January 2-4, 2008 – Walk in the Village, the Law of Abundance at Work Again, and Just Another Few Days in Rishikesh
Nothing particularly exciting the last few days but some interesting observations and again the laws of abundance at work. Below is a picture from a walk I took in the local village…more pics in the post below…
The winter is here for sure, but it is not all that terrible. There are a few hours of each day when it is really warm and pleasant, and if I am dressed properly, even the morning and evenings are fine, both in my room and out on the roof. I don’t remember if I mentioned the story of the heater, but I was given one by the guesthouse which didn’t work. It seems they no longer are giving out heaters as some people had been leaving them on all night(!)…I imagine Americans who are used to over heated houses. So I spoke to the owner and he was happy for me to have one…I explained that I use it for about an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. That’s all. He told me to buy one and give the receipt to the manager and I would get the money back. Went down the same day to the shop I had bought my extension cord. This has become unusable the same day as the heater story, and needed to have a new plug put on it anyway. They fixed the plug for me with a new sturdier one than the original (at no charge) and I bought a small two spiral heater which is just fine for the room. Makes a big difference in my comfort levels, even if I use it for a very short time. I have decided not to ask for the money back, and keep it with the rest of my stuff which I plan to leave here stored someplace. That way, I will be sure to have a good working heater when I come back each year.
I had also been testing different combinations of clothing, and found that my two locally made shalwar kameeze winter suits, one with pashmina in it and the other hand-woven Kashmiri wool are actually much warmer than
jeans with tights underneath!! So I am happily wearing them each day when I go out. I can layer stuff easily underneath as needed as well as a sweater on top like the Indian ladies do which I can take off during the hottest times of the day. And that brings me to the new abundance brought my way.
There were some things I had to buy and simply couldn’t find what I wanted over the past few weeks. Among them, sweaters to match my new outfits (wanted something really cheap) and slippers for the room as I could no longer go without shoes in the room, new sandals as mine are falling apart, shampoo and some other cosmetic items. What I had bought when I first arrived had run out after 3 months. Well, one of the nice Irish ladies asked if she could leave me a few things which she didn’t have room for in her suitcase and if I could find someone who could use them. Of course I said that it would be no problem.
Well, she left me a bag (a beautiful bag) full of just about everything you could imagine, including: slipper like shoes (a little too big but fine for slippers for the room), trekking sandals, shampoo, two sweaters in the EXACT colors I needed, some books, and an enormous amount of cosmetic and toiletry items including toothpaste, sunscreen, first aid items, handwipes, laundry detergent, etc., etc., etc. so I am set now for quite awhile!
I paid my bills for December and am still within my budget, but only because I worked and earned some extra money, as I did quite a lot of jewelry shopping this month as I mentioned to you. . I even paid for the full panchakarma treatment without digging into my bank account, which I had originally intended to. Nice to feel “rich” every once in awhile
A couple of days ago I went for a walk up in the local village and there are some pics to give you an idea of what life in a well to do village looks like. The people who live down here are not poor village folk …I imagine a lot of them are the shop owners from the area or otherwise work in town. So the houses are mostly nicer looking than those further up in the farming villages. But there are still terraced fields here as you can see and much of the life is still village life.
Many of the people do not as yet have running water or toilets, but many others already do. Things are slowly changing. Many of the houses have satellite dishes on them as well. But as you can see, the path through town is just a concrete siding on both sides of a ditch with water running through it…not easy to navigate.
It was a pleasant walk, nothing too strenuous. I’ve decided that I am not in the mood for anything challenging these days, just have the need to be out in the wonderful fresh air as much as possible.
So I basically walk around the local area, spend time at the Ganga, eat a nice lunch out and head up home by around 4, before it gets too cold. Then I can relax in my room, have a hot drink, cook dinner etc. I can still sit out on the roof until around 6 when it gets much too cold, even if I cam bundled up, and then I retreat into my room. for the rest of the evening.
I am now sitting out on the roof. Last night it rained and all the haziness and fog have been washed away and the mountain opposite me is bright green again, the sky is blue and I am actually sitting in the shade as the sun is too hot for me to be in right now. When I finish writing I will sit out and take a sunbath perhaps and then have my shower. It is now 11:30 in the morning. We’ll see.
Today, after finishing my morning practice, I cleaned my room, which always gives me a good feeling. Listened to nice music, had a visit from my friend einat who has been away at an Ashram and now, while wiritng, am listening to a neighbor who is also up on the roof playing his flute. Private concert to order out in the sun. with the mountains overlooking us, the blue sky, brilliant sun and pleasant winter breeze, what else cold a person ask for?
I know! A masala chai!! I’ve become seriously addicted to chai as I mentioned and try to limit my consumption to one a day, but it is difficult having it so easily available and so delicious. So…should I resist temptation or go for it?? Well, I’ll shower first and then see how I feel.
But then the plans changed. I asked the fellow playing the flute if he wrote his own music, and we began to talk about flute music. I have a passion for flute music, native American, classic Indian, but more than anything else, Tibetan flute as played by Nawang Kechong who I “discovered” my very first trip to India. I have a huge collection of his music and can listen to it for hours. I asked him if he knew his music and to my surprise he said no. The music he plays by himself, just glowing with what comes, sounds so much like Nawang. He asked if I have anything he could copy and explained it was all on ITunes which is problematic, but he said he knows how to copy stuff without screwing up his own IPod. I’ve been wanting to learn to do this for a long time, and that is what we did. He copied his Sharepod program onto my IPod and computer, and then showed me how to use it, and proceeded to copy whatever music he wanted from me, and then I was able to copy some stuff from him as well, which I am now happily listening to. He also showed me how to copy things from my own computer to my IPod, in effect using it as an additional hard disk. So I now have an additional 15 GB to take advantage of when I travel. It is so simple, it is almost embarrassing that I didn’t figure it out by myself.
And then I went out to eat a nice lunch and am now back in my room, will relax, finally have the chai I never had this morning, and then head out to the internet…or perhaps take a nap after my really “hard” day. The clouds have rolled in again so the sun bathing never happened.
Ran out of gas last night. Here you cannot get a new balloon until you bring back the old one empty. Which means I will be a few days without being able to cook. Not happy about that but nothing I can do about it. Just have to wait until they bring me a new balloon. Even have soup ready, but will be unable to reheat it tonight. Too bad!
I’ll end here for today…