Tag Archives: rishikesh

The Oldest Hippie In Rishikesh

Yesterday morning I went up to the roof to join Lucy for an hour of yoga before breakfast. Before we could get started an old guy playing clarinet called me over.

“You know what this is? No? You’re not a hippie. This is a peace sign. My mandala is a peace sign. I want to make a recording, right here, look, here’s the phone, you click this, hold it, then swipe to the lock and that’s it. Keep it steady, no shaking. We’ll see how good a photographer you are.”

“You know yoga? Yeh? All Yoga Teachers failed at life, that’s why they’re here. You have to be vegetarian to do yoga. The American Alliance of Yoga? It’s a Coca Cola company. They’ve got a nerve, man. You know? Come over here and just steal yoga and turn it into some multi million dollar business.”

“These women in leggings, walking around like that, all sex and body. That’s not yoga. That’s just sex, working only one chakra. These teachers here, they’re making like, two, three hundred thousand dollars a year. They can’t enjoy that money. It’s wrong. It’s cheating. A pickpocket, he can enjoy his piece, that’s an art. Teaching yoga, that’s just cheating.”

“Record me with this clarinet. I’m going to make a video and send it to all the big labels. A big hit. Let’s go.”

We record the clip to a tabla and harmonium backing track and play it back.

“Powerful sound. You know the tabla? That’s the sound. Yeh.”

“I had the best Bullet in all India. No one believed it was mine. My girlfriend, she used to feed the baby on the back, no problem, then I sold it – show’s over! I destroyed Rishikesh. Shiva. When I came here there were like, just three local restaurants, chillum and chai. This place [the ashram where we were staying], just a ruin. Nothing.”

“Who could believe that India could be like this? So many cars, so much rush – ruuusssshhhh.”

“So, James Bond. Yeh, he was in deep. Real brainwashed. You know? Like terrorists, really they believe it. When they do it, they’re like, really IN TO IT! Destroy all terrorists. Say it, say ‘destroy all terrorists’. Brainwashing, man. Mental. GOV-ERN-MENTAL. You get it? MENTAL.”