English chapter X


They take me to the court, handcuffed again together with Raju, the young Indian already sentenced for various murders, 14 years for each one of them, sentences run concurrently, so all together he may stay less than nine years in jail, if counting with the remission for good behaviour (i.e. spying on me and reporting that I was smuggling my personal doses inside through a kiss from Anita) while for two very small packets of drug I'm risking 10 years each, not concurrent no remission, so actually 20 years... more whatever fine the judge decides. The fine may amount to so much that you don’t have the money and so has to be paid with many more years of imprisonment; and in any case if you’ll get out alive and should be busted another time, the second one with drugs, you'll be sentenced to death.

The security van arrives to take us to the city: some go to court others to the various hospitals. It arrives already with prisoners from Fort Aguada, another medieval Portuguese castle now used as a jail, bigger than Reis Magos (The Magi) in which I am detained.
Inside the van is always a party going on: meetings, laughing, greetings and all an exchanging of small many-folded letters to be stashed and consigned to the addressees by the secret prisoners’ postal service.
A big talking goes on during all the trip of an hour and so: the news, the very important jail news.
Only two western girls are detained: Icka, a beautiful German, and a very nice girl from Holland who tried suicide already four times, each one followed by half an year at least in the psychiatric criminal ward under heavy sedation, and then back to the jail with the case to be started again.
Icka and I are always managing to get appointments from doctors whenever the other one has to be brought to the court or to another doctor, so to meet in the van where we sit near to each other and hug so long and sweetly, kiss, touch, talk so much, laugh, kiss again, and whisper about B plan.

Arrived at Panjim, the capital city, I am brought to the horrible cage of the Judicial lock up, that look less bad when you know you have to spend there only few hours. In these occasions I take my pill of valium. We are given tons of pills to keep us quiet, even very strong medicines, I actually don’t eat them, but instead of declining the treatment I'm collecting daily my doses and stash them, I have hundreds of them already, just in case: all the guards are my friends, and against any rule they are accepting the coffee and cigarettes I offer to them, and one day, if everything else go bad, I might fill up their cups and put them to sleep…
Anyway I eat 5 mg of valium whenever I have to meet the judge, once every so many weeks, the terrible Batta who against any expectation of a fair judgment continuously remind me that he will sentence me to 20 years… and it's better that I shut up.

After sleeping the morning in my solitary, in the afternoon I’m brought to the court where I wait for my case to be discussed. When the judge Batta, black as his name, calls my case he waves a piece of paper saying he has received a letter from Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a letter about me. Mother Teresa is friend and collaborator of a priest very good friend of mine, the one who celebrated my marriage, and with whom I worked various years teaching yoga in his communities, and once I was the guide of a group of Italian Christian spiritual tourists in a trip he organized in India through holy shrines, ending in Mother Teresa’s monastery.

The judge shows the handwriting of Mother Teresa and reads it loudly: “Mr Judge, Anita is dying, please let Rodolfo free, otherwise Parvati will be brought up as an orphan.”
The judge states very clearly: “Better orphan than with a father like this one.” handling the paper to his assistant who buries it in a big folder.

Valium and dignity forbid me to yell and cry... but my heart stops painfully... I can’t breath anymore, I am lost, without any ground under my feet only a white endless abysm that is not the afterworld but a cosmic psychiatric ward where you are always alone even in the midst of people.

Actually I was not thinking to get free today, this isn’t the problem now, what is throbbing my head are the words of Mother Teresa: Anita is dying! If she says so, it is true! No hope anymore! Doctors and relatives are nurturing us with illusions of cures and survival, but the words of the Saint cannot be challenged: in that very moment I know Anita will die soon, therefore I am more in the urge to reunite with her, who is in Italy, so far.

I spend the rest of the endless day crying in my confinement cell.

The only thought helping me is the acknowledgement that I was right when I resolved not to suicide during those long three nights when I got for the first time a shaving blade in the jail: three nights awake with the blade in the hand, a candle, and a big swollen jugular vein in my neck claiming for freedom.
Only me the candle the blade and the jugular in deep communication and meditation: three endless nights of extreme attraction for the sweet arms of Our Lady the Death.
In the end I resisted the call wondering that may be, even 20 years after, Parvati could be needing me.

For a while the story of the letter of Mother Teresa looks like working against me: it is used politically in the never ending conflict between the two halves of the Goan population, the Hindu and the Christian (Goa was a Portuguese colony for 600 years).The Hindu fundamentalism rises, screaming at the scandal: How does she dare to challenge our justice?

The next day the vice-director of the jail brings me the funny newspaper: covering nearly half of the front page, in the midst of incomprehensible Sanskrit characters, there is a caricature of mine! Yes doubtless is me that guy with long hair, bear and glasses, sitting at a coffee shop in front of a table literary covered with grass, cigarette papers, pipes, syringes, tablets of any type and size, drug-packets and so on… while I’m answering proudly to the policeman busting me: “Arrest me if you like so, however Mother Teresa will set me scot free!”