A rain cheque

July 31, 2011

Eva: You push your men hard. I just want you to know that in Germany, we have a word for bosses like you.

Darkness: Yes, Eva and over here, we too have a word for people like you.

Eva: I am starting to hate you Darkness.

The Brotherhood Press 2011

Eva: I saw you today looking at those dogs trying to climb out of that tire – it was hilarious Darkness – but I found it odd that you would spend so much time just observing those dogs – care to share what was on your mind?

Darkness: If you must really know Eva, I was thinking about where the power to empathize comes from – my gut feel tells me it has to come from somewhere and never within that place called the heart.

Eva: Why not the heart? We love with your heart. Don’t we?

Darkness: Mmmm, that may well be true at one level Eva – only I feel, the whole idea of anything least of all an emotional oozing out from the heart has been evacuated of all meaning these days – forgive me Eva, but I just can’t relate to that idea in a meaningful way. Besides, even if that power really comes from the heart. There remains one problem.

Eva: Problem?

Darkness: Yes, Eva and it’s a pretty big problem – the nature of man isn’t good as it remains devilishly wicked.

Eva: How can you say that people donate to causes all the time….

Darkness: Eva anyone can make a generous donation or perform an act of kindness but that hardly qualifies as a honest act of benevolence that comes from our core. I suspect, a large part of benevolence has alot to do with doing things to make us feel better about ourselves – and that Eva, desperately falls short of any disposition to do good. Most people seem to confuse the two.

Eva: So, what is the dynamic that can furnish the ethic of benevolence or as you mentioned the capacity to empathize. Religion?

Darkness: Religion is not the answer Eva – if anything it’s one of many causes why we seem to be living in an age of strife – a dead end so speak. I mean you can practice Hari Krishnanism on Monday, make some type of offering to the Sun god on Wednesday – give alms to a holy tree on Thursday – and you would still not be able to produce the genuine ability to empathize or to be benevolent in a truthful sense Eva. It lacks the essential quality of reliability Eva.

Eva: So what’s solution?

Darkness: Perhaps these things all come from suffering – I am not here to promote self flagellation Eva – coming to think of it, I happen to think pain is really just pain and it’s no more a teacher than your door knob is some Messiah – but if the goal is to genuinely stir ourselves into a state of genuine compassion, kindness and the patience needed to deal with other people who may not share the same values as us, it can really only comes from one place.

Eva; And where is this place Darkness? Prayer meets?

Darkness: God forbid Eva – Prayer meetings are the deadest things man has confected to believe that he can somehow transcend his miserable lot. I would rather sit and waste my time listening to elephants fart than to be caught in that sort of cosy insiderism. No Eva, if anything real compassion has to come from experiencing loss, failure and perhaps the idea of picking up the remnants of one’s shattered dreams – it could well be failed marriage, business or even the idea we are selling ourselves short for not going for that dream job – but failure I think, teaches, a man many things. It doesn’t even have to be failure in a real sense – just having to work overseas or in an alien environment and having to manage yourself and others in a constructive way may well be locking horns with the broader idea of failure and learning about suffering.

Eva: What is it then Darkness?

Darkness: Maybe its just the crumbly idea that you have no choice but to climb out of the shit hole – I know this isn’t exactly a wow moment but that could well be a starting line – standing alone all by yourself cradling the idea that your courage may well be no bigger than a mustard seed – and perhaps even accepting the idea that you may have reached the end of the road – that’s a good place to start Eva, a very good start indeed. If we had more scholar working for Boeing in the US and Archer Daniel Midlands in Africa for at least ten or better still fifteen years before returning – I don’t think we even need to have this conversation Eva.


July 30, 2011

Eva: Do you need to wear those shades all the time?

Darkness: Eva, it’s not a fashion accesory – I am not even trying to make a statement. I just don’t want to complicate my already complicated life.

Eva: I don’t understand.

Darkness: That’s fine, there are many things that I don’t understand either.

The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2011

walls and dogs

July 29, 2011


mountain rescue

July 29, 2011


men, dogs & the OWC

July 28, 2011


Eva: You don’t spend any time with me.

Darkness: What do you call this Eva? We are here in this 6 by 15 tent and you’re still whinning that I hardly spend anytime with you.

Eva: Your mind is elsewhere.

Darkness: You know what Eva. You should join the OWC.

Eva: Yes, I heard about that disgusting idea.

Darkness: Why does it disgust you Eva?

Eva: Coming to think of it Darkness. Many things you do disgust me. I’ve been bottling it all in. Your writings for instance abt us Germans. I take exception to the way you describe our womenfolk – https://dotseng.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/munich-through-the-eyes-of-the-brotherhood-a-travelogue/

Darkness: Come on Eva. You claim to be emancipated and a free minded well educated European woman and yet you succumb to the most primal instincts.

Eva: So now you are saying that I am primal, just because I am disgusted by your attitude towards women – and how you regularly compare us all to dogs? Oh, Darkness, when we get back, you are really going to get it.

Darkness: I thought we were having an intelligent conversation? Look here all I am trying to say here is somethings that trigger our disgust happen to be innate, like the sight of gunk coming our from your nostrils. No one has to teach you to feel disgusted by that, you just are – and it’s perfectly natural.

I just feel when it comes to the idea of the OWC, most women tend to react automatically. Perhaps, they’ve learned the whole idea of regarding it as disgusting. I don’t think that sort of response comes from the core – you know the stuff that is perfectly natural to feel disgusted over.

Eva: OK Darkness, let’s pretend that we are really having an intelligent conversation – so you think that if a woman joins the OWC, she would bring joy and happiness to herself and her lesser half? How’s that possible when it demeans the status of a woman?

Darkness: look don’t get defensive Eva. All I am trying to say here is the a whole of disgust may have more to do with the things we choose to put into our brains – there’s a lot of cultural baggage and individual variation that colors the whole idea of what we consider disgusting – calm down Eva, all I am saying is the core base of what triggers disgust these days has expanded to the point where certain kinds of perceived violations – be they moral, social, and even value systems of groups that may appear alien can all to often be wrongly perceived to be disgusting as well.

I mean if you look at what the OWC is trying to do – all they are really saying is – we all need to get along; if we want to stay happy under the same roof.

Eva: Yes and your idea of a perfect roof is one that probably has a kennel or a dancing pole in it.

Darkness: What’s so wrong with that idea Eva?

Eva: It’s wrong because what you really desire Darkness is not a soul mate, but a four legged Praetorian like Heindrich.

Darkness: What has my dog got to do with this whole conversation?

Eva: Everything Darkness. I’ve seen the way both of you interact. I just don’t think that sort of dynamic is healthy when we are talking about the whole idea of the nuclear family.

Darkness: That’s enough Eva, this conversation is over – now if you don’t mind, Orpuk will escort you back to your tent. Good night Eva.

Eva: With pleasure!

Suriman tales – The Brotherhood Press 2011

Eva: Why are the birds singing at night Darkness?

Darkness: Birds never sing in the dark Eva. Intruders have entered my land. Now we don’t have much time; you have to listen carefully to me Eva, if you want to live. These men are not nice. I don’t have time to explain. You must follow Orpuk now. He will protect and keep you safe.

Eva: What about you?

Darkness: Worry about yourself Eva, trust me the rest will take care of it’self – now please go.

Brotherhood Press 2011

the tao of harvesting

July 28, 2011

Eva: The harvesters are moving fast this morning. I am impressed.

Darkness: Yes, Eva – they have divided themselves into two teams and now they are racing to see who wins, but by mid-day, they would have burnt themselves all up like a paper lanterns – that’s no good Eva, no good at all.

Eva: Competition is good.

Darkness: We are not making cars Eva. And this isn’t in a shopfloor. Tell that to your body when it’s beaten up. That’s well and fine if they don’t need to work tomorrow. No Eva, it’s time to put an end to this madness. I am going to change the rules of the game here; the man who cuts the cleanest wins.

The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2011

The wisdom of a dog

July 28, 2011

Eva: You don’t seem to trust or listen to anyone do you?

Darkness: That’s not true Eva. I trust Heindrich and I even listen to him sometimes.

Eva: So you’re telling me now that your dog happens to be your spiritual advisor?

Darkness: Well not exactly. Take this morning for instance. You know the lower section of my estate?

Eva: Yeah, the part where you have take that long and windy road.

Darkness: Exactly, so there I was trying to figure out a shortcut by trying to climb a rather steep hill – correction Eva, I have to be totally honest with you – there was a fair bit of ego that went into that whole crazy act – I wanted to climb it and that was that and I wasn’t about to give up just because it was either risky or for that matter hard. So there I was trying to do the impossible. But everytime I tried to gain a footing, Heindrich would snap at my heels. At one point when I seem to be making progress, he even tugged me so hard that I nearly fell off – now you can say many things Eva. But you cannot deny that Heindrich was perhaps trying to tell me in his doglike way, that it doesn’t pay in this case to try to take a short cut especially when the risk may well be ending up either in the morgue or the hospital.

Eva: But how does he know – he’s just a dog.

Darkness: Dogs know alot Eva. More than us maybe. We just need to develop the ability to listen to what they have to tell us.

Eva: You got out of the market just at the right time didn’t you Darkness. Tell me how did you know that things were going to head South?

Darkness: Eva, I know that neither you or most people will believe what I am about to say – but I had absolutely no idea the market would take a turn for the worst. Believe it or not, it’s just one of those lucky hunches. I can’t really supply an explanation as to why I pulled right out of the market, except to say – at some point, when I was just looking at those lines in the computer and I said to myself, ‘this game just doesn’t make any sense to me anymore. I don’t think it’s possible to win’ That if you must know Eva was the moment when I knew deep inside, I had to activate plan B.

Eva: Plan B?

Darkness: Yes Eva, Plan B – the place where X marks the spot. We all need such a place. You need it, so do I and so do most people, if only they realize – it is pointless to put all your hopes on hopeless people – they will just let you down Eva. Eva let me tell you something that is very private – I’ve always seen myself as that man in that movie the Shawshank Redemption – you know the man who couldn’t quite fit in.

Eva: I know, the man who wadded through a pipeline full of shit.

Darkness: Yes Eva, now finish you breakfast. I have something I want to share with you this morning.

Eva: You know why we keep giving you one dog after another don’t you?

Darkness: Bc you all love me to bits in Germany?

Eva: Go fish loser.

The Brotherhood Press 2011

Eva: “You have no right to go through my stuff.”

Darkness: “Orpuk tells me, you have been using perfume. So I confiscated it.”

Eva: “Why?”

Darkness: “You’re confusing everyone especially the dogs – they already have a hard time trying to trace the scent of poachers. They don’t need their senses to be overwhelmed any further. Besides do you see any fields of lavender here…so that plays havoc on the hunters.”

Eva: “What about all my bra’s?”

Darkness” “I’ve confiscated them as well.”

Eva: “Why?”

Darkness: “I don’t want these people to have ideas in their head. I’ve been getting alot of questions about those things. So I’ve imposed martial law here. Besides it’s the dry season Eva – and if you continue to wear your bra in this heat – you will probably end up scratching yourself to death. From today onwards, when the sun reaches there, I want you to retire to your tent, till the sun drops over the brow of that hill – only then will you be allowed out.”

Eva: “May I remind that I am a senior representative from the ASDF!”

Darkness: “That will be all Eva, Orpuk will see you to your tent now -now if you excuse me, I need to take Heindrich for a walk.”

Eva: “You are an evil man Darkness.”

Darkness: “If I am not nice to you today, Eva, I promise to make it up to you tomorrow – you may now go.”

The Suriman Tales – The Brotherhood Press 2011

The Brotherhood Press 2011

Eva: “You don’t seem to have any qualms about barging into a kitchen do you Darkness?”

Darkness: “Why should I? Let me put it another way. If I knocked on your door one day and asked you whether I could share something really precious with you – would you say no to me Eva?”

Eva: “I never saw it that way.”

Darkness: “Yes, but that may have to do with the fact: you happen to be a well educated European woman who thinks, she has got it all figured out – sure Eva, there’s alot of ego that goes into the whole idea of cooking. And I can even understand why some people would want to get really territorial about a stranger stepping into their turf. But for the most part, if you waltz into a kitchen pay your respects and act as if you know what you’re really doing – even the most cynical of cooks will be happiest to allow you to do your thing. You see, I happen to know something most people don’t know about cooks even the best – for starters, cooking is not so different from jazz, there is alot of room for improvisation, so it;s really like one of those high noon shoot outs that you see in those cowboy movies – my point is anyone can step up to the plate to give his best shot – besides most cooks secretly harbor the morbid fear their cooking may be slightly off.”

Eva: “You mean they’re an insecure bunch?”

Darkness: “Precisely Eva. You’ve got to understand, they are really focussed on one idea – delighting the customer – so that’s bound to breed a sort of insecurity complex. They may not care to admit it or even show it, but that’s really how the politics of the taste buds is conducted in the kitchen – the idea that they haven’t really got it all together, yet – so when someone strolls right in and takes charge – that’s a really edifying idea – what you’re really saying is, ‘hey, I understand, now sit down and maybe you may learn something new,’ at the back of their minds that’s really what is going on. There is no ego. I have never in my life met a professional cook, who has ever turned me away – when I stepped right in the kitchen and told him – I am sorry, your prawns lack something, can I share a secret with you…never Eva.”

Eva: “You really believe it’s that simple.”

Darkness: “Yes, I don’t see it as a complicated thing; the problem with most diners is they have this mental block, the kitchen is actually some shark infested island that they can’t step into – I have never ever recognized that barrier – it’s really like politics – why should politics be only for politicians? Makes no sense when you think about it – because, at the end of the day – we are going have to dig into what they serve up. Infact, I happen to think, if politicians learn to cook regularly – all our problems will melt away like lemon drops, because they would be less inclined to force shitty stuff down our throats.”

Eva: “Why is that?”

Darkness: “For starters, we wouldn’t have to regularly put up with cardboard chicken masquerading as real food. The other thing is if they happen to muff it up, we could just tell them to take a seat before they fall down – and I don’t think, they would take it personally – the problem with most politicians is they simply don’t cook. I think that’s a big problem.”

Eva: “Why?”

Darkness: “Because as it is delighting the customer is the furthest thing from their minds – now that has to be a problem Eva. Because I don’t see how that’s going to go down well.”

The Brotherhood Press 2011

Orphan dogs

July 26, 2011

Darkness: “This is Karma Eva.”

Eva: “I thought you didn’t believe in God.”

Darkness: “What has karma got to do with God?”

Eva: “I don’t understand.”

Darkness: “It’s really very simple Eva. When you are nice to people, people are usually nice back to you – if you are evil, then in all probability evil will come searching for you – now tell me – what has that idea got to do with God? All I know is I found them on my land, so that has to mean something – karma seems like a good word to describe it for the moment – I think if there such a thing as a God, it’s in moments like this.”

tiger eat durian

July 26, 2011

Eva: I don’t like the way you have men spy on me wherever I go.

Darkness: Eva, it’s for your own protection. You should not take it personally. Sit down Eva. I said, sit down. Now drink your coffee like a good girl. Eva there are tigers in these parts.

Eva: Fiction! I haven’t seen one.

Darkness: Well that’s because it’s the dry season – they’re invisible this time of the year.

Eva: I want you to show me a tiger.

Darkness: If you like Eva, now please drink your coffee like a good girl. Here rub this behind your earlobe and around the flap of your trousers.

Eva: What is it?

Darkness: Deer shit mixed with palm oil.

Eva: What for?

Darkness: You shall see Eva, you shall see.

Eva: You don’t have much respect for NGO’s trying to stop forest fires do you?

Darkness: I don’t think, they have much respect for themselves. I never deal with people who lie to themselves and others. Never.

Darkness: Big dogs require space Eva. You can’t really negotiate your way around that reality.

Eva: I am not talking about space. I am talking about emotional space. You don’t seem for example to show your dogs any affection.

Darkness: Eva, that’s really the problem. If you really want to know why from time to time, you get dogs mauling to death innocent pedestrians who are just minding their business – it may have something to do with how we regularly transpose our human instincts on the dog world.

Eva: What has that got to do with the subject of showing affection to your pets Darkness.

Darkness: Eva that may be the difference – I don’t consider them as pets – both Richie and Heindrich are my ears and eyes – they are working dogs Eva. Eva, I am going to say something that may offend you – dogs are very much like women.

Eva: Oh so now you are saying that I am a dog?

Darkness: No, if I wanted to say that then I would have said, women are very much like dogs – there is a difference. What I am trying to say is simply this – whenever we see a dog yelping – it’s instinctive for us as humans to hug it and try to kiss away whatever seems to be bothering it. But what many fail to realize is, they may be doing more harm than good, that’s the last thing a distressed dog needs, affection – what you’re doing is confusing it – in the animal world, that never ever happens – the leader of pack comes in the whacks the hell out of that squemish dog. Now you may say that’s cruel and heartless Eva, but that’s how it is in the animal world – weakness is simply not tolerated.

Eva: I don’t see how showing affection can be such a bad thing.

Darkness: Well, maybe that’s because you’re not a canine Eva. Now consider this, when a dog is a distressed state and you hug it and try to comfort it – all you’re really doing is disabling it further – in other words, you’re confusing the dog. The last thing the dog needs when it’s anxious, confused and scared is affection – what it needs is a form of ambivalence – I know this sounds strange, but that’s how it’s like in the dog world.

Eva: Well I am for one very happy that I am not man’s best friend, especially yours.

Darkness: Yes, Eva and now if you please. I need to take a nap.

Eva: About time, I was just wondering when you would be ambivalent. I think you Asians are very strange people.


Brought to you by the Interspacing Mercantile Guild and the ASDF – The Brotherhood Press 2011.

This is part of a 17 series of interviews extracted by both the Interspacing Mercantile Guild & The ASDF – collectively, the series has been filed under the chapter of “The Suriman Series.”

In this excerpt, the subject was asked to account for the varying reasons: why, he believed the internet developed an oppositional bent / the interviewer, a 1st class Scientific Officer from the Timberlinger Guild based in Munich was able to extract valuable insights from the subject – especially, his knowledge concerning parallels between “the game” and real conditions that he managed to observe in the theatre of Singapore (The rest of this epilogue has been deleted)


The Suriman Series has been proudly brought to you by both the IMG and the ASDF – The Brotherhood Press 2011

The Suriman Series is a collection of conversations with Darkness 2011 that has been proudly brought to you by the Interspacing Mercantile Guild & ASDF.


Streamed using Holovision in Ekunaba, PBK and the Strangelands – the Brotherhood Press 2011