Yesterday, while catching a few rays in between yoga and attending an organic kitchen gardening workshop in the city of Panjem — where I met the head of India’s largest organic farming association (who proceeded, for the second time – the first by phone a few days earlier – to blow me off entirely) and a French chef from Burgandy specializing in organics — I ran into Bamboo on the beach. Here’s some additional details that I’ve gleaned:
* His tattoos: on his left forearm is the symbol of his former Division 6 group … a trident, knife (suitable primarily for cutting off peoples’ heads) and a hammer, with mountains in the background — of the 34 soldiers in the unit, only two survived; on this right forearm the symbol of his new unit, the Death Crows — a crow skull, with wings on either side – they would, like crows, swoop down upon their enemies. Another tattoo symbolized an army unit known for their version of the scalping – crushing the skulls of their opponents with a death blow by their falling knee.
The last tattoo I asked about was the bicycle chain around his left bicep – which came from his early days in a gang in Punjab, where they’d use – yes, bicycle chains – as their primary weapons. Later, his gang evolved into selling drugs and then, after that, he began working in a more ‘intellectually challenging’ field … human body parts trafficking.
Bamboo proceeded to describe the process for obtaining body parts – a practice he says is still very in vogue. Often, they’d pick up homeless people off of the streets … folks people wouldn’t miss if they died from the surgery. They’d also pay off prostitutes to lure ‘Johns’ back to the hotel rooms but instead of mind-blowing sex, they’d be drugged and wake up in the morning, sutured up and packed in ice – usually missing a kidney or liver. Sometimes, added Bamboo, we’d take the hearts. And occasionally, eye balls. He wasn’t sure how the eyes were used, but thought it might help changing someone’s identity.
* Bamboo’s full nickname is ‘Cracked Bamboo’ – before arriving in Goa, he spent the last four months meditating in Pune, as the Osho Center – “It saved my life.” – He’d attended meditation programs there over the past few years and, last year, he thought it would be cool to climb up a bamboo tree/bush. He and the bamboo quickly fell over.
I’m hoping to run into him again today, because there are some details of his story that don’t yet add up … such as the unlikelihood that anyone in a criminal street gang at an early age would have had the education to speak English as well as he did; and that he’d then end up in a special unit of the military.