The Day After the Night that Was.

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By now the effects of the stewed fruit at breakfast has seen my waist shrink; I am grateful.  The morning after the night that was, I am still elated and humming away that catchy melody from Ludwig Minkus’ greatly composed ballet.  

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After breakfast I decamped at Leicester Square where it was time to enjoy the bright, cool sunlight and catch a movie.  The Vue cinemas are rather interesting; I was keen to know if I would have a repeat of what had transpired last winter. 

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Back then, I was upstairs at the same cinemas watching, Darkest Hour, which proved a real tour de force performance from Gary Oldman.  Sat in the back row, soon I became bloated and expansive.  Though not the least bit drowsy, I felt wide-open and lucidly self-aware.  Next, as the film progressed, I watched as several pure white humanoid forms simply stood up and walked to the sides and quite seamlessly walked through the very real walls of the cinema.  

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One of the things that Merlin and I always loved doing, was seeing a film during its opening weekend.  Naturally, so close to the anniversary of his passing, I was keen on seeing a film.  J. K. Rowling is among my favourite contemporary writers and having seen the first film in this series, it only made sense to go.  

Whilst waiting for the cinema to open, I caught a series of items; all are favourite actors of mine, especially Sir Kenneth Branagh.  

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The first screening of the day was a special affair with about one third of the theatre occupied.  A lovely Chinese couple sat to my right with their precocious son of about ten years stuck between them.  We chatted briefly and I thought it so strange that conversation with strangers is almost unheard of when attending a Canadian movie.  

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I emerged into the crisp Saturday morning in Leicester Square a bit teary eyed as thoughts of Merlin at one point during the film overwhelmed me.  It was after all the eve of his passing some 29 years earlier.  

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Slipping inside this tiny joint – I always favour hole-in-the-world, ma-n-pa joints, I got a couple of really good slices of pizza whilst pouring through the Times of London.  There was conversation close by, which struck me as interesting; it went from Theresa May and Brexit to Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex.  I soon realised that both persons were openly criticised chiefly for being women; in the case of the Ms. May, she is dismissed and not taken seriously chiefly for being female.  As for Meghan, like every woman who marries into the BRF, she is readily reviled, though, some of this has bordered on racial hysteria and seriously threatening.  

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In a bid to cleanse my very soul, after all that, I slipped from Leicester Square for the uplifting sophistication of the National Gallery where I deftly moved through my favourite salons with usual mercurial speed, taking the time to pause and admire the key works of art that bring me the greatest pleasure.  

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Well, after all that art, it was time for more prowling the decidedly unCanadian wintry streets of London.  Along Shaftesbury, I strode my Crockett & Jones booted and blistered feet into Neal Street where my favourite hippy-dippy (as Merlin would remark) New Age store, The Astrology Shop in Covent Garden.  Though, it most definitely does not have the best choices, I still love the feel of the place and their sagebrush collection is second to none.   

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Along with marvellous pieces of crystals and a wonderful Citrine, I really connected with this gorgeous agate ring.  The moment that I saw it, I really resonated with me and it felt so right. 

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After a rather warm conversation with a green-eyed, redhead, she was fascinated by my custom Reuben Mack messenger bag.  

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I then headed back to The British Museum for more shopping.  As it was the weekend, there was now a sizeable lineup to gain entry.  As though my impatience with crowds were not enough but soon, I had two Torontonian women doing what Canadians do best; they spent much of their time gawking at me, talking about me and cultural appropriation for wearing the custom Reuben Mack messenger.  Standing there in line, I was reminded of what petty, small-minded bigoted jackasses the average Canadian can be and god do they love being openly racially predatory towards blacks. 

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Never once had I experienced a scintilla of racial animus from a Briton or for being in London to that point; there you have it, the land where racism is enshrined in law: employment equity law of Canada: All employers must employ, Caucasians, First Nations persons, Disabled persons and visible minorities and therein is the framework of Canada’s own form of Apartheid – state sanctioned racism.  All employers, in particular crown corporations (government agencies – federal and provincial) employ visible minorities to the exclusion of blacks and if and when they do employ blacks, they then hire blacks only as casual workers which means they are not entitled to benefits, pension and guaranteed hours.  

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So smugly established is this state of affairs that the current prime minister refused to attend the 50th anniversary of Caribana – the nations West Indian community’s gift to Canada on its 100th birthday in 1967; however, he attends ever Gay pride parade in the same city as Caribana, Toronto, and has repeatedly been to India, to dress up and act a right clown because who gives a damn about blacks in Canada.  As one friend said, blacks over the past three decades have become as marginalised as First Nations persons.  But enough about aggressive young souls and their racialised worldview.  Meanwhile, as they were openly rude towards me whilst queueing to enter the British Museum, I grabbed my phone and pretended to film them to which one of them suddenly became enraged, demanding that I not film her…  You have to laugh or truly you would go mad.  In any event, I got the feisty Buster a nice but scary Egyptian stuffed cat – he is actually afraid of it.  

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On my return to the hotel, a couple of blocks from The British Museum, I slumped into bed and decided that my aching feet needed a break from the rest of the day’s planned events.  To that end, I stayed in that night rather than return to Barbican Hall to catch a celebration of the Windrush Migration.  At that concert were to have been Calypso Rose and The Mighty Sparrow; though it had been years since last seeing either performer, I just was not into it.  Moreover, I wanted to take the time to be with myself and reflect on the eve of Merlin’s passing some 29 years earlier.  

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As ever, thanks for your ongoing support and ever remember to push off and start flying.  

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©2013-2023 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

Shopping @ British Museum.

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On the occasion of HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales’ 70th birthday, the sunrise was the most glorious display of apricot orange, manseport orange and blood orange tonalities.  So ravishing was it that I had to get up from the breakfast table in the hotel and take a few shots, threw them up onto Instagram feed, where other Londoners whom I follow also featured the glorious sunrise.  

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HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales by Ralph Heimans,  Charles @ 70.

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Charles en famille… beautiful.  

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HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales @ 70.  

Though the plan this day was to go out to Richmond and visit Hampton Court Palace, as I had develop not one but two blisters – one per foot – I decided to postpone it until the weekend.  

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I always love the look of this stately edifice that looks as though it would be right at home in India, I turned and took a few shots as I entered Russell Square park.  

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Lovely, what was even more glorious was the sound of leaves sounding like crisp, ruffled bedding as I confidently strode through the park.  

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Though in the upper teens, I enjoyed the sight of four guys in their late 20s rushing through this fountain in Russell Square; the water must have been freezing.  They certainly appeared to be having great fun.  

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Yes, I was come to pass yet another glorious visit at The British Museum.  With each visit, there is always some new discovery.  Walking along, en route to the gift shop, I was stopped by a man named Felix; he complimented me on my Dorothy Grant messenger bag and as we began speaking, I soon recalled a dream had more than two decades earlier when then living in Vancouver. 

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Felix was the subject of the dream and twenty-three years earlier, I had been the one to walk up from behind and stop him, engaging him in conversation.  As you never want to come off sounding like you are on really bad drugs or a cheap player, I resisted to urge to share having previously dreamt of him.  

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What coffee table books to buy this trip.  I had been en route to the bookstore, after abruptly taking leave of the stately Grenville Room.  I had discovered a piece of jewellery, which I had previously dreamt of.  I knew straight away that I wanted to have it; however, the Dravidian sales clerk incredulously replied that they were for display purposes.  I had asked him to open the case so that I could inspect the exquisite amber necklace.  Naturally, he by his response implied that I could not afford it and was likely a damn thief.  

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From there, I went to take in the Elgin Marbles and enjoyed seeing them yet again.  The crowds, though, were a bit distracting.  Feeling unresolved about the matter and because I really wanted to look at that amber necklace, I returned to the Grenville Room Gift shop.  

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As I approached, a pleasantly smiling clerk whom previously I had not noticed, came from the entrance to the gift shop and said hello.  He diplomatically asked if I had found everything that I was looking for; as it was not worth wasting time on a petit clerk who did not matter, I told him that there were a couple of items that I wanted to take a look at.  A more gracious host there could not have been. 

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In the end, I got the necklace which came pretty close to the one in the dream, which to make that dream come true, I was intent on gifting it to the ever elegant wearer in the dream.  This man spent nearly forty-five minutes, finding five sets of earrings to go with the lovely necklace and finally we narrowed the choice down to two pairs; he even got a small light so that the amber earrings chosen would be the closest match to the necklace. 

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A font of information and anecdotal gems, he then insisted that I go and tour the King’s Library, which I had previously never toured.  Yes, indeed, knowing what a rascal his son was, HM King George III had his entire library donated to the British Museum so that HM King George IV on his passing, would not go selling off his father’s priceless heirlooms to buy furniture or whatever else.  

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As the sales clerk, with a more than passing resemblance to milliner Stephen Jones escorted me to the Grenville Room’s rear entrance into the King’s Library, the Dravidian who had thrown so much shade my way and not served me, I paused to look at, then dismissively down at the floor with the British Museum bag with more than 500£ of sales and its commission, which he had allowed his stupid ignorance to steal from himself.  Yes, indeed, I promised the bald pleasant clerk that I would return to Fortnum & Mason and hunt down some rose petal jelly.  

After an initial tour of the King’s Library and a lunch of too much pasta with two glasses of prosecco whilst charging my phone, I then returned and took this video.  Clearly, from all that huffing, I had too much to eat.  Finally after more than six hours at the British Museum, I ambled out into the late afternoon and enjoyed walking about Bloomsbury.  

As ever, thanks for your ongoing support and happy holidays… here’s to your every dream coming true.  

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©2013-2023 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved,  

Magus Maharaja Holds Court.

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As the stately Moon drifted on its transit through Aries and thus my eleventh house, I would – whilst I serenely slept – experience the most exquisite glimpse into Merlin’s spirit.  It was one of the most lucidly engaged dreams had in long ages.

Of course, it was Monday, April 11, 1994.  This was a dream encounter with Merlin not soon forgotten.  It was, in fact, the second dream that day.  

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Next, I was ushered inside this large beautiful hall that was columned by the princely Maharaja.  Here it was a cream-coloured, slightly tan marble structure.

From outdoors, wonderful streams of dappled sunlight flooded the interior.  Whilst moving through the gracious palace, I passed a dozen or more beautiful saried ladies.

All of them were tall and beautifully dark – in that gorgeous Dravidian manner.  However, these were more mythic archetypes than aristocrats, courtesans.

Their saris were saffron-coloured, some with hues of peach, all of them beautifully flowing fine fabrics.  In what were the finest silks imaginable, somehow, there seemed to be actual light woven into the fabrics.

There was a lot of gold jewellery here, as a matter of fact, everywhere on their person.  They did, though, seem none-too-thrilled at my presence.

At a low table, which was beautifully set, we were next seated on silken cushions.  Lots of fine wares: gold and brass, were among them.

The light flooding into the place caused everything to become imbued, in the true sense of the word, with a glowing hue which was ethereal.  Everything here seemed to zing at a higher frequency, for being infused with this magical starlight, which merrily flooded into the palatial salon.

The Maharaja, who had been our host, was immediately familiar as well as warm and good to be around.  He had the most handsome, soulful smiling eyes.  He sat directly across from me and we were not seated at the heads of the long table.

To my left was a very beguiling, genuinely yellow-eyed beauty.  She was nubile and immensely arousing.  I wanted to fuck this woman from the moment that I laid eyes on her.

She was, in fact, the hostess who sat across the table from the Maharaja – she was clearly his Maharani.  Seated on the opposite side of the table the Maharaja seemed totally transcendent.

Indeed, this man was so elevated that he needn’t have eaten of the food – so long was he removed from being in the body.  His was an august, truth be told, fixed gaze that was the most hypnotic.

Sitting there, he directly looked across and into me.  He paid attention to no one else.  I could feel the warm caress of his mind’s touch as he became telepathically harmonised with me.

He knew exactly everything that was going on in my mind.  He was a most utterly beguiling man.  His were the energies of a truly evolved individual.  He had a large robust, though softening, body which was rather Zen-energied.

Too, the ease with which he had slipped into my mind bespoke a great intimacy which we have shared over several lifetimes.  Whilst he sat opposite me, grounding me, on his side of the table were all the other mythic-looking saried women along with some truly princely-looking gentlemen.

The one feature of all these persons was the beautifully haunting silence in which they sat here whilst we took a meal in their presence.  Seeing the Maharaja reminded me of Merlin.

Observing the maharaja was akin to when looking across the magic carpet-like platforms, as we sat in lotus position in a circle, during the final dream on Friday, July 9, 1993.  There was no getting around the fact that the maharaja bore a connection to Merlin.

Meanwhile, the Maharani was graciously lowering her beauteous head just-so.  At the time, she was eating and had done so in order to whisper instructions to me.

She discretely shared the finer points of dining etiquette when in their rarefied milieu.  This meal involved a great deal of ritualised behaviour throughout.

I was astounded by the array of gold being used here: the goblets, jugs and plates.  This proved to be one of the most lavish multi-coursed meals that I had ever partaken of.

Lots of beautiful blooms dreamily floated, perfuming the air, in gold bowls of water.  Some were purple, others yellow, whilst some pink blooms; they sat in bowls which were placed along the centre of the table’s considerable length.

This was terribly refined beyond the extraordinary.  Naturally, there was no flatware which, had there been, would doubtless have been made of the same yellow-white gold.  Whenever the Maharani had spoken to me, she had lowered her head and smiled exposing those beautiful compacted teeth.

Beguilingly, from behind her smile’s alluring façade, she had given clipped directives.  She was never impatient with me, either.  The food was spiced ever so delicately, seeming more so like Chinese – Szechuan or even Japanese cuisine – rather than East Indian.

Either way, this fare had a bite to it that was truly sublime.  I had taken a bite of some deep-fried fish which had proven mind-expansive.

The subtlety of the seasonings, and the degree to which each spice had been cooked into the fish, was truly phenomenal.  She discreetly told me not to get ahead with myself thereby, ending up eating the wrong dishes or at least, eating something before it was meant to be eaten.

There were lots of chutneys being used here.  Goodness it is simply not possible to convey, in this medium, how utterly refined the seasonings and the overall ambiance of this meal was.

Rarely does one get to be in such refined company.  Truly, these were highly evolved persons.  Nonetheless, their wealth was not a mercantile state of affairs.

Rather they were wealthy, surrounded by all this exquisite refinement, as it accurately reflected their state of soul evolvement.  Truly refined were they.

There was nothing classist or elitist about this august company in which I found myself.  To avert embarrassment for me, she had reached forward for something from a dish and thereby cut me off in the process.

As she foiled my none-too-couth display, she had rapidly told me not to take another piece of the fish.  It had not been meant to be eaten just then during the meal’s many courses.

What could I have cared?  This was the most glorious of experiences.  Indeed, this meal and refined company were truly music for the soul.

I had been so ravenous.  I so wanted to have another piece of fish for so good was it.  Seemingly, one was expected to take but one bite of each dish.

This was about showing control, about being able to then move on to the next dish, even though one was dying for more of the last dish.  Control, discipline and grace – these were the hallmarks of this ritual dining experience.

Distantly, the strains of strings came wafting through the air and were laced with the sweet fragrance of jasmine, oleander and sandalwood incense.  All along the length of the table, plumes of incense hypnotically danced into the air.

There were times, when it was hard to make out the eyes of my host which were so immediate and so familiar.  His were eyes which had an uncanny resemblance to those of Merlin’s.

Flames also burnt at the centre of the table heating up and cooking some of the dishes.  In one instance, a large flame suddenly rose up between the Maharaja and me.

As if I had not known or noticed the resemblance before now, for the first time, the magical flames caused a phantom of Merlin’s face to dance through the fiery veil.  I was astonished yet not surprised.

All that I had been feeling was, in one flicker of the suddenly rising flame, being validated.  The flame had served to sear away layers and dimensions, as if so many lifetimes were being wiped clean, to reveal the residue of the individual Merlin whom I had most intimately known.

Though revelatory, the flames also served as the barriers – dimensional barriers – which now separated us.  Though Merlin, he was now more than Merlin had ever been.

Lifetimes and dimensions impassably stood between us.  Nonetheless, there was a knowing and connectivity there which could never have been extinguished.

There was something primal, magical even, about the flames.  The ever gracious Maharaja had not quivered one iota, though they had suddenly shot up into the air, when the rising plume of fire had roared to life between us.

There he sat radiant and more focussed and intense as though, somehow, he had magically affected the flame’s uproar.  His cool betrayed that of only one other human being that I have ever known – Merlin’s.

Suddenly, he was illumined.  Perhaps, there had been a light breeze wafting a silken curtain, just off the colonnade or even the movement of piece of polished gold on the table.

Whatever it was, the light struck him just-so.  For the first time, without the flame’s effect, there was no mistaking the fact that here across from me sat the soul of the man who had recently been Merlin.

The shaft of light had fallen in back of him, off to the right and rear, bouncing off so many surfaces.  The effect that it had, from where I sat, was that of creating what seemed like a halo, an icon, about the head of a princely maharishi.

Unmistakably, there was an aura of mysticism about him which clearly had been hinted at before.  Seated there, my lips quivered, as I experienced sheer ecstasy for seeing the beauty of this being’s spirit.

There was no way of getting around it… this was an utterly beautiful dream.  Whilst sitting there, I felt much as I had in that dream wherein Merlin and I flew together into the intense blue-white light, in an upright position and laughing our heads off.

Of course, that amazing flying dream between Merlin and me did occur on Friday, August 10, 1994.  It was, by far, one of the most beautiful dreams.

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Photo: c. 1860 Maharaja Duleep Singh.

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© 2013-2023  Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.