Dec. 25-26, 2008 – Another Beautiful Day and….Merry Xmas and a Happy Hanuka!

Dec. 25-26, 2008 – Another Beautiful Day and….Merry Xmas and a Happy Hanuka!

Home from a lovely day of getting advice, shopping, enjoying chai with my favorite Ganga view, discussing a business venture (u never know – one of these might actually work!) and then shopping for ingredients for supper. Sitting out on my terrace again, listening to classical music and preparing my veggies for a pot of soup.

The weather has gotten colder, but while the last few days were foggy and damp and really cold, today the sun was out again and it was glorious. And the warmth is still felt in the evening air and my room. And cooking in the small room adds to the warmth and coziness. All in All a beautiful day.

I’ve got my winter wardrobe down pat and know what layers to wear comfortably to keep warm enough but not too warm for the afternoon sun when I’m out.

I am feeling very “warm and cozy” inside of myself, despite the lower temperatures outside. I have about everything I could want in this one small room with the rooftop as my “front yard”. If I had a small fridge and counter top and sink, I’d be in heaven, but I’m basically fine the way I am. I can’t get too ambitious about cooking, which is probably for the best. Keeps my life really really simple without
difficult decision making and logistics etc.

Now my soup is in the pot bubbling away. I am back on the terrace with my music and reading a book by Ruskin bond. I found it today at a used book shop. I thought I had read all of his books, but this is one I haven’t and it’s called “All Roeads Lead to Ganga”. Very appropriate for me now. It is a collection of journal essays about this part of India where he spent most of his life…between Dehra Dun and Mussoorie and all the mountains between. It is so lovely to read his descriptions of the hills, forests, mountains, river, bird calls, etc. and to be here at the same time!

Soup is now done and smells delicious. Will be eating it with cheese and crackers while watching a couple of episodes of House…a lovely way to spend a winter evening, wherever I happen to be in the world!

Just a quick comment about Xmas. I’ve never been in India for Xmas and would not have imagined it the way it is. Rishikesh is a holy Hindu city, and yet everyone was saying Merry Xmas!! I didn’t understand until I spoke to Dr. Arora. I went to him for some advice and mentioned the Xmas business. I also noticed Laxmi’s daughter of India’s official religious holidays, and places are closed and there is no school all over the country. This, Dr. Arora explains, is because Hindus respect all religions equally. So, officially, 5 different religions in India each have 2 official religious festivals which are celebrated by everyone in one way or another. Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians and Persians (not enough Jews here for us to get a festival but he said that he thinks at some time in the past in cities that had large Jewish populations, Jews also had 2 festivals). I was speaking to some Indians later in the day and they said Xmas, being a very holy day, was a good day to bathe in the Ganga and get extra energies. No one seemed to think it strange that Xmas was a Christian holiday and had nothing to do with Hinduism. So, everywhere I went people said Merry Xmas to me which I found disconcerting after so many years in Israel, and at one point I answered back “Happy Hanukah” to very strange looks. Whatever.

Dec. 26
It is now the next morning, and decided today was cleaning day. Having so many workshops and treatments, the room gets dirty much faster than when I am alone. So spent the morning cleaning and am now treating myself to room service breakfast of cheese omelette, toasted brown roll and masala chai. The sun is strong and warming up on the roof, music playing…. Feeling very pleased with myself and enjoying the luxury of having someone else cook for me when I am VERY hungry and don’t feel like cooking myself. What a life!!

Clean room, lovely breakfast, and then met the two lovely Irish ladies who I took to the orphanage restaurant (and they treated me) and we had a wonderful lunch. The best fresh, organic, home-grown salad you can get in all of India, plus rice, subji and dahl…all delicious. Then I met Einat, and to balance out yesterday’s Xmas, we went to Beit Chabad for lighting of Hanuka candles. Because it is Friday, the candles have to be lit early before Shabbat, so we were there at 4:30. Just good for balancing things out and feeling harmony again.

Will have my second portion of the soup from yesterday (which came out extremely delicious), and perhaps watch a movie tonight. Another beautiful warm sunny day.


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