Kasauli, Bihar, Andaman, and Darjeeling
Edward Reib's "Travels" Part 13
Premiered: 9th June 2022
Filmed: Mar 2022-Jun 2022
Part 13 is a music video for the Tangerine Dream Ricochet album. It opens at New Delhi International Airport, as Priyal and Navi and I board the plane.
Suddenly, we are in Punjab on our way to Himachal Pradesh, noticing the "Blow Horn" advice written on the backs of many trucks, as well as a colorful light on one of them up close.
Then, we are in Kasauli, surrounded by trees. A Black Burger and a dog bring us into the main town center area. A psychedelic nightmare version of Tom & Jerry adorns the metal playground near the view-point. A church, a monkey, a Macho Daddy, some brief Military foreshadowing of sites to come later, and a Pine Tree marking the Pine Tree Mall, I guess, and this sentence has no predicate, I know, except for this one.
An old Anglican Church from "The British Period" has now become a church of The Church of Northern India, as we learn. Priyal leads a strange ceremony near the fire, and Navi tries to play along, but bails partway through.
Then the subliminal foreshadowing pays off, as we arrive at Subathu Gorkha Cantonment Camp, and two cows walk by. The sun sets behind the weapons training area. I buy a patriotic brass Pillar of Ashok for my home office/temple, and we're off.
Back in Delhi celebrating Holi, Priyal advises me to turn the camera, and then we are at M block, GK 1.
A Cow, a Satanic Pepsi Ritual, and we're off again, me, Priyal and Guru-ji. Suddenly, we are in Bihar, then arrive at Bodh Gaya. Since they don't allow cell phones in Mahabodhi, I have to rent a camera - one which does not have any kind of auto-still feature, so we get to find out how shaky my hand really is. They also don't allow shoes, and it is among the hottest days of the year, so my feet literally become blistered as I film the footage of Mahabodhi Temple specifically for this video. You're welcome. Actually, at the time I was mostly thinking of the Heart Sutra episode of Edward Reib's "Buddhist Books" Podcast which I'd shot at Butterfly Park the day before.
Anyway, while we're there we take a break from the Tangerine Dream and listen to Srinivas' "Om Mani Padme Hum" for a while.
Then, we visit all the various Temples of Bodh Gaya, including the famous Giant Buddha statue there.
A drive through rural Bihar, there are some cows under some trees, and then we take the cable car up to the Japanese World Peace Pagoda there in Rajgir.
Next, we visit the ruins of the ancient Buddhist University, Nalanda.
Then, we look at all the little dioramas depicting the stories of the Tirthankaras at Veerayatan Jain Museum, as well as the temple there.
After a drive into rural Bihar, we see Priyal's dad's pond, and her maternal grandfather finally lets her shoot his old gun.
Suddenly, we are in the air above the Andaman Islands, then we land on the big one, take a ferry to a smaller one, Havelock, and listen to the wild tropical insects.
Then, the ocean. First, the surface, then underneath the surface, as I scuba-dive for the first time. Then, I sit in lotus position underwater for the first time, at least for the first time while scuba-diving.
We visit Nemo in his natural habitat, then go to a popular sunset beach.
Suddenly, we are on our way up the mountain to Darjeeling, and it's raining, and foggy. That, or we are inside a cloud, and there are tea gardens, and the Toy Train tracks, then the Toy Train itself.
"Om Mani Padme Hum" comes back for a few seconds, but this time it's diegetic, then I am tempted by all the beautiful colorful and pretty material things which commemorate Buddha's philosophy of non-materialism, and I succumb.
"Mall Road" is quite busy, the Blood Moon rises, and then we are at another one of those Japanese World Peace Pagodas which one of Nichiren sects build everywhere to promote World Peace, of course. Then, we visit a Drukpa Temple called Dali.
Suddenly, we are in Gangtok, Sikkim. Then, we are at Do-Drul Chorten in Gangtok, where we see and here a lot of young monks from Bhutan chanting, playing drums, and preparing to drink lots and lots of Fanta and Coke. Finally, we visit a flower garden, and Enchey Monastery.
A statue of Gandhi, Priyal with the view from our hotel's rooftop restaurant, Tibetan Ganesh, and a large statue of a hand holding a dorje, or "vajra" for you Sanskrit folk, then we are off. There is a river beside the road, the river which divides the states of West Bengal and Sikkim, then the view from our hotel near the airport in Bagdogra, and we are on the plane.
Click to Watch Part 13 "Kasauli, Bihar, Andaman, and Darjeeling" on Youtube