Dead and rotting things on the beach.

Trip Start Feb 19, 2006
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Trip End Oct 01, 2006


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Flag of India  ,
Monday, April 3, 2006

It is about this time of the year that the currents change here on Arambol beach. Ocean currents, and human currents as well.
Last night I saw two things, signs, if you will. One a dead and decaying dolphin, probably killed by the ever present nighttime trawlers, and washed up on the beach. The other was a huge sea turtle, probably a hundred years old, also dead.

There are a lot of dogs along the beach and if they do not know you, they may come barking and sometimes nipping at you, so when you see a dark shape along the waterfront, usually it is best to whistle, or make a kissing noise. The dogs do not see well in the dark, and sometimes you are upwind, so they cannot smell you to recognize you as someone they trust.
Many times these little canines, most of whom are of the same size, about 10 kg, walk with me along the beach late to make sure that I am protected from any hazards such as skittering sand crabs, or of course, other dogs. Rather a sweet gesture by these half-feral animals to watch over the people they like.
It was when I saw a rather large dark shape I assumed was a dog that I started to approach. The thing did not move, however, and so I went a little closer to investigate it. I could see that it was a very large ocean creature, and upon closer inspection (using a lighter, of course, no-one carries a "torch" around here) I thought it was a swordfish because of the long snout on the thing. It was in the later stages of early decay, not really falling apart yet, but some bones sticking out.
Strangely enough, there was no real smell of rot, though I did not choose to put my nose down there to check the olfactory qualities of soft dolphin flesh.
Dolphins are often seen along the beach here, playing and breaching in the warm waters, chasing fish, and are considered good luck. Not an easy sight to see such a majestic and intelligent creature sliced open by a trawler's net, and left to drift and rot in the ocean. Needless to say, I did not go on my morning swim this day. The thought of floating on my back in the salty waters and suddenly bumping into a 500 lb rotting sea creature was in my head.

It was then on to the Coco Loco, to listen to the usual "jamming" that is there on a sunday night. Again they were competing to get on stage and to outdo each other with their musical prowess, or lack thereof. The usual pissing contest that these "open" jams become.
There are many talented musicians here, though no one seems to play actual songs except for the numerous singer-songwriters here, most wearing the typical uniform of dreadlocks, ashram pants, and piercings that seems to be the trademark of the Arambol crowd. If you do not wear this uniform, the long-termers are suspicious of you. In a place where "shanti" (peace/acceptance) is spoken so freely, there actually seems to be little of it, especially at this time of the season, when most of the package tourists have left, and the rotten things begin washing up on the figurative beach of the collective psyche. The rotten dolphins of repressed aggression and resentment float in the surf of the last season egotism, and one can sense a palpable "vibe" within the community as all of the rivalry and infighting comes to a head. I have even started to see genuine "rows" here, not really to fisticuffs, but a lot of old bitter men yelling at each other.
It is mainly for this reason, the rotting corpses of egotism, competition, and even downright hostility that I have decided to leave. Though not much of it is directed at me, and I have met many beautiful souls, there is a bit too much of the human drama creeping it's way into the westerner community here, and though it is a beautiful place physically and the Indian natives are wonderful, it is the Europeans I can do without.
I have learned much about Europe here, but I came to see India, and as the hangers-on get more and more catty, I feel truly in my heart that it is time to move on. Cliques
and closed groups of people who claim to be accepting and "shanti" is a hypocrisy I can find just about anywhere.
It is so much that I have brought myself to spend much more time alone and with my thoughts than before, getting to sleep at an earlier time, less of the "partying" which was fun for a time, but wears one's soul down after the velvet curtain drops. The peace and meditation I have come to see is false here, there are a few who seem to have balance, but all round I feel and sense an imbalance, so therefore I am off to find the real India, not this 24 hour party escapism that I have seen all too often.

I have left a new saying here: "If one does not have Shanti within, one will be without Shanti."

At the end of the night, I bade goodbye to many of my new friends, whom I have chosen myself, and it is my right to choose not to be around such "vibes" if I do not want to be. Sylvia and her friend, of course with a forgotten name, seemed a little disappointed, but respect my decision nonetheless. I have seen true "shanti" in my life in many places, and I do know it when I see it, but there is an edge here I do not wish to deal with.
Funny how a reasonably hardened Boston Punk Rocker finds a place like this to have too much "attitude" for me.
On the way back that night there was a huge dead turtle washed up, not decayed even very much, but still a shame and another wonderful creature killed by the encroachment of insensitive man. Poor turtles and Dolphins, they don't hurt anyone, and yet are killed and left to rot in the surf by the ruthlessness and cruelty of human beings. . .

My new diet consists of curds and fruit salad with kalingal or pineapple juice in the morning, and a garlic nan in the afternoon. I can feel the health flooding back into my bones, and as soon as I leave this place, perhaps my mental state will become a little healthier and less bitter. I must also say that there is a slight degree of lonliness in all this for me, as the good people are all so transitory, and many of the long term residents are so bitter and hard to reach. Thank the spirits for Maggie and Phil, two wonderful people, sensible, and they have both seen it all. If not for their friendship and a couple of other people, (including many Indians) I would have tried to leave here long ago.
This is not to say that I have not had a wonderful time here, it is just that as the season winds down, the good vibrations do as well. I would recommend Arumbol to all, one can have a fantastic time here, and perhaps I am too sensitive to the politics of it all, but I have always been a truth teller, and have little patience for those who live in a place, whether mental or physical, in which it is "all good." Generally when people say things like that it just means they are too lazy or unmotivated to complete anything. I have choices in this world, and they are all mine. If I choose not to be around this sort of drama, it is my decision, and not through hard feelings, or such things, but only because if one listens to the heart, one will know what to do.

For my Rainbow friends: This would be like living next to the Chia Bingi camp all the time!
The road calls me, and I must see where it leads.
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