November 29, 2009 – Just Happy Days and Observations
Haven’t written in a few days as I simply have neither the time nor the inclination to do so. On the other hand, I am feeling so wonderful at the moment, I’ve decided to put some things down “on paper”. Some of this might be just random sentences or thoughts or impressions, but it that kind of post… a collection of several lovely days which have passed for me.
Right now I am sitting in my room, 8:30 in the evening, listening to lovely classical music, comfortably sitting on my bed with a hot water bottle warming me up, after having a wonderful dinner of amazingly delicious vegetable soup (cooked in 10 minutes in the miraculous pressure cooker), which I shared with my lovely friend and neighbor Natasha. She also shares my morning porridge with me when I make it, the deal being that she washes my dishes for me!!! Perfect…because a lovely meal is even tastier when you share it with someone who also gets pleasure out of eating it.
I completed my first week of panchakarma today and have a whole new daily schedule. I am feeling so different than I ever felt in the past…and as long as this wonderful energized feeling is with me, I intend to make the most of it.
So now, I get up around 6:30 (I just wake up by myself…no alarm or anything), do some
reiki, pranayama and meditation, get dressed, and by 9 I am out. It is still brisk and chilly outside, but the morning air is so clean and the streets are still quiet, and I go for a lovely walk up the back road here, cut across through the lovely sivananda ashram, and wind up in ram jhula, where there is a new SPA(!) which has just opened. I go in there for a wonderful treat – a variety of porridges to choose from each morning. Remember, for 42 days I have to have porridge every morning for breakfast, and although I love my delicious apple, cinnamon, almond and raisin oatmeal, I get tired of it . And all the other restaurants also have just oatmeal porridge on their menus. This one has wheat, brown rice, millet and aramanth (don’t know what that is but will find out tomorrow) porridges on their menu as well as oat. So, yesterday I had wheat porridge, and today millet, and the place is gorgeous – truly a 5 star setting (a perfect place for anyone wanting a little more luxury in rishikesh), and the view is right on the ganga, and it is a perfect setting for me to begin my morning. Once there, while waiting for my food, I chant my mantra, read psalms and if it hasn’t arrived yet, do a little more pranayama. After eating, I remain to read for awhile, and then take a rickshaw up to Dr. arora’s clinic and begin my daily massage and whatever else he has in store for me. Today for example was a steam bath as well. I take a nice hot shower there, then have my lunch of kicheri, and then instead of going back to my room, head off for some unknown adventure. Since I am doing 42 days I am allowed to have a couple of fruit juices a day, as well as avocado. So I have something else to satisfy my urge to eat or drink while out, and when I come home, I can also have avocado in the afternoon. I usually arrive home around 4 which means I am out from 9-4 and it is wonderful.
I then get the fixings ready for my dinner and just relax with friends, or sit on the roof, or go to the internet, and by the time I get back up, it is time to prepare dinner, share it with Natasha, and then, finally, curl up in bed and either watch some tv or a movie, or even play some computer games or do some more reading. So you can see that I really have no time for writing!!!
Today when I got up early and looked out the window, I was greeted with a beautiful sunrise display as you can see from the pictures.
The weather is absolutely lovely…quite chilly morning and already by 4 in the afternoon, but sunny, clear and warm from about 11-3. Walking around is pure joy and as long as I still feel able to, I am doing shopping errands and getting parcels ready to send home so I won’t have it to do the last minute.
see the full gallery of pictures at the end of this post….
Some interesting things I’ve seen lately: Yesterday, while coming home by rickshaw, there was an old man walking up the road, really having difficulty with each step. The driver stopped, told him to get in, and when he couldn’t, the driver asked someone from the rickshaw to help him. He took him up to the last stop, and then we helped him get off…and of course the driver was not expecting payment, but the old man fiddled around in his pocket, found a rupee, and happily gave it to the driver! It was beautiful…
Roads are all being fixed and widened here in preparation for the Kumbha Mela festival beginning in January and there is new pavement and lovely roads showing their faces all over town.
New restaurants are also opening up in the hope of profiting from the Kumba Mela crowds expected, and a few of them are right near where I live. One of them an Italian Restaurant, but also a couple of simple light food places and a nice coffee shop. I cannot of course try them out until I finish panchakarma, but it will be fun when I finish for sure!
I am also thinking of doing rafting this year before I go home…This is of course, the NEW ME TALKING!
Some interesting observations about India from dr. arora:
I had mentioned that on the way back from varanassi we saw such poverty, that it seemed to me like it is aproblem that could never be solved. He said along train lines, in states where it happens, (he claims that in Punjab, where he comes from, the land around the train lines in beautiful, as it is down south – I don’t know if this is true). However, what he says is that people come from destitute areas like Bihar, Bengal and Bangladesh and simply squat on these pieces of land. The local people couldn’t care less as it doesn’t interfere in their lives in any way, so squatters are never removed from these areas, anywhere in India. He says these are the people I saw along the train journey. And he says they are actually much better off here than they were wherever they came from, and are grateful to be here. Very often they have even gotten to a point where one son was able to get a good education and might even be working abroad right now and sending money back to the family to help even more. One son abroad can help many families in the poorest of places and he feels that in the next 2 generations a lot of the destitution in these areas will be eased by more and more children getting educated and then being able to help out the rest of the family. I guess anything is possible…who knows? He says the same thing happens down south in the poorer states like Andhra Pradesh. But since most of the people there are muslims, their sons wind up working in the gulf states and also sending home lots of money to help the entire family get out of the circle of poverty.
He generally knows what he is talking about, so I have to believe, as he does, than in a couple of generations there will be some true progress toward upward mobility among the poorest of the poor in India. Only time will tell for sure.
And I guess that is about it for now.
Life is so lovely, peaceful, full of wonderful energies and people and I am truly grateful for each and every new day.