March 11th is the Shiva Festival. Hindus in India, Nepal and other countries have held various activities early in the morning to celebrate this important religious festival. A Chinese religious and cultural scholar in India told the Global Times reporter that as one of the most important gods in Hinduism, Shiva enjoys a high status in the global Hindu cultural circle and has many followers. In addition, as time has changed, Shiva’s “mana” has greatly increased. Shiva is not only the protagonist of religious activities, but also often “shows his face” in political and technological activities.
Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu are called the three main gods of Hinduism. Every month in the Hindu calendar there is a “Shiva Night”, but Shiva Festival is generally celebrated on a certain day in the 11th or 12th month (February or March of the Gregorian calendar). The “Wedding Anniversary” of the goddess of the goddess and the snow mountain goddess Parvati. According to calendar calculations, this year’s Shiva Festival starts at 2:39 pm on the 11th and ends at 3:2 pm on the 12th. In addition to the Shiva Festival in the first half of the year, the festival celebrating Shiva’s birthday in July or August of the Gregorian calendar is also called Shiva Festival.
On Shiva’s Day, believers must observe strict fasts and hold various religious activities to please Shiva, including religious bathing, and the best bathing place is the Ganges River. During the Shiva festival every year, millions of believers go to the Ganges either on foot or by car. The marching team often stretches for tens of meters or even hundreds of meters. After they arrive at their destination, after bathing, they will take the Ganges water home and enshrine it to the local Shiva temple in their hometown. It is said that some wealthy businessmen are unable to visit due to “busy duties”, and they will also ask “stand-ins” to complete such “pilgrimages” for them.
According to media reports on the 11th, despite the new crown pneumonia epidemic, there are still tens of thousands of Hindus jumping into the river to take a “holy bath” in some coastal areas of the Ganges.
Hindus make up the vast majority of India’s population. In addition to religious activities, on some important occasions such as rocket launches and the inauguration of politicians, people will also worship Lord Shiva for peace and prosperity. During a research trip to Andhra Pradesh in 2019, a “Global Times” reporter was invited to attend the opening ceremony of a local restaurant on the way. After taking off your shoes and entering the house, the first thing to do is to smash the coconut openly in the countryside and sprinkle the coconut milk in front of Shiva’s shrine. Although the reporter has repeatedly stated that he is an atheist, the shopkeeper still insists that “such a process is indispensable” and can protect his business from flourishing.
national theater had its big day. The performance of the first act of “Parsifal” was over. The ranks thinned. It poured down the steps that led into the garden of the theater. Most of the faces were still devoted to the consecration play. Only one female figure had retained her seat and sat with her hands folded. The sacred sounds trembled in her: “Blessed in faith.”
Two gentlemen had stopped, away from the flood of people, and looked over at her.
“You spoke to her in the refreshment room before the start, Kurtzig,” said the younger one, “come on, we’re going to see her now.”
“I don’t dare do that, Baron Alvensleben. They know that whoever disturbs a service must be prepared to receive a penalty order. ”
The aging master shook his head.
“But it is in public, my dear!”
“So – does she do that? I thought we’d just come to an agreement last night after her concert, why she passed the career of a stage singer, in the musical world of Berlin mainly as[S. 190] the first artist of auspicious voices and rarely gets along to a concert tour. ”
“God yes, last night! In the meantime I’ve pondered it and must admit that the task of changing your mind seems very tempting to me. ”
“You are not the first to realize this and to try it, Baron.”
“But maybe the first director of a highly esteemed opera who is willing to take her on into his association straight away.”
“Unfortunately I have to destroy this joy for you too. Half a year ago, when she had not come as far as it is today, your colleague Spartenberg made the same very energetic attempt. ”
“You have known her longer, Kurtzig?”
“About five years.”
“You will also know the reasons there? You know me too. I am silent. What would be considered? ”
“You’re asking me too much, Baron.”
“Possible! The mother, judging by the picture, was a beauty! The father is said to have been a brisk gentleman who left her with nothing but debts and the old name. ”
‘Twisted,’ said Baron Alvensleben, ‘but listen, it is tried anyway. If not now, definitely in the end. At least a little chat with her in the Parkhotel. ”
“Nice! Make yourself the pleasure! You can introduce yourself as a witness to your triumphs yesterday. Just don’t tell her anything about our acquaintance. ”
“Yes, Baron. She trusts me fully and I don’t want this to ever be any different. No misunderstanding, your smile is inappropriate. As we have just discovered, art can be very pure. The artist in me is happy about her, struggles to preserve her favor, enviously pays her the recognition it deserves. ”
“You gave me that well, Kurtzig. I don’t hold it against you. Come. No, not in the state room. You see, there screams the difference between Bayreuth and Munich. The performance promises to be excellent again this time. It’s just the bells and whistles that are never achieved here. Consecration is missing. One sneaked past Kosima’s burn eyes during the breaks, drunk with enthusiasm in the soft green of a real god’s grove and did not desecrate oneself until the solemnly calling tube sounds roared again. ”
Eva von Ostried sat very lonely in the wide room. She had come to Munich for four days in order to hear the “Parsifal” above all after the two concerts in which she sang. Now the music had roused everyone who was asleep in her. In Berlin she could push it back into the twilight of a permanent half-slumber. While she had been teaching for a year, she did not neglect self-study. Your time was[S. 192]thereby calculated in advance with every hour, yes, every minute. Here she rested.
But now she also overcame the shadows, overcame all thoughts by going to the crowd, but never bringing them back to sleep. They would push themselves between their feelings and the design of the next lifts and leave her with nothing but the bitter feeling of suddenly standing in front of the closed gate to the holy of holies. So she let her thoughts force her willingly.
What was it like when she left the dead President’s villa? – She had taken a small apartment. Really in good area. And a waitress who looked after her excellently in every respect was quickly found because she was not meager with the pay. Then it was the turn of the teachers. – The very first. Ralf Kurtzig remained loyal to her as she was to him. His presence was always associated with a celebration that strengthened her wonderfully for the sober working hours of the class. Without ever losing the goal she had set, she moved on. The goal of one day repaying what – on pennies and pennies
Every week at the beginning of the new week she determined the beginning of the replacement. But it still didn’t work out.
She became frighteningly skinny, nervous, and helpless. For their nights kept a thousand avengers in readiness for the rushed, thoughtless days. The contents of the little black handbag were decreasing with remarkable speed. It all cost a lot more than she had calculated. From[S. 193]Half of the twelve thousand marks had been used up in the first year with his numerous purchases. After this discovery, she also changed her life plan. Until then, she only viewed lessons as a resource. Now, after consulting her teachers, she found out that it would take a long time to earn money as an opera singer. Because for the time being they could not call the training of their voice complete.
She did not doubt that the general public would thank her with homage and applause. – But whether the fees would also adjust to the same extent? – Toilets would become necessary, which would cost an awful lot if not someone else paid for them.
The other had also made himself available. Paul Karlsen, who easily built up the connections from the reports of his unsuspecting wife, quickly found her and begged her forgiveness. When Eva von Ostried showed him the door forever, she knew that her mother’s blood had grown stronger in her than that of her father. On the one hand there was a success that could never be expected on the other.
Knees bowed before her! Hands grabbed the hem of her robe. Money and jewelry shone. Laurel smelled. And she thought it impossible to renounce! But from the confused chase of the ghosts a prospect of peace came through: Make up!
It was hard, if not impossible! And the secret curse would continue to weigh on. Maybe that the[S. 194] Applause from a grateful crowd – an individual’s passion diminished for hours?
And then again? – What are hours compared to years – decades?
At that time of the toughest fighting, a very young, pale saleswoman knocked on her door. She had heard Eva von Ostried sing and from that moment on she knew with the delicate feeling of those who were wrestling that she was a godly girl. – Almost weeping with embarrassment and shock at her boldness, she had made her request.
“Help to climb!” – Rescue from the mud that has already wet your feet.
Eva von Ostried had been full of pity, although she did not believe in the vocation of this pale child to art. But why shouldn’t she listen to a little song from her? Didn’t her cook keep humming too.
But the little song had become the revelation of a great talent! The slim saleswoman parted with a radiance of overwhelming happiness. So Eva von Ostried came to her first student, albeit not solvent, and saw how she grew and strived, how slag after slag fell and the precious metal shone more beautifully every day. She would probably also have to experience how they would once make a name for themselves, have admirers, and the crowd would be carried away, while she herself was nothing more than their sponsor and grinder.
“But the greatest evil is guilt!” Before that there was no rescue!
Only when she served the crowd of her steadily growing pupils, over and over again overcame herself and the twitching desires, did she feel calm that was almost equal to peace. And yet it was only a pseudo-peace! In the indignation of her teachers when she announced the decision to them – in every look of overt homage that was paid to her, she sensed the unheard of severity of her victim. Countless times she had decided to turn back. And then the passionately made resolution would have to burn under the fire of destruction of the fear of conscience!
She hadn’t dared to give that money out of the house. Wasn’t the bank able to research its origins and expose it?
Even before the tube sounds had called back the devout congregation, the auditorium began to fill up. Eva von Ostried’s eyes were suddenly captivated by something flaming. A crescent moon of precious gems glowed in the fiery red hair of a luscious figure. She found the sight of the striking jewelry on this site to be something unusual. Serious and solemn, most of them had appeared as if at the Lord’s table. It tempted her to see the face under the toiling hair. The bright white skin, the strongly sensual mouth, the unnaturally black thick brows looked familiar.
That was a soubrette employed in the palace theater who was her neighbor in the hall for a short time! -[S. 196]And her companion? Because again and again she leaned over to the slim neighbor in eager whispering. – Paul Karlsen!
A word from him – whispered close to her ear – made her jump. “Stupid!” Was that said to the other person or was he amused by her rejection, ridiculing her as something indescribably silly and foolish? Then they both laughed.
Did they laugh at her together? Had he told her about the hour she spent next to him in his music room or the comedy of those others whom she wanted to make the guardian of his marital fidelity? –
Tears of indignation came to her eyes. For the first time she felt a strong desire for a hand that would lead her past all of them, into silence and clarity, and hold onto there.
– – Good Friday tendons! Indescribable desire for happiness and peace! Holy rapture! Absolution from all guilt! Be holy!
The light from on high filled the Grail with the brightest glow. The devotion was completed!
Little did Eva von Ostried suspect that she was streaked with tears and stared in trembling emotion at the slowly falling curtain. She only realized that she had to go when a hand quietly felt for hers.
“Come on, child. Otherwise the holy gates will be locked. ”
“Is it you, master?” She tucked her arm confidently under his. “Now let’s go to the Hildebrand fountain a little, okay?”
He would have liked to wander there and everywhere further in the soft, flowing gray of this twilight hour, but a third was suddenly next to them and could not be pushed away.
“Baron Alvensleben!” Ralf Kurtzig finally made the effort to call his name. – Now there were three of them! There was no more magic in it. Everything looked sober and washed out, because the rain trickled softly down from the air. Eva von Ostried only noticed this now.
“We want to go to the Park Hotel as soon as possible,” suggested the Baron, as if it were a matter of course that they would stay together for the rest of the day. “Isn’t it all right with you, madam? I ordered a small table by the open window. The facilities at Maximilianplatz are particularly beautiful this year. ”
She looked over at Ralf Kurtzig pleadingly.
“Don’t you think I can’t take strangers after music like this?”
Baron Alvensleben laughed softly. “Do you perceive me as a stranger? You are a dear friend to me – since the day before yesterday and yesterday. I heard you twice. Your Schubert songs on the first evening were a wonderful achievement, behind which the otherwise rather neat artistry of the violinist unfortunately sank abysmally. The artistically most valuable, of course, was the song of Carmen on the second evening, just as you belong on the stage and not in the concert hall with the ravishing splendor and the only warmth of your voice. ”
He pretended not to notice her flinch. But secretly he enjoyed it and praised the thorough knowledge of the influence on the artist’s soul.
“Aha, the bait is already luring. Dude, good Kurtzig, we know the hype, ”he thought. He slid smartly and skilfully back to her songs, as if this had been nothing more than a meaningless statement. She was a rare bird. Shy – defiant and unspeakably sensitive. He felt that clearly. Certainly one that could drive a director to despair, but also make the dear audience rush with delight.
“By the way, who did the little song you sang as an encore,” he asked further. “The song sequence did not reveal the composer. The three asterisks in place of the name usually justify a certain mistrust. This time, with all its simplicity, the originality of the leading melody captured a lot.
“I cannot name the composer,” admitted Eva von Ostried, “the little song has a story of its own.”
“Which you will tell at the open window, yes,” he asked with a boyish, happy look.
“It is not so long that it should not have ended before that, Herr Baron. One day I was sitting in a Berlin café and found a sheet of paper covered with music on the seat next to me, apparently only a draft, because it had been crossed out and improved a lot. I took it home. And since then I’ve been singing it every time as zu[S. 199]gift. The first effect it had on me has remained the same. ”
They had moved very quickly. Without Eva von Ostried noticing anything earlier, they stood in front of the Park Hotel. With a defensive movement she turned to turn back.
“Now it would be downright insulting if you wanted to leave us,” said Alvensleben indignantly.
“I don’t understand what can be important to you in my company, Herr Baron? It would be a torture for me to sit in an occupied room now, ”said Eva. “You can understand that best, Herr Baron. The rain has stopped. I go to the Hildebrand fountain. If you both want to find me there later, you should find me. I will definitely stay an hour. ”
“Why are you so silent, Kurtzig,” asked the baron when they finally sat across from each other under the open window. “You see, I am not angry either, although a similar rebuff has not yet occurred to me. Who can be the lucky one who is allowed to lead you to a table-deck-you somewhere? ”
“It doesn’t occur to her to hang on to the first best.” Ralf Kurtzig replied with an irritation that was otherwise strange to him.
“But best master, who thinks she is bad taste? Surely he is a chosen one. Whether Adonis or artist – or even both combined – I don’t dare to decide. You will know their taste better. ”
“Your heart has definitely not spoken yet.” That sounded no longer as sure as the first time. There was a tormented tone in the voice that made the baron sit up and take notice. He screwed up his left eye and peered up at the filled glass.
“If you know that exactly – and you have always been a very sure observer – then why are you still hesitating, old friend?”
Ralf Kurtzig pulled back abruptly.
“I do not understand you, Baron. I can’t take a joke in this matter. ”
“It’s already that deep! Then hurry up before you’re late. She gave you an hour to think about it, and she would hardly agree to an extension. ”
“I forbid anything else in this matter.” The aging master got up so quickly that he knocked his glass off the table.
“Kurtzig, don’t make stories. Surely you can take a harmless tease from a good friend? Why would I have my healthy eyes? She is evidently very attached to you, has known you for different years, smiles at you, beams at you. Lord God, what’s with it? Have we not already experienced completely different things? Think of the old Dresden Amfortas from the eighties and his youthful, barely twenty-year-old wife, the heroine of the W.’r Stadttheater. ”
“I am her teacher, before whom she – just like my other people – trembles and trembles.” It sounded milder.
“If you say that, it will be true. It seems to me that the trembling and trembling has been behind you two for a long time, huh? ”
“I have a share in their development – joy in their art and beauty. It does not occur to me to deny that. ”
“Well, you see.”
“But not more!”
“Why emphasize that. Let. If it still catches us, the shame will come and brew a great anger out of it. Here, great God! What does getting old have to do with the cooling of feelings? They don’t just stay. No, they become stronger and clearer, like old wine, which also brings the most coveted high. After that there is no shame. Don’t drive up. Anyone who knows it, really knows it, always prefers it to must and the most fiery wine tavern. – And now my hand, old hurricane. There must be no shame in store for this. The only thing that can move you would be a great and just pride. I don’t even deny that I felt envious. See, that’s how honest I am with you. And now that’s the end of it. When we’re done with dinner, I’ll take another walk along the Isar. Maybe alone. Maybe not. But I am not counting on your company. You are going to go to the Hildebrand fountain a little later? “- – –
Ralf Kurtzig felt a cozy warmth glow through his veins. The wine was good. And finally – the[S. 202] Alvensleben is a decent guy, from whom one could also put up with a little derailment from time to time.
Was it one at all?
They were now talking eagerly about the winter schedule which the baron had already determined. Ralf Kurtzig only apparently listened attentively. His eyes wandered through the open window and searched for the well. He sat there dreamily and hardly took any of the food.
“Then at least have a drink, Kurtzig.” And the baron diligently poured his glasses. The knowing smile of one that women can no longer deny surprises was around his clean-shaven mouth. With the spoiled eye of the gourmet, he comfortably savored the increasing tension in the ingenious features of the person sitting across from him. He always had the right feeling. Already yesterday he was certain that it only took a spark to ignite the fire of this late passion. And that spark had fallen. In his experience, there was no need for anything else. Ralf Kurtzig felt hot, young and longing. And the heavy Upper Hungarian bore the lion’s share of that.
“I think we are fully satisfied now,” he said, peering more sharply into the distance.
The baron rose willingly.
“That is also my opinion. You should add some red to the cool, gray tone of this evening. So let’s get that. ”
They parted in front of the hotel entrance. Without hesitation, Ralf Kurtzig continued his way towards the Hildebrand fountain. Only after a few minutes[S. 203] he stopped, tore off his hat and let the tired, heavy air of late summer go around his forehead.
What was he up to?
His arms twitched as if he were about to lift loads and throw them into the air. His high, nobly shaped forehead turned a flaming red.
He was a fool! He had gone to this girl a hundred times – had also held his hand – gave advice – scolded – and now suddenly? The wine was to blame!
He had an under-feeling that, after all, she had only him in the world, even if they had never discussed it with each other. At first it was the relationship between teacher and student, later that of a father to a daughter, a friend to a girlfriend.
Once again, Ralf Kurtzig, you are a fool!
But it still remained true that sixty-year-old Amfortas had become extremely happy with the twenty-year-old. Another rose-red, fragrance-filled late happiness.
So why should it be impossible for him? –
What? Not one step further. Not to the Hildebrand fountain. Not to bring the madness of an hour into the life of someone whose only friend and protection he was allowed to become. Don’t make yourself a beggar.
And yet he went on.
There she sat. Crouched together. Dreamy. He saw her hands. White and delicate, they stood out from the tips of her dress. And now they waved him over. There he was next to her and took a seat at her side.
Her eyes shone with brilliance. The light haze was gone. A tear hung from her thick, long eyelashes.
“Why did you cry?” He asked, not knowing that the passion trembled in his voice. She heard the sound and was amazed. He was a stranger to her.
“I felt very lonely, but then I had to look forward to you,” she said gratefully.
“On me?” It rose like a frenzy from his wildly pounding heart to his brain. The wine was to blame. No, the soft, gray air.
“To me?” He asked again.
She nodded to him and put her hand on his. – There she was. He dared not touch her, although everything in him screamed to cover her with fiery kisses.
“What would I be without you,” she asked softly.
Is he a fool? He sat beside her, rigid and stiff. Her hand had slipped from his in one hasty movement and now hung – dull and abandoned – between him and her.
The fountain splashed. Somewhere the soft twilight gray cut a small, twinkling light. Was that the red Alvensleben said about? His forehead grew damp. He got up with difficulty.
“I have to go.”
“Master, what is it with you? Did I hurt you? ”There was deep sadness in her tone. There he stayed next to her.
And suddenly. – He was no longer in control of himself. He had grabbed her two soft, white hands and pressed them to his heart.
“Do you hear that beating? To you! – To you!”
She became restless, although she knew the change in his moods.
“What do you have, master? Are you sick? ”
“What is me? Don’t you feel that? ”
He called her “you”. How strange. In the past, she had longed for that. Today it scared her.
“Don’t you feel my love? I can no longer hide it. A year is long. Since then I have known and struggled against it. – Now it’s no longer possible. – Become my wife! ”
She stared at him in disbelief. Had he gone mad? He went on without waiting for her answer.
“You have been mine for a long time with every one of your thoughts. Don’t you know? ”She felt his hot breath – the approach of his lips and was roused by a wild fear, a horror. – –
“I can not! I can not!”
He wanted to kiss her. She fought wildly and pushed at him, after her beloved, revered Master, the only person she had fully trusted. He felt the thrust and saw the rising horror in her eyes – staggered back, looked at her madly and stammered something.
What? She didn’t understand. All she saw was that he was leaving her.
Now she had no one in the world!