Tengyo Kura

Chronicle of Vagabondism / When everybody wants to be somebody, I want to be nobody.


Story 10

In the depth of the jungle, this Sri Lankan holy mountain stands alone.
The 2243 meter tall mountain holds some names as Sri Pada, Adam’s Peak, and the Butterfly Mountain.
On the summit, there is a footprint of a holy person (some say that it is Buddha’s, and other say it belongs to Adam’s).
Among different religions like Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism, this mountain has always been the subject of worship.
When the dry season comes to Sri Lanka, many people head for the top.
Interestingly, when the rainy season arrives and the peak is closed to people, animals and insects start climbing.
As it’s called as the Butterfly Mountain, during a specific period of the monsoon, one kind of butterflies go up in great numbers for their breeding.
(photo & story by Tengyo Kura, Sri Pada)

Story 09

The lady was gently smiling at me when I saw her at a square of an old old village in Nepal.
Air was comfortably flowing through the square.
She was muttering something to me, but I couldn’t hear what she was saying.
Then she pointed a dog sitting next to her deliberately, and spoke up to me.
“If you hear what this dog is thinking about?”
I now heard her clearly, but I got confused, and didn’t know what to respond.
She smiled again, and said “I know, I know. You see this dog as a dog, so you can’t hear anything.”
Since then, when I see dogs on the street, I remember that peaceful smile of the lady and the square in the mild wind.
(photo & story by Tengyo Kura, Panauti)

Story 08

“Be careful if you enter this lane, wanderer!”
An old lady sitting on the street talked to me when I was about to go into one interesting alley.
She continued “You will pass a group of women on this lane. If none of them noticed you, then you will gain something. If any of them noticed you, then you will lose something. Be careful!”
I wasn’t sure if I should believe what she said, but with putting my hand on my heart, I thanked her anyway, and went into the alley.
Soon I saw one group of dressed-up women coming towards me.
At that time, I realized that the old lady wasn’t joking.
That meant, not to be noticed by them was only my option to avoid losing something.
I held my camera in front of my face, and tried to look like an ordinary tourist.
Fortunately, they all were busy walking, and some of them were paying their attention to their children.
I was praying while they were passing by.
One passed, two passed, and the rest of them passed by.
I thought that no one saw me, and felt relieved until I checked a picture I took…
After a little while of hesitating, I turned back, and got out of the alley.
The old lady was gone already.
I didn’t feel like going back to the alley again, and went home.
She was right after all.
I definitely lost something; the opportunity to enjoy waking down that interesting lane.
(photo & story by Tengyo Kura, Katmandu)

Story 07

Punk is the youthful soul.
In this kingdom, soul reincarnates.
Hence, they say loud “PUNK NOT DEAD.”
(photo & story by Tengyo Kura, Katmandu)

Story 06

Naadam, the biggest festival of the three national sports of Mongolia was just around the corner.
The whole nation was excited to see archers drawing their bows to their full extent, brawny men wrestling their opponents to the ground, and apple-cheeked children whipping their horses and going like a whirlwind.
At one place, I saw racehorses being tied.
A horse owner told me that he put his horses like this before their race in order to increase their desire to gallop.
Within a few days, the frustrated horses would unleash their suppressed impulse, and would prove that they were the king of the earth.
(photo & story by Tengyo Kura, the Gobi)

Story 05

In a desert, camels are the most important livestock to the nomads.
Their body is beautifully designed to survive in the sever life condition.
People go everywhere by camel riding as camels are described as a ship in a desert.
Camels provide not only a transfer, but also wool, milk, and meat.
Since I saw a movie called “The Story of the Weeping Camel” (2004, directed by Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni), to meet a white camel became one of my dreams.
Actually, there are many white camels in Mongolia, and the Mongolian people do not take care of them as special ones against my imagination.
It was just my myth.
Anyway, my first encounter with “tsagaan temee” (a white camel in Mongolian) was the day when a sudden rain created a rivulet after a long spell of hot weather, and I was of course happy.
(photo & story by Tengyo Kura, the Gobi)

Story 04

In Mongolia, there is a saying “an unexpected guest who visits at mealtimes brings luck.”
It tells that you should welcome any visitors and feed them even when you don’t like.
This is the wisdom of the nomads.
In their culture, sharing food is the most important tradition which helps people survive under the harsh climate.
When I suddenly came to this local family’s house in the countryside, they offered me sweets and tea even though they were about to receive their important guest then.
(photo & story by Tengyo Kura, Terelj)

Story 03

This is the King of Fruits in Southeast Asian countries.
The durian. It’s impossible to ignore its smell even 30 meters away from the durian shop.
I understood how much people love this monster’s egg (excuse me) when I saw my friends getting excited by smelling them on the street.
My Balinese friend once told me that I should not give up eating the durian before seven times even if I did not like it in the beginning.
After seven times, I would be crazy about it, she said.
Well, let’s see.
(photo & story by Tengyo Kura, Bali)

Story 02

It would be too lonely to be standing alone in the empty sky.
It’s good to have a long-standing companion, and shine together.
(photo & story by Tengyo Kura, Kuala Lumpur)

Story 01

During the world’s biggest religious gathering on earth, Maha Kumbh Mela, she was sitting at a riverside facing Sangam where the three most holy rivers of India meet, and praying all day long.
the three rivers: the Ganges, the Yamuna and the Saraswati river
(photo & story by Tengyo Kura, Allahabad)