Well, Chinese New Year is coming up, which meant I had to write two columns in a week before the fuckin’ printers close. How inconvenient. There wasn’t enough nightlife to sustain this column, so I’ll just talk about eveninglife. One of my gurus, Shubhra-ji, is back in town. She’s based in Woodstock, New York, where she lives alone in the forest and talks to bears and birds and the occasional hippy. She’ll be in Hong Kong until March, giving talks at the ashram, the New Age Shop and Pure Yoga, where I’m sure she’ll provide some well-needed BPSTFUs to certain yoga instructors. Kicking off her visit was a fabulous Vishnu Sahasranam held at the Golf Club in Deep Water Bay, on the day Sagittarius moved into Capricorn. Very rarely is an Archana organized, that is, a ritual where the thousand names of God are chanted with an offering of petals at each call. With each offering, a vasana is extinguished. Whaaaa? Vasana (stress on the first syllable) is Sanskrit for your hang-ups, your issues, your negative patterns, your shit. So an Archana (also stress on the first syllable) is like, a mega-mother-of-a-Eucharist. If you think the Lord’s Supper opens up a specific channel to divine grace, an Archana is like a super-speed highway. And much less morbid as well. Body and blood of Christ? Yuk. Never liked that brutish idea left over from Mithraism. Oh listen to me, launching into petty contretemps. But Jesus doesn’t mind. He didn’t create the ritual of the Holy Communion. Really. He didn’t. My artist friend Kenneth expressed interest in checking out the puja. I was kind of surprised because it would be a fierce, three-hour long expression of faith. I suppose the performance art aspect of the ritual attracted him. As my guru always says, you will go where your vasanas lead you. But when I picked him up via taxi, I observed that he was wearing a leather jacket. “You can’t wear a leather jacket to a Hindu party...” I hissed. Although when we got there, I observed that a lot of Indian ladies had snakeskin on them. I was a bit confused at first, since it was my first Archana as well. But once the chanting started, everything fell into place. We each had a foil baking tray in front of our seats as altars for placing our offering. Of course, you can offer your love and devotion to the deity, but I decided to get rid of my crap first. “My anger. My pride. My sloth. My ego. That attachment. That annoying A-hole. That neurotic betch.” I mentally surrendered with each “Namaha” that Shubhra-ji chanted with her sonorous voice. Petals fell on my groin area. I surrendered my lust. By the end of the Archana, a mountain of petals was in front of us, in the foil baking trays. That’s like a lasagna of vasanas to be put into the cosmic oven. Universe, burn that shit. After almost three hours of chanting, we walked in groups of ten to the beach and under the guidance of my regular guru Mala-ji, we said bub-bye to our vasanas and dumped the petals into the sea. Afterwards, I went to hotpot with Samantha and Raymond, who’ve been dying to be mentioned in this column. Voila. I forgot to surrender my vasana for beef and I ate slices of Wagyu brisket. Forgive me Lord Vishnu. Harih Om!