Saturday, December 1, 2012

Prince Lupus and the Jain Temple

As I explained here, I'm diverging from haiku proper for perhaps a few days to tell an important story, that of Captain James Barlowe Massimo, and his role in history. A role which is not insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe. Bear in mind these snippets in the life of the Good Captain are not in any relevant order now... but laid out... as mosaic would be. So that perhaps one day when they're gathered together, we can step back to see the whole... which today, is unrecognizable to us. Here now then, is the story of Prince Lupus, and of Captain Massimo's time at the Jain Temple:

- Prince Lupus and the Jain Temple -

After consulting with an associate from the British Consulate... I was advised not to tell the particulars of the portion of the story including Captain Massimo and the items from the British Consulate. They were quite adamant about this and suggested some obscure post 9/11 legal rules and the threat of detaining me in perhaps some... as they say... "facility of undisclosed location" for a time if I were to divulge the quite amazing events that took place there. Nevertheless, I will tell the tale around the bits, and tell the story of Prince Lupus, and the Captain's time in a Jain temple. It's a short tale:

Now... it's commonly found among men that either one is strongly built and weak of mind, or given a keen mind and weakly muscled. It is a rare man who has both an exceptionally sturdy build, a general thickness of limb, and a superior intellect and keenness of mind together such that Captain Massimo had. In those ways, and in many others, he was quite an exceptional man.

It's true also that he had a well-known reputation for violence, yet it was one that he cultivated only for its value as a deterrent for the very reason of avoiding such violence. In fact, the man himself was as kind a man as any one would seek to meet.

Once, in point of fact, while gathering various "goods" stolen from the British Consulate (which I promise absolutely DID NOT include a briefcase filled with photographs of Queen Elizabeth the Second engaged in sexual relations with Olivia de Havilland) from a Hindi trader on the southern coast of India near Pondicherry, the Captain and I came upon a Jain temple. The Jains are a religious order very keen on anti-violence and common in some parts of India. The Good Captain was so taken with the beauty of this temple that he entered and spoke at some length with the head monk there. He became so enthralled with the philosophy of these men that we stayed a week longer than planned... learning their ways... and for several months afterward, the good Captain became a bit of a Jain himself, and ate not of any meat, nor engaged in violence of any kind... as was the custom of the Jains.

It was only later when we were attacked most violently by a ship full of 6 Bangladeshi raiders, and lost our ship's mascot, the most loyal and beloved mongrel called "Prince Lupus" to a stray bullet meant for the Captain that, in a blind rage, he gave up his Jainist ways and once again took up the mantle of a killer. He threw down his gun, lept aboard the raiders ship, and killed each and every man aboard with his sword, or lacking that, his bare hands. He then burnt their ship to cinders. Such was his love for Prince Lupus.

We buried the Prince at Port Blair on the Andaman Islands... where his headstone, I imagine, still stands today. It reads "Here lies Prince Lupus, loyal mate aboard The Pyroclastic Flow, loving brother of James and Laszlo. A Prince among common men, may he rest now, in peace"

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