Wednesday, July 06, 2005

E M Forster

A Gourmet Passage to India...

(Indian) Food for thought ... Posted by Picasa

The Honourable Reader having been a faithful follower of this blog knows by now how it works. A blog is also a kind of velvety sofa in Prof. Freud's Viennese apartment. Free association is encouraged. Our brain has been working by following "links" long before nerd builders of operating systems and software geeks invented the concept. So, I was invited to a dinner where Indian food was served and "India" becomes the Key-word. What bells start ringing when "India" enters one's conscience? "Blog-Read all about it!"

First things first, the dinner.. Right. Fellini, a fellow-diplotraveller who returned recently from a three-years stint in New Delhi has brought in his luggage a fully-trained cook. An Hindu Indian citizen that has learned the curry alchemy with his own father, a cook, I'm told, of near mythical reputation when it comes to the lamb korma with biriani rice. So, Fellini decided to invite some friends for his sleek Ethnology cum Modern Art Museum-type apartment to be the guinea-pigs of his cook's Madrid début.

With Don Al, the young FilmProducer, about to embark in a five-weeks long South American tour, came three nicely looking chicas. Gema, Clavellita and Bright were all there, all artists of the Painting persuation. Bright has a exhibition in town, which I intend to review without pity for the enjoyment of the Honourable Reader. She has DNA from a Latin-American country with a coast, Hélas!, with no chance of a decent sunset (Only West-oriented coasts, like California's or Portugal's, experience the real thing. One cannot take really seriously a country without an Empire in his past or without a sun diving slowly into a proper Ocean - Anatolia coast or the Lebanese one are disqualified because the pitiful Mediterranean is not a real sea) . Gema, whom I would swear would not touch figurative painting with a barge pole has been doing a kind of Garcia Marquez-inspired 'magic realism' figurative stuff. Another paradoxical surprise was that she starts an argument seeming about to make a slightly superficial point and ends up demonstrating a deeper insight about the issue at stake than the rest of us. A telling sign of pure intelligence as we all know ( It's not processing speed but complexity-management that defines the true Giga-byte human brain. ). What about Clavellita, the Honourable Reader anxiously asks? Well, I'm reserving my opinion for after a promised guided-visit to her atelier. Although this L.A.-educated painter is a user of a large palette of colours she finds blue one of her core-colours, which came as a big disappointment. (It's well known that Humanity is divided between Blue-Lovers and Red-Worshipers and that each tribe does not accept easily the other's chromatic idiosyncrasy). Clavellita is dangerously guapa, with honourably handsome greenish eyes, long ethnic skirts and Argentinean Heritage-related MegRyanish blondiness.

India's contemporary Art Scene was discussed (brain-link: "India Ink" by Tom Stoppard, London some years ago, witnessing Felicity Kendall (as the painter Flora Crewe) going for both East and West leanings). Goa was mentioned (brain-link: the stored imagery of Old Goa, with the surrealistic mix of tropical jungle and baroque Portuguese churches; the fall of Goa in 1961 at the military hands of Ghandi-inspired pacifist Nehru). The Raj was referred to (I linked to one of the foremost TV series of all times, "The Jewel in the Crown" , based on Paul Scott's The Raj Quartet novels.). Fellini stands up and goes to his bookshelves and returns with E.M. Forster's "A Passage to India" (the link this time is Alexandria, of course, where Forster lived and about which he wrote probably the best travel book-as-literature of all times. Forster is for me for ever associated to Alexandria's Holy Trinity of Cavafy, Durell and Forster).
Another theme which was inevitably discussed, the cause célèbre of our times, was, of course, Gay marriage. One should never discuss sex, politics and religion at table and this issue is, for sure, the most potent cocktail of religion (in this catholic country at least), politics (the issue is a substitute for the lack of ideology in modern dull political struggles) and sex (including all the possible sexual orientation variants that are encapsulated by constantly changing acronyms) . Forster would have been flabbergasted to realize how quick things have changed since his highly repressed times...

No comments: