated a finger, a hand or a leg? Less sexual: more sensual?In Netflix films they warn you: nudity, violence, inappropriate language. Shouldn’t they also warn you if there will be scenes in the film showing hypocrisy, greed, selfishness, lies or envy? There are two types of men (I don’t know about women…): those who brake and those who accelerate.The imbecility of taking care of your appearance to satisfy people and the mirror increases proportionally with age.I was reading “Los Topos”, an essay in which the authors Jesús Torbado and Manuel Lenguineche interviewed and gathered information about the Spaniards who, after the end of the bloody Civil War, remained in hiding for several decades to avoid being systematically arrested, tortured and murdered as they did with hundreds of thousands because they were not fascists: on many occasions, if they did not find the persecuted person, they treated their wife, mother or sister in this way. I thought this book should be a must-read for those who, for lack of knowledge (and not because they are imbeciles), vote for right-wing political parties. The ecological problem is that there are too many of us and we are too greedy.”Wrong concepts: you don’t write to be read to, you don’t travel because you’re looking for something, you don’t play music or sing to be heard, you don’t paint so that people see your paintings, because you do it simply because you like it, it makes you happy and it gives you a kick.
And that’s all for today, my dear nincompoops. Bom Bom.
The Cosmic Chronicle, by Nando Baba