Reshaping Myself on the Way to Calcutta, India 1984

Food Line, 1984
India, West Bengal Province (State), Calcutta – 35mm film
Around the World 1982-1984 – India

April 9, 1984
On Train For Calcutta

Leaving Sikkim… On my way down the hill now. I’m thinking about the future as always. I wanted to understand myself. I feel I wasted too much time the past two months. I realized now how I enjoyed myself: at times, I enjoy pushing myself. I detest laziness and need always to be occupied with something. I’ve got to have something for myself to do, or else how can I be happy? But because I want to be great, I feel so pressured for time and by time.

5:21pm in Siliguiri—waiting for train to New Jaipalguiri (Toy Train)

Whenever I leave friends I feel sad, then a burst of inspiration. Now my inspiration’s coming over me. (Note: When I was leaving, Linda held out her hand to me on the same steps that I kissed her on. As I walked by, I grasped her hand and said, “I kiss you mentally!” She said, as I left, “If you get time, write to me here.”)

Many birds are singing as dusk settles on this fair scene, watching the Indians in their many shapes and actions. I suddenly feel enveloped by a sensation of freshness and love!

I think of Kelly. She’s an example of someone I left while we were still in love. Then I considered how little that has comforted my loneliness. Later, heading south by compass, singing. I feel it from the heart. Come to think of it, in the back of my mind I’ve been attempting to unglue and reshape myself, let images come before me, break away from my own ties, ultimately to reform into a powerful and positive being.

Had a nice window berth. Fell asleep. Decided to head straight to Calcutta after crossing through Bangladesh.

April 10, 1984 2:49pm
In a restaurant in Calcutta, India

Interesting! Today for example, I saw, for the first time, human-drawn rickshas. Calcutta is the first place I’ve seen little kid’s stomachs stick out (though no ribs). The atmosphere is different from other Indian cities I’ve visited.

April 11, 1984
Calcutta, India

Walked to zoo. Wonderful is the White Tiger. Saw four or five of them. I said out loud to one: “I think it’s terrible what they have done to you. You are the king… of everything…” and the tiger’s blue eyes followed me till I was out of sight. Saw other interesting animals. It took a long time to reach the botanical gardens, where I walked to the Great Banyan Tree. (It’s 400 meters in diameter.) I lay under the magic influence of moving clouds and swaying trees and let it lift me. Re-instill perception of the world’s beauty. I had Bengali sweets, Rasgula and Sandesh, on way home. Played guitar for forty-five minutes, just f_____ around. My head is spinning with ideas.