Blogging from Germany: It's Sunday evening at 9 o'clock and the sun hasn't set

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'clock 
as 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. 

The Sun of my Perfection is a Glass
Wherein from Seeing into Being pass
All who, reflecting as reflected see
Themselves in Me, and Me in Them: not Me,
But all of Me that a contracted Eye
Is comprehensive of Infinity:
Nor yet Themselves: no Selves, but of The All
Fractions, from which they split and whither fall
As Water lifted from the Deep, again
Falls back in individual Drops of Rain
Then melts into the Universal Main.
All you have been, and seen, and done, and thought,
Not You but I, have seen and been and wrought:
I was the Sin that from Myself rebell'd:
I the Remorse that tow'rd Myself compell'd:
I was the Tajidar who led the Track:
I was the little Briar that pull'd you back:
Sin and ContritionRetribution owed,
And cancell'dPilgrim, Pilgrimage, and Road,
Was but Myself toward Myself: and Your
Arrival but Myself at my own Door:
Who in your Fraction of Myself behold
Myself within the Mirror Myself hold
To see Myself in, and each part of Me
That sees himself, though drown'd, shall ever see.
Come you lost Atoms to your Centre draw,
And be the Eternal Mirror that you saw:
Rays that have wander'd into Darkness wide
Return and back into your Sun subside.

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