Saturday, July 10, 2004

Who is Rajendra?

I guess I should explain that the reason Rajendra has quickly become my friend, taking me under his caring tutelage and guidance, is because he is a very dear friend of my dear friend Mary Evans. Evans had told me, before I left Texas, to “find Rajendra, my brother,”--because he'd probably be very eager to meet me and show me the Kathmandu Valley.

When Mary lived in Kathmandu, she'd become affiliated with the Vajra Hotel and its theater company--as performer and actor. Rajendra spoke highly of Mary, and seemed to enjoy taking me on as a summer project.

I am very lucky that he seems to have time for showing me around and hosting me at the Vajra restaurant for meals now and then. The Vajra seems to pride and promote itself as an eclectic, high-quality, international-flavored hotel for a clientele that includes alot of moneyed European artsy, intellectual types. I could tell that some of the Nepali Vajra staff had sniffed out that I was a "lower class" type of tourist. Whatever...

Anyway, Rajendra never put on airs with me, but he had a beloved sense of indignation about many things, which I grew accustomed to very quickly. We would converse and discourse about many subjects, and I was very impressed with the wealth of knowledge--from the mystical to the political--he had in mind.

He was pretty well-traveled, for a native of Nepal. He'd been to Europe and the U.S. on several occasions, touring his sacred dance show both solo and with his young students. He challenged and contested my ideas, as much as he quietly absorbed and sometimes agreed with my observations about life, human nature, and more. This was so good for my mind, as I often had no one else to push my intellectual mastications.

Rajendra wasn't trying to be anybody's guru, and I thought of him more like a professorial land and spirit tour guide. He has invited me to see his sacred dance students in a performance at the Vajra. I can't wait.

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