Tuesday, August 28

Everlasting Awakening

as the cityscape
flash by in between
the flickering bulbs of rainlets
the street lights color those
dark void that always paint
the night aroma of the
starless sky during
winter rains and tall trees
seems to disappear momentarily
as the evening sun adjusts
the templates of sky and earth

it all seems serene as
in a symbiotic relationship
the dancing rainlets on the car window
and the hands caressing her
silky hair and her twinkling eye
providing an enigmatic cross
scene between the window
the rain and the cityscape

as we moved along
disappearing forests
and sudden towns where
frolicking masters of
all ages walk the streets
of the forgotten cities
and you wondered
where love is under this
same starlit skies that we all
seem to be passing everyday
from days of forbidden nights
abyssal moments as the
volumes of life drown
my calls into your ears when
you just slip into frivolous
dreams of feelings

finally as my fingers
touched your rain soaked
skin and only then you felt
as if you were outside
enjoying the evening cool
air of the fantastic
century sky littered with
scars of creation such
as dreams playing
between you and me
but you concede
the love I have for you
making me feel like a
conqueror of day and night.

-gp07-
[#] When you never wake up...

[#] Will be back in a week or so to comment on all your blogs, deeply sorry for not replying, still exploring...thx Keshi, Jeevan, Alok, Pauline, etc...

[#] Currently watching A Century of Animated Shorts, amazing animations. Have anyone watched this; [Father and Daughther] Simply breathtaking.

Saturday, August 25

Ruby Tuesday

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don't matter if it's gone
While the sun is bright or
In the darkest night
No one knows
She comes and go
Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, who could hang a name on you?
When you change with ev'ry new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Don't question why she needs to be so free
She'll tell you it's the only way to be
She just can't be chained to a
Life where nothings gained and nothings lost at such a cost
Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, who could hang a name on you?
When you change...

"There's no time to lose"
I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind
Ain't life unkind?
Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, who could hang a name on you?
When you change...

- Rolling Stones
[#] Clips from Children of Men with the Soundtrack Ruby Tuesday.
[#] Close your eyes, in the dead of the night, listen to this, and your heart will open and they sky will sparkle with new worlds and stars.

Thursday, August 23

The Quest for a New World

(The Continuation of the The Search For Jim Thompson)

After a while, you loose sense of time. The vegetation if any grew scarce, even the green lichen disappears into the dark void and all you see is this repeating pattern of rock faces.
- From The Lost Notes of Jim Thompson

We've been walking for days now, I don't know, it could have been weeks, there is no indication of time passing, no star trails or sunsets. We just followed the trail, it went on and on, sometimes we reach giant cave openings and camp there for some time but the rest of the days we just go through it without stopping. I dare not ask anything to our guides, so does my friends. They simply don't care of whats happening around us anymore. While our bodies show no sign of tiredness, our mind have wandered much and are tired beyond reason, and we are still reluctant to talk to the guides. How do you talk to ghosts? It's not that we don't want to talk, we cant engage them, there is no urge to confront them. We have traversed so far that another stalactite or stalagmite are just ornaments in the darkness, the flickering of minerals embedded on them are lamp reflections of some lost town maybe.

The caves are easy to traverse, the openings are large enough for us to walk without having to crawl, but in the radar mapping of the regions there are very narrow passages that appear below the oceans. Probably the scrapping and clash between the tectonic plates have changed the physicals of the area in time. But radar cant go deep enough to map the whole of the caves and earth is full of underground cave systems. And what we are seeking are not anything on earth I guess. There are many rivers in the caves, some just pass below us in some ridge, some cuts through the path with water so clear we can see albino like fishes swarm to tiny mineral vents. They are all blind, just like the rock faces with their blind eyes serving some unknown purpose in this whole tragedy of a creation. How could anyone face the life of a zombie, the mind long dead but the body just drifting in space.

Any clues of the where the path leads us can only be found when we reach the camp points of the caver's and miners. And miner camps only exists under land mass, if we take the right path of the cave. The guides would only take us as far as the Shaman has ordered them, any further and they would loose their way, just like us. We expected to find the gateways or at least the signs of hidden pathways when we reach the camp sites. Thompson's disappearance are well documented from the miners tales. The cave paths have long been mining grounds, but rarely do they venture more than a few miles into the caves. The darkness are said to be so thick that every step is like falling into a hole without end, the sight even a few inch blends into the walls and our touches will sink into the dark soaked walls. The various books and even fiction that originated from the lost journeys are all studied by historians, those who were keen to discover the culture of the traveler clan. What we have today are just remnants of a lost civilization, and even with all the tools we cant capture the passionate image of a traveler discovering the ancients. One of the most famous books were published by Lord Champlain's institute; The Lost Notes of Jim Thompson is purportedly from his notebooks found by the miners. Every cave expedition after his disappearance came up with something, mostly made up stories and relics to relive a lost legend.

His lost notes, if they were true contains graphic description of his journeys through 'gateways'. The time gateways are pathways into the other worlds. Once crossed, this gateways will close, and probably lost forever. But what Thompson discovered is much more than that, the mystery of the gateway is all but erased when stories of what he encountered after that were to be told. Cities and countries and contraptions, new earths, new civilizations, maxims of fantasies told and retold countless times. Men of science and wide eyed kids around bonfires, all of them lapped up these stories, the detailed description is both unprecedented and also bordering insanity. The information still defies comprehension, imagine what it would have done a hundred years ago. Exactly anyone would do with magical discoveries, all of it were swept away as fictions of a delirious traveler, who writes from the grave to salvage his tainted name. A few who believed did follow his journeys, his many versions of writings brought most of them to early graves. The few who found what would be the same alternate worlds did not come back. And whoever claimed to have came back are dispatched to the asylums.

For us it is clear, whats at stake here is more than myth and magic. It's a concept as old as physics. Alternate worlds are childhood fantasies of science fiction writers and true outcomes of the god like quantum world. If we manage to document its appearance, then the ravages of time and space as it melts into new worlds, it would be monumental. But what drives us towards the answer if not for it's glory of a new world. Countless times we have motivated ourselves with this logic of finding new technologies and even new science. How far we went to search for Thompson's stories, his notes or even his dealings with the Shamans only time will be the ultimate witness. Thompson, just like the many Shamans are just gate keepers, just reference points, the ones who would applaud us in some imaginary Nobel ceremony for finding the answer. Imagine the benefits and you will see the catastrophic failure first. Thats how the world is. To find the answer, we must first choose the right question, dismiss the right events and above all use the right people to reach the next step. If any, science have taught us travels and scientist one thing, that is only the survivors count, not the past legends. Have not the Shaman King sensed our utter disregard for Thompson and his reputation? Have not he know of our real plans?

What the Shaman's don't know is the Kakurenbo sink hole in the crater lake island of Danau Toba in Indonesia. Long been a center for adventure seekers, the crater lake island is also the home to shamanism and a trading point or sorts for spells. A decade ago, the crater lake was radar mapped and an underwater sink hole was discovered. The Kakurenbo sink hole is a water passage way about 3 miles long that ends up in an subterranean lake. When we reach this lake, hopefully as planned our other team members will be waiting with supplies and new documentation tools. If the traveler notes were to be believed, our ghost guides will stop right before entering the underground chambers of the Toba lake. Its a risk worth taking, because the Shaman King's of Lake Toba might be our last chance of finding the gateway.

The walls of the cave system we're navigating is scattered with images of suffering. After all subterranean mining is suicide, what more the search for exotic minerals. Evolving from coal mining, the deep earth miners now look for exotic minerals for the space program and electronics industry. Only recently did the industries discovered the properties of rare metals to substitute the power consuming arcane technologies of semiconductors. Organic devices fueled by rare metals can be mass produced and provide uninterrupted backbones for many electronics. The quest for the new world fascination is alike what these miners go through to gather the ounces of metals. The water trickling from cave walls, from hidden holes in cave roofs opens a eerily perfect existence for the rare fauna that make up this ecosystem. The gateways could be anywhere, any cave openings that we do not take, even the tiny holes where water and occasionally wind seeps into. We need better equipment to trace these gateways, something thats beyond the Shaman's knowledge. And try must we not to end up as another sacrificial offering of the Shaman or a ghost walker in this caves. The coming days will be challenging.

End of Part 1
[Disclaimer: This story is Pure Fiction, no names or places present here coincide with any real life events (though the places might really exist). The story is protected under the creative commons license 3.0, free to distribute but please refer the authors name and website]

Wednesday, August 22

Blue Eyes, 2

and they cried
and pleaded to look beyond
your blue eyes
but they found nothing
that satisfies them but your sins
and now they want to send
you to hell.

-gp07-

[#] Will be away for a few days, searching for myself(!). I leave you with this few posts that I liked from the past; [RebellionsInTheRiceCentury], [RestInPeace,Sylvia], [NorthSeasonIII].

Tuesday, August 21

The Search for Jim Thompson, Part 3

Surrounded by limestone hills and dense jungle, the wooden 'castle' is bold and imposing. The tree's version of shadow play are much more intense here, the fog and oil lamps are caught in age old parasitic war. They say here, there never is day or night. The place exists outside time, and quite literally there is no modernity there. The evolution of the Red river created a horse shoe lake, where much of its banks were used for vegetation. Around the Shaman Kings abode are huts, many of them actually, and theres a population of natives. While this is not a tourist route or even an adventure trail, the Shaman Kings are revered for their amulets and spells. Many try to come here for spells, but not many can cross the Red River, its alive and it protects the Shaman. Not binding to any ethic codes, they don't differentiate good or bad people, but they do protect some of the oldest cultures and traditions of earth. Along with most of its mysteries.

The first glimpse of the Fire Shaman King revealed nothing as fiery as the history books or folk tales. A simple man, well build with battle scars and tattoos. But he knows why we are here, there is nothing to reveal personally in the quest for the truth, nothing to carry on but his guide and wisdom. No handshakes, just a short introduction by the native and a nod. I handed him the message by the shaman guide. Not looking at the note he spoke to me in a strong voice. 'If you dont believe in the magic, then why did you come here?'. As my heart beat faster, I'm lost for words to complete my sentence, I could only open my mouth but everything that came out are broken parts of an incomplete puzzle. A puzzle that haven't even outlined the surroundings. Seeing me stumble and tremble, the native guide spoke in some alien words to the Shaman King; even if I can understand it, my fears are masking it, even my eyes became foggy. All this will end in vain if we didn't continue.

He spoke again 'You come here with your own magic, you rape the world and you write your own words and you think you answered everything?'.
An odd sense of strength opened in me, I knew i hard to answer him 'I'm sorry if I do not follow your beliefs. This world is big enough for any belief, any science...what you call magic, we call science'.
He, and I sense something has amused him, said 'Then why do you need me?. Why you need any of us, why don't you just use your flying machines and go straight to where it starts and ends. Why don't you use your machines to explore the belly of the earth, why do you need the shamans words for your journey?'.
'What we need is your permission, we believe you hold more than what any man can even know in a hundred years. My science can explain it later, but for now you are the light that will take us to him.'
'But your heart does not believe in myth and magic, not culture, not even human. All of you come here ready to die and that is one fate even I cant understand.'
He is more relaxed now, or maybe I just got a bit more wise 'The call of the unknown is as strong as anything else in this world. You have lived for ages knowing one day only one belief will stand, but that day is not today or tomorrow. What we seek is the other world, there may be many of them, but we need to open the doors one by one'.
'And when I tell you this you will do what? You will bring your machines and claim your new worlds? You will seek to destroy the Shaman Kings?'
'The Shaman Kings is beyond this world, beyond anything the humans understand. Not many know of you or believe you even exist. You carry the answers thats etched in every living memory of earth. How many earths in the universe that carry your wisdom is something bigger than what I know or science knows. You are not fearing the science, do I sense that you are fearing that we might not come back?'
'Any life is precious, even the ant on the jungle floor, it carries the answer and memories. And all that comes from what you see and feel. And I have seen but a fraction of your desires. We dream the same dream, I know more because I lived longer and we Shaman's are very patient. I don't see you patient enough to trace the star trails but just to answer how it's made.'
Smiling, I said 'The vagaries of the human mind, it pushes us forward, even if its just for another day.'
He remained focused, looking at all of us, dissecting us to gain more of what we are made of, he said 'I learned all this from that man Thompson, your philosophical whims, your fascinations with your make believe king and queens. Most of you are useless, are mere rubbish in this great land.'
His sudden answer woke us from the trail of his eyes, what really rattled us was his perfect Queen's English. Just like the native said, he knows many tongues. 'But some of us are important and we do important things. We need to find him...or at least find what he was seeking.'
'You came here prepared, not many would have believed it, but you did. Your numbers are low, I shall give you my men, but make sure you do only what you came for. Seek not more than answer for your fate, everything else will disturb the balance of the time lines. Remember that and you shall come back one day. '
A joyous moment, akin to an eureka moment, in a comical dream this is like a victory in negotiations between the naive traveler and the head hunting tribe. All I can say was...'Thank you, you shall know what we will see.' But what he meant by time lines, thats a strong physics notation. What he meant by one day is more unnerving.

We spent a full day there checking the rations. The food will last for a few weeks, and reluctantly we had to take the jungle produces from the natives. How would we survive on roots alone is a mystery even greater. The Shaman King advised us to eat only once a day and keep on going until the guides stop to rest. We would not feel tired or hungry before it's time he promised that. When the time came for us to see the guides, our senses were shattered. The guides, all six of them looked nothing more than androids. Bald and skin powdery white, they carry many battle marks but they're fully earth white blending into the fog sometimes. Even their eyes are glassy white. While here we're worrying of what we will see in the caves, what's more terrifying is the ghosts that will guide us through. It did not take long for us to realize who they are. They're Thompson's men! The air ship crew, the slaves of the Shaman king and they did not look a hundred years old. They are our amulets, they are our guide. Whatever happens in the caves, they will be protecting us, nothing else. No spell or magic potion to guide is but zombies on a century old spell. Do they still have their souls in them?

We descended into the caves on a Thursday morning, at least thats what the watches were telling us. We carried our packs while the guides brought the gear and flares. Something more disturbing is that we had just enough battery power for our cap lamps for a week of exploring. Thats what left from Mercy, after all our equipment died. We had a compass but that would not do any good if the cave is laced with magnetic stones, the ferric magnet stones are pests during caving trips. We changed into waterproof caving gear and packed the food and sleeping bags for the treacherous trek into the unknown. The caves are long, thousands of miles long if the old notes were to be believed. And it goes deep, sometimes broken and sabotaged by weathering or on purposes. It has many entrances, but none would connect the main chambers that starts at the Sarisarinama sinkhole. What's even stranger is when the native mentioned that we can exit the caves at many places but cant enter it once we are out. Maybe the whole cave is an illusion, an alternate world creation. Whatever it is, Thompson entered it and he went somewhere. And never came back. We are going to find him.

The first few miles of the cave is cold and wet. Bats still lived deep in there because of the many air holes which permitted vegetation, scattered on the walls and floor where guano fed them. There were no river there, only trickles of seeping rain water from stalactites. Apart from the cave spiders and bats, the only other critter we found was the poisonous centipede. Cave's are important ecosystems of its own, creating a balance or sorts between the surface of the earth and the subterranean world. Some of the deepest caves are miles in depth and many more are being found, but in extreme conditions nothing lived there. In cave rivers lived blind fishes and other strange evolution of nature. They just adapted to live there, just like the bats who developed sonar senses. But the bats were not the nemesis of the cave, the poisonous critters are. Something that the Shaman protected us from, so we wondered what else could be there waiting for us in this first few miles. The real danger is when we reach the river that snakes into the caves from the Darkness falls. That is one of only a few large enough opening for us to go out for some air or to dry our gears. Once we got deeper into the ground, the whole trail is of a gradient that slopes over hundreds of miles, with chambers sometimes only big enough to crawl.

Knowing well we have walked into a point of no return, the world of science gave way to myth and magic. At least that much sacrifice had to be done if we were to believe what happened in the caves. It turned out we did not need our lamps at all, the guides, the white ghosts illuminated the caves like fluorescent sticks. Whatever they pasted on their skin is making them glow or the walls to glow. Another thing that kept playing in our minds were the last words of the Shaman King. Something to do with the 'furry ones' and the 'ice snakes' with clear instructions to just stay away and walk on. If we meet any of them...probably...

End of part 3
[Disclaimer: This story is Pure Fiction, no names or places present here coincide with any real life events (though the places might really exist). The story is protected under the creative commons license 3.0, free to distribute but please refer the authors name and website]

Monday, August 20

In the jungles
where a million eyes follows you
you have daylight for salvation
in the caves
when a million eyes tortures you
you have your faith for salvation
and death...

[#] The search for Jim Thompson part 3...soon.

Wednesday, August 15

The Search for Jim Thompson, Part 2

The warm rays of the sun emerged from the faraway peaks of Sky Mountains, the tallest peak is called the Weeping Maiden by the locals. But our paths will not take us to the Maiden, we will have to follow the jungle path across the Mercy Mountain before reaching the Shaman King courts at the banks of Red River. The guide told us it would take a full week, provided we don't stray out of our way. The trek was demanding, by the time we reached the peaks of Mercy Mountain, it was already day seven. We had to move slowly, the path, eaten by decades of neglect, the Shamans call them the spirit pathways, we hard to master, what more to cross them, and there were rivers and valleys that was not written nor told.

The maps were obsolete, even the train builders cartography maps are useless, much of the landscape has changed. I started to wonder if we really have crossed to another world. The train builders journals and maps were considered the best guides into the forgotten jungles of Asia and Australasia. Decades ago after the war, the nations of Asia, spearheaded by Japan launched a grand vision to build train tracks across the jungles to connect Asia with Russia and the rest of the world. But the jungles would not fall under any master, the surveyors returned, mostly maimed by the spirits of the jungles as the stories told. But their legacies remain in the form of pathways and maps. Our only communication with the outside world were cut by the time we reached the peak valley of Mercy. Only the GPS device marked us on the computer screen of our friends back home. We had to stop a few days in the valley to plan things ahead. Mercy is much like the tepuis of South America, just that its sides are not steep walls but just vast valleys, undulating jungles all over, and an ice covered flat top. At nights the cold were crippling, if not for the thermal tents, we would have frozen dead long ago.

By the time the air ships reached India, the crew were in delirium, enticed by weeks of fantasy and lies. Non would be happier than Thompson. And then stories began to spread among the crewmen that Thompson was a spy on a mission to chart the borders of Russia; the vast foreign territory unmapped was a serious disadvantage to the governments of Europe at that time. Many of the journeys to chart new land were secretly funded by the governments in exchange for maps and exhibitions of ethnographia of foreign cultures. He had in his disposal a hundred and more men to take him to his bounty, and many of them would never survive the jungles alone. What Thompson needed from the natives at the Fire Mountains are medicines against tropical diseases. And more than that, to stave off the fierce creatures that they are unnumbered to match.

When they reached to the offices of the Queens Himalayan Retreat, the crew were given medicinal supplies from native doctors, made from the concoctions of the jungle. But Thompson needed more than that, the amulets from the Shaman King must be acquired by him for the next part of their journey to the Sky Mountains. From there, the Shaman Kings will open a new path to the vast cave systems of the Sarisarinama sinkhole. The cave system stretched from the Amazonian jungle to Siberia. A hundred years ago, no one knew this but the Shaman Kings. Thompson it seems, met and befriended many Shaman's during his journeys, he carried amulets from lands of the Aztec kings; the blood Shamans of Teotihuacan were among the most powerful. And he used this to open many doors in his journeys.

At the courts of the Fire Mountain Shaman Kings, Thompson had to leave ten of his men as sacrifice, little they knew that Thompson sold their souls to the Shamans. They were told to guard the emergency supplies. More men were lost on the treacherous path to the Sky Mountains, the Fire amulets managed to keep away the beasts, but jungle traps by natives and flash floods swallowed even the strongest men into oblivion. But the journey continued, for weeks, sometimes they did not stop for camp for days. It's a strange feeling of inadequacy that swelled in me reading his stories, we had to rest almost every hour in the thick jungle. And even more, he trekked the jungles a hundred years ago! Thompson reached the Sky Mountains on a full moon night, bats and unknown creatures flew low above the brightly lit jungle floors, occasionally flying inches away from their faces. The men showed no tiredness, they are well protected, the blood of their friends and travelers left behind or lost are protecting them. Another few days on rafts from the jungle aborigine's village along the Red River, they reached the Shaman King court.

Thompson wrote of the spine chilling encounter with the Shaman King, a few uninitiated crewmen tried to seduce the maidens of the Shaman King. The maidens are actually spirits, the dark lords of the Shaman army, the phantasm he uses to protect the jungles and its secrets. The images of the crewmen, eyes popping out, blood seeping from their very skin is disturbing even in words, I can only imagine what Thompson, the great traveler would have felt. But his life were spared, the Shaman King, just like the ones before understood his fate. Another week past for formalities, more sacrifice we're handed and by this time the crewmen grew suspicious. But before any mutiny could break out, the Shaman has cast his spell on the dozen or so of the crewmen who will journey the sunken caves of Sarisarinama to find the Netherworld Shaman King. As usual, Thompson paid with life, thirty of them this time. The rest were sent back, together with the notebook of his journeys, the copy of which I'm reading now. As another full moon set in a month lost for they were not tracking anything anymore, Jim Thompson and his crewmen climbed down into the sunken Sky caves and disappeared into the mist...

For one thing, it is impossible to believe a cave system linking continents such as the legend tells. The plate tectonics movements would have long ago triggered earthquakes and volcanoes that would have destroyed any intercontinental systems. Unless certainly, more myth and magic is waiting for any daring traveler. Our supplies would not last more than a few weeks at most. What the Shaman King presents us later on might help us, but that too remains to be seen. The myth of Jim Thompson has been circulating for a while, conspiracy theorists to relic hunters have searched every crevice of history for his legendary travels. Only the bravest of them all walked away with great fortunes, but that too after much sacrifice.

After Thompson and his men entered the caves, no news was heard from him for years. The sponsors and families back in Europe were enraged, believing that finally a traveler has thieved away with their money. For the families it's more than a curse, the traveler clan were wiped out after that, mostly by the witch hunt by the Queens court. After Thompson, Lord Champlain organized a few unsuccessful search missions, none of them were able to even pass through the Shaman Kings courts. Whoever dared to venture alone would certainly become the foods of the jungle Gods, the panthers and poisonous snakes. For a decade the witch hunt enraged through Europe, many of the traveler clan found refuge in the faraway lands of South America and Asia, the exotic land that they ventured and 'discovered' before, now came to them as a new country. Today, a few traces of them could still be found in the mountain villages of India, Brazil and Australia. Modernity brought along rampant changes, the uncharted jungles were mapped by satellite, but the Sarisarinama cave systems remained pristine, at least from its Asian entrance. The South American entrance have turned into the playgrounds of the scientists who ventured more that a thousand miles into its snaking system, crossing into subterranean rivers and lakes and even crystal palaces.

When we finally started our trek to the next part of our journey, the monsoon rainstorms bathed the jungle and when eventually it stopped, a thick blanket of fog covered much of our way. With no power and nowhere to recharge, our electric lights and GPS handheld failed. What we face after this only the God's would have to write down. In an almost heroic stance, my travelers proclaimed that we are charting a new path in history. True to an extend, many have tried, many have failed, even the ones who reached the Sky Mountain Shaman King courts have turned back in disappointment. But that was decades ago, and the digital age promises an easier passage if at all transistors did really beat 'shamanism'. Our every step felt like a new beginning, a feeling of extreme calmness, the forest is alive, but yet the serenity melts our hearts. As none of our electronic equipments worked, we had to resort to hand written accounts. I left a notebook, neatly tied inside a plastic poncho on top Mercy. Hopefully the next group, if they ever come would take it and tell our stories. Strangely, this journey feels like erasing the past, our past shall no longer belong or exists.

A few days of walking and climbing hills and crossing rivers, all uneventful and calm we reached the Red River. Probably the passage is truly protected, probably we were truly blessed for taking this challenge of sorts. We camped for a day before the native came with a raft and some more supplies; surviving on jungle produce would be a challenge, we have to psych up to reach the next point. The native chattered a lot in the local language much to our surprise, how he learned all this. He hinted that he does not have to do any learning, for the spirits would guide them their fate. Then was it his fate to take us to the Shaman King?

Through the nights, into the second day of riding the currents of the Red River and a full month into our journey, we reached the courts of the Shaman King. No one would believe how it's like, no one would believe anything...

End of Part 2
[Disclaimer: This story is Pure Fiction, no names or places present here coincide with any real life events (though the places might really exist). The story is protected under the creative commons license 3.0, free to distribute but please refer the authors name and website]

The Search for Jim Thompson

Our journey started a few months back. On a normal morning, on an unassuming day, in April. The gloomy skies, remnants of the bonfire from the night before and the early morning fog flooded the land with a poetic carnival of senses. As we waited for the ride, the smell of spices seeped and searched for new territories around us.

Today we are again detached from the cycle of life, nursing a deep strange void in our hearts, the dying bonfire left a few blood red cinder to mourn it. Life is slowly waking up, clambering to find it's majestic spot again for the a couple more decades of hours atop this mountain. The travelers, as always warned by generations of other travelers were warned but did not heed to words, a warning that resulted in this predicament we were in. We must find a way back, but more importantly we must find our souls.

His journey started years ago, maybe a hundred year ago. A stranger in a strange land, he was from the traveler clan too. The nomadic foreigners who forgo their luxuries of lavish tea parties and overnight mistresses as they cross the sky bridges on hot air balloons to trap mythical creatures and capture in their photographic plates images of naked maidens in God's playground. Nomads who spent golds and silver as if the natives have never seen them before, who threw gold coins into crowds of children who were more mesmerized by their jester like Victorian cloths, knee high stockings of red and white stripes, something the children of the forests saw only in the Shaman king stories. These traveler clans for once thought maybe gold and silver finally managed to buy them safe passage through the uncharted lands to reach their pot of gold under the Asian rainbow. Unknown to them, the natives were foretold of the misadventures of these strange men. They are not afraid of their metal guns or twisting languages because they know the Shaman king is protecting them and the secrets of the jungles.

Jim Thompson was a rich traveler, he had farms and estates all around Europe. Not the Europe of Kings and Queens, but an alternate Europe where Kings and Queens were mere clan members of the hundreds of clans scattered there. Visions of old Europe that I learned in books and photos never answered my questions of these strange travelers a hundred years back. The shaman stories were more of a joke to us initially, but some among us did fear of the story. But why did this Shaman tell this story, we knew what we came for, but how did he know what Thompson might have faced in his quests...

A few days in our journey to the highlands, we checked out of our lodging and guided by the experienced traveler, a local man whose eyes were so deep that felt like he has seen the creation of the universe. He knew before we would finish our words what we came looking for. But today, in front of this Shaman, we knew we got more than we asked for. My trembling hand handed over the drawings, illustrations on an old notebook of the lost jungle to the Shaman. His laughter was followed by an enlarged blood red eyes staring right at me, through me into my desires. He asked more than anything we can offer, he told us that we cant turn back before we find what we came for, even if we never find it. The momentary fear numbed my senses, and we gathered to make a final decisions. A few of us would return, and four of the remaining, including me will make the what now seems to be a dangerous and mysterious journey to search for the truth. One of the mates asked what to tell if anyone asked, we told him, them, to tell the truth. At sundown, as the new world jumped to life around us, we would walk into the mountains, following the moonlit path to eternity.

Thompson in his travels before his disappearance created a record of sorts. He was a master traveler, a pioneer for he discovered many new lands, cultures and people - the Indians of South America, the tepuis and the red clay lands of Australasia. But Europe at that time was looking for something else, the traveler clan painted maps and charted paintings, mixing fantasy and science to entice centuries of men and woman who are just embracing the industrial revolution. As electric light bulbs blinked one by one across the land, new stories started to emerge, new strange stories that not many are willing to believe. Lord Champlain and John Jacobs were the first among the traveler clan to come with this strange news of a new world, and when Jim Thompson's notebook were discovered by the later day travelers, the new world was named an 'alternate earth'. Such a bold assertion at a time when science and physics were making waves and were illuminating more minds of the atoms and stars. When Einstein was asked about the forays of the traveler clan, he gave a cold stare at the reporter, the master of the universe had no words or no idea of the kind of rubbish the people were writing. At a different stage, the Queens Court wanted to banish these traveler clans for telling stories of a new world, a world where the Queen has no different blood from the commoner.

Our guide will only take us until the Sky Mountains. After that we are all alone, whether we want to continue, or return it's our fate. But we don't have much of a choice. It took us a week to reach the Sky Mountains, a mountain range capped by snow and in another extreme jungles of frozen wood and stones and melting rivers that seems to be stretch forever. Being the tallest mountain range at this part of the world; the lower forests and most of the terrains near the cities has been mapped, but the trails over and across the range are reduced into folk stories and for the few chosen ones, or the ones who choose, are given guidance by the Shamans. Across the mountain we will find a Shaman King and he will grant us passage to the trails of Jim Thompson. I was carrying the amulet that would protect us against the wild cats, the deadly panther. But to search for Jim Thompson, we need a new soul.

We bade farewell to our guide on a cold morning, after a small breakfast and briefing. Before he left, he told us that change has already happened, we were already in it. He asked us to look into our hearts to find what it was. Could it be real then, we were in a new reality? A new dimension, the alternate earth? But how does the world choose who enters and who doesn't, that is the real mystery. My fellow traveler assured me that we already chose our path, we wanted to escape from the daily yearnings of life, to answer questions and seek the truth. Why Thompson brought us towards him or why we wanted to search for him, no words can tell. It just happened, just when you have a dream and then you wake up to a changed world. We gathered our supplies and checked our equipments for one last time...

When news of mermaids and exotic beautiful land started to appear in the book markets of the cities, Jim knew this was the right moment to mount another expedition. His lies would be vindicated by what they find later, he thought. As he ran a series of advertisement among the popular daily prints around Europe, he gathered a lot of attention, even the Royal Society wanted to send a few scientists, mostly botanist and zoologists, on the journey. He received Chamberlains blessings and his precious writings. This will serve him in his early months, who to meet, the villages and jungles to cross. And he carried gold, a lot of them to appease the natives and he brought sacrifices, able men from every corner of the Western world for the shaman kings and the Shaman Lord he would eventually meet.

A total of one hundred and thirteen men started out in the giant airships of the Leornardo Air Ships Corp. Five of this airships, giant balloons hundreds of stories high and at the bottom were lavish gondolas akin to deep sea galleons, but now sailing the high skies carried the supplies and men. Thompson would eventually land in the border jungles of India and Cambodia before making the land trek to the the Fire Mountains which would take him to the courts of the Shaman King. I turned the pages towards the end of the book, where an illustration of a dream catcher with a tiger claw tied to it subtly tells me that Jim is still alive. We went to sleep as the day died, for in the early hours, we will start our own journey.

End of Part 1
[Disclaimer: This story is Pure Fiction, no names or places present here coincide with any real life events (though the places might really exist). The story is protected under the creative commons license 3.0, free to distribute but please refer the authors name and website]

Monday, August 13

Saturday, August 11

Invasion

No one knew when or how they came
it was a day like all the other days
moving slowly in quantum perfection
and then they came
the sun birds
time stopped










and they were never to be found

Abductees: Indra, Vj, Kamales, Sandra, Ghost...
Last known location: The summit of Mount Jerai

Friday, August 10

Why I hate American Sports Casting

From Yahoo! Sports:
The sellout crowd of more than 46,686 at RFK Stadium let out a thunderous roar as the 32-year-old English midfielder with the tender ankle stripped off his warmup jacket and T-shirt, displaying his bare chest in a steady rain. He then put on his No. 23 jersey and entered the game in place of Quavas Kirk with the Galaxy trailing 1-0.
- for David Beckham entering the field.
Why Do I hate American Sports? Because their sportscasters and sports writers report an event like they're shagging it. Sick gay buggers ---> "stripped off his warmup jacket and T-shirt, displaying his bare chest in a steady rain!" WTF?!

But the best part of the news would be this:
Tailgaters took their spots in the parking lots several hours before kickoff, and a group of United fans -- known to sing loud and long during every match -- hung a huge banner that read "We sing better than your wife," a reference to Beckham's pop-singing wife, Victoria.
- The DC United fans heckling Beckham.
The word is on the streets that Pretty Boy TomKat Cruise is converting DavPoshBeck into Scientology and soon we will have Beckham stomping couches everywhere.

And there you go guys, an utterly useless post for a useless football player who play useless football. Even my estate football players can pass better balls.

Thursday, August 9

What Do You See?

[Update!] Pauline and Q9 got it right; it's called the Birds of Paradise Flower or Strelitzia. The bird from which the name comes itself is a beautiful and legendary creature.
Guess the Plant guys...this should be easy.


[#] The apartment swayed for about 10 seconds today (Java 7.4 Quake) but no one ran out this time. Now I seriously should move out of this place soon!
[#] Not many answered my Mac Question from the previous post...
[#] And next week...it's Science or Bust!

Wednesday, August 8

Sundog

Saw a huge Parhelion or Sundog last Saturday on the way to Penang. It's not very clear in the photos, a 5.1 mpixel camera and it still doesn't capture clear images...sigh...

At the middle of the Penang Bridge, the diameter could be about ~40 kilometers across look at this perspective.

A high contrast image, it's a bit clearer here.

Another tweaked image.


[#] Travelers: BBD, Sandra, Ghost.
[#] Been extremely busy...will be back in a few days. All I can say it, that Change is finally happening, will come out with some good news next week.
[#] And please do tell me, is it OK if I get a MacBook? Does it work for both Work and also Science (Research)? I'm not into gaming very much but I do need massive Internet!

Monday, August 6

Time Minus Zero

The time - 8:15 a.m., August 6th, 1945 is an eternal moment for Hiroshima and the World.

What men may come

What day may dawn
what sun may rise
what life may come
what face may shine
what life may find
what love may bond
what child may born
what dream may come

what year may come
what life may want
what soul may find
what people may sin
what bomb may drop
what life may die
what men may come
what men may kill

-Gp 2005-


[#] This is my tribute poem for the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.
[#] Read a Wiki entry on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Atomic Bombing of the cities.
[#] Some Google News of the anniversary events around the world.
[#] The Spirit of Hiroshima webpage.
[#] A repost since 2005.

Saturday, August 4

the search for jim thompson

as daylight bleeds into the edges of mountains, and humans retreat to their deepest desires,
we searched through the fog, for the enigmatic trails of a traveler,
halfway across the world he came
and he disappeared...

[#] coming next...

Friday, August 3

Never Ending Journeys

here
in the unending grassland
from inside my sanctuary
I wish for the universe
to flood me with all wonders

everywhere
from grasslands to starscapes
from cottages and enchanting paths
I wish for the human heart
to flood us with love and kindness

-gp2007-
[#] There is always hope friends, we have each other and the world. Lets set sail. The show must go on. Change must happen.

Media My Ass and All Else

[#] So you switch on the TV to watch the evening news and you get this "Bridge collapse in Modern America" (transliterated from Tamil - sounds more like 'in modern day America, a bridge collapses' if you understand Tamil). WTF!, I mean what the fuck! Where do these people learn how to read news, who the fuck writes news these days? Is it outsourced or something? Fuck you Astro 8pm Tamil News. It's like they're saying bridges should not collapse in America? What does modernity has to do anything; with bridges collapsing?! Look at you backyard lah!

And then CNN...fucking fake faces everywhere...the news readers, the reporters, everyone!

It stops here, it stops right now. No more news anywhere other than BBC and AlJazeera.

[#] A silly bug has been free-diving in my room for the past hour. Cant seem to whack it! I hate insects. But when you get bats or swallows free-diving...better RUN!

[#] I just realized I remember more than 20 passwords! Not written anywhere, it's all in my brain...words, numbers, characters...it's like I'm a Number Ghost! but I still suck in math...

Wednesday, August 1

When will it stop?

Probably the highest degree of human tragedy is when you plan your future and things look good and the moment you feel good and confident, everything falls apart. That is the darkest fear, the most painful moment you can face. When things go out of control, when you take the backseat and let fate drive.

when

it rains around the world sleep welcomes the dream, and  enigmatic souls awaken along the eternal shores of destiny