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Adi & Praja 065

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 7

Issue 65: The city

He decided that what was missing was a “soul.” Everything should have a soul, and that is what speaks to people, and that it where it was all about: a soul. He didn’t exactly know what a soul was, but is was something more than work of the mind, and more than perfection.

(65)

(The City)


The next day Shano was back in his old ways. He thought about his own failures, and instead of admiration he felt hatred for his brother. One day he would take revenge, to show what he could do. But just then some humorous thing happened, and he forgot about it for now, and life went on as before.

Shano, having seen Marico return several times, also wanted to go to the city. Next time his father allowed him to go with Marico. It was a week’s journey. All the time a type of unhappiness was gnawing inside Shano: Why was his brother always first, always more successful, and so much respected by the people? Why never he? He was younger of course, but that didn’t mean that he always wanted to stay on the second place. When they arrived in the city, Marico appeared to have many friends there, some quite wealthy, who received him with open arms. Shano was introduced everywhere, but the discussions remained mainly between the friends and Marico. Shano noticed that some girls were quite interested in Marico, and Marico in them also. Shano also flirted with some girls, but they always had to go home when it was getting dark. And then he was alone. Marico did some good carving work for some customers, and was well paid for it. Marico was not miserly, and he shared everything he spend with Shano. When he went to the market, he bought some good cloths for Shano also. But in himself Shano thought: “Why can I never buy cloth myself, and give things to my brother or parents?” So instead of happy he was jealous. Marico always remained more successful – and within his breast Shano cried with jealousy and anger. He found some work in the building sector: building was always going on in the city. Young couples wanted new houses, and old houses were repaired or changed or torn down. When it was time to go back, Shano said to Marico: “I am staying.” Marico was amazed and a bit worried, but said: “Okay you stay, I’ll explain our parents, and whenever you feel it’s time, you will always be welcome again.” That is where the two brothers separated.

Marico went home, back to the village of his parents, and continued his woodcarving. His visit to the city had been so successful that he had now enough money to fulfill his heart’s wish: a racing camel. He went to various villages to see the camels, and finally he found a young and strong camel with the right physique and character to become a racing camel. He bought the animal and walked home with it. Most of the time he would walk in front of the camel and guide him, because he was still to young to carry Marico on his back all the time. At the same time it was his destiny do just that, and not just to lazily walk over desert trails, but he had to learn to gallop and to race: all his fire had to be awakened to make it a Camel among camels. Immediately there was a good relation between the camel and Marico. Marico cared good for him, providing him water and enough time to drink it, besides the fodder the camel liked best and was of the most healthy type to get strong. When home they trained together daily; moreover the camel would also be of some help drawing a cart for transportation of wood – an purpose for which father had always had had to hire a camel with a cart.

Shano, for whom there was always some work, did not earn very much though. The rough work he did was heavy and did not pay very well. Every customer tried to get the price down to the bottom of possibility, and at times Shano found that he had even been working for a loss. He found a simple room, not in the best part of the city – but he was very happy with his independence. The evenings he could spent in whatever way he liked without having to explain to others or being home at a particular time. He would stay in the city for quite a few years, only to visit his parents’ and brother’s shop in holidays.

Regrettably the friends he made there were not of a very refined type and cared for enjoyment more than for responsibilities. They liked to come to Shano who was so enthusiastic about smoking hashish that he always had a stock, and he let every-one smoke with him for free. That is because he came from a village, were people were used to sharing things, like in a big family. Shano didn’t even realize that some of the guys didn’t come for him, but for the free smoke, for completely selfish reasons. Moreover they taught Shano to drink – something that was normally never done in the village. Hashish and alcohol are not a very good combination, and the evenings sometimes ended with aggression and shouting. And next day he would have a headache. The also introduced him to prostitutes, so that’s were many evenings ended, if they had the money. The boys spoke coarse language and some used to steal and rob also. Shano never did that, because he felt that it was unjust to the victims. Moreover he earned just enough to sustain himself and his lifestyle, and for other things he didn’t care much. Being stoned (and drunk) in the city was a very different experience than smoking in the village. The city was always full of noise, full of emotions, people loving or hating each other, getting angry for small reasons, and craftsmen were competing rather than cooperating and sharing. The serenity of the village was totally absent, except after midnight, but then Shano was usually not in a condition to walk quietly through the streets. Moreover it was dangerous. There was almost no light, and robbers might be hiding in every corner, and he would always be disturbed by some stray dog. Shano didn’t know whether he was happy, and he did not ask himself either. His life was definitely more exiting than in the village, and he did never think of going back. Some of his friends tried to introduce him to opium also. But soon he found that this would definitely bring him downhill, becoming addicted and unable to work. He was clever enough to discontinue the practice almost immediately.


(66)

(Shano visits his village and goes back to town)

When he came back to his parents home in the main holiday, after almost a year, he had changed considerably.

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