Beautiful Last Evening (and day) in India – Nov 21-22 2012
I was invited to Dr. Arora and Manju’s for dinner together with my friend Michal. I usually spend quite a lot of time visiting with Manju while I am in Rishikesh. Daytime visits where we just chat and I watch her in the kitchen-best cooking lessons available-and these visits were missing during this short stay. But at least I would get to spend the evening with her, and I was excited about going.
We wound up spending the evening in prayers, chanting and singing with all the female members of the communal family dwelling (5 sisters-in-law, a couple of THEIR daughters-in-law, a visiting sister of Dr. Arora from Delhi, and even one baby granddaughter). I couldn’t have found a more suitable, uplifting and beautiful way to spend my last evening in Rishikesh, or better company. I have no photos, as it seemed neither appropriate nor necessary at the time, but the wonderful pictures will remain in my mind for a very long time.
It seems over 30 years ago, Dr. Arora’s father decided that every Tuesday there should be an evening of Kirtan (sacred chanting) in the family temple situated in the center of the family dwelling, and the women at the time decided they would be the ones to do it. And to this day, this is precisely what happens every Tuesday evening.
There is nothing that compares with the power, and empowering energies of the prayers of women. The chanting was done joyfully, sometimes playfully, sometimes with deep serious mindfulness and devotion, but always directed directly towards the deities. I felt it on a deep soul level and felt myself being swept away with the power of the connection to God felt in the small room. Since the chanting is repetitive, and the women took turns leading it, I was very often able to join in. And from my years in India, several of the chants I realized I actually knew the words to myself! This surprised me and of course brought great joy and approving pleasure to the faces of the women. And of course, clapping along with everyone else was a no brainer, even for me!! 🙂
The visit afterwards with Manju and the Doctor was thoroughly enjoyable as always, with good conversation, seeing the beautiful wedding album from their eldest son’s wedding last year (the daughter in law of course now living there with them) and of course a superb light dinner. With soup, idlis, subji, shahi paneer (Manju makes the best in India for sure and she always remembers how much I like it and makes it for me when I come), chutney and of course chapattis with ghee . Dr Arora drove us home, quite late…tired but with full stomachs and happy hearts.
Now having my last breakfast here at the Pundir Restaurant after being treated to a wonderful whole wheat chapatti and homemade ghee when I stopped by Seema’s house earlier.
The sky is cloudy today for the first time in 6 weeks. I feel “cloudy” myself. Must be raining somewhere up in the mountains to bring the clouds and colder weather today.
And somewhere deep inside of me there is a “rainy” feeling as well.
The day continued quietly, with goodbyes to everyone, always difficult, but even more so after such a short stay, and of course packing up my stuff for storage as well as for taking home. The sky was beautiful to watch during the day and evening,
and before heading off to Delhi by taxi, I had my last supper of schnitzel and chips!! 🙂
The ride on the new highway took less than 5 hours….
Sachin provided me with a pillow so I could sleep in the car on the way. I dozed on and off…and to my great surprise was in delhi in less than 5 hours!! New road is good for sure.
Found a nice bench in the departure lounge to lay down on for another hour until they opened the RJ check in counter. They really hassled me about my carry on- it didn’t fit into the “rack” which measures them. Finally they called the supervisor, and she allowed me to take it. What a pain in the ass. The whole thing took over an hour but luckily I was first on line and when I got to the gate, there was even a free bed to lie down on which I did of course.
the flight was fine but it seems the AC as not working….it was really hot on the plane.
Good flight to amman but it is over 7 hours going back. The plane was not full so there was no one next to me which made it easier to sleep a little with my legs over the handle of the next seat.
1/2 hour delay in Amman but that meant yosi actually got the airport in time to pick me up. It was nice.
We went and had a nice breakfast in Yehud and then headed home and got stuck in a HAIL STORM!! Thought the car windows would crack the pieces were so big!
And then later on in the evening, my house was struck directly by lightning and my phone went dead while talking to yosi. and my cellphone needed to be charged but I had no electricity, so we couldn’t talk. It was easier talking to him from India!
And now I am home, a week later, writing this last post!! I will be posting several more photo posts, and then saying goodbye until next year! Look forward to seeing you all once again then!
Namaste from Herzlia, Israel