May 25, 2020
𝐈𝐬𝐚𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐞: she’s on her late thirties; originally from Switzerland. She had a very strict education, high/middle class, and excelled at school and at must hobbies. She loved classical music and dance, a good wine, philosophy and first class airplane seats. Her mother, to whom she had a love and hate relationship, always pushed her to the limits, trading motherly love for perfection. After finishing her studies in Law, university, she started a corporate career, in London, along with a long term relationship with a Swedish, athletic, colleague. The relationship eventually bursted to an end, as he started drinking and being abusive. For a long time, she did her best to save that toxic relationship, despite never actually having fallen in love with him. Being drained of her energy as a consequence, she was unable to keep up with the competitiveness of her job, burned out and took a long term license. She took refuge in sports, specially in hiking, and saw an extreme trail running event, in Java, as a way to escape from her routine.
𝐉𝐞𝐬𝐮́𝐬: Born in Léon, Spain, on his early forties, he moved to Bali shortly before the beginning of the story and works as a freelance photographer. Tall, skinny, energetic, perfectionist – a permanent traveller, unsatisfied, memory collector (and relationship connector, as well), has a not so secret disdain for Humanity and hopes to be able to find and love a woman he can admire. So far, he could only admire their shape… temporarily! He hates engagements, burdens, family life, and everything in between. He smokes, as 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑖𝑔𝑎𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑠 𝑚𝑎𝑘𝑒 ℎ𝑖𝑚 𝑠𝑡𝑢𝑝𝑖𝑑 so it helps to 𝑑𝑒𝑎𝑙 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑎𝑠𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑒𝑠. A party animal, he loves clubbing, over-drinking, meat (all sorts of), bullfighting, extreme sports and hallucinogenic trips. Raised Catholic, he studied philosophy, but decided to leave his country and a teaching job, to pursue the thing he cherishes the most – his freedom.
𝐋𝐢𝐚: Balinese, twenty something, tall (for the Balinese standards), fragile, gracious and extraordinarily beautiful. She comes from a low chaste, poor family in Mengwi and was working at a hotel near Tanah Lot temple. The owner, an older, fat, Muslim businessman from Java, noticed her beauty and proposed to marry her. She ended up accepting it, due to his generosity towards her and her family – not knowing he was already married to another women in his homeland with whom he had children. She was unable to conceive after marriage, due to some sort of anaemia. Lia spent her time in between the hotel, her family house in Mengwi and Tirta Siddhi (a yoga ashram and retreat centre) where she taught traditional dances and offering making. She also did some photo modelling, not only for Tirta Siddhi itself, but for some other local resorts and massage centres.
𝐒𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐤𝐚: She owns Tirta Siddhi – a yoga retreat center, not so far away from Ubud, where most of the action takes place. She’s a Balinese yoga teacher on her thirties, divorced, with one autistic son. She’s a sort of matriarch, sometimes cynical, sometimes still naive, who soon had to learn how to take care of herself, educate a child with special needs, rule a business, and deal with the permanent drama of guests, staff and friends. Suardika is not particularly beautiful and learned to accept that, along with many other setbacks in life. Not wanting to be under authority of any man, she never married again, though she had some boyfriends (which she tried, as much as possible, to keep away from business).
𝐈 𝐆𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐢: Handsome, very popular with the girls but, somehow, a bit introverted, he belongs to a rich family in Ubud, where he still lives. He’s a lawyer by profession and a yoga teacher in part time, often helping at Tirta Siddhi. He had a western education and is both knowledgeable in Hinduism and Christianity. After school, he kept doing extensive readings and also learning from some gurus both in Bali and in India. Married, with two children, he knows the ones to talk to and the pitfalls to avoid and so he helps Jesús on his own quest.
𝐉𝐨𝐬𝐡𝐮𝐚: Middle aged, English born, he was a classic musician and studied to be a conductor until a trip to India revealed him a new universe he wanted to explore. He started with yoga, in Rishikesh, and soon got immersed in Hindu spirituality. For nearly a decade, with the help of some gurus, he engaged on Sadhana – the surrendering of the ego through meditation, yoga, chanting and prayer. Then, he moved to Bali, opened a small ashram in Sayan, near Ubud, where he lives with his Balinese wife, and son. He’s the spiritual reference to I Gusti, and agreed to help Jesús on clearing his mind, for several times. He speaks slowly, often stopping to listen to some sort of inner voice. He asks more than he answers and feels more than he reads, and listens more than he speaks.