Dec. 29, 2008 – Finding My “Nick’s” in Rishikesh…Inspirational Waters and a Poem
Those of you who have been following my travels since 2001, know that I very often sat at a restaurant in McLeod, Dharamsala called Nick’s. Not only because they have the best cakes in India, but for the view of “my mountain” from their rooftop terrace. There are numerous pictures of this mountain in different seasons, including snow capped, and whenever I needed serenity in my day, I would come sit facing this mountain.
Well, the Café Del Mar (finally remembered to check the name) here in Rishikesh, the one I told you about with the fabulous view over the Ganga, that I have already taken some pictures of and will be taking more (if I remember to bring my camera!), has become my “nick’s” here in Rishikesh.
I woke this morning with a strange feeling…had just some fruit for breakfast and planned to go down to this restaurant for a more substantial breakfast, but I had company this morning (I’ve become the local Rishikesh guide office for newcomers) and by the time I was finished with them, got myself dressed and out, it was close to 12. I was feeling really down, with a nagging headache
(since the weather has gotten cool, I think I am not drinking enough), and no desire to do anything at all. I figured I have something light to eat, go to the internet and then back to the room to rest…of course that is not the way the day went.
I went down to the restaurant, and while sitting there, wrote the following:
I have been forced to sit facing a different direction and angle than I usually do here…I usually face the tranquil river heading downstream, but someone was in “my” seat, so I sat facing the opposite direction, looking straight down at the rapids. Across from me are the bright green mountains rising from paler green fields dotted with trees, all a perfect backdrop for the river below. The sound of the rapids is more calming than any man-made meditative music tape could be.
I came out this morning with a headache for the 2nd day in a row, and just sitting here for less than 10 minutes, the headache has simply dissipated to a mild far away dull ache. Off to the right the river calmly takes the waters fed through the rapids downstream – winding along in aquamarine serenity. Flowing under the distant Ram Jhula bridge on it’s way to Haridwar.
The contrast of movement and stillness reminds us of life. Without these contrasts, nothing would be as meaningful: day/night, light/dark, noise/quiet, gain/loss, chaos/harmony, etc. The effect is hypnotizing. The arrival of my food becomes an intrusion!
I actually remembered to bring my camera today, but the batteries are dead!, so you will have to believe me as to the beauty of this spot for now. Even with pictures, nothing would adequately bring to you the way I feel sitting here. My only regret is that I have no one to share this with in real time and have to make do trying to allow a vicarious experience for you through the completely inadequate written word.
While sitting there, for the first time in a very long time, a poem “came” to me as well. It is unedited as it was put down on paper, and I wonder if it ahs any true meaning for you…it is beautiful for me as it expresses some of the feelings going through me as I gratefully sit in this loving spot.
Sound – flowing, moving with it the sacred energies of Ma Ganga.
Sound – vibrating and cleansing with its subtle but powerful rhythm.
Water – rushing over rocks, its voice vitalizing the languid flow of the river.
Water – transforming forceful turmoil into calm serenity.
Calming the chattering of my mind and bringing a hypnotic tranquility to my soul.
I sat for a long time, even after finishing my paranthas and TWO cups of masala chai. I seem to have become addicted to masala chai. At home, I have to make it and I am lazy. Here I just have to order it and it appears! Worse than a coffee addiction as it is much tastier, to me, than even the best coffee.
When I got ready to leave, I had to decide what I do with the rest of the day. Back up to internet, food shopping and home, or down to Laksman Jhula, picking up the jewelry that was waiting for me, walk around for awhile and then back up. In the end, I did that. The weather is so perfect these days, it is a shame to waste it sitting in my room. All in all, I got back to my room after 5, after a very pleasant day, shopping for veggies for soup (which is now bubbling away, giving off a wonderful aroma and warming up my room at the same time!), and picking up my new suit which came out really lovely. Will get someone to take a picture of me for you.
I am now listening to music, waiting for the soup to finish cooking, will have a lovely supper of soup and crackers and cheese, and perhaps watch a movie tonight before going peacefully to sleep after another absolutely wonderful, perfect day!
I am truly blessed