I was humbled when approached to pen a small entry for the Trask Avenue publication and I engage in this honor with an open heart. Those of us in the world peace/free my people business enthusiastically welcome any opportunity to get the word out. I am told Trask Avenue is a blog. I not familiar with this concept, but I understand it bears great similarity to a newspaper except one’s hands do not get smeared by cheap ink. How this is possible mystifies me, but I trust God in his wisdom. As my agent tells me daily, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”
My son Devdas, a kind soul enamored by the modern distractions, says a blog submission is fine but insists it is only a small step and hardly sufficient. He also urges I engage in something called “Twitter.” This “Twitter” will allow me to spread our important message for the end of brutal oppression as often as we wish through “tweets.” This brings to mind the tweeting morning song of the Mangrove Whistler, along with other wondrous birds which fill our skies. I remind my dear son we have used birds for many generations to deliver messages to distant lands. We write our communications on hearty parchment with the finest India ink. Using a strong, flexible reed we tie the parchment to the bird’s talon and set it free to carry news hundreds of kilometers. Or we use telephones. Devdas wearily shakes his head and informs me with tenderness in his voice that the tweet he speaks of has nothing to do with birds or telephones. Messages are delivered with great haste through a web of unimaginable complexity. Regrettably, I have no idea what he means and my aversion to spiders renders further discussion difficult. I love my youngest son, but he has always been a bit of an enigma.
It is day eleven of my twenty-one day purification fast to aid the controversial Harijan movement. I sit on a plain mat cloaked in a simple dhoti woven specifically for me by a beautiful young village girl of indomitable spirit and enduring generosity. She also brings my daily ration of water and meditates by my side as the sun sinks below the western horizon. I am but a simple man well into his seventh decade and my focus remains fully with the cause. But I would be remiss if I did not mention she has a soul which reveals great purity and a body which inspires great impurity. Her eyes would mesmerize a cobra, if you gather my meaning.
Despite the cleansing simplicity of this current fast I cannot help but notice the relentless heat of the mighty sun which beats down upon the roof of this oNi. The air is heavy with the righteousness of our movement and the stifling humidity of southern Asia. Streams of moisture run down my sides and I regret forgetting my stick of Old Spice back in Delhi.
The night rapidly approaches and I must rest in order to have the strength to sit still for another day. I hope those reading this brief dispatch will understand as a people we do not ask for much. All we want is what any human being is entitled to: a land to call our own, a peaceful existence with neighbors, clean water, and a loving family. Failing that a steaming bowl of spicy potato noodles, fresh homemade chutney, a large plate of chicken tikka masala with a heaping side of tender basmati rice would be most welcome.
Your most humble servant,