Archive for interview

Lips Kiss

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2012 by javedbabar

“I am a dealer of the world’s most popular drug,” said Guru Baba, “and it is entirely legal.”

The journalist continued writing. She was very fast indeed. It must be shorthand, thought Sami.

Guru Baba continued, “Many drugs are becoming legal – I know the pharmacy now sells cannabis, and forms of heroin – but none of them can match its power. I deal in the drug of love.”

“Guru Baba, that’s good,” said the journalist. “Any final words?”

“Yes, of course. My customers come in their thousands; they are addicts already or want to become so. They know our world is built on loving relationships, which activate complex brain chemistries whose effects are like cocaine, but they are not toxins, they create long term positive change.”

The journalist looked away for a moment. She was paying attention but there was something on her mind.

Guru Baba continued, “Not just our world, but our whole universe, is built on love. How else to make sense of our tiny lives in the incomprehensible vastness of space? It is said that the universe began with a seed, and will continue to grow forever. As worlds continue to fly from its centre, the essence of our lives must surely be attraction.”

Sami was surprised that Guru Baba had agreed to the interview. In this half hour break during the Great Gathering, it was best if he rested. The journalist hadn’t even booked a slot; she had asked for the interview this morning upon arrival. She had said “Don’t you know who I am?” flashed her press card and walked past the queue.

She said, “Please tell me about the Enhanced Trance Dance. Will we be performing it at today’s event?”

“Yes, of course we will! Why not? People perform it all over the world, every day. Why shouldn’t we do so here!”

“I’m not sure I understand. Is it a well-known dance?”

“Shall I show you?”

“Well, I don’t have the best shoes for dancing, but we can give it a whirl.”

What is he doing? thought Sami. She may not have the right mindset for this. She hasn’t read any of his teachings. Cultural connotations differ. She won’t understand.

Guru Baba stood erect and held out his arms. The journalist realized she was expected to do the same. She held out her hands and he pulled her towards him and kissed her on the lips.

The journalist was shocked. She jerked back her head and pulled away. “What the hell are you doing?”

“The Enhanced Trance Dance. You asked for a demonstration.”

“What! It’s an old man getting his rocks off with a young woman?”

“Not so young,” said Guru Baba.

“Not so young! Are you for real? You grope me and then insult me. And you call yourself a holy man! Shame on you!”

That didn’t go well, thought Sami. A kiss can mean many things; it represents love, passion, affection, respect, greeting, friendship, devotion, and good luck. It involves all five senses – touch of the lips, smell of your perfume, taste of the skin, a smacking sound when joining or pulling way, and seeing whatever you desire with your eyes closed. You are in a trance, enhanced by the dance of love. Hence the name.

Guru Baba had kissed millions of people on the lips. He knew the romantic kiss had evolved from the first and greatest kiss – the maternal kiss. When lips joined with the kiss of life, the powers of the universe activated.

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Crazy Heart

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2012 by javedbabar

Dimpy received a phone call. She answered immediately, saying, “Hello, Lucerne Village Hall, Wedding Registration Dept.”

A man’s unsteady voice said, “Do both partners have to come in?” He was nervous, she could tell.

“Yes, they do.” She listened intently, trying to gauge his voice. Was he nervous because he had learnt what to say and now that he had started the process, his heart was beating fast, and his tongue, erratic? “Is that a problem for you?”

“No, no, no, there isn’t. We’ll both be there. I promise.”

She said, “Excuse me, who am I…?” but there was no one there. He must have rung off. Her job was to confirm that people were engaging in legitimate unions rather than shams. Maybe she was being too scary with callers.

Two days later there was a commotion downstairs. She heard doors banging and someone shouting. It sounded as if a person tripped and fell. Was it those kids causing trouble again? Where was security? She’d better go and check.

A small man stood in the hallway, stiffly, looking lost. His eyes were dead and unmoving. Was he blind? He didn’t have dark glasses or a white stick though.

A large woman with a yellow and blue patterned dress, and a mess of dyed black hair, arose from the ground. It was she that had fallen.

It was clear that the man couldn’t see her; he must be blind… yet there was such a strange impression created by his sightless eyes that Dimpy dare not speak.

It was the look of love, and she stood as its silent witness.

There was also something incredible – supernatural – in the woman’s smile. Despite being sighted, she wasn’t smiling at him; she didn’t seem to see him either; instead her eyes rolled around continuously and her head followed their motion.

“Hello!” the man called out. “Is somebody there? I heard you coming out of your office.”

“Yes, I’m the Registrar of Weddings, Dimpy.”

“Ah, good to meet you at last. We spoke earlier this week. We have a two p.m. appointment with you, but I’m afraid we are one hour early.”

“Oh, yes, please come up. Can you… come up? Do you need help?”

“No thank you, I can make it up. I am very independent; I have been so for many years now. The only real problems have been caused by my beloved Samantha who insists on helping me around. The first time that she forced me to cross the road with her almost caused my death!”

Samantha, smoothing her hair, her eyes still rolling, said, “Yes I have no sense of co-ordination. I am always unbalanced and I am scared of going out. I used to get so angry about it until I saw this amazing man one day” – she looked at her fiancé – “Blind, but so accepting. He was content with his life. My heart beat all around my body, even more than usual, and my movements were uncontrollable. I wanted to help him across the road but I almost helped him somewhere else.” They both began laughing.

“Come on then, love,” he said, offering her his hand. “Let’s go up.”

“It won’t be necessary,” said Dimpy. “I’ve seen all I need to see. You wait here. I will do all the paperwork for you.”

A small man and a large woman; she, afraid of light, and he, not afraid of dark; standing still and always moving; yin and yang; their union was perfect.

Alex and Sandra's Teatime

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2012 by javedbabar

“Alex and Sandra?” said Dimpy, trying not to show surprise. Sandra was a tall, red-haired girl, big-boobed and round-faced, with light freckles. Alex was also tall, blonde-haired, with smaller boobs, and a slimmer face and body. Alex was Alexandra. For the first time since she’d started this job, Dimpy was interviewing two women.

Lucerne’s part-time Registrar of Weddings was all for same-sex marriage. Why shouldn’t two people who loved each other be able to join together and create a stable home? God knows that her different-sex marriage had failed.

It wasn’t about gender, it was about adoration. It was simple really – if you adored each other, then things worked out.

Dimpy had admired her husband, liked him, maybe loved him, but had not adored him. When problems started, that was it.

She chatted to Alex and Sandra together, and then sent Sandra out. It was time to grill them one by one, to see if their union was genuine and not some kind of sham.

“When did you meet?” asked Dimpy, fixing her with a stare.

“Online. It was Arcadian Personals.” So she was looking nationally, not just locally. That showed determination.

“Please tell me about your first date.”

“We met for teatime,” said Alex, a little awkwardly. Dimpy hadn’t noticed her green eyes before, how they were flecked with gold. “Lunch is always a rush, you have to get from work to the restaurant, and then back to work. I find that dinner can either be too formal, or a drunken wasted night. There’s always sexual tension, wondering if you should make a move, and if so, how, and when, and whether you’ll regret it.”

She must have had some fun dates, thought Dimpy. Lucky girl.

“At teatime you can just be yourself. There’s no rush, you sit and wait patiently for flavours to infuse. You are participating in a ritual going back thousands of years. It’s different with different cultures of course. English like milk and sugar, Indians use pepper and cardamom, Chinese let the tealeaves unfurl, Japanese admire the cup and teahouse and recite poetry, Russians top up the samovar and sing.”

Dimpy couldn’t help nodding along. She loved teatime too, and hadn’t realized there were so many variations.

Alex continued, the colours of her eyes seeming to swirl and fuse. “So we met up at the Lucerne Valley Hotel for tea. Sandra ordered a Lapsang Souchong that smelled so heady I almost fainted, and I had a Bengali Chai with chilli and ginger. It was delicious.” She looked at Dimpy and said, “Things got hotter after that.”

“What about your second date?” said Dimpy. “Did you manage to have a nice lunch or dinner?”

“It was another teatime.” She beamed at Dimpy. “But this time I was making her morning cuppa.”

Asset Stripper

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2012 by javedbabar

The young blonde woman pushed the man in his wheelchair. He was old, fat and bald, and it would be fair to say he was unattractive. That was not Dimpy’s judgment on his character, merely on his appearance.

As Lucerne’s part-time Registrar of Weddings, Dimpy’s concerns were not superficial. She needed to know people’s reasons for getting married, and ensure there was nothing untoward; no force, coercion or deception. She would discover what she needed to know by interviewing them separately. She made small talk with them together, and then asked the woman to wheel out her fiancé.

When she returned, Dimpy gave her a severe look and said, “Please tell me how you met.”

Without a moment’s hesitation, the woman said, “I was a stripper at his seventieth birthday party. One of his friends paid me a lot of money to make sure that he enjoyed himself. I did my job and left and…”

Dimpy couldn’t help interrupting. “Is that your profession, a… an exotic dancer?”

The woman looked surprised at being called that, but continued matter of factly. “No, not really. I am unemployed at present. I haven’t had much luck with finding work. This is something I used to do a long time ago, and I needed the money, so…”

Honesty is good, thought Dimpy, but brazen hussy! Marrying a person you stripped for, and did God knows what else too, in front of his friends! Dimpy calmed her thoughts. She was a marital professional. She must continue the process. “How did the relationship develop?”

“He gave me his card that night and asked me to come again the next week.”

“On a date?” said Dimpy, hopefully. Regardless of the need for interrogation, she secretly wanted peoples’ relationships to work, especially those leading to marriage,.

“Yes, sort of,” said the woman.

“For money?”

“No,” the woman looked away. Then she said quietly, “Yes, for money.”

Honesty is good, Dimpy thought again.

“Is that still how your relationship functions?”

“Not anymore,” said the woman. “He gave me this ring” – she showed her a whopping diamond set in white gold – “and asked me to marry him.”

“Do you love him, really?” Dimpy couldn’t believe she’d said that. She could be disciplined for such a boorish question.

“That I do,” said the woman.

“And the fact that he’s in a wheelchair doesn’t bother you? Will he meet your physical needs?” God what am I saying, thought Dimpy.

But it had been the right question. The woman flushed and couldn’t face Dimpy. It showed that her physical needs were being met elsewhere.

Young Love

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2012 by javedbabar

Dimpy thought she was being too soft on couples intending to get married. Her job as Registrar of Weddings was to facilitate their unions, she knew, but she wanted them to be lasting unions. There was no point in getting hitched, and then abandoning each other two miles down the track, like donkeys running in different directions.

She performed this job only one day per week, but she would make that day count. She would add value to people’s relationships in a way that she had not managed to do to her own. But she had learnt her lesson soon enough, and would be sure that prospective brides and grooms learnt theirs too – but in time.

“David and Ashley?” she said to the young couple cuddling and whispering on the sofa. They separated quickly and looked at her fearfully, and then both smiled. How old were they? she wondered. Fifteen? Sixteen? What on earth were they doing here? The girl looked like a sweetheart; the boy seemed a cad.

She called them into her office, introduced herself, and read them the regulatory paragraphs. She told them that national and local laws were applicable, that they should be of the age of majority, residents of the Lucerne Valley, be of sound mind, and entering into this marital union of their own accord.

They both said they were eighteen and very much wanting to get married, but after that things began to go wrong. He didn’t know her middle name was Joanne. She couldn’t name his place of birth as Golden. He didn’t know the name of her sister Megan. She wasn’t aware that he had visited Peru with his uncle and trekked the Inca Trail.

She was grilling them harder than usual, for sure. Maybe people didn’t know as much about each other as they should. Maybe they should talk less and listen more. But some of these were basic things. If they didn’t listen to each other now, what hope was there for the future? Dimpy sent David out so she could interview his fiancée further, alone. She asked Ashley how they met.

“My family moved to Lucerne when I was sixteen years old and I enrolled at the High School. I was with a group of friends in the… Oh, sorry, it was two years ago. He saw me and walked straight towards me. I was so amazed. Such a handsome guy, I knew he was popular, all the other girls liked him too, but he liked me. He said that he knew immediately. I knew too. Knew what? Oh, that he was the one for me.”

After twenty more minutes of gush, Dimpy sent her out and called in David. He related the same story but less convincingly. When Dimpy pushed him, he said, “Look, Miss Kalash. I can see that you’re suspicious of me. I know why. So I’ll be honest with you. There was a group of girls there. I’d slept with them all. Then a new girl came and I thought I’d try my luck with her. She liked me a lot but not enough to let me – you know – get to know her better. She said that she liked herself more. I couldn’t believe it. No girl had ever said that to me before. She made me rethink everything. I realized that’s what I wanted; someone who liked herself more than she liked me; who was strong that way, not needy and…”

Honesty is a good quality, thought Dimpy. He has passed.

One Year Hitch

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2012 by javedbabar

Dimpy (Dimples) had three jobs now. She was Lucerne Valley Museum’s Director two days a week, taught Spatial Studies another two days per week, and was Registrar of Weddings on the remaining working day. She often thought that she worked too hard. Three different jobs meant three different offices, three kinds of skills, and three sets of colleagues every week. It was a lot to juggle. But she also found that it kept things fresh. Her life was always interesting.

She had come to Lucerne to take up the Museum job. When funding was cut, she began teaching at the college too. She thought that over time the latter would become full time, but when that was capped at two days per week she looked for other opportunities. A part time Registrar was required by the village; there was on average only one marriage and one divorce per week. The village took her on upon the condition that she attained the qualifications required within one month, and she did so.

She had been practising for a year now with no complaints, but she did often wonder what she was doing. Her own marriage had failed, leaving her with a child to raise alone, hence the three jobs.

What valuable insights did she have into marriage? That it was often entered into foolishly? That money was always an issue? That little niggles became huge arguments? That words always hurt?

In truth she had no guidance for others, but maybe she could learn something from them. Then next time – and she hoped that there would be one; she believed there would be; she affirmed it daily – things would work out better. But what if you had found the wrong person? If you weren’t right for each other could you ever make it work?

That was not her job to establish though. It was theirs. She was just interviewing people, engaging in a formality. They completed the forms and sealed the deal. Their love was – had to be – enough.

Dimpy realized though that this had been her failing with Shama. He wasn’t a bad person; he had brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, friends and colleagues who adored him. Even she had adored him initially, but they just weren’t compatible. Her steady approach to things, which he called her “methodical madness”, and his seat-of-the-pants style, which even the devil wouldn’t care for. They disagreed on everything – holidays, cooking, cleaning, not to mention spending, and when – to be honest, with him it was if – to have babies.

Dimpy realized that her duty as a Registrar of Weddings was greater than she imagined. She should make people fight to get married. If they didn’t do that now, they would surely be fighting later. She decided that from now on she would give everybody a good grilling, like the one she had given her husband once too often. But if she hadn’t, maybe they would still be together – both unhappy forever.

Resume

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , on May 30, 2012 by javedbabar

Things were looking up for Danny. He had recovered from his depression, met a woman, had a small lottery win, and felt ready to find a new job. He didn’t want to go back to pumping gas, so asked around. He heard that Lucerne Village was looking for more staff so made an appointment with the Village Recruitment Officer (VRO). Danny tried to find out what jobs were available, but the receptionist wouldn’t say. She said discuss that with the VRO.

The VRO was a tough, red-haired man who Danny imagined had once been a police officer or soldier. “Sit down!” he said in the way he may have said in his previous jobs, “Put your hands up!” or “Put it down!”

Over a cup of coffee, he scanned Danny’s resume. “So, you’ve never really settled down, have you! What’s with all the moving around? It says here that you are an ‘enthusiastic individual’ who has a university degree and has worked in fancy companies in the City. How did you end up pumping gas here?”

Danny was a cool headed person; not easy to rile. He said, “Life doesn’t always work out the way you imagine. I’ve had some tough times.”

“You’ve had tough times?” said the VRO. “I don’t think you even know the meaning. Have you been on the battlefields of Afghanistan? Or on the mean streets of Detroit? That’s where I did my service. I’ve earned this padded chair here.”

Danny thought it best not to respond. He awaited further orders.

“Okay, the Village is a progressive employer and welcomes all kinds of people, regardless of their drawbacks.” He began with questions of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, mental illness, and physical disability. “Okay, good,” he said. “Now we have your basic details. I am required to complete this grid of personal metrics. It will reveal what jobs you are suited for. Answer all of the following questions, based on dualistic paradigms, which we will integrate holistically. They may seem strange, but answer them as best you can.”

“What is your essential nature?” Danny told him it was peaceful.

“What is your culture?” Danny said it was North American, Judeo-Christian, white Anglo-Saxon Protestant, free-market capitalist, representative democracy.

“What is your hardware?” Danny said it was a skeleton, vital organs functioning synchronously, and a central nervous system, and blood and skin.

“What is your software?” Danny said it was a sense of personal selfhood, which was part of a communal self, whose edges were permeable, and touched upon other beings.

“What are your skills?” Danny mentioned interpersonal skills, commercial skills, and common sense.

“What are your feelings?” Danny mentioned an appreciation of beauty, and compassion, and truth.

“What is the influence of your genes?” Danny said it had made him tall, white, blonde, fairly handsome, and predisposed towards diabetes and dementia.

“What is the influence of your environment?” Danny spoke of his early years in foster homes, where he had been beaten and abused. That was why he never settled. He didn’t feel safe or comfortable anywhere. He moved around.

“Ok, that’s it,” said the VRO. Please wait outside while I analyze the results. Ten minutes later he called him back in. “Welcome to Village Hall,” he said. “We have a very special job for you. Do you believe in Karma? Good. Well there are people in the Village who are not conducive to its welfare. The kind of people who beat and abused you. Wouldn’t you like to create a better environment for kids here? With the job comes an unregistered gun.”