Lumbini, Northern India 458BC: Sat in the cool shade of a santal tree and dwelling in solitude and silence sits a rather portly Siddhartha (aka Buddha) having a good think. He’s been thinking quite a lot these days. In fact ever since he left the security of the family estate and wealth it generated to take to the road all he does is ‘think’ and come out with the odd saying or two. He’s told his mates that he is seeking enlightenment and that he’ll never find it within the privileged confirms of monetary excess. We join the scene as his old school chum Harry Krishna along with his younger brother Frank Krishna approach, both holding cricket bats.
Harry: “Christ, take a look Frank that’s Syd over there under his santal tree as per usual. He’s porked up a bit for a bloke who says he doesn’t eat that much. That loin cloth he’s wearing fits where it touches. It’s almost indecent.”
Frank: “Did he spin you that one about not taking in too much scoff? He’s pulling your plonker bro – I spotted him down Pizza Express last Friday night. I was stood right behind him when he ordered his pizza saying, ‘Make me one with everything’ no less.”
Harry: “Never. Cor you’d hardly credit that would you?”
Frank: “Oh better than that was when he paid the bird at the counter. He handed over a 10 rupee note and when she offered him his change he piped up, ‘Change comes from within.’ At least she got a decent tip out of it!”
Harry: “So he’s still got a few rupees to his name then. He was giving me that old bollocks that he’d given up all his worldly possessions. I must admit I thought to meself you don’t get to his size without a few spandoolies to your name.”
Frank: “And what’s with this Buddha malarkey. What kind of name is that? He’ll always be Syd to me. Any way I heard on the grapevine that the reason he wears that loin cloth of late is because he can’t get any clothes his size – not even at Primark. If he puts on much more he’ll have to use a ships sail for diapers!”
Harry: “Too true he will. Personally I think he married too young. Just 16 when he hitched up with that Yahodra bird.”
Frank: “Mind you she was a bit of a looker. You wouldn’t want a copy of the Karma Sutra and her in the same bedroom – thinking about it I’ll take that back! Heard she was putting it about a bit and that’s why they split in the end.”
Harry: “Bloody right she was. The boys down the cricket club used to say they reckoned the only protection she used was a bus shelter! Still a shame it all went wrong, what them having the kid.”
Frank: “The thing that irks me is the way he starts his text messages with OM when everyone else goes for the standard OMG. What’s all that about?”
Harry: “Couldn’t tell you bro. He used to be such an outgoing bloke; you know, one of lads and all that. I reckon he needs to get his leg across again. That would sort him out.”
Frank: “No way Jose – he’d crush any bird to death the size of him these days.”
Harry: “You’re having a laugh aren’t you – money talks. Always has, always will.”
As the pair gets closer to their old mate Syd the brothers decide to ask him if he wants to come with them down the recreation ground where they are meeting up with loads of their mates for a game of cricket.
Frank: “Syd my friend, fancy a game of cricket and a few chapatti’s with the boys down the rec?”
Syd: “To try and understand one’s inner mind still chained to hopes and fears – that prolongs the bondage.”
The brothers pause to consider Syd’s reply.
Harry: “Did he just say bondage?”
Frank: “He did just that – he must be thinking about S&M today.”
They turn their attention back to Syd.
Harry: “Was that a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’? Go on Syd have a go, the lads have been asking about you for ages now. You always had a smile on your face in the old days – you had a pretty good cover drive as well I recall? What do you say?”
Syd: “There is no fire like lust, and no chains like those of hate. There is no net like illusion and no rushing torrent like desire.”
Frank: “Stone the crows Syd, we’re only asking if you want a game of cricket – what with all this bondage, lust, chains and torrents of desire my mind is wandering off the thought of the perfect googly.”
Harry: “Look Syd just give us a straight answer.”
Syd: “For whatever a man thinks about continually, to that his mind becomes inclined by force of habit.”
Frank: “Sounds like you’re on about sex Syd, you dirty old rascal you. Any way I’ll take it as a ‘no’ on the cricket front then.”
Not bothering with pointless goodbyes the boys walk ever onward somewhat bemused.
Harry: “I’m worried about Syd you know. What’s all that bollocks he’s giving out about?”
Frank: “Fucked if I know. Probably for the best him not joining us – he’d have to have fielded in the slips the size of him and that would have put Monty’s nose out of joint as that’s his favoured spot now he’s learnt to catch!”
Harry: “Did you take a crafty snap of Syd with the IPhone?”
Frank: “Of course bro. It’s going on Facebook the second I get home!”
Ever onwards and upwards the brothers chuckle to themselves more than a little.