March 22-26, 2009 – Busy Days Go By Quickly

March 26, 2009

March 22-26, 2009 – Busy Days Go By Quickly

Not really in the mood to post, so just a quick summary ….it’s been a very hectic few days, and tomorrow is my last full day before leaving for the airport on Friday evening. I will be home Saturday at 1 PM!!

Over the last few days, which I spent being busy, both with friends, mainly Ilsa and Ben and Seema (the owner of the next guesthouse who I’ve mentioned), but also enough alone time to balance it out. I saw a surprise, spontaneous classical Indian Music Concert a few evenings ago as Ilsa and I were on our way home after having chai at our favorite ganga spot. Someone stopped us and said a concert would being in 15 minutes, so we stayed for an amazing 2 hours. Flute and Tabla to balance all the chakras, dance to stir the body into movement and then an absolutely unreal Tabla concert which left us invigorated and speechless at the same time. My whole body was alive when we left, and my soul in a peacefully balanced state.

I’ve done 3 tarot readings and 4 Reiki treatments, one of them a home visit, over the last few days as well which has provided me with just the amount of money I need to end up the week without cashing any more in. So I’ve also been busy, to my surprise, with work my last week here. I spent the entire day yesterday just out walking and enjoying my last days here…was out from 9 to 5 in the evening.

And today, to everyone’s surprise, was cold and stormy and have been by my room the whole day. But it had two advantages. It reminded me what weather will be awaiting me at home and so made it easier for me to decide what to wear for my journey, and I also finished up all my “packing up the room stuff”…something I’ve never had to do before. I am leaving all my kitchen stuff here at the Guesthouse, and Seema is keeping all of my winter clothing, shoes etc. So I got both of these packed up and ready to deliver, and have pretty much packed my suitcase as well. So now I will just have to calmly enjoy my last two days here, roaming around, sitting by the river, and just relaxing.

Watched a couple of movies yesterday and today with Ben…reading books…so all’s well that ends well and whatever new is beginning will be great as well.

And it is now Thursday, the weather is clean, clear and not as hot as it was before the rain which makes for a lovely final day out for walking and enjoying. I am more relaxed than I ever have been before prior to such a journey, and know that all will run smoothly and in just 48 hours from now I will be hugging my loved ones.


March 21, 2009 – One Week and I Am Home!

March 22, 2009

March 21, 2009 – One Week and I Am Home!

Interesting day today and yesterday, but honestly have no more desire to write…it’s been extremely warm and muggy meaning I have no desire to go out either, but I have had 2 Reiki sessions the last two days, giving me just those extra few rupees I need until I go home without changing more money. Been settling my accounts, ordering transportation to Delhi, and packing up house. And this time it really is like moving house, since I am not just packing a suitcase. I have one bag with clothing which a friend is keeping, another with kitchen stuff and other things which I am leaving here at the guesthouse, and all of this has to be planned and taken care of…and lists made so I know what I’ve left here and don’t have to bring with me next time I come. Basically boring stuff but helps pass the time.

And then today there was a blessed change in the weather. A summer storm has been building for the past 2 days – a heaviness in the moist warmth of the air, weighing me down, making me want to sleep. Everything was covered with a dusty haze until last night when it rained gently for a few minutes, and I woke up this morning to clouds, but a mountain so clean and clear that I could see individual trees, including rhododendron blooming. Lush bright green which I haven’t seen for some time…quiet beautiful.

And then it breaks, slowly at first – sunshine off to the west but storm clouds rolling in from the East, and leaving at first a light scattering of rain on the terrace, a gentle patter on the roof and windows. Sitting outside and feeling the air, still moist but slightly cooled by the rain- like placing wet towels over windows in summer with a fan blowing to cool off an unbearably hot room.

The breeze comes in stronger gusts as the power of the storm clouds increases. Soon it will be a full blown storm. A wonderful natural diversion – a show of Nature’s constant shift and change.

The impermanence of everything. Nothing in this world is constant. It is time for a Natural change in my own life as well. Just as beautiful and expected a schanges in the weather. Always right and always at the perfect time – sometimes frightening in their unbridled fury, leaving destruction in their wake – but always preparing the way for rebirth and renewal.

And the birds!! As the storm moved in, the crows and ravens for some reason all migrated to one tree just across from the terrace. But their were so many of them, the only thing I can think of is the old Hitchcock film “The Birds” to describe the phenomenon. There were hundreds of them all at once, making an enormous racket. I just realized that they don’t just caw and crow. They screech, shriek, scream, yell, shout and argue!!

Just finished another tarot reading for a friend, had my dinner, and will now settle down with a hot drink (it is actually really cool in the room for the first time in a long time, and even feel like I could use a pair of sox), some chocolate, my favorite music and a good book…until finally drifting peacefully into sleep. This is my last Saturday nite to sleep here in Rishikesh this year. Seems impossible that 6 months have gone by so quickly, but it is now time for change and renewal. I am ready and extremely pleased to be going home.

Next Morning: In the end, the storm blew over and landed someplace else! But the small amount of rain which did fall was enough to bring a beautiful, clear, clean and cool morning…sitting down at my favorite spot for breakfast, I can see clearly all the way to Rishikesh town…everything is crystal clear…lovely morning!


March 17-18, 2009 – Last Minute Errands and Blessings

March 19, 2009

March 17-18, 2009 – Last Minute Errands and Blessings

I’m sorry for the day which has past and in which I didn’t do the things I still want to do, and happy that another day has gone by and that is one less day to wait before I get home.

Yesterday I finally got my parcel sent off. It weighed 15 kg. and getting to the post office with the help of a friend and his motorbike was not easy, but we did it. And I am very relieved that I now have nothing that I HAVE to do, except pack to go home!

I also cleaned my room for the last time yesterday and have begun washing the rest of my clothes before packing them up to leave for my return in October. I had wanted to go down to the Ganga to swim but so far have not made it. Perhaps tomorrow.

I’m sorry for the day which has past and in which I didn’t do the things I still want to do, and happy that another day has gone by and that is one less day to wait before I get home.

Last night, for the first time in a very long time , I did not sleep well. A mosquito found its way in and was “buzzing” me all nite. I woke up really tired, and after doing nothing much of anything, had my breakfast and went back to sleep. I woke up around 11 or so, had a shower, got dressed, and decided to go out despite the weather. I took a rickshaw, which was fine, and went directly to the shop I needed a couple of more small things to take home with me. And then took another rickshaw up to the internet, got a few things done and finally walked back up to my room around 2 or so. On the way up, not feeling like eating anything but feeling hungry, I bought some fruit, and some sour cream and onion cream cheese, and had a lovely light lunch of toast and cream cheese and fruit.

And then slept again! When I woke up I really wanted to go out for a good long walk, but was very lazy. I was sitting outside reading, when my friend Ilsa, God bless her, came up and urged me to get dressed and go out with her. And I did. We just got back from a lovely evening, and hopefully will do it each day now. We went down at 5, had paranthas in the local dhaba and then walked all around from Laxman jhula to Ram jhula at twilight and sunsetting on the Ganga. Absolutely heavenly. We took a rickshaw home and here I am. What a Blessing to have her here as a friend to get me moving!

So another lovely day is over…I will now read and listen to music, relax and sleep well tonight for sure.


March 16, 2009 – And Still Stuff to Write – A Special Breakfast Treat and Two New Insights

March 16, 2009

March 16, 2009 – And Still Stuff to Write – A Special Breakfast Treat and Two New Insights

I keep thinking that by this point in my sojourn there will be nothing to bother writing about. But each day brings new surprises and discoveries, so I will briefly write about the last few days.

A few days ago, someone came to me for a Reiki treatment after we had had a long discussion about some problems he was experiencing on an energy level. I won’t go into details but his story was quite fascinating and it was a new experience for me to treat someone like this and to hear about the positive results he felt, and is still feeling, from just one Reiki session.

The rest of those couple of days was spent just lazying around in the area here, as it was too hot during the day to go out and I was too tired (or lazy) to bother going out in the evening. But I found the thought of spending another day like that not to my liking and decided that yesterday I would put my “new plan” into action. Change is never easy, but always worth the effort. (I’ve also decided that I CAN go out in the morning like I did last year, and if it is REALLY difficult getting back during the heat of the day, I can just take a taxi back home)

So, yesterday morning, after my morning stuff and a nice breakfast (I still prefer my own cooking and have refilled my gas cylinder, even if only for 2 weeks), and then had a wonderful Tarot session with someone, as well as a shorter reading with one of her friends. And then, when I normally would have gone out, I of course didn’t. I went down to the local internet shop here in the area, “did my thing” and then came up and had a light lunch of grilled cheese and sliced carrots and cucumber on the side. I read for awhile, chatted with another friend, played with the managers baby for awhile and then came up and took a nap.

When I woke up, I of course did not want to do anything…the dangers of napping in the afternoon, but Read the rest of this entry »

March 13, 2009 – Full Day – Instead of Lazy Day as Planned

March 14, 2009

March 13, 2009 – Full Day – Instead of Lazy Day as Planned

I had originally planned to just go into town for a check up at the dentist and then relax for the rest of the day, but there were other things in store for me!

I DID go out this morning with Ilsa to the dentist and all is well. The checkup cost me 100 rupees. From there we decided to go to the market to pick up a few spices we wanted to take home, and this lead us to walk around for awhile longer (the weather was cooperative at that point with a cool breeze still blowing…by 12, when we finished, we could barely make it up the hill to our rooms). So, while walking around, I saw the exact kind of flip flops I’ve been looking for and haven’t found for 5 months. I couldn’t get the color I wanted, but still bought 2 pair as they are so perfectly comfortable. Ilsa also found what she was looking for. We then went to a chemist and finished up a few last minute things, so that my list is finally done. Now I just have to wait for the meds for my daughter and I can get my parcel off. This is the only thing I still have to do before I leave and I would have liked to have had this done already. But I am doing my best to have, once again patience and keep things calm and simple.

When we came back from the market, we had a nice lunch and then I came upstairs to relax. Laid down and slept for a short while, and then went out to sit on the terrace. And things just began happening…

*My Russian friends came Read the rest of this entry »

March 11, 2009 – A Holi Cooking Lesson and a New Dessert

March 12, 2009

March 11, 2009 – A Holi Cooking Lesson and a New Dessert

Today is Holi, a holiday I’ve written about before in my previous 2 blogs, and where you can see pictures and get more information if you want to. You can read more about Holi if you follow the link to the post from 2 years ago…my first Holi experience.


In order to avoid the hassle this year, my neighbor downstairs in the next guesthouse, Seema, who I’ve written about, invited me to come really early, before the “playing” begins, and have breakfast with them and then spend the worst part of the day at their house where I would be “safe”. So I did.

I was at their house before 8 in the morning, and had a wonderful cooking lesson from a really really good Indian cook. She not only knows about recipes etc., but I learnt a few really clever techniques from her as well which I will put into practice when I get home. I finally saw how to stuff paranthas without the stuffing oozing out while rolling them out and also how to seal holes, if they do occur, and ALSO how to cleverly absorb excess oil so that they final results are not greasy.

If anyone is interested, I’ll be glad to demonstrate after I’ve gone home and practiced the techniques myself. I also received a list of spices which are used which I would never think of combining and using like this myself, and the ones which are not available at home I will go and purchase in the market this week and bring home with me.

I had a lovely morning and couldn’t stop laughing watching the people “playing holi” all around me while remaining “untouchable” myself. It is now 1 in the afternoon, most people are by now either too tired or too drunk, or both, to continue bombarding each other with colored powder, water etc., and so it was finally safe to come back up to my room, where I will now cook a light lunch and then rest.

But before I finish, I mush tell you about a lovely new dessert I discovered yesterday with my friend Ilsa. (I think I’ve already described the paneer [cheese] bread roll which I ate at my favorite restaurant last week…paneer, which is sort of like a cross between cottage cheese and haloumi is mashed, seasoned and thena sliced of bread is moistened and wrapped abround it and shaped in an elipse form with points at both ends and full round middle, coated with bread crumbs and deep fried…scrumptious)…well yesterday we explored further and found right downstairs here a dessert called “apple fritter custard”. We had no idea what it was, but it finally arrived, enough for at least 3 people. A dinner plate cover with delicious custard and dried fruits and then deep batter fried pieces of apple placed on top. It was light, not greasy, even though deep fried, and so delicious that the two of us couldn’t even speak while eating other than various forms of “oooooooh”, “hmmmmmmmmmmm”, and “wow”, while stuffing our mouths.

These are two things I will definitely try to make at home and see if I can figure out how it is done etc.

And that’s about it for today.


A Test of Patience and Anger

March 10, 2009

A Test of Patience and Anger

Waking up this morning and finding myself once again without water, I sat down for my regular morning meditation. I mention the water issue, which I have not written about even though the problem has been ongoing for over 2 weeks, because this morning I received an interesting insight into the lesson I’ve been given the opportunity to learn, or the test I have been given the privilege of taking.

For over two weeks now, I have woken up every morning to find there is no water in my room. It generally ceases to flow sometime during the night. In addition, there have been many days where there is none in the afternoon, and even evening. So each morning, I have to go downstairs, find the “room boy” and tell him I have no water, which is obvious to him by the embarrassed smile on his face, and then they do whatever they do (open the spigot, change the flow from one pipe to another…I don’t really know) and 5 minutes later I have water. This happened a few times over all the months I was here, but very rarely and never enough to warrant even a comment. I just went down, said “pani nahi hei” (there is no water…it is one of the few things I will NEVER forget how to say in Hindi), smile at the guys, they smile back and me and the problem in fixed.

But it has been over two weeks now that EVERY morning I have no water, and it started getting annoying. I asked what the problem was, and got all kinds of different explanations (yesterday, I finally got the real reason, Read the rest of this entry »

March 9, 2009 – Change in Routine

March 10, 2009

March 9, 2009 – Change in Routine

Over the past couple of days, the weather has gotten to the point where it is very difficult to be out between 11 and 3 in the afternoon. Up until now, those were exactly the hours where I did my walking. After coming home completely done in twice in a row, I realized that I could not longer do this.

So now, I hang around near my room until the afternoon, doing what I would normally do in the evening. The rooftop is absolutely beautiful during the day now. In the winter, there was lots of sun as it made its orbit lower in the sky and slanted down to fill the whole terrace, even the covered part, with sunlight. Now that it crosses the sky at a different angle, it is perfect, as there is shade all day long outside my room. Not only that, being up here on the roof, where it is muggy and unpleasant even one flight down in the courtyard, up here there is a beautiful cooling breeze and it is a great pleasure sitting up here…writing, reading, listening to music, eating, talking with friends. In the early morning I can even do my pranayama and meditation outside if I choose to. So right now I am sitting up here, in my summer clothes, reading a book, eating fruit and cheese, with the most lovely cooling breeze blowing over and around me…birds above, the mountain across and the Ganga below…It is the perfect place to spend my vacation…and that is what I intend to do…enjoy each and every moment I have left here. It will be hard leaving but sooooooooo wonderful coming home to my family…and then of course coming back here!

But the change is difficult for me. Before, when the weather was cool, I would come back from my morning walk, have a nice chai and perhaps cake, and then rest for an hour or so until evening came around. Now, just when I am ready for a rest, it is time to go out . Yesterday I took a nap in the afternoon but it was very hard to wake up afterwards. So today, when I felt like sleeping, I headed out, which was fine, except for the fact that I was tired the whole time I was out and couldn’t do the things I wanted to do.

I already went out twice with Ilsa for dinner around 4-5 however, and that was really nice. It was beautiful and cool and so lovely to watch the sunset while out eating a pleasant dinner in my favorite restaurant.

I am getting down to the wire now and must get a few final things together, get my parcel off etc., but two weeks in plenty of time. I will try and take things really easy so I don’t come home tired, and hopefully everything will fall into place simply, with no hassle.

Nothing much more to write these days. I still want to get down to the Ganga to swim as I did last year, but if the heat stays this oppressive, will probably not do it, since the walk DOWN is not bad, but the walk back UP is torture. And to go in the Ganga, I most go down during the warm part of the day….not after it cools off.

Enjoying my time with Ben as well and I know the next 2 weeks will fly by and before I realize what has happened, I will be hugging my family again!


March 7, 2009 – Busy Day, Friends, Birds and Monkeys.

March 8, 2009

March 7, 2009 – Busy Day, Friends, Birds and Monkeys.


Well, the last two days have been extremely busy with the arrival of lots of friends. Yesterday, my friend Ben who I met last year arrived. It was wonderful seeing him again and we spent some lovely time together catching up, doing Reiki and just enjoying each others company. This morning, a couple of friends from Russia were to arrive and I had arranged for a taxi to pick them up. I fell asleep late last night after a lovely day including shopping (finally found the pants I’ve been looking for for the last 2 years since I first bought them in dharamasala, and bought 6 pairs…will have enough now for a few years to come), having a lovely lunch and trying something completely new at my favorite restaurant, and even teaching some advanced Reiki techniques to a couple of friends who had already studied Reiki with me a couple of years ago.

At 2 AM my phone rang! I really was awakened from a very deep sleep…seems the Russian ladies couldn’t find the taxi at the airport…I really was not thinking but finally gave them the phone number of the guy who arranged it (which means someone else was also rudely waken up in the middle of the night). And then I tried to fall back to sleep, but always waiting to hear if they really found the taxi and were on the way. No matter what I did, reiki, taking Resuce Remedy, breathing exercises, I could not relax back into sleep until about 7 in the morning and woke up at 8 to find them here! So I really began the day very tired, but happy they arrived.

We had a lovely breakfast together with Ben joining us as well, and then did a Reiki session for Ben, had my lunch and finally took a short nap…but I am still sleepy, and have a long evening still ahead of me. Because Verma, my ayurveda Indian doctor from Israel, is also in Rishikesh today, and will be coming around for dinner with all of us. It will be lovely to see him in India, even if just for a short time.

As I was writing the above, Verma called, and came for a short visit. He came with his 2 brothers and his father! It was lovely having them up to visit…they had chai, we spoke for awhile, they saw my family picture album and Read the rest of this entry »

March 5, 2009 – Early Signs of Summer

March 5, 2009

March 5, 2009 – Early Signs of Summer

There is no longer a nip in the air, even in early morning or during the night. Just very strong but cooling wind. Very pleasant

The sun comes up over the mountain at 7:15 as opposed to 8:30 at the height of winter. The change was very sudden. Almost overnight.

Birds are “up” earlier…and so am I.

I now keep two windows open at night and using only one thin blanket for sleeping. But during the day I now have to be careful to CLOSE the window facing the sunny side to keep the room cool. Up until 2 days ago, I was still opening it purposely during the day to warm up the room.

And of course, open windows means more dust in the room and more need for cleaning!

My ghee is no longer solid…even in early morning.

And with the laziness of spring/summer weather, I am eating out much more, very rarely cooking in the room anymore. I have also started eating downstairs with other people instead of being up on the roof all alone all the time. But I’ve discovered that just as the rooftop is the WARMEST place to eat in the winter, it is now the COOLEST place to eat, with a lovely breeze all the time, something which is missing downstairs, making it kind of muggy and not as comfortable to sit and eat.

Sitting out much later at night to enjoy the wonderful fresh air, and pretty much just coming in at night to do whatever I need to on the computer and then off to sleep.

Lovely time to be here! But then again, it’s always been a lovely time to be here.


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