I spent the day today at the Aurobindo ashram downtown kolkata. Read some of his book on The Ideal of Human Unity, signed up for yoga classes and received initiation into the all important breathing techniques: you get, among other things, to sit crosslegged, put three fingers over each eyelid, your two thumbs in your ears and hum a closed-mouthed “aum” as you exhale. six times.
The ashram is a wonderful bit of garden and peace in the middle of crazy kolkata streets. It has a decent library and even, between E. Ludwig’s biography of Napoleon and L. Strachey’s book on Queen Victoria a copy of an 2003 edition of an english translation a. hitler’s Mein Kampf that only has the original pre-WWII introduction by the translator and a bunch of pictures: third to last you will indeed find some concentration camp corpses, though the last picture is that of two SS officers recently released from prison and surveying the reich that is no longer…
to end on a more positive note, here are a few pictures:
p.s. indians generally fail to comprehend why europeans are so … difficult about swastikas, even threatening to ban women so named from setting foot on their continent. It does seem that europeans could focus a bit more on redeeming the symbol instead of letting the bad guys win by co-opting something that didn’t even belong to them in the first place. Talking about IP laws….