Rishikesh – HERE I COME!

October 8, 2012

Rishikesh-HERE I COME!!

Flying tomorrow evening and will arrive on Wednesday around lunch time (following a 5-7 hour taxi ride from Delhi). Hopefully on Thursday, during my morning walk with my friend M, who will be in India for the first time (!), I will sit down at some point to drink Chai, perhaps at the Buddha Cafe, and enjoy the above scene onces again.  🙂  I look forward to seeing all my wonderful friends in Rishikesh who I have sorely missed over the past year and 8 months…the longest I’ve been away from India in a very long time.

Have been fighting a serious sinus infection the past 2 weeks, including antibiotics the last few days (a rare occurrence for me) and thankfully my fever has finally abated.  Won’t be an easy trip but it will be wonderful to be back…even if I have to continue resting up for another few days once I get there.

Hope to be posting almost daily when I get back to “myself”, and of course, hope you will enjoy and love hearing your comments.

Namaste!

Jane

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The Countdown Begins!! :-)

September 6, 2012

In just a little over a month I will once again be back in India-specifically in Rishikesh.

I’ve been away much too long this time and the length of my being away has played havoc with all my systems.  Everything seems to be “out of whack”….have no explanation for this phenomenon, but am sure that once I get back, balance will be restored.

I will be back for an extremely short trip this time – for technical reasons having to do with my government pension benefits – and so once again, I will be experiencing a whole new type of Indian adventure.  I generally go for 3-6 months, and this time I will be spending only 6 weeks!  I look forward to seeing how this change will also change my sojourn there, and ME as well.  It will be another new and interesting learning experience for me…as is all life!

I look forward to experiencing it in complete acceptance, joy, gratitude and freedom from fear.

View Towards my Rooftop Room – Mine is the room on the right

…hope you enjoy it as well.  🙂

Namaste

Jane


March 15-17- Journey Home via Delhi

April 3, 2011

March 15-17- Journey Home via Delhi

Driving from rishikesh to delhi by taxi, for the first time in the day time.  In March….

It is hot, the windows are open (no AC), it is dusty, I am dirty, I am sweaty, and the trip despite the new “super highway”, (every type of vehicle known in India can be found on this road and you can see them on the facebook LINK: Aside from the poor condition of most of the roads, these vehicles are probably the main reason why a 250 km journey takes AT LEAST 5 hours and can be as long as 7.  If you hit top speed, about 80 kph, you might travel like that for 5 minutes at a time.  Average speed is between 40-60 kph for most of the journey

vehicles on super highway

is interminable – I am tired.  We just stopped at cheetal (more later or in another post),

Cheetal Rest Stop

but for the first time since arriving in India, I FEEL like I am in India…

I left Rishikesh this morning after saying a sad goodbye to my dear friends here,

Me with Seema and Ashish

but God willing, we will see each other again next year. And then, into a taxi for the journey to another friend’s house in Delhi.

Actually, I am sitting in the taxi trying to make the time pass, and I am connected to the Internet with my netstik!  This is really cool!!   On the one hand, at night, I doze on and off and the time goes by.  On the other hand, traveling during the day, despite it being more difficult, lets me see sights I would not see while traveling at night. As usual, you can see all the photos on the facebook link:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=281695&id=547896544&l=14d56f320d
(there will be several different photo links in this post, so check them all out if you feel like it!)

We finally made it to Delhi, and then the driver, despite speaking to my friend on the phone several times, still spent 1 ½ hours being lost!

By the time I got where I had to be, I was beyond tired, hot and dirty!  But arriving here, was like being given an injection of “new life”.

I absolutely cannot describe to you what my friend calls her “farm house”.  It is an enormous estate owned by a billionaire Dutch business family, and it is well beyond anything I could ever imagine. . Twenty two gardeners are needed on a daily basis just to take care of the grounds! I have taken some photos, but know that this will also not give justice to this paradise located in South Delhi, in an area called Dera Mandi.  It could be anywhere in the world, and would still be beyond anything I could describe.

Main House on Estate

Sunset over Estate

I was first given the grand tour of both the vegetable gardens, (see photos on Face book LINK:)

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=281695&id=547896544&l=14d56f320d

and then the estate,  and then went back to shower and “make myself human” again.  After that, I was given an early dinner (as my hosts did not eat until well after 9 PM and I really had to get to sleep.  I was served a wonderful, simple meal, all directly from the gardens, and am sure I will forget something, but it included first of all, a lovely vegetable salad of sliced veggies, some partially cooked to make them edible (like the potatoes), and others just fresh:  3 kinds of sweet peppers, beets, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, very tiny potatoes, sweet peas, tomatoes, and more which I don’t remember..;.should have taken a photo but I was too tired by then to care about anything but eating and going to sleep.

I was then served delicious palak paneer (spinach – from the garden and Indian homemade cheese), wonderful dahl full of fresh coriander and fenugreek and parsley, chapattis also made with fresh herbs in the dough and covered in homemade ghee, and a delicious veggie dish of cabbage and sweet peas gently cooked together in ghee.  Rice of course (curiously made in the microwave) …it was sublime.

I went to sleep shortly after and to my surprise slept a full 12 hours!  Luckily I have my earplugs, because if I didn’t, the horrible squawking sounds of the peacocks would have kept me awake all night I think! I guess their beauty ends with their colorful feathers…

Peacock on Estate's Tennis Court

Woke this morning to a warm day, and now sit waiting for my friend to finish work so we can go into delhi for the afternoon.

I was served a breakfast of papaya (from their own trees), fresh coconut milk and the thinnest, most amazing stuffed potato (aloo) parantha I have EVER been served anywhere.

I know this day out in delhi will be exhausting, but it will also be fun being in town with my local friend, rather than as a tourist.  And I will still have time to rest before my flight…I have to be at the airport at 3 in the morning so will be leaving here at 1:30 AM.

More later I guess.

It is now 10 days later, to my dismay, but finally have gotten back to this.  My arrival home precluded my doing anything as “trivial” as blogging, but I am hoping that I will remember everything I wanted to write about the day in Delhi and the trip home.

We left for the city in her SUV vehicle with driver, which was a great luxury as she didn’t have to worry about parking every time we stopped someplace, or she wanted me to look at something along the way. It was also air conditioned and truth be told, was TOO cold for me!!

She lives in South delhi and while driving into the city we past the CChatapurTemple which was amazingly beautiful but closed, so I could only see it from outside.

Chatapur Temple Delhi

Me and Hanuman from Outside the Closed Temple

Hanuman The Monkey God Chatapur Temple Delhi

Vedic Aymbol Chatapur Temple

She finally decided that my first stop, before she did her shopping, would be a local mega mall, which had just opened up a new section which even she hadn’t seen.  She is a shopaholic and her greatest pleasure is “shop until you drop”.  .  IT is really not my thing but I couldn’t disappoint her, gracious hostess that she was (I have one daughter who would LOVE to spend a day with her!!).

Sitting area inside Mall

The changes in India are felt even more so in the cities, and Delhi is THE city to see change.  The cars are one example. Up until a couple of years ago one saw old cars and many many Ambassador cars on the road.  Now you have to really search to find an Ambassador, and the road is full of every type of new car you can imagine…Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus,Honda Civic, BMW, Mercedes, Chevrolet, and assorted chauffered cars where the drivers hold umbrellas open for the madam so the sun won’t get on her face.  The streets are clean, the roads improved, but still congested and Indian “rules of the road” still apply!  The busses are all new, European models, low to the ground for easy access, digital signs proclaiming destinations, AC of course and quite lovely to see.  The bus stops are also clean and neat.  And then everywhere, you see the Metro running.  The stations, at least from my viewpoint below, look beautiful, with large parking lots full of cars.  I have not had the opportunity of riding the metro yet.

The Mall was everything a Mall should be and more, and this was, I was told, the SMALLEST of the malls in Delhi. Please see the next post which will be entirely about my impressions from the Mall. It is worth a separate post and gives further insights into the changing as well as traditional aspects of life in India. But for now you can see photos at this LINK:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=281708&id=547896544&l=d212f45e57

We finished there, back to the driver and then my friend took care of her own business.  Some of it personal, some of it as estate manager (which is the reason she lives in her house on the estate!).  To purchase flowers for the main house, we went to the flower market which was beautiful, but many people forbade me from taking pictures of their wares – don’t know why, but THIS PHOTO will give you some idea of how beautiful it was.  You can again, see lots more on the facebook LINK

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=281695&id=547896544&l=14d56f320d

View of Flower Market

Back home, again, dinner by myself which was uncomfortable, but necessary so I could sleep for a few hours before leaving for my flight.

Because of this rest, and good food, before flying home, my flight home was probably the easiest I’ve ever had and I really was blessed to be able to do it this way

The new departure lounge is everything a modern international airport should be, and more, but once again, I did not take photos.  If you want to see it, you will have to come to India!!

From the plane I saw my LAST SUNRISE over India for this trip….

Last Sunrise Over India from Plane

I’m going to end this here so that I can begin posting it in the hope that it will finally reach you.

I had thought to write about the Cheetal Rest Stop as well, with it’s amazing flowers which change with the seasons, but I will simply post the photos on facebook as well and let you see for yourself.

Cheetal Flower Photo Link – worth viewing:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=281705&id=547896544&l=861eee8adc

Too bad this is now off the main highway, and not easy to reach.  Don’t think I will be making this stop in the future.  It adds a good ½ hour onto the travel time between delhi and rishikesh, and as beautiful as it may be, and as tasty as the food is, and as clean as the toilets are, when I am traveling that many hours, I would prefer not adding that extra time .

It has been a wonderful journey, and being home now, makes me appreciate it even more.  I am happy to be where I am now, but am grateful for the few months of personal time I was so lovingly given.  I am truly blessed!

Namaste

Jane


March 12-14, 2011 Vacation days 11,12,13 – Countdown and Homeward Bound

March 14, 2011

March 12-14, 2011 Vacation days 11,12,13 – Countdown and Homeward Bound

Sunset Over Ram Jhula

This will probably be my last post this sojourn in India.  For those who are new to this blog, I hope you enjoyed your time with me in India.  For those old-timers – sorry that this was not more interesting, as perhaps it was in past years.  I will still be posting on my other blog during the year if you are interested:  http://mindfulnessjournal.wordpress.com

And look forward to seeing you there as well.

The last few days have been peaceful, despite them being just before my leaving Rishikesh.  I did not find the usual pre-travel days stressful as the have been for me in the past and that for me is a big change, and a blessed one.

The weather has definitely changed to summer…it is now already dark outside, but all the windows in my room are opened and it is warm.  It was quite hot outside today…to really be exhausting for me.

This, an many other things, have made it quite clear that I am going home at exactly the right time, despite it being a month shorter than I had originally envisioned. For one thing, all of my supplies have run out over the past few days:  shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, dishwashing liquid, body soap, floor and toilet bowl cleaner, honey, dried fruits, food stores etc.  All letting me know that this is the perfect time to leave.

I would have enjoyed the warmer weather for a week or so more, but then I would have had to restock everything, and that would not be cost effective.

I am still weak, but have been given some further herbal remedies by Dr. Arora to get me back in full energy.  I have already brought all of my things into storage – kitchen and room supplies here at the guesthouse, and clothing and other items by Seema.  My bags are packed (to my great surprise, I still had too much stuff-even after sending a parcel last week – so this morning I sent off a second parcel and hopefully I will not be overweight at the airport.

The last few days were spent with old friends, and several new ones I’ve met this trip…saying tearful goodbyes – being invited out for meals, and just talking and relaxing together.  IT has been a good way to end this trip.

I will be leaving at 9 AM and going to my friend’s house in Delhi…will be there all day Wednesday and will be at the airport at 3 AM Thursday morning for my 6 AM flight home.  By 12 noon on Thursday I will be in Tel Aviv!

Hope to get some shopping done in Khan Market since I am already there, and this friend loves to shop, and of course has a car.  And then just rest up before heading home.

I am now getting into bed to watch the latest episodes of both “Bones” and “The Mentalist” and hopefully will be tired enough to get a good nights sleep.

And as quickly as the time came to GET to India, the time has come to LEAVE India.

It has been a wonderful 3 months, different than other trips here (but then again each sojourn has its own personality, and brings me different things), and now look forward to the next stage of my journey, with gratitude for what was and acceptance of what awaits me.

Namaste

Jane


January 13, 2010 -Early Return Home Story

February 2, 2010

January 13, 2010 -Early Return Home Story

You will not read this post in real time since I do not want my Mother to know of this change in my plans, so cannot publish it right now, but I have been through and interesting experience of truly listening to my heart , accepting with joy and freedom from fear all things, and experiencing true Faith in Divine wisdom and messages. (The next four posts will be in chronological order giving you a quick look at the final two weeks of my stay and my first week at home. )
Several days ago I received and intense understanding that I must return home to Israel at eh earliest possibly date. This has never happened to me before in India, especially considering the fact that I had less than one month actually be here anyway. It was an intense KNOWING that for some reason I must return home.
It has nothing to do with the feeling which people who spend long periods of time in India sometimes experience. That India is just “too much” sometimes and we need to get away for awhile. All kinds of little things which can really bum a person out after a lengthy stay. I was completely content here and at peace with everything so was certainly not looking for any reason to get away from HERE. And even if this WAS the reason, waiting a couple of days would simple find the feeling vanishing. But as the days went by the feeling that I must get home became even more imperative.
The entire feeling began to tickle me someplace inside on Wednesday evening, but kind of ignored it to begin with, assuming I was just missing my family, which sometimes happens. By Thursday, I felt like crying so intense was my need to get home, and even spoke to one of my daughters who of course said that THEY would be all very happy to see me earlier than expected, but I would hate myself after 3 days of being home for having left India too soon.
However, by Thursday evening I could no longer deny that some Higher Power was shouting at me by this time that I must GO HOME. To confirm this, I even picked a couple of tarot cards, with the first telling me to take a Leap of Faith and follow the true desires of my heart. The second instructed me to do what I knew I needed to do but first make sure that I properly research the entire matter before making the final decision.
So, Friday morning I headed off to find a travel agent who would do this for me, after also writing a letter to my own travel agent in Israel asking for her advice as well – but I knew it was already the weekend in Israel and I would not hear from her until Sunday. (That became Monday as she took the day off on Sunday).
I will make this as short as possible, and only say that I was asked to leave my ticket with the agent and he would check it for me and I should come back the next day.
When I came back, he said there was ticket available for 4 days later but with a 12 hour stop over in Amman….I told him I would think about it and let him know the next day, which was really stupid at the time, since the airline was closed on Sunday and by not reserving that seat, I stood a good chance of loosing it by Monday. But I was still following my heart and not second guessing my KNOWING. It was a truly stressful couple of days, with my literally being awake the whole night on Saturday night. By Sunday I was practicing every way I know to stay tranquil and cling to faith and joy to move me along. Monday finally came and I went back to the agent after telling him on Sunday that if he spoke to them before I arrived, to reserve that ticket for me anyway.
When I arrived on Monday, after some difficulties with the airline, and being notified that there were NO tickets available before my scheduled flight, he called the MANAGER of the airline in Delhi, whom he apparently knows personally, asking him to find every seat available for the next 3 weeks and to please call him back. And to MY great surprise, 5 minutes later, he called back and said there IS a seat available in a couple of weeks. I immediately reserved it, paid the extra fee for changing the ticket, and happily left, knowing that today, I would receive the new ticket in hand. A few hours later, the agent called me to tell me that there was even an earlier ticket available and do I want it and of course I said yes! So I will be home for my birthday, and although it is longer than 4 days, it gives me time to finish up the things I need to do here without hassle and stress, still have time for goodbye lunches and dinners with friends, some final walking around, and it is a GOOD connection in Amman with only the usual 2 hour wait.
It is the perfect way to do what I need to do and know this was all divinely guided and mastered for the best possible outcome.
True blessings as always.
I now happily sit in my room knowing that I have a pleasant 8 day vacation ahead of me! And I plan to use it to best advantage.


January 25, 2010 – End of My Vacation

February 2, 2010

It is now just about the end of my vacation…today is the 25th of January, and I am just about ready to leave. My clothing is packed and ready to be stored with my friend seema, and my kitchen stuff is packed and ready to be stored at New Bhandari Swiss Cottage. And the rest of my things are almost packed and ready for me to leave on Wednesday morning, the 27th of Janaury.
I want to finish everything this evening so that tomorrow, my last day here, I will have completely free. Today I went to say my goodbyes from many people, drank WAY too much chai, but also enjoyed the weather which turned beautiful as of yesterday, literally overnight – from winter to spring. So I have 3 days of glorious, almost too warm weather and it makes everything just that much easier.
I have been having farewell breakfasts, lunches and dinners and tomorrow I have my last farewell from Manju, dr. arora’s wife, where I will be going for breakfast. If I have the energy, I will go for a facial, but have a feeling I will be too tired and would prefer to just go down and sit along the Ganga for awhile before finishing up last minute things prior to going to sleep for my last night here this year.
It has all been wonderful, and easy….I have made arrangements to stay at a hotel right across from the airport and leave here during the day, rather than going straight to the airport at night as I usually do. This, due to the terrible fog which delhi has been experiencing and to avoid the stress of perhaps not getting to the airport on time. It will also make the trip home easier, as instead of traveling all night and waiting in the airport for my flight at 6 AM, I will be able to sleep for some hours, after a good dinner, and go straight across to the airport in time for my flight…I think it will work out well for me.
And I will post this when I get home on Thursday afternoon as I will have already seen my Mother, surprised her and gotten home to my own house by then.
So, unless I have something exciting to report from the actual journey home, this will be the last post for this trip…I should begin writing here again in just one year, 2011, when I plan to be back.
It is now Tuesday evening, getting ready for my last nite’s sleep here for the next year or so, and looking back over a lovely last day. Went for breakfast to Manju, dr. arora’s wife where I was served paneer stuffed paranthas with fresh homemade butter and extremely good masala chai. MAnju also gave me a lovely going away present of a large mug, made from stainless steel but also a thermos….for keeping one cup of chai warm for 3-4 hours!! And then, it being Republic Day (Independence day), we watched the parade from Delhi on TV. It was really beautiful, with floats from each different state, ethnic singing and dancing, motorcycle stunts, and fly overs….lots of local and foreign dignitaries, all freezing in the delhi fog (which hopefully will not delay my flight in a couple of days), but very exciting to watch.
Back home, lunch, final visit with seema, last minute cleaning and packing, and more friends coming to say hello and bring small gifts as well…It was another beautiful day and I happily get ready to go to sleep now to be up early and on my way to delhi tomorrow morning.
Namaste
Jane


January 28, 2010 – 5:30 AM – The Continuing Saga

February 2, 2010

January 28, 2010 – 5:30 AM – The Continuing Saga
I should just about be boarding my plane for home at this time. What I am actually doing is sitting with 6 other sweet Israelis in the Airport Visitors lounge, waiting for the restaurant to open so I can get something to eat! I left my hotel at 3 AM after checking that the flight was not delayed on the internet. When I arrived at the airport, I quickly discovered that the flight was delayed by at least 6 (!) hours until 12:35 in the afternoon. This, only when a ground crew member finally came to the check-in counter which never opened as it should, explaining to us that they called everyone on the phone they could reach (which would explain why there were only 16 people at the check-in counter), and she would arrange for us to sit in the visitor’s lounge until 8 in the morning when the check-in would begin for the 12:35 flight. At that time they would also notify us about what our connection in Amman would be, and it seems as though I was meant to spend time in the airport hotel anyway, even though I didn’t take the flight last week BECAUSE of the bad connection…what is meant to be, apparently WILL be, and as I sit here now, I still have no idea what time I will finally be arriving home!
And I now sit eating a slice of pizza (actually not bad) at 5:30 in the morning!! This is going to be an interesting adventure until it finally ends at home.


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