Travel proposal by Tucker Livingston
My proposal is that my girlfriend and I visit temples throughout India and Nepal, meeting temple monks along the way, known as pungaris, and document the lifestyle of the renounciates. Other documentation would be of humorous menus, elephants causing traffic jams, and union strikes that strike for the right to strike, and anything else that could and will come our way.
Although American Caucasian, I grew up in India and finding places to stay, itineraries and other details will be easy. I am a musician that has toured for the U.S. State Department as an ambassador of goodwill for American cowboy music, teaching and performing with eastern musicians in all walks of life. The show was called “Cowboys & Indians”, and I played throughout such diverse countries as Nepal, India, Pakistan, Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Oman, Qatar, and Doha, teaching both foreign dignitaries and village children how to yodel and sing Hank Williams.
My girlfriend, Ashley Overton, is a Literature major and writer. A contemporary dancer, she owns Undertow Dance Theatre, a dance company now based out of New York, and seeks to expand her horizons by creating dance and theatre in the East.
Here are three examples of writing that I can offer.
Thanks for your time,
We entered the Dar Almassad and took our seats on the Iranian carpet, backs to the concrete wall, amid the pillows and frankincense. The room was filled with about twenty- five men, ten of them drummers. Some very old, in traditional Arab wear, others young and sharp eyed. These were traditionalists, dedicated to preserving their forefathers music passed down through the ages, survived past years ruled my Moguls and Portuguese, melodies kept from trade ships on trade winds bound for Africa and India, on the spice roads that traced their fortunes with gold ringed fingers in the sand. It started with a lone voice, low, ominous, primal. It began to stager forward, a baby elephant in the shadows, almost shy. Suddenly, a white crane bursting from the water, pleading, yearning, hope and finally joy, the praising of Allah, glory and the sun rises, the world is in motion then, rhythm, rhythm, herds crossing the desert, the whip crack, the churning paddle boat , the cogs in motion and the other voices then, erupting startled from the water hole, the song is the lion chasing the water fowl, fly fly everything is surging, the landscape is changing to something mountainous, the water is rising and wind bends back the trees, the wave opens it’s hands to the sky, arms wide, head back, eyes closed and crashes into the rocks on the shore, almost chaos and confusion but still natural and before you can reach out to preserve the moment receding the film is off the projector, spinning, blank, thup thup thup and it’s your heart you’re hearing and the great grandfather with the white pupil and two fingers on his right hand slaps you on the back and you begin laughing, something passed between every being in the room, beyond language and border and boundary, music and understanding. Something. And all present need not speak of it. It just was, and the next song began.
The eagle has landed! India, the last refuge. Bharatis the first name of India, the name of the first King, whose offspring were the Pandavas and Kuruvas,hence the Mahabharata, the famous Indian Epic.
We arrived in Mumbai ( the new name for Bombay, but Bombay is actually the new name complicated but true ) at three in the morning. And as I have told everyonebefore, there is nothing in the world that comes close to the unmistakable and engrossing stench of that Bombay/Mumbai airport when he/she disembarks in India/Bharat/Hindustan/godforsakenlaststopformankind/womankind. For the sake of simplicity, I will not be politically correct anymore and just go by the old/newoldactually names ok fine then good
The next passage should be read in a greatly exaggerated thick as an elephants trunk Indian accent, and I would like to take this time to formally apologize to all the Indians out there or human rights people or people who are married to or have special feelings connected with grossly mimicked Indian accents but my reason is sound when I say that it massively enhances the entertainment on the proceeding phrases and anyway Matt Groening didn't become a millionaire for getting a Texas accent to ask you for a Chetnuy-Slushi so give me a break this once
Ready ? Ok : These are signs I've seen around Bombay city. Super Indian accent in effect NOW
Very very tasty tasty biscuits : Britannia
Horn ok Please
NO PARKING OR NO
Whiteline : 100% water boiling proof
Getting water milk ? Amulya : always consistent
Mofco farm fair superstore
BIRLA SUPER !
Indian accent OFF
Ok. Anyway, there is also the true story that recently Pepsi wanted to advertise their soda here, and their slogan was :
" COME ALIVE WITH PEPSI !"
So after the bulletin boards where up, there were traffic jams and people were standing around pointing and the Pepsi rep had a meeting with the advertisement market manager super guy and they figured out that the translation had come to this :
" PEPSI BRINGS YOU BACK FROM THE GRAVE !"
We met an unbelievable table player called Pandit
Manada Marishi who played with us for the Bombay
aristocratic nightlife supers
It was fun, it was outdoor, the women were dripping in gold, the men smoked Marlboro, it was choice. Everyone was so and so who did this and runs that. Tomorrow is Goa. What is Goa ?
Three words : hippie, tourist, coconut
( Down to next page please ) Example 3
Bombay's poverty is almost impossible, but horribly, it isn't. Shack upon shack, row upon row of 5x5 tin houses of the poor like a dead snake winds to our left, against a wall near the road, people in mud nakedness, hope and confusion and starved lives, some laying in the dirt people stepping over them, waiting around to die. An old man with no hands pressed his stumps to my window, I gave him 10 rupees and with emptiness he took it, pressing his limbs together and so catching the bill. Immediately , at least eight children scrambled to the window shouting demanding their stomachs swollen from malnutrition and three more and four more some holding babies that were thin and wasted and I panicked and I was hollow and afraid and more behind them came running but the car began moving and they franticly chased us , beating the sides of the car and making motions of eating food with their hands to their mouths and as the pattering feet began to fade and the noise subsided the last thing I heard was a young girl calling in a clear voice like the ring of a bell, a single word begging " please ".
We rounded the corner and a sea of 5x5 tin shacks ran together, square miles, suffocating each other and thousands of children in them, floating out to the edges to tug at the clothing of the passerby. I sank and I cried.
God what is this, this is impossible.
I, only passing by, how can I help them all I am filthy in this AC taxi and money in my pocket and food and everything else I don't deserve no
deserve I don't deserve any of this life I have damn it
they don't deserve their lives either.
Where is the common thread that ties, where is the
pattern in the knots
How many are there
I think the only reason that I'm driving away from this is to find an answer
Somewhere out there in this land, this India