From the Slums of Bombay

The prophet arrived and to break the ice, he briefly yapped to the void like a parrot heavenly perched into his penetrating Hindu accent. With a bit of saliva popping through his two front teeth, silently, he offered us nothing but his notorious candid smile. Couldn’t tell if I was in the presence of Indira Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore or Ravi Shankar preposterously put together in a bombastic ensemble. Knowing he knew (the Seven Wonders of the World and the dark secrets of our souls), he slowly but surely decorated every half answer he gave us with a mixture of solemnity and some down-to-earth ‘God only knows’. Elusive, the prophetic man of wisdom, gradually chose different spots of the floor of his diaphanous hotel suite to sit and face his selected, selective vip hollywoodian audience. During the first few minutes, tension. Pure and simple. No eye contact. Back turned to his devoted followers, like a spooked Miles Davis playing an uncomfortable gig while trying to kick off heroin, the man from Bombay drastically refused to respond to a nonsensical list of whys and hows. Not interested in the nitty-gritty? 18 million living in the slums of his beloved city in poverty and beyond. Uninterested in socio-political issues? Maybe. No good with numbers or offshore bank accounts? The Guru turned into a prophetic beast the minute someone mentioned the word uncertainty, the word future. Theatrical, quite hammy, the former beggar from Mumbai abruptly closed his batrachian eyes. Blasting fire like a machine gun, he shared his melodramatic vision with his faithful customers: Icebergs melting. Islands sinking. Institutions collapsing. Racists reinventing the palette scheme. Masses running scared. Streets covered in blood. No postatomic rules. No regulations. As a whole, a tragic game poorly played by rookies who show no talent to be part of the Major Leagues.

Out of breath, the disgruntled creature emptied a bottle of water down his throat (plastic, more plastic for the garbage can). Suffocated, the man in rags borrowed a fan from a bearded guy who adamantly used his fist to support a more neo-Marxist approach to the appalling hullabaloo previously described. Man of words, man of theories, like any good actor, the Prophet knew his troops like a puppeteer knows his strings. The neo-Marxist fellow, a professional actor (now unemployed, in no previous blockbuster) inadvertently dropped the bomb that inflamed the essence of the guru’s thoughts and feelings: Overcoming Suffering. Calm this time around, breathing deep, the wise guy from the slums directed his attention to the neo-Marxist individual and invitingly said: “For that… for our overcoming suffering, make another appointment. Come see me. Reserve a couple of months. Overcoming suffering, believe me, is the key. I certainly will show you how to deal with that.”

Patiently, in a straight line, we waited for his Secretary to take care of us. A trip to the slums of Bombay? Wow. When? How? Nevermind. The Prophet lives in San Diego. Oceanside.

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