Cafe Cafga im Jungbusch
...that's supposed to be to the tune of that sad, sad Beatles tune - "She's Leaving home."
"Wednesday morning at five o'clockas the day begins
Silently closing her bedroom door
Leaving the note that she hoped would say more
She goes downstairs to the kitchen
clutching her handkerchief
Quietly turning the back door key
Stepping outside she is free"
Anyway, it is Sunday evening and I've spent the day in complete isolation. First I cycled around Mannheim, then stopped for falafel and a beer at a place near the Hauptbahnhoff. Then, just to be perverse for I wasn't at all hungy, I went to Fontinella's for a Zitrone Gelato. And now, here I am in Cafe Cafga - alone and writing. First I order Rot Wein and then Chilli Schockolade souffle, just to postpone going back to my flat.
This is when I feel really Indian. I'm so used to company, it's a whole new feeling to be alone. It's different is all I can say. I liked the melancholy of it, the anonymity, when I was 22 and in America. The streets seemed so much more romantic because we were alone, no family, no grand infra structure. But now at 44, it feels different. Not sad, really...but contemplative.
The good thing is that your mind is not racing about like a lunatic, but somehow more still and observant. I've had time to read C.Rajagopalachari's translation of the Ramayana. He quotes from the three big narrators - Valmiki, Kumba and Tulasidas. I am consumed by the emotions of it - duty, sacrifice, undying love. How wonderful and sublime! Every now and then, his own faith makes an appearance and it is so innocent and careful that I can get into it. And feel how much grander life is with these big ideas somewhere visible, even if only peripherally. How much grander than if we were to strive for merely material stuff. Give me dreams, give me poetry any day.
I think everyday, of Farid-ud-Din Attar and Conference of the Birds.