Well I am on a bit of a roll with this theme so I will stay with it..
ZEN AND THE ART OF LOSING..
Vince Lombardi.. legendary football coach.. best known for coaching the Green Bay Packers.. is known for this famous opinion..
Show me someone who doesn’t HATE LOSING and I will SHOW YOU A LOSER..
Well Vince.. sometimes you DO lose.. YOU did.. it is IMPOSSIBLE TO ALWAYS WIN.. TO NOT EVER LOSE IS IMPOSSIBLE.. but doing it gracefully.. AH YES.. THAT IS tough..
I try not to repeat myself too much.. and I have NOT been repeating the fact that we are still in the Monsoon Rain Season here in Calcutta..
Some of you.. possibly MOST OF YOU.. regarding India and Calcutta specifically.. are of the following opinion..
Cap has been there and Cap has done that..
And.. because I have written many times that this is my Ninth (9th) Trip to India.. covering over twenty (21) one YEARS.. and I can NOT count the times that I have traveled in and traveled out of Calcutta commencing on December 21st, 1992.. YOU ARE TOTALLY CORRECT thinking that I have been here and that I have done THIS.. experienced India and Calcutta.. and lots more of India than just Calcutta..
AND ON THIS TRIP.. I have written about the Monsoon Rains..
LORD GOD OF ABRAHAM.. YOU WOULD THINK that I am ingesting STUPID PILLS! .. and that I am ingesting STUPID PILLS by the handfull.. gulping STUPID PILLS DOWN by the fist full..
I have allowed my pre-paid cell phone to run down to the point of my pre-paid cell phone becoming non-functional.. let’s forget THAT THIS IS STUPID BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN HAPPENING REGULARLY..
Last night it rained.. got it.. last night it rained for most of the night.. then.. for MOST OF TODAY it rained.. it has rained so much that INSIDE OF THE HOTEL.. got it.. IT HAS RAINED SO MUCH THAT INSIDE THE HOTEL.. DOWN THE CORRIDOR OUTSIDE OF MY ROOM.. a small river of water is flowing..
And this water is flowing under my door into my room (from the corridor in front of my room INSIDE the hotel).. and I am moping it up and I am trying to dam it up outside my door.. using newspapers I save for this problem..
SO WHAT IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK THE CAPTAIN DECIDES TO DO..
HAVING TAKEN HIS LATEST FISTFUL OF HIS STUPID PILLS.. YOUR CAPTAIN DECIDES TO GO OUTSIDE AND TO GO TO THE VODAFONE OFFICE TO RECHARGE HIS PRE-PAID CELL PHONE..
KNOWING ..AND FULLY UNDERSTANDING.. WHAT THE MONSOON RAINS DO TO THE STREETS..
On a clear and on a sunny day.. this trip is.. at best.. about a 15 (absolutely minimum time) minute trip but more realistically it is more like a 20 to 25 minute trip..
ONE VERY BAD SIGN IS THIS.. WHEN THE CALCUTTA TRAMS (STREET CARS) are NOT RUNNING.. BECAUSE THE WATER IS TOO DEEP FOR THE ELECTRIC MOTORS DRIVING THEIR WHEELS.. the ordinarily intelligent person KNOWS that things are amiss..
AND I HAVE DULY NOTED THIS FACT.. NO TRAMS RUNNING..
ALSO.. WHEN IN THE MIDDLE OF A WORK WEEK DAY.. and it is raining.. and the TRAFFIC IS MINIMAL.. THIS TOO IS A BAD SIGN.. BECAUSE IT MEANS THAT INTERSECTIONS ARE FLOODED WITH HUB CAP OR DEEPER WATER..
NO TRAMS RUNNING.. it’s been raining basically for hours.. LITTLE MAIN ROAD TRAFFIC..
BUT.. the rain stopped.. it is NOT currently raining at 4PM..
So out and off goes Gimmesome Roy.. to the land that knows no time.. down a trail no man can conquer to a cliff no man can climb.. (from Shel Silverstein’s poem.. .The Search For the Perfect High.)..
SO OUT AND OFF GOES YOUR LITTLE CAPTAIN.. who has been inside most of the day.. relaxing and writing and WATCHING the RAIN..
The first.. THE VERY FIRST ..INTERSECTION THAT I COME TO IS FLOODED TO IMPOSSIBILITY.. NO TRAFFIC IS GOING DOWN THE STREET that I NEED TO GO DOWN (my most direct route that is).. to get to the Vodafone Office..
So what does CAPTAIN do.. he gets (somehow) around the small lake.. KEEP IN MIND TRAFFIC IS MINIMAL.. and.. with half of Calcutta’s citizenry.. walks down the middle of the road to keep from the deep water at the curbs..
At Park Street (we are about twenty minutes into the trip here.. it is NOT going rapidly!).. we (you and I together.. YOU are carrying the STUPID PILLS for me) head down Park Street .. out in the street.. soon.. SOON we come to the first (of what are going to be MANY) LAKE.. somehow .. we get past it (I do NOT want to submerge my Nike Running Shoes in the water) by leaping over the most shallow part..
Somehow.. I managed to get down Park Street past St. Xavier’s University.. somehow I managed to get within one block of the Vodafone Office and THAT WAS THAT..
THAT LAKE WAS SHIN DEEP AND NO ONE WITH SHOES ON WAS GOING TO CROSS..
OH YEAH.. OH YEAH!!!!! The locals were either bare footed or wearing sandals or shower shoe flip-flops.. and yes.. I have done that.. taken off my shoes and taken off my socks and joined them .. THAT MOVE PASSES STUPID AND TAKES YOU TO CLINICALLY INSANE.. the water is dangerously polluted..
So after about one hour of this NON-SENSE.. I had to retreat back to my hotel.. again fighting the same lakes going back to the hotel..
TWO HOURS AND I AM EXHAUSTED.. TWO HOURS I COULDDA STAYED IN AND WRITTEN POST CARDS.. SLEPT.. NAPPED..
AND I WAS DEFEATED.. AND I WAS CONQUERED.. AND I WAS TOTALLY VANQUISHED.. AND I WAS TOTALLY SMASHED..
By the way.. as I re-traced my route home I did NOTICE some of the lakes were smaller and traffic had picked up and the trams had begun to run..
AND I ACTUALLY THOUGHT.. AS I SAT IN MY AIR CONDITIONED ROOM.. having bathed and cleaned up and hung my sopping wet shirt up to dry..
AND I ACUTALLY THOUGHT.. “I wonder IF the Vodafone Office is open late.. maybe. .MAYBE.. I could scoot down anyway!”
WHAT I DID WAS TO COME HERE AND WRITE THIS AND STAY OFF THE STREETS BECAUSE IT IS NOW DARK..
NOT ONLY DO VINCE AND I HATE TO LOSE.. VINCE AND I HATE TO BE DEMOLISHED.. AND VINCE AND I HATE TO BE HUMILIATED IN DEFEAT.. TODAY ALL OF THOSE THINGS HAPPENED TO ME..
CAPTAIN OH CAPTAIN.. DO NOT EVER TAKE A KNIFE TO A GUN FIGHT..
SEABEES.. SEABEES.. HERE AGAIN.. FIGHTIN’ THE WAR WITH A BALL POINT PEN.. THAT SHOULD REALLY BE A FIGHT.. SEABEES.. SEABEES.. CAN’T EVEN WRITE !!!
Over and Out.. always.. ALWAYS.. with Love.. Cap..
- SEP 19, 11 .. HEALTH / STREET DANGERS ..
- RALPH BARNHARDT .. SEP 20/11