Feb. 24-27, 2009 – Out and About Again After Being Ill
Had a really beautiful four days since I began feeling “myself” again.
But beforehand, just a quick note: A couple of days ago, I received a beautiful surprise by e-mail. This past Fall, I had an article I had written about one of the Reiki Principles, accepted and published in the prestigious Reiki News Magazine. (In the world of Reiki and alternative medicine, this Journal compares to the JAMA or the New England Journal of Medicine in the world of conventional medicine, and having something published there is just as highly regarded). Well, I had sent off another article, which was rejected, or so I thought, as I was told it needed rewriting. I had tried several times to work on it here, but actually was pleased with the original article. To my great surprise, they notified me that it will appear in the Spring Issue!! If I had know that, I would have at least given them one further link to the blog in memory of my father, as part of the article deals with my personal issues relating to my father’s passing and how my Reiki training helped me. (You can see that blog if you are interested at: In Memoriam )
The article will not appear online at this point, but if you are interested in a PDF file copy of the articles, just let me know. I am extremely excited that I have been privilege to share my insights with so many more people than I would normally be able to via my blog (where versions of these articles also appear). This magazine has a very large international readership.
Now…back to India!
Tuesday I took things really slowly, but my room was in desperate need of a
cleaning, linen change etc. I spent quite some time doing it, with frequent breaks in between, but got my summer linens on the bed, gave back the extra blankets I no longer needed, dusted my furniture, even cleaned my windows which were really dirty after the last rain storm. And then swept and washed the floors and finally sat down to enjoy a sparkling clean room (I probably will not clean it again, or maybe just lightly once more before I leave). The rest of the day I treated myself to good food and reading and music up on the terrace.
Wednesday morning I did a Tarot reading which I had promised to one of my Reiki students, and since that was her last day in Rishikesh, I couldn’t say no. It was, as always, eye opening for me as well as for her and we both left the reading feeling really good about it.
I was supposed to meet my friend to go shopping in the afternoon and thought to rest for awhile to save my strength (I hate shopping and need every ounce of energy to want to begin trying on clothes etc), but she called to say she had been invited to go rafting for the day, so I had the day free. Decided to go into the market and make one last effort to find nice white material I’ve been looking for to copy a dress I have at home which I really like and get much use of, but have had it since 2004 and it is beginning to show signs of wear. It is from Anokhi, and very good cotton fabric, but I’ve really worn it very often over the years and felt it was time to make a new one if possible. I’ve yet to find fabric which is both high quality cotton, feels good, is not transparent, does not have beading or embroidery all over it etc. Not easy. But figured I’d give it one final shot. I went from shop to shop, and they had nothing to show me, but in one place I DID find really good quality soft, flowing cotton to make trousers from which I also need to replace ones which are falling apart. So I took that and after checking all the shops on the “clothing street”, decided to check out some of the smaller shops on other streets. None of them had anything, and was already heading back to get a rickshaw when I saw one more shop, small, empty but pleasant looking. I went in and as soon as I asked for what I wanted, the owner came out and said he had just the perfect thing for me in the back (which I doubted, but couldn’t very well not check). And sure enough, he showed me beautiful fabric, good quality, good price and very similar in feel to the original dress I wanted to copy. It does not have any embroidery on it at all, but rather a kind of “bubble” design stamped into the fabric. Hard to describe but quite beautiful. I bought it, and it was even a matching shade of white to the trouser fabric I had already purchased. (You have no idea how many shades of white there are!).
I don’t know if I mentioned this, but the wonderful tailor who has been making stuff for me since I arrived here 3 seasons ago, had left over a month ago and they said he wasn’t coming back. I would not have bought the fabric if I had to go to another tailor as I needed someone very creative and professional to do what I wanted. And just a few days ago he came back!! That’s why I decided to try finding fabric. Well, I went right in to see him and explained what I wanted. I don’t have the dress with me, but found a picture of me wearing it. So I took him into the internet place, showed him the picture, zoomed in on the detail work I wanted and he immediately understood what I wanted. I printed out the picture for him so he could refer to it. Then I came down with 2 pair of pants, which I wanted to make into one pair. The top half of one and the leg part of the other combined. He also found this an interesting challenge, and tomorrow I will have the finished products. I am really excited. It if comes out like I imagine it, I will get more of the same fabric in other colors and have more pants made and maybe even another dress (it is a dress I wear with trousers underneath, like a set).
For the rest of the day I just relaxed on my terrace, read, listened to music, and even danced some in my room.
Thursday, my friend and I decided to finally go shopping, but I was already out, and so had to find some way to spend my time until three in the afternoon when she would be free to meet me. I had gotten up early, and after breakfast, went down for my second joint massage. It seems to be helping along with the herbs I am receiving but I still “feel” my hip joint, although my knees are fine. Another one or two treatments to fix it completely. Following the treatment, I headed down to Laxman Jhula, the first time since before I was ill,and first went to exchange books which I had completely run out of the last few days. I then walked down and had a light snack overlooking the ganga and then went to spend some time in an internet place. The idea being to relax as much as possible until meeting my friend at 3. I had been out since 10 and it was now about 1:30. After the internet, I did a little more small shopping I needed for the package I am sending home soon, and still have time to spare, so found a lovely new restaurant overlooking the Ganga, and ordered a light lunch, waiting there until we met.
Well, we finally got to this wonderful new shop which recently opened here in town. It sells European clothes (they are stitched here in India for European companies and have labels from spain, germany, UK etc). And the prices are REALLY cheap. Something with a label for 50 EUR sells for 450 rupees!! ($1 = 48 rupees…do the math). There is so much to pick for, it would impossible to do it alone, which is why we decided to go together and help each other pick and choose. We had a really fun 2 hours, and both left with lots of beautiful stuff which no one would ever know was bought in India. I bought 4 really lovely stylish blouses and, to my great surprise, 2 dresses. I haven’t worn dressed in about 15 years I think, but these were really nice and she convinced me to take them. Now I have to tan my legs slowly before coming home so that I can wear the dresses without having funny white appendages showing.
After shopping, we were both tired, and so stopped for a light dinner, just like you would do after going shopping at the mall. We each had something light to eat, sat over the Ganga at sunset talking and relaxing and ending a perfect day. And then, to really feel the luxury of the day, for the first time ever in Rishikesh, I took a taxi home!! Cost 100 rupees but was well worth the price as it was already dark, quite chilly, and I was much too tired to walk all the way up the mountain home. When we got back to my area, the taxi insisted on letting me out at the bottom of the High Banks hill (it is a long walk up) and I refused to get out. For 100 rupees I wanted the luxury of being taken ALL the way home. So I said OK, but I need change of 500 ruppees. Which I knew of course they wouldn’t have. He had insisted that his taxi could not go up the hill, and said “I always take taxis all the way up…and that is where you must take me”. “No madam, taxis cannot go up there…no place to turn around” . (That is also untrue as cars are always coming up this hill…there is no problem turning around). Well, once I pulled the “change for 500 rupee thing”, he began driving up since he did not have change and realized the only way he would get paid is if he found a shop further up that could give him change, and so off we went up the hill, I showed him where to turn around so he could get back out, and then, as I was alighting, smilingly gave him a 100 rupee note. He looked at it, looked at me, and burst out laughing. This is the thing. Everyone tries to get the best of the other person if they can, but he realized that I had had the last word this time and found it amusing. This is what is so nice here. Imagine the reaction of a taxi driver in some other part of the world who had had the wool pulled over his eyes in this way. Laughing with you would be the last thing he would do!
All in all, a lovely day from morning till night.
Today, I decided to take it easy, and so after my regular morning stuff, I started tanning my legs in the morning sun before it got too hot. 20 minutes front and then laid down and did 20 minutes back. Then another friend came up to visit who is leaving tomorrow after 5 months in Rishikesh to go up and travel all the holy sites up in the mountains for the next 10 weeks. We had a nice talk and then he invited me to a going away party he is giving tomorrow evening with free dinner for all. We will be 8 people. Sounds nice. I very rarely get invited to parties anywhere, and this is right up here on my own rooftop. What could be better.
By then I was hungry for lunch…it was 2:30, and so went down to my favorite place and had shakshuka. Read for awhile, finally came up, did my internet stuff, and after spending time with some more local friends, came up to relax by my room. It is now 8 in the evening. Over the last 2 days, I have also spoken to 4 of my 6 children, which is a record. Everyone is missing me…as I am them. I’ve actually decided that 5 months is enough for me to be away. Six is just a little be too long, for all of us, to be apart. All kinds of interesting news about children and grandchildren, and just the pleasure of talking to them all, has added to the joy of the last 4 days.
I will now eat the kicheri I cooked earlier, relax, read, listen to music and finally go to sleep. And this is what the next month will hold for me. Beautiful days filled with lovely things, sunrises, sunsets, Ganga, mountains, walking, laughing, spending time with friends, eating good meals, and just relaxing before coming home. It will all go by too quickly I know, and on the other hand, won’t go by quickly enough. That’s the way time works….