January 3, 2010 – Free At Last! – And the Big Freeze
Finished my last day of panchakarma today, and although it would seem to be a reason for celebrating, I find myself kind of at loose ends. It will be very strange not getting up tomorrow morning and getting ready to go down to my massage and whatever, and of course to spending a couple of hours of the day at the clinic. It also seemed almost anti-climatic. I’ve been dreaming of my first meal after panchakarma, my first cup of chai, etc., and now thaqt the time has arrived, it was no “big deal”. It is more knowing I have the freedom to choose to eat whatever I want which is the liberated feeling I now have, and THAT is the big deal. (See later in the post to find out what brought me a true feeling of celebrating this freedom!)
Yesterday was a perfect example of how much fun it is to be there. You’ve probably heard of laughing yoga, well, yesterday was “laughing massage” and it was probably the most FUN massage I’ve ever had in my life. Don’t remember much of the massage itself, but I was laughing so hard, that if I was not already laying down, I would have had to sit down to keep from falling over with laughter. The two girls, Devi and Laxshmi, were giving me a massage together as they sometimes do, and were giggling and laughing, as they VERY often do. I cannot in any way write here what was going on as much of it was done in pantomime, but the teasing that was
going on between them had to do with a “friend, not like brother, different friend” of Laxshmi’s who had failed to call to wish her Happy New Year…he is in Nepal apparently…and Devi telling her not to call HIM under any circumstances and giving her reason for that. Well, from these two innocent Indian girls I would expect perhaps a reason that referred to the unreliability of men, or not running after them etc. But when I asked what the reason was, devi said “me not my good English to say” and Laxshmi refused to answer, both of them looking quite embarrassed…I asked Devi it if was something bad and she said: “not so bad…” and a split second later “not so good…!”…By now I was really getting worked up…it was like hearing a joke without the punchline…very frustrating…to make a long story short, I will only say that the rest of this was enacted using pantomime and hand motions since they really did not know the word for what they wanted to say…To describe the actions as risqué would be an understatement and I must say I was truly shocked by what was “said”…both of them were extremely embarrassed but also giggling away like teenagers..and then they made me swear “you not say to doctor!” and I promised. “this thika (OK) for girls…you not say doctor…not good”. The whole thing has lost a lot in “translation” but it could have truly been a stand up act with any audience. It was truly a “laughing massage”…
And back to the weather:
It has been obvious for about a week now that the only thing which would improve the weather would be rain, but there has been no sign of it yet. Just very cold, foggy, dreary weather. So much so that the headlines in the Indian press for the last 3 days are of the cold wave and “deep freeze” over most of North India. Unseasonable, even record-breaking cold with lows below 0 (centigrade) even in the plains where such severity of weather is not normally experienced. Amristarhad a low of -1 degrees and this is a city which is generally not really cold even in winter. Mt. Abu in Rajasthan registered -4! In addition, the North is completely covered in a thick blanket of fog which closed down Delhi airport for about 10 hours.
It is REALLY cold.
As I sit here writing, it has begun to rain!!
Not really hard but hopefully it will increase in intensity until there is at least a couple of hours of “real” rain which will do a lot to clear up the fog, bring back the sun, clean the air and of course raise the temperatures.
And while watching the rain (there is no electricity all day today so no heater…so I might as well sit outdoors, with this hot water bottle on my lap and enjoy the rain…at least there is still some light outside.
So, while watching the rain I felt like having a snack. (On my way home today I stopped at the local grocery and bought a packet of cookies I’ve been staring at for 6 weeks…look like Oreos but a local brand…) So I made myself my first cup of coffee in over 2 months and opened this lovely package of cookies , and THEN I felt like I was really celebrating my freedom. Little things can sometimes mean so much…and it is very simple to feel joy and contentment, isn’t it?
And another benefit from being able to eat “whatever”. It grew slowly darker, and still no electricity (hasn’t been any all day long today). Eventually I could no longer sit outside, even with my computer, whose battery was starting to run out…so went into my room and lit candles but it was cold and dreary, even with the hot water bottle. Then I remembered that in the restaurant there is a generator and light and it was just so pleasant to be able to go down, have lights on, and order something light to eat. While down there, the electricity finally came back on, and I am now back in my room, with the heater on, and actually need to remove a couple of layers of clothing after wearing just about everything I could for most of the day. So all’s well that ends well, but it is nice to now have the option of going downstairs, seeing people, and not being alone every evening if I so choose to.