Jul 06, 2022
5 mins read
The Razor’s Edge: Closing Up The Lotus: Razor’s Edge Tofu and Potato Curry
The Razor’s Edge
“The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say that the path to salvation is hard” (From the Katha-Upanishad) When William Somerset Maughm went to India in the 1930’s he had an unusual experience that not only served as the catalyst for a new book, but it changed his life forever. Back in those days not too many people knew what the Upanishads were. In fact, the practice of Yoga was not going to take root in America until the late 1950’s where it would be on the back burner for almost another decade. So, when The Razor’s Edge was written and subsequently made into a movie, which I watched on Million Dollar Movie in the late 50’s, much like Lost Horizon, it too, changed my life, as being in India changed that of WS Maughm.
The hero of our story bashes off to India where all sorts of mystical things start to happen. He says in a memoir, “By accident, it was when I was in India. I’d been suffering from insomnia and happened to mention it to an old Yogi that I knew, (ever notice that anytime anything sage is referred to, it’s always by an “old” Yogi? What about we ‘young’ Yogis, don’t we count? ed. note), and he said that he’d soon settle that. He did just what you saw me do with Gray and that night I slept as I hadn’t slept for months. And then, a year later, it must have been, I was in the Himalayas with an Indian friend of mine and he sprained his ankle. It was impossible to get a doctor and he was in great pain. I thought I’d try to do what the old Yogi had done, and it worked.”
This is such a fun old film. If you haven’t seen it, try to get a copy and make an event out of it. If you have seen it, watch it again with an eye geared toward learning how to mesmerize others, as this could be a lot of fun at the next party you may have to attend, or if you are marooned somewhere and someone needs relief from pain. My favorite part is the “old” Yogi (here we go AGAIN!) who is really a light skinned actor, with his face darkened under his turban to make him look Indian. (wait until I review The Rains Came with Richard Burton for more on that subject). This is upstaged only by the sort of Indian- stage setting of the ancient temple where they meet.
This film is about going on a journey, discovering that something exists outside of your average every day experience, something that pushes your mind past its workaday limits, and to being open to expanding the mind so that one can reap the rewards and achieve things that are extraordinary in an otherwise ordinary life. If you watch the movie closely, you too will learn how to perfect the ability to overcome pain and other minor complaints. During the 1980’s Bill Murray did a re-make of The Razor’s Edge and it was really quite good. My favorite part is where he gives a child a little money. Afterwards, you see Bill approaching the top of a hill from which you cannot see behind him. But, in moments he starts to run like the Dickens and you don’t know why. He’s running like a madman, because as the camera pans behind him, about 200 other children are running to catch the man who has the money. Great scene and very funny to watch. The movie will go really well with what Bela’s got conjured up from her kitchen, and a relaxing Yoga breathing pose.
CLOSING UP THE LOTUS
(Great to do if you do even if you don’t get marooned) Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor on a soft surface. Close your eyes and begin to breathe quietly through the nostrils. Imagine that you are welcoming all of the people you love most into your life as you inhale and raise your arms up to shoulder level. As you exhale, fold your arms inwards, bringing your palms down at chest level as if pushing a beach ball beneath your waist. Inhale again bringing your arms up as before, this time focusing on all of the abundance and good health that you enjoy. Exhale with arms as noted above. For the last inhalation, repeat the actions as above but this time, remember to focus daily on the beauty in yourself and others. Exhale with arms as noted above. What we focus on the most is what we expand or create in our lives. Try to remember that you are a special jewel, closing yourself up in the Lotus–the metaphor of perfect being–remaining free of harmful energies from the outside world.
RAZOR’S EDGE TOFU & POTATO CURRY
A mesmerizing dish!
By Bela Banerjee
1 package of extra firm Tofu
6 small potatoes, boiled and peeled
3 tablespoons of oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1? piece of ginger, grated
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 t. turmeric
2 Italian green peppers, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 box frozen green peas (10 0z box)
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala or ground cinnamon or Curry Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a large skillet, add onion, garlic and ginger. Fry until onions turn golden. Add the tofu and potatoes, continuing to stir fry until the potatoes are slightly golden. Add the tomato sauce, turmeric, and green pepper. Fry for a few minutes on high heat, then add the water. Cover and cook in medium heat until the sauce starts to bubble. Add green peas and your choice of the Garam Masala, Cinnamon or Curry Powder.
Serve with rice or bread. Serves 4