Sunrise through Clouds-Dawn of Another Day-October 24, 2012

October 24, 2012

Sunrise through Clouds

If there were no clouds, we would never have beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  I woke early this morning and was blessed with these beautiful views out over the mountain.

 

Namaste from Lovely Rishikesh


“Dynamite” and Clouds – Day 10 Panchakarma- October 23,2012

October 24, 2012

“Dynamite” and Clouds

The day began actually the night before.  This will be a short post but hope you enjoy the accompanying photos.

Yesterday as I left my treatment the doctor handed me a little packet containing a “treat” for the evening.  It is a combination of herbs which have a laxative effect and is the first stage of the cleansing process itself which now begins following the initial 10 tens of preparation.  But in past years it had little or no effect on my, so this year he gave me “dynamite”.  AND IT WORKED!  Enough said.

In short, I slept very little, and was exhausted from not sleeping and from the effects of the herbs during the night and morning hours.  So today I rested the entire day and by evening was feeling much better.  But it definitely was one of my more uncomfortable experiences with panchakarma.

But there is always a bright side to everything, and the evening provided me with a beautiful display of clouds which I always love seeing.

These look to me like water rippling…

Namaste from Rishikesh

 


A “Face” Out of the “Book” – Day 9 Panchakarma – October 22, 2012

October 23, 2012

Surprising, Exciting, Exhilarating Special Day in Rishikesh

view of laxman jhula snuggled in the mountains

Today a “face” came out of the “book”. I met a Facebook friend “face to face”.

I’ve been friends with Mukesh for some time now on Facebook.  We met through another lovely mutual friend, Preeti.  And today he was in Rishikesh area visiting his family and his new wife who live nearby on the way to Dehradun (he himself works in Delhi), and asked if I’d like to meet up.  I was thrilled of course at the idea.

He is an extremely accomplished photographer. You can check out his work on Facebook :  Mukesh Bhandari.

So he came to meet me by my room following my morning treatment which included a lovely massage, today by Devi, and my very favorite:  steam bath. Still trying to get a photo of this…basically I am closed into a wooden box with just my head outside and wonderfully warm, moist steam is pumped through the box.  It is luxurious.  (You might remember an “I Love Lucy” episode where she got stuck in such a box).

Mukesh arrived by bike and we had a no special plans so just set out and before we realized it we were across Laxman Jhula bridge (not an easy task with the festival crowds in town at the moment)

I THOUGHT I was shooting a video but had pushed the wrong button!!  🙂  )

….he suggested we head up to the waterfall, and I of course agreed.

It was an exhilarating ride and he is a great driver.  Very careful and considerate of his rider, who was ecstatically enjoying each movement, curve, sway and motion.  The ride was really cold and I was not dressed properly, not imagining that this is what we would be doing.  But it was so beautiful I really didn’t care.

It was so wonderful to be back on a bike again ..and to feel the wind on my face … the true meaning of flying free being felt as we drove along.

You can read about my previous bike adventures and my feelings the FIRST time I ever rode a bike at these links:
Bike Ride to Kunchapuri

Another Bike Adventure

We began our way up the forest trail towards the waterfall,

and each step revealed yet another scene of Natural beauty.

Mukesh told me that he took his fiancé here rather than to a fancy restaurant as most guys do.  He couldn’t have taken her to a more beautiful place.  As we neared the waterfall however, there was a place where we had to go across a small section of water.

you can see the continuing path at the top right of the photo across the water

Having not planned this, I was not wearing proper footwear and didn’t want to take the chance of getting my feet soaking wet and then having to continue riding back in the cold air in that condition.  Did not want to take the chance of getting sick, so to our mutual dismay, that was as far as we got.  We could hear the waterfall in the background, but not see it.  But I WILL go back more suitably dressed at some point, and bring along a change of shoes if necessary.

We had to turn back but not before enjoying the beauty of the place

and Mukeshtaking lots of shots which I will eventually post once he gets them to me.  It will be after he returns to Delhi and his PC.

From there, we took the upper mountain road overlooking Rishikesh below

We then found our way back to Ram Jhula, where I DID manage a video…but nothing compared to what we had to get through on Laxman Jhula.

It was an amazing day, even more so as it came as a complete surprise.   I haven’t felt this energized in a very long time.

Just being back so close to Nature once again has its own healing powers.  And the sense of freedom and the joy it brings have brought great blessings into this day.

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Mukesh…you are an angel sent from God and I am grateful to Him and to you for this wonderful day.

Hope you will enjoy the gallery of photos which I myself shot.  Being on such a journey with a fellow photographer has additional benefits, as he also looks forward to stopping many times along the way to take photos wherever possible.  My shots will not be as good as his for sure, but they will give you some small feel for the beauty we were blessed with today.

Namaste from Rishikesh


Latest News in Cycle Rickshaws

October 23, 2012

I Just Had to Share This

India: Moving Forward While Standing Still

From an article in yesterday’s newspaper.

 

Namaste from Amazing India


Most Fun Panchakarma Ever! – Days 7-8 Panchakarma October 20-12 2012

October 21, 2012

Most Fun Panchakarma Ever! – Days 7-8 Panchakarma October 20-12 2012

Oct. 20- Full, Fun Day with Lots of Good Food

Just Enjoying the View

Came down for breakfast this morning only to find the cook in the shower! The shower is actually in the same bathroom which is on the  balcony that we love to have our breakfast on each morning.  The helpers were all upset because  a customer arrive and there was no one available to cook for her. So they yelled something into the shower, probably telling him to hurry up etc.  But I was in no hurry and it sounded like he was really enjoying his shower. (bucket showers make lots of noise). So I also yelled into the shower, “don’t worry…no problem…enjoy shower!”

So now I sit and listen to Lucky (the cooks name) taking a long, leisurely shower, every so often sighing in pleasure as he pours water over himself.  And I myself sigh with pleasure as I enjoy my Ganga View.

During these holy festival days there are many people already bathing in the Ganga at this early hour.

Bathing In the Ganga during Navrati Festival

There is always something to see wherever you are, and whatever you are doing.  Being Mindful of your surroundings brings great joy and pleasure into what would  otherwise be a boring day.

Had my treatment today which consisted of massage and Natri Basti (warm medicated ghee poured over the eyes which are cupped in the same “bowl” used for other types of basti on various body parts.)  The ghee of dripped out of the sides of the bowl and so I had to of course take a shower and wash my hair.

I knew I would be out for a long day of fun and shopping with Michal, so decided to eat my kitcheri at the clinic before heading out.  And then, to my great surprise, the doctors wife came in with aloo parantha for everyone for lunch and the doctor offered me one.  I said I would love one but my doctor doesn’t allow it during panchakarma.  He said  “it is ok, for you ok…have have”.  So I DID have and it was of course great.  This is the most fun panchakarma I’ve ever done!!

Michal and I then had  full day of shopping, errands, post office, more shopping, a wait at Prem’s Namaste restaurant overlooking the Ganga once again (You can find photos of this lovely place from a post from last year when the silk cotton tree was blooming…exquisitely beautiful. ) https://janesindiajournals.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/march-9-2011-%E2%80%93-vacation-day-7-8-%E2%80%93-paying-the-price/

Fabulous Kashmiri Pulao full of raisins, cashews, pineapple, coconut , cloves, cardamon etc., etc., etc….Just superb!

Took her to Prateek the astrologer…it was beyond amazing and he has given her much needed food for thought.  She was quite happy when we left.

Oct. 21, 2012

Today had massage and sirrohdhara, ate my kitcheri and had a long soul searching discussion with Dr. Arora about the difficult health issues I’ve had this past year and their possible (probable ) causes…also giving me some definite food for thought.  I had a sleepless night last night – my mind has begun racing, which very often happens as cleansing deepens during the treatments….so he has helped me put some things into perspective which was well needed.

Had a good nap and am now eating my fruit salad as I write this up.  Look forward to a pleasant and quiet evening…perhaps a movie for the first time.

I know this has been a fairly boring post but I guarantee you that nothing is boring about my wonderful days here which are going by much too quickly for my liking.

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


Blessed Life, Gratitude and Joy-Panchakarma Day 6 October 19,2012

October 20, 2012

Blessed Life-Panchakarma Day 6 October 19,2012

Dinner at Laxmi’s

Ganga below, clear blue sky and green mountains across, above and surrounding me, cool breeze, breakfast on the way at Lalita’s restaurant as I begin to write this post in my notebook.  … as tears of overwhelming gratitude and joy for my blessed life stream down my face.!  

Gas Delivery Day in Tapovan

Just a scene from local life….apparently gas delivery day as women were coming down the street one after the other, old and young, all carrying balloons on their heads…I was lucky enough to get my camera out and get at least this one shot above!

Feeling better today but still tired.  Dr. says no more “communal” massages.  No more practicing on me (even though I love all the extra massage care and attention).  Need very gentle, relaxing massage by one person only.  If not, it is too tiring and exhausting for me in my weakened condition.

So today I had a truly quiet and relaxing massage from just Laxmi and the same chest pack again as yesterday.  I wasn’t quite as cold as yesterday (they told me that most people begin sweating when this is put on them) but still not comfortable.  This is just another indication of my still very weak condition.  Dr. will also do some further treatment later to help clear my sinus and chest, which is normally done by the Vamana (vomiting/purging which I am not allowed to do this year), so all is well.

And just to make a day even more perfect, even with the wall blocking my view, I was still rewarded with these slight signs of a beautiful sunset.

It is now 9:30 at night and to my great surprise, just got back home from a fun evening at Laxmi’s house.  She invited us today and I had originally planned to go to the puja to meet some Israeli friends, but I wasn’t feeling up to it and so decided to go with Michal for a quick visit and light snack at Laxmi’s house.  We met her at the clinic and waited for her for quite awhile before she was ready to leave.  We bought some sweets for her kids and mother-in-law on the way.  And to my surprise, my good friend Reingard, from Germany, who I know for several years now and who I spend quite a lot of time with during my stays here (last trip we went to Varanassi together), was also there.

Laxmi’s Kids

We played with her kids, aged 11 and 13, had lots of fun, it was great to see her lovely home finally complete – it was still in progress last time I was here.  After working a full day at the clinic, she came home, changed clothes and went into the kitchen to prepare what we thought would be a light snack.  We sat in the room for quite awhile (after being served delicious chai of course) and she was still in the kitchen.  Went in to see what she was doing…got a few more pointers about getting my own chapattis to come out as good as hers, and then went back again to wait.

Finally, when we were all really tired, but quite happy spending the time with her kids and talking to Reingard, she came in with a full Tali for each of us!!  Chappati (with ghee of course), two kinds of subji (vegetable dishes-one cauliflower, the other potato and cucumber) and delicious soup made from cucumber!!  Talk about a light snack.  This is one meal we certainly won’t tell the doctor about!!  But it was soooooooooooo delicious!   And we had a truly love time.

“Light Snack” at Laxmi’s House

 Her kids have gotten so big, and as they go to a good private school (paid for by Reingard all these years), they speak wonderful English.  Michal had finally picked up the four suits she had tailored for her and so we also had a fashion show, which was great fun!

All in all a lovely evening.  And now happily off to bed.

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


Butterflies and Panchakarma Day 5 – October 18 2012

October 18, 2012

Butterflies and Panchakarma Day 5 – October 18 2012

Someone pulled the plug!

Today I feel like I am doing panchakarma….like someone whose batteries have run out or like an appliance whose electric cord has been unplugged

But blessings still come my way, even if it is only during a walk back up the mountain to my room after my treatment and lunch

There are butterflies everywhere

the weather is wonderful

1:30 in the afternoon in Tapovan Rishikesh

nothing can compare with the fruit salad served at the New Bhandari Swiss Cottage containing, papaypa, pineapples, apple, banana, nectarines, pomegranates and watermelon

and the view of the mountains brings joy to my soul each time I sit here on my rooftop looking at it

The treatment today was in place of Vamana (vomiting or purging of the upper body of mucous, phlegm etc).  Since I began my treatments in a very weakened state this year, the doctor felt that Vamana would be too enervating and exhausting for my body.  So a milder, gentler form of treatment was done today, and again tomorrow, bringing about the same results supposedly. I was told it would be a hot chest pack

My chest area was wrapped and bound in several layers of a soft fabric which was dipped first in very hot water.  And then I was covered with a sheet.  After a couple of minutes I felt uncomfortably cold and called the girls…who put more hot water on it but it seemed like a really ridiculous kind of treatment and I was getting annoyed.  Then Devi came in again when I called and covered me with several warm blankets, but very shortly afterwards I became very cold again.  So she came in and sat there just pouring hot water continually over me.  And then it was over.

I went down to talk to the doctor about it but he was busy, so left to go for lunch.  And all of a sudden, while eating, I felt like someone “pulled the plug” on me and finished eating and came straight back to my room where I have been sleeping since

I will have to get a full explanation of this from the doctor.  I don’t know if it is from the treatment, or just the panchakarma in general which is making me feel so exhausted, but when I find out, you will too

I met my dear friend Lalita today and haven’t seen her in a couple of years so very nice seeing her again, and once again, there were also some nice kids at the restaurant who I had an interesting conversation with, both about ayurvedic medicine and Indian food.  Quite nice…too bad I had to leave to get back to my room.

Tonight is an Indian Classical Music concert right here, and hope I will feel up to going.  I love tabla and flute and can listen to it for hours, and there is NOTHING like hearing it live.  It moves me on all levels to unknown realms of joy and tranquility

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


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