A Taste Of Chinese Hospitality.............Part 13
I started this blog series more than six months ago and Sulekha's date stamp tells me that the last Part A Taste Of Chinese Hospitality.............Part 12
was posted 4 months ago. My readers may have forgotten that it was about my trip to Xiamen to meet my friend. I made that trip during last year's Spring Festival vacation. A year has passed since then. China after having remained closed for nearly twenty days during this Spring Festival's vacation has started functioning again. People have come back to work. We ( me and my wife) too went to India. Both our sons too had come, so it was a kind of family reunion.
Let me continue with my trip of Xiamen, there's a lot more to write about China as I see it and the thoughts that come along as I write. This narrative it six months old. Some events mentioned here are outdated.
My thoughts shift to another canvas. The solace in spiritual pursuits. The futility of commercialism. The kind of relief, feeling of being that simple regimentation can give to man, the one for which my country is known best for, “nirvana”, seeking which thousands of disillusioned people come to India and feel divine pleasure, the new light within. My cousin told me, some days ago that she attended one such camp on the outskirts of Jaipur and there were hundreds of foreigners attending that. They had all come in search of the happiness that this mad chase of materialism can’t give. She said, that among them there was a Chinese woman too. The Chinese I am sure are the new entrants to this burgeoning group of people, disillusioned and tired.
My sister is attending a camp near Pune and she tells me of the heavenly bliss that she is getting while being there and here, I have come from India to do a job that if not has robbed me of my sleep, has at least deprived me of the little pleasure, I would get from writing and reading. The money that I am getting is of no use to me. I have enough to last me the rest of my life time. We by habit are thrifty or rather I should say, we have reached a stage of life where, splurging doesn’t give us pleasure. My children have grown up and gone the ways they or their destiny chose for them. What path is the right path for one?
We cannot expect the whole world to adopt asceticism, even the argument that this is a passport to happiness may not be bought by many but what attracts man to materialism confounds me? Perhaps it’s the instant gratification that does the trick. It’s the uncertainty of tomorrow against the assuredness of today. What one seeks the material possessions for? What about those who are bereft of these, I mull as my eyes wander to the TV screen showing displaced children in the refugee camps.
There is misery all around. Many people are born in penury and they die in it. There is death stalking them in regions affected by Ebola epidemic and if it’s not the disease then it’s the chance of being hit by a bullet or a missile in the strife torn region, or it’s the possibility of being kidnapped by the armies of goons let loose on people by proponents of religious diktats. What is the crime of these children or are they born to suffer? Are they paying the debt of their previous births as my Hindu beliefs try to convince me? Why the burden of the deeds of previous life should one carry through the present one? Why can’t the God make it square in one life itself?
Then I see many happy children, playing outside the makeshift tents, their new homes, in some strife torn part of the middle-east. There is no fear on their faces, though the TV anchor is extolling the efforts of the united front in saving them from the cruelties of desperados and their mothers shed tears for their losses of men and material, the children oblivious of the dangers around play with a ragged football from which much of the air has leaked out like it be a metaphor of happiness from this globe called earth.
We reached Xiamen five minutes before the scheduled time of train’s arrival. My friend Xubing was there waiting for us. The station was grand and we, as always were the last to come out. There was no difficulty for him in recognizing us because we look so distinctly different from the Chinese that even little babies, while being carried on arms by their mothers, turn their necks around, continuously looking at us as their mothers who any Indian would think are school girls, walk past smiling at us. We shook hands and hugged. Evening was setting in. The air carried the smell of rain and though it had a little chill in it, it still had the pleasantness of warmth of friendship and weather, against the memories of snowing in Gaogang.
I am thrilled to see that you have started from where you left..
I enjoy your blogs immensely...and the photographs too.
God be with you always in all your endeavours
Looking forward to the next ...soon ....Hugs to Sulekhikha :)
I am flattered and indeed inspired. I thought the people might have lost interest in this series. I will put my best here and dare to hug Sulekhika telling her that it is from you
Your blogs give us insight of China its people and their culture.
We respect Chinese for their rich culture. We should emulate them for their dedication to hard work .Some of their massive projects are engineering marvel.
It is heartening to note that they follow India for their mental peace and tranquility.
Thanks Swarajya Sir, Truly there is lot to learn from them and I draw parallels between them and us and that endears my style to both my Indian and the Chinese readers, I am happy about that and I will continue to do that.
Navneetji, good that you have restarted your series. Enjoyed it.
Thanks Prasad Ji- Will write more
I am very glad Navneet to see a continuation of your travel blogs.
On the bigger questions posed, I have my opinions. I just now came from reading a blog site of people focusing on climatology, and the fact the arctic has seen warming not present since human has likely existed. There is a distinct possibility the melt off of standing ice will now proceed, in February, when in earlier times this was indeed the depths of winter.
The consequences of such a thing happening is seemingly remote, as who knows nor visits the arctic. But in the context of relationship, it speaks of us entering a weather time frame humans have never endeavored. We can rationally assume mass starvations less food producing lands, war as result, and widespread weather extreme, lies before humanity. Which will likely result in the death before their time of billions. Quite real is the possibility human, on this planet, will not continue.
And all you say is right and true. My opinion is and remains... we must remember in the end this lifetime will seem as quickly spent as a flash of lightening in the sky.
And likely though we consider it very important, and out part in it, likely as well, it is not. We cannot allow ourselves to becomes stupid with this knowledge, loose our perspective and seek a life of hedonism or pleasure. But must remember, though that suffering is real, we cannot take what happens here very seriously, our time is always so short.
The collective consideration of human is not, most probably, a long lasting sustainable thing. And any individual grief we must suffer, even of the most heinous sort, born without legs arms eyes nose or mouth, no brain perhaps….it is very temporary and that lasts even lesser than the beat of a hummingbirds heart. The all of things considered.
What god would bother with these things we find so important? None, only demons would so eandevor that pursuit. We have put ourselves here and must plan our excape and not blame others above or below for our fate. It is of a self created nature. One that has always us taking seriously that which passes like a bolt of lightening in the dark. Mistaking perhaps, force and strength of a individual bolt from the sky, with the storm itself, from which the bolts arise, but is little acknowledged. Our lives, these individual bolts, the result of a great great storm which lies beneath it all. WE aim to escape the bolts and their evil consequence, but not the storm itself, when the truth is both are the same. From one arises the other.
So that is my personal opinion on the greater issue mentioned.
Once again thanks, for the continuation of your travel blogs ;)
Thanks a lot for your insightful comment Ron. You are more knowledgeable in these matters, your pursuit is more sublime and your dedication more than what one usually finds in common human beings. All this I gather from your comments on blogs and what you have told to us about yourself in your comments. I believe in everyone of us is an inner calling. It guides us all the time. It has nothing to do with where we are born and what our parents and society we grew up in taught us. There is a far greater purpose of this than we can perceive as it is of all things that happen in this cosmos of infinite dimensions. These small perceptible environmental changes which the scientists are warning about after great many observations are insignificant in the light of magnitude of changes occurring in the universe every second. In all these Tandav ( the dance of Lord Siva) of destruction and resurrection, we should just keep our focus on what our conscience asks us to do. That's all what I think is the purpose of one's existence.
Wonderful to have you back.You are right that asceticism can not be the way of life for everyone. I feel that as one grows old, he becomes detached from worldly things. But all elders are not ascetics. In the west and that too in India, there are many older people who are attached to the worldly things in spite of professing to be monks or sadhus. Why would so many demi- Gods who preach all over need worldly pleasure like money, fame, popularity.
Thanks Karor Ji- As Geeta says; Everyone's pursuit is different. Can't say why one behaves the way he/she does. Many people enjoy worldly pleasures while many suddenly denounce everything and become ascetics. Jo jiske man ko bhata hai, uske liye whai sahi hai..Rah sabhi kii apni apni, chah sabhi kii apni, bas jeevan ka satya yahi hai.
The image of China what those people have created is very different from what China is. I too came here with same image and the impressions created in my mind by those but what I saw was entirely different. It was like an awakening. That's why I write that somewhere it may make some difference. I don't think the pseudo Marxists and Communists will change. They are having the best of it in India but I expect that the people will stop getting fooled by them. Just to give you an example- there is no unionism in China and the people work their asses off for getting the wages they sign for. And in India, it's because of the affiliations and protectionism of the trade unions that people don't work but demand full wages for the job they are employed for.
15000 rupees in India is belong to high income?? I must tell Indian friends, even in the Tib people's basic wage is 12000 rupees... I saw some retired Indian commandos in China when the security guard, take only 15000 rupees a month. They may be cheated. It obviously are lower than those of basic salary.
Suchisree/ Sree Kumar
Have known China only through false revolutionaries in Kerala who talked about Mao. Through you, one in love with China I get a clear picture. Your writing poetic, interesting and imparting. Thank you.
I am glad you are continuing to write about your journey inside china and giving us glimpses of the average chinese mindset. It is heartening to learn that some of them are seeking spiritual bliss now and attending Sri Sri Ravi Shankar A.O.L camps.
我很高兴看到你继续写在中国的旅游见闻，让我们也得以瞥见中国普通人的心态。看到有些中国人寻求精神愉悦，参加Sri Ravi Shankar的营地，还是挺鼓舞人心的。
I had wonderful day recently at the A.O.L. Ashram in Bengaluru. Fortunately I could meet Guruji and enjoy an evening of meditation followed by a cultural program. I really felt relaxed.
Looks like you have not yet visited three of my blogs on Guruji and his activities:-
Visit my blogs listed below, when you get a chance, and comment... thanks.