Indoopush - what's it all about?
Voodoo LadyWhat's going on here?? - it’s the end of another business day in India. The afterglow. Men are shouting, the dust hovers, the sun is low and golden orange. In the distance are temple bells. Whatever was good or bad about the day is over, and the street-race for home is on. The cyclerickshaws and coolie carts are bundled high. The shouts are impatient, urgent and there is a smell of over-ripened fruit and old dried piss. A merchant wearing a Nehru hat and thick glasses calls out to me, commands me to come over. Hey, it’s planet of the apes all over again. I look away. Sorry mate, but fuck you very much. I don’t answer to your beck and call, for I am not what you think. I lean back on the saddle, knee raised, flip-flop on the crossbar, and look away. It’s an easy mistake to make, but I am a white boy cyclerickshawallah and in this life, unlike the last, cyclerickshawing is a game. I play it between eating, drinking, and womanizing my way through a movie star life, for that is how the last guy wished it, and I am his dream.

By the time an Indian cyclerickshawallah reaches thirty his prostate is polished to a shriveled little walnut. Ten years later, having burnt more calories than he can afford to consume, his spine crumbles and he fades into the night like a cheap Indian firework. I should know: my pyre was small and the mourning brief for this is India, where the tears of the poor are shed with care, with an economy. If all the tears of India were suddenly to well up and begin falling, the sub-continent would be washed into the sea.
So it’s hard to help the one million cyclerickshawallahs and their families, but you can always give them money. I am their walking/talking publicity stunt -

"Cycle Rickshaw Crosses Nubian Desert."Swinging monkey
"First Rickshaw in Arctic Circle."
"Rickshaw Crosses Greenland Icecap."
"First Bicycle Rickshaw Around the World."

In this round-about way, I’m establishing an annual day of recognition for them. It will be a working day, probably the first working day after India's Republic Day in late January. Every year, on that day Indian cyclerickshawallahs will be empowered to turn around at the end of each journey and say to their clients, “But sahib,memsahib - this is MY day, so you… (eyes narrow) give me a little more today.” It’s called Cyclerickshawallah Day: a day when Indians have the opportunity to salve a little bit of conscience, and Indians are not insensitive – they are just case-hardened. If each rickshawallah manages to squeeze an extra dollar out of his clients of that day, then that is an extra million dollars annually that will cross the poverty line, but it's more than that - it's about respect. I am not a charity. This is an initiative - the Indoopush Initiative. This journey around the world on a rickshaw, for me is fun! And that is, after all, what we are here for!!
If you want to help, sign up - join the illustrious group of the Indoopush-ups, already numbering more than two hundred. It's a guaranteed good spectator sport!"

Dancing skeletons

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