Wailana Kalama

Freelance Travel Writer

Postcard from Ubud

Southeast Asia

Bali, Island of the Gods, Island of the Statuettes that line each doorway, entryway, temple, shrine. They pepper the streets and alleyways, in the quiet neighborhood streets, they are more prevalent than people. Unspeaking residents of the pathways.

At the Palace, where the Bali royal family still dwell, statues are no strangers. In one corner of the garden, stand Rama and Sita in an embrace.

Their skins were gray, except where darkened with moisture, and their jewelry a pale sandy color. They stood on a pedestal, in such an intimate embrace that I was uncomfortable to look at them. Symbols of love, of innocent secrets, of unblemished purity. I felt something like an unworthy mortal next to them. Even the sweet, clinging moss didn’t seem to diminish the intensity between them. 

“Is there anyone who has conquered the gods and lived continuously in that victory? Sooner or later retribution has always come. Do not be contemptuous of men or monkeys.” – Narayan’s translation of the Ramayana

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