metaphors & monkeys

Recently spending a weekend in Hampi (Karnataka), a UNESCO World Heritage Site , together with my friend Océane. It was definitely challenging, the many impressions you get within a few minutes, it is definitely India. Your senses need to work hard, and you get drawn from the most beautiful to the most ugly sight, to the most delightful to the most awful smell and so on. But I was mostly impressed. Impressed by the beauty of the sunrise at Matanga Hill, the many different ruins we visited (I think we have seen maybe 5 percent of the total?), the views from high giving only question marks of what happened here so many years ago? 

Do we go with what the geologist say? The boulders were once part of gigantic, massive mountain of rock and tens of millions years of erosion made the surface crack, split and eventually metamorphosed in to its present forms. The pieces that lost balance in the process crumbled and formed the boulder heaps. The ones managed to balance somehow remained in some quasi-stable state, puzzling us, the spectators.

Or do we go for mythology, which gives us beautiful stories to tell, far more dramatic then the geology makes us believe. Hampi is believed to be the mythical monkey kingdom, with a power struggle between the princely brothers, Sugreeva and Vali. The battle between Vali and Sugreeva was so intense that the boulders they threw at each other piled up all around Hampi. Vali defeats Sugreeva and chases him out of the kingdom, where Sugreeva takes refuge at the Matanga hill (the highest hill in Hampi), as Vali can’t climb, thanks to an earlier curse on him. Rama, who is the the king of Ayodhiya, reaches the monkey kingdom in search for his abducted wife, Sita. Hanuman, the monkey general finds Sita in Sri Lanka in custody of the demon king and Ravana and Vali offer to help with the monkey army to attack Sri Lanka and free Sita out of her captivity. In return, Rama helps him to kill Sugreeva and regain the throne of the monkey kingdom. There are many tales around Rama, Sita and Hanuman, this is just one of many versions…who can tell after all these years which one is right? 


monkey.jpg

to zoo or not to zoo

While traveling and living in this gigantic zoo of India, being surrounded with wildlife and some not so wildlife animals. The term wildlife comes to question. Many animals have domesticated themselves pretty much into the lives of the people that live here and the tourist who wander....and talking metaphors here; zoo is a situation, characterised by confusion and disorder…to avoid any discussions about what is a zoo and what is not;)

This cute little face I met up at Matanga Hill in Hampi, while watching the sunrise and trying my bag or camera not get nicked from one of her relatives. While editing this photo, I realised this was a lucky shot. The monkeys were in continuous movement (from one devious trick to get bananas or cookies and already over to the next). The monkey mind, or sometimes revered to as ‘kapicitta’, is a Buddhist term to describe the agitated and easily distracted human brains. The thousands of thoughts we as human have every day, many of these the same as last week or even last year...we have the choice. The choice to listen to every thought or we can choose to let go of the thoughts that are not serving us. 

Thank you Mother India, for being enchanting, captivating and illuminating…the story continues