Nov. 5, 2008 – Panchakarma –day 13 – Last of the Easy Days – More Interesting Impressions about India Thanks to Dr. Arora – and ANOTHER FIRST FOR ME
Today I had the last of my easy days for awhile now. A massage and steam bath and very nice kicheri with spinach in it this time. Tasted so fresh it was probably just picked before it was cooked.
Tomorrow I begin my series of enemas and I am really not looking forward to it despite the docs reassurances. I’ve done this before and at best it is unpleasant. Tomorrow is an oil enema which is actually fairly gentle and then we get into the heavy duty stuff the next day. The rest of this day was spent relaxing (except for the frustrating hour at the internet trying to fix my blog which has gone all wrong – the sidebar has dropped down to the end of the blog and you have to scroll all the way down to find it and use it and the entire look of the blog is wrong…I generally know how to fix this but couldn’t find a reason for the problem and will have to try again tomorrow if I can. For now – remember to look for the sidebar down at the very end of the blog if you need it. …Dyanne is leaving tomorrow and once more I will have more time for myself. I’ve really enjoyed her company and having someone next door to chat with during the day, and I have been able to go out for dinner with her and even a lovely evening as you will read in my next blog post, but I also enjoy my time alone as you all know.
Another first for me: I’ve been coming to India for many years and been in many places. Never before have I been approached and asked if I want to
to buy grass. In the last few days, I’ve been approached by 3 different people in different places. So, either the motorbike rides, or the panchakarma treatments have so changed my “aura” to make me look like someone who DOES want to buy grass, or the market is so poor that people have become desperate to make a sale and approach even fuddy-duddy old ladies!!
Below just some further pieces of information re: life in India which is one of the fringe benefits of visiting Dr. Arora’s clinic each day. No special order to what is written below.
I had asked him about what type of water to use once I begin cooking. I’m eating kicheri which his wife or Lakshmi prepares for me at home and wondered how they cooked it, since I’m perfectly fine eating it. He said there is no need to use mineral or even filtered/boiled water for cooking, when you are cooking things that will be boiled and cooked for any length of time – like rice, dahl, kicheri, soup etc. Even tea and coffee can be made with regular water. This is true of Rishikesh. He would not say this about the water supply in the cities. He says the water in Rishikesh, for most of the year is very clean anyway, and for many months of the year he can also drink from the faucet without worrying (not tourists). There are certain months, like during the monsoon and later on towards summer, when the water because somewhat unclean and even local Indians have to be careful. In addition, he asked me if I had noticed the one star near the moon each night. I most certainly have…been trying to photograph it but it doesn’t come out…a brilliant Venus… Well, he says this is called August Rishi and it is the month when its influence cleanses all the natural waters even further so that the water this month is particularly clean. This ancient science is really amazingly interesting to me.
Then we started talking about government schools so some insights for you:
School is not compulsory but free hot lunches are given to all students and school is free for girls up to the age of 12, making it more likely that families would send their young daughters at least to school up to age 12, if only for the free meal once a day.
Government schools, particularly those up in the villages, are not notorious for good education however. The teachers take jobs there, well paid by market standards (not like Israel – where teachers are close to the bottom of the wage scale – here they are highly regarded and paid well as they should be. However, teachers ask for jobs in the villages where there is very little supervision (obviously not ALL those who work in the villages do this), and then they simply don’t show up for work most of the week and take private jobs in the closest town, thereby getting two full salaries. I asked what happens if the supervisor comes and they are not there. He says what they do is (and he knows this as he has been approached many times for this) that they get a doctors note saying they are ill, undated, and keep it handy. If they ever get caught not at work, they simply fill in the date which shows they were home sick that day. Some scam!!
Many doctors who work in government hospitals also have a really good deal. He has friends who do this so he knows first hand. First of all, a doctor in a government hospital earns 33,000 rupees a month which is a REAL lot of money here. And he is expected to work about 4 hours a day, 4-5 days a week. In effect, there are usually 4 doctors on any shift, so they work it out between them so that no one ever works more than a couple of days a week. The rest of the time they are free for whatever they want to do…relax, travel or run a thriving private practice. So that the hospital doctors have a very bad reputation. He says that even the good honest ones have a problem as very often they will need to provide a certain medication, or several, and all or even one of them will not be available in the hospital clinic, and they will be told to go into town to buy it at the chemist, and they never do. And then when they don’t get proper results or cures from the illnesses, they blame it on the doctors.
One more interesting thing about the Devi, the massage therapist. She is the young 20 year old, but very good at what she does. A few days ago, when I heard about lakshmi’s uncle passing away just before going in for my massage. Usually when I get up on the table, I am almost immediately someplace else, completely relaxed. But I was laying there that day and thinking about lakshmi and feeling sad. Devi just began working on my leg, less than one minute into the massage, and she asked me what I am thinking about?!? I told her, and asked her how she knew I was thinking about something and she said she could feel it when she touched me…and not good to do a massage like that…so I immediately put myself in a better state for a good massage. I found it amazing that she should know this however. She is really good at what she does.
I will end this here and write another post about the lovely evening out I had yesterday with Dyanne. Hopefully later this evening.