POSTCARD #111: New Delhi: Half asleep in the shade on the roof terrace, palm fronds swaying in the warm wind. Resting after the endeavour to get Ng on her flight to New York. She was staying with us for a couple of days because her mum was away in Calcutta on business. Ng is 15, her mum is Thai and her dad is American. Ng has a white, almost ivory skin coloured complexion; Caucasian type with oriental eyes – child of the distant future. You could say she’s unique; the feeling there’s only one Ng in the world. That quality of individuation, disentangled from the social archetype – self is a figment of the imagination; I am a unique individual not separate from an infinite number of other unique individuals in the world. The magnitude of it is beyond ordinary comprehension… takes my breath away. Ng is quietly being herself, getting on with it, planning to leave at 8pm to meet with her school dance group for a 16 hour flight to perform at Brooklyn Bridge Park, NYC. But the flight has been postponed, departure time changed to 5.00am and the group will have to meet at the school at 3.30am. Oh… should we go to sleep for a few hours, or stay awake all night? We decide to go to our rooms at 7pm and mindfully lie down for the hours remaining. It goes quickly, we’re up at 2am, bags in car and away across town.
The curious urgency of driving at night through empty streets, headlights shine the way through the tunnel that our direction takes. The city is dark and indistinct like an old sepia tint photograph, its colour enters into the interior of the car; I see Ng’s profile, intense eyes lit up in her phone’s screen display, reflected colours on her face – checking her messages… no need to have conversation, everything’s been said. Stop for a moment to turn into traffic at a T junction and on my side there are two men wrapped in shawls crouched around a small fire they’ve lit on the sidewalk. One ghostly head swivels around on its axis, looking out from the glow of the flames, mediaeval eyes connect with mine; a patriarch from the remote past. Hold that gaze for a moment and the car moves on. We get to the meeting point, other kids are there, I offer to carry her bag over but Ng says it’s okay – so it’s time for me to go now, bye-bye, take care of yourself. I get in the car. U-turn in the empty street and just before accelarating away, I see a pale white hand waving in the darkness… small windscreen-wiper motion… I wave back, bye!
Home, sleep and somewhere in an accumulation of hours of nearly a day later, I’m here on the roof terrace in the shade because now it’s too hot to sit in the sunshine, and I’d forgotten about it all when the text message comes in from Ng’s mum in Calcutta, saying she had an email from Ng. She just arrived, plane was late. Total journey almost 24 hours. They had to change clothes quickly at the hotel and were going now to do their dance performance in the Park. I google the time difference and distance from Delhi to New York, trying to focus on the fact that Ng is probably dancing in Brooklyn Bridge Park round about now, 7300 miles away….
“The apparent reality of the mind, body and world is imagined with the thought that thinks it. In other words, the constructs of thought, that is, the beliefs we have about the mind, body and world – are only real for thought itself.” [Rupert Spira]