One of the things that they discussed was the Aum symbol that I wrote about back in July when I was working on my cycle of harmony. It is interesting that John's new friend was pleased and surprised that he knew about it and keen to tell him more, while some of the company were subtly aghast that he had the temerity to bring religion up at all.
John is right and his timid companions are wrong.
Looking back now I've been conscientiously posting for a year, I think that this quote from Vikram Seth probably inspired, subconsciously back in January, many of the little projects I have set myself over the last twelve months.
...to learn about another great culture is to enrich one's own life, to understand one's own country better, to feel more at home in the world, and indirectly to add to that reservoir of individual goodwill that may, generations from now, temper the cynical use of national power.Every word of that is right on the button - which is why I am so opposed to Said's perversion of Orientalism, but that is a subject for another day - and the copper made his own contribution to the "reservoir of individual goodwill" by talking John through his own speciality. This was a slow cooked lamb dish that sounds to me like it may well be Nihari, a favourite curry often taken for breakfast with a naan.
I've tried it for brunch on the weekend occasionally at the Lahore Karahi in Tooting where it in turn has contributed to my reservoir of goodwill even before I was eating my way around the world in London formally.
A couple of months ago I changed the blog to use charset=UTF-8, which means that I ought to be able to display Unicode on it now. The Aum is Unicode U+0950. Here is a test: ॐ. Can you see it?