So this is it. That’s how it all started. My initiation. You remember that book I found at your father’s house, the poet and musician. The one I listened in loop, before you know, an old record (33 turns) sizzling in my bafles. His long chant so inspiring for… in short, I hope you remember. In the dusty cupboard of your father, I had found this old book: “The art of practicing Tantrism”, published in Bangalore in 1932. Some pages were sticking, I wondered why. Others were folded, horned, or annotated. The book had lived, and that’s how I like books, as living organisms that accompany humans. Our equals. The text was in English, and accompanied by some yellowed photographs, a little fuzzy, but quite significant. I do not know if it was your father or another owner (the previous one) who had colored some with pastel. For this reason, as for others, you will see, this book was unique. It was a gateway to Tantrism and its mysteries. All in all when I spent sleepless nights watching, page after page, chapter by chapter, these Khajurao sculptures: I had been told – before – that they had been made at the time of a birth crisis, for stimulate sex and increase female fertility… None of this was true! It’s not about sex, it’s about ecstasy. It is not the orgasm that is sought by these thousands of couples in stone, but the consecration of the deity: these postures, these movements, these contortions… nothing extravagant, just thousands of years of wisdom destined to multiply – not the pleasure – but the mystical ecstasy of the flesh for the greater glory of the gods. Often, at night, when my kerosene lamp was almost dry, or my candle was almost extinguished, I rested this book, and I joined you, naked, on the mat. How many years would it take me to master even the beginning of this ancestral knowledge? I needed your help.
One must move into knowledge like one moves on the body of a beloved, I had whispered softly in your ear, while caressing the back of your neck with just my fingertips. Slowly, gently at first, taking off one by one by one each element that prevents you from touching the truth, anything that creates distance, even silk, even muslin, even air. Then passionately, wildly, without barrier, without any intention to stop, not even for breath, or a sip of water. To continue without knowing if it’s pain or pleasure, if pain is pleasure, to keep moving into the frenzy until the last moment of life, to keep moving deeper and deeper in until the explosion of death.
The art of tantra is the most difficult of all arts to master, harder than philosophy, softer than poetry, more complex than mathematics, and more demanding than dance. Words are not enough, it requires the commitment of the body, one must drink the wine, consume the grain, the fish, the meat, and then one must consume the body of the beloved, in this mystical ecstasy lies divinity. It’s a path not meant for everyone. But you, my love, are not everyone.
With our bodies together, we will create god.
So I have to give up everything? I do not talk about my life, I talk about my body, my beliefs, my soul. Get rid of everything. Leave my envelope to strip me absolutely. Cover me with you, new stuff. absorb more than Kali’s blood. to breathe more than Kali’s breath. Read only the name of Kali. To be Kali, simply. So this is it?
I remember this engraving in this old grimoire on the tantrism I had studied in Milan: the initiation was represented in the form of a man and a woman, squatting on the ground each on a ligam. And you said to me, “You’ll understand, the day it happens, you’ll understand.” Will I really understand?
You know, since I put this fetish Lobi Bateba (from Mali) next to my bed, since I put one of your necklaces around my neck, my mind does not work anymore, my heart does not beat anymore, my soul is elsewhere. Has she separated from my body one evening of ecstasy? Where has she gone ? You know, this statue, it serves to fix the wandering souls, the ghosts. Is your soul nested there? What did you do with mine? Is she in a book? In a ligam? A yoni? A statue of Khajurao? The Himalayan ice, a Darjeeling tea tree or a Nashik vine? Where am I ? What am I ? Help me to find myself. Through you? In you ?
M & Mrs Hyde are the two tantric and trashy sides of a forgotten soul, with frequent Jungian mood, tiny red spot obsession, Bombay Sapphire passion, frequent insomnia, recurrent headaches, taste for Darjeeling, and fascination for words. Always travelling from East to West, and inversely.