Had I been going to St.Ives and I saw a man with seven wives, each of whom was carrying seven sacks filled with cats, I wouldn’t have said hello. As it was, I was going to the boulangerie in our nearby village where I ran into an erudite Indian gentleman; an old friend who spends France’s winter in India and India’s summer in France. We only seem to meet as passing ships. I have known him for 10 years or more, yet have never spent longer than half an hour with him. It’s a good relationship as we never have time for disagreement or cross words. Polite greetings accomplished, the conversation moved swiftly through the lack of small electrical repair shops for his elderly vacuum cleaner, the question of a possible storm tonight which neatly segued into crushing poverty in India. My tales of woe in the UK had little chance to impress against such colourful misery. He recounted tales concerning the wealthy in India, some of whom with which he mixes socially, of such astounding avarice which, the Hindus amongst them, justify by kharma. The glossy, bejewelled, rich beyond your (my) wildest dreams, and greedy justify their acts through kharma, whilst the grindingly poor and needy equally accept their lot through that same divine kharma. A perfect system which only demands complete indifference to the lot of our fellow man. We nearly moved on to religion but that might have changed the very good relationship that we have. I should mention that my friend is not an apologist, in any way, for kharma and, like the rest of us, he just passes through life. powerlessly watching the circus, cheering and booing as the mood takes us.
It’s very hot today so my kharma will include several dishes of chilled strawberries.