is a cautionary tale of passage across culture, time, earth, and a less finite universe
within. Despite exotic setting, KaLaGiYas theme is common to
alldealing with the seeming chaos of the unknown, when we catch a glimpse beyond
the order of the known.
Emerging from the
vortex of his 60ssex, drugs, warGuy is alive, yet to his roots quite
beyond the pale. For Guy, societys mirror has cracked. How can he find suitable
reflection, that image so necessary for self-understanding, in the confusion beyond? After
a checkered career as combat journalist cum filmmaker cum drug smuggler, Guys world
disintegrates; his laboriously, if imperfectly, self-constructed image dissolves. Busted!
Seemingly endless Prison, followed by even more interminable University, curses him with
understanding of the illusion of being. But despite his constant struggle to remain
outside the "straight" life, to remain in control of what he will be, he too
must face that fault line where inner expectations collide with external reality.
Time is running out;
few choices remain. Guy opts to return to the one place in life that he has ever felt
balance. He sets out on, what he imagines to be, a final journey to the Himalaya. If Shambhala with its siren call,
KaLaGiYa is his grail, NunKun, a high massif in the heart of Kashmir, is his lodestone.
It is from this ultimate margin, caught in the grip of a ferocious storm, that the
tale unfolds. Guy, however, is not alone. Nearby waits Mara, a local deity symbolic of the
Void with whom he has long flirted. A final meeting with this protean God is distinctly
possible. Ahead lies much exposurea waiting crevice, avalanche, a torrent, or, most
dangerously, his own mind.
In his past, war,
drugs, sex, have offered but brief respite from the burden of being. Now, he ponders
lifes duplicity. While symbolic of release, Mara has three "daughters of
desire," lust, hatred, ignorance, who keep Guy bound to his existence. Haunted by
these desires, Guy plans for that slim chance of survivaleven as he dreams of Mara.
If all else fails, there is always one last score of charas
(hashish), even though this will turn the wheel back to what he has struggled so long to
escape. Throughout the ensuing journey, these oppositions of release and being, vie for
Beyond this internal
conflict lie other insidious forces. Unknown to Guy danger waits, its terror even greater
than the wolf that haunts his dreams. Gulam, faithless servant and police informant, tends
him like a sheep, guiding along a path to a maw more fearsome than the deepest crevice.
Gulam is not alone. As Guy journeys across the Himalaya, characters, both good and evil,
past and present, continually plot to bend him to their will: Mei, true love betrayed;
Morgan, crime-partner and Judas; Yusef, avaricious tourist-wala;
Devara, spaced Hindu sadhu; Geser, wily lama;
Tara, rekindler of dying passion; Ashraf, fanatical mujahed.
But are they real or
only part of Guys storm-locked dream? Mara calls out, "Let go from the
(illusion) that is your mind." It is a call most difficult to answer. Guy struggles
to free self from himself and enter Maras waiting embrace.
No journey is ever as contemplated.
In passage, there is change! In change, there is hope. It is with hope that Guy, perhaps,
can at last hear KaLaGiYa, emanating from his Shambhala within.
This is a work of fiction. Events
and characters are from the author's imagination. Any similarity to real events or persons
is coincidental. All images are independent of events or characters that appear in the
Go To KaLaGiYa