FIRST IMPRESSIONS AFTER TWO YEARS AWAY

September 30, 2015

BLOG 2015 #2 September 30

FIRST IMPRESSIONS AFTER TWO YEARS AWAY

FIRST SUNRISE

FIRST SUNRISE

Insight about when to fly in to Delhi for best travel options.  Arrived with Turkish Airlines at 4:30 AM…ON A SUNDAY MORNING. Flying out of Israel was the easiest yet since it was Shabbat, and the airport was fairly empty.  Check-in was an all time record at only 10 minutes start to finish!  Also, Delhi airport was almost empty so no long lines to wait on and I was out of the airport, including getting my luggage, in less than half an hour

And then driving at that hour, on a Sunday morning, through Delhi, was child’s play…no traffic, no noise….and this continued for the first 2/3 of the journey.  The first 150 km., all on the new Highway, took just under 2 hours!  The last 100 km, through towns and with morning activity already beginning, even though Sunday, took 3 hours.  But still a very reasonable ride. Most of the way we drove at the unheard of speed of 80 kph on the new road which is fabulous. There were times when the speedometer hit 90 and even 100!

NOTE THE SPEED ON THE SPEEDOMETER

NOTE THE SPEED ON THE SPEEDOMETER

By 7:30 I was already sitting down to a breakfast of Aloo Parantha and Masala at Grand Cheetal rest stop.

CHEETAL BREAKFAST

Two Road signs along the way:

SAY NO TO PLASTIC BAGS.  PLASTIC IS NOT TRENDY

CELLULAR O WHEEL WILL BE COSTLY DEAL

….and indeed…you can now ad texting while driving to the already existing hazards of India roads.

SEE VIDEO IN LINK BELOW

TAXI RIDE DELHI TO RISHIKESH

India itself has stayed the same in many ways, and continues to change and grow as well at amazing speed.  WIFI access for example, which only two years began to find its way into restaurants etc., and was very “iffy”, is now almost everywhere, and WORKS beautifully! The prevalence of Western mode of dress, particularly among younger girls and women, is extensive although in the towns along the way, I saw none of it.  But here, in Rishikesh, where there are lots more Indian tourists, not pilgrims, just tourists, all are dressed in Western clothing.  It has become a very popular “get away” for the younger Delhi crowd, as well as families, and I’ve been told that for most of the year, there is actually more income from Indians these days than from Westerners, who have become unreliable as a main source, and also pay much less money for the same services and accommodations than Indians do.

But mainly these are cosmetic changes…new restaurants and guesthouses everywhere I look (and I’ve been out and about very little these first few days as it is very hot…unseasonably so), fancier cars, clothing shops etc., but the essence, the soul of Indian, remains the same.  It is something which never seems to change and it is what brings me here time and again.  I will be writing more about this as the time goes by.

Enough for this first post….next one will quickly sum up my first few days

Namaste

With love light and JOY

Jane

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SARIS DRYING ON RAM JHULA GHAT STEPS, RISHIKESH

November 30, 2013

image


Happy Dusshera – October 24, 2012

October 27, 2012

Dusshera also known as Vijayadashmi

is one of the main festival of Hindus. The zest and fervour of its celebration can be seen in entire India. This festival is celebrated in every nook and corner of India with full zeal and enthusiasm.

In some parts of India Navratri celebrations culminates in Vijayadashami while in the others the celebration of Dussehra takes the precedence. Indian mythology may have several legends to justify both the beliefs but the underlying principle remains the same, the victory of the all pervading good over evil.

Ravana or Mahishasura, both are symbolic of ignorance and egotism. The truth certainly comes out clear that however inscrutable the evil maybe, it will certainly be overwpowered. Dussehra is thus the celebration of this eternal truth.

You can find alot more information re: this Festival at this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vijayadashami

The celebration here was small but full of joy and fun.  Colored powders (same as those used during Holi) were thrown freely,

there was much dancing and music (provided by drums),

Head Drummer

Drumming Circle

and then of course the firecrackers began exploding in the streets.  When this got to be too much for my Western senses as well as my sense of safety, I retreated home.  So I did not see the final scene of the celebration where the mannequins are taken down and delivered to Ma Ganga, with more fireworks to help them along their journey.  But I could here the festivities all the way up in my room for several hours after I returned home.

You can see from the photos the ecstasy of the participants.  Take particular note of the lovely lady in a beige and blue sari with blue scarf on her head (the heads are covered to protect the hair from the colored powders).  She is Laxmi’s mother-in-law and is 70 years old.  She was one of the main organizers of this local festival.  You can see her energetic dancing in the video as well where she is one of the main stars!!

Namaste from Rishikesh

Jane


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


Gayatri Mantra Video

September 14, 2012

I first heard this mantra while walking the streets of Rishikesh years ago, and from the first moment, it resonated within me on a deep soul level, without ever knowing what the words actually meant. My soul knew. I have been chanting it joyfully ever since .

Following the reblog Gayatri Mantral with translation and explanation of this wonderful mantra, I have found this video so that you can also hear it and perhaps connect with it as I did so many years ago.

I first heard this mantra while walking the streets of Rishikesh years ago, and from the first moment, it resonated within me on a deep soul level, without ever knowing what the words actually meant. My soul knew. I have been chanting it joyfully ever since .

http://youtu.be/nDnamSM3Z3s

“>&lt;iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/nDnamSM3Z3s” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen&gt;</a>


January 22, 2011 – Tapovan Village Walk

January 23, 2011

January 22, 2011 – Village Walk

For a full photo review of the walk, please see this facebook link:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=264389&id=547896544&l=d25c841135

Went to sleep last night knowing I would be going up through the village today. Woke to a glorious sunshiny day

and after a leisurely morning including nice hot shower (which up until now I’ve had to take in the evening as it was much too cold in the room in mornings), I left for my walk. After walking uphill for about an hour (I thought it was about 15 minutes and couldn’t understand why all of me was complaining), I realized that I would not do any more of this. I have been feeling the changes in my body for a few years now, but it was a loud and clear message to me that uphill is no longer a serious option for me1 Sad but true. I accept these new limitations gratefully and joyfully, thankful that I can still walk for hours with no problem, as long as it is not continually UP!.

While walking up the mountain past the village, I was accompanied by rapids, and the beautiful music of the water was with me all the time. Other than the occasional bird-call, that was the only sound I heard most of the time. The sound of the water became progressively louder the higher up I walked, until it was the only thing I heard. And if I ventured off the main path for awhile, I was greeted with almost an eerie silence once the water sounds could no longer be heard. Here is a link to a video in case you want to get an idea of the sounds for yourself:

Namaste
Jane


January 22, 2011 – A Day with the Trees

January 22, 2011

January 22, 2011 – A Day with the Trees

I am now sitting at Ayurpak waiting for my lunch of  fried vegetable rice with cooked pumpkin (ayurveda style), after my walk up through Tapovan Village.

Lunch

I will post more about this walk, including lots of photos, but this post will be devoted to TREES.

YOU CAN SEE ALL THE PHOTOS AT THIS FACEBOOK LINK:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=264147&id=547896544&l=58f4a7e29b

Why?  I have no idea actually, but while walking through the village , the clouds began to roll in but this was fine.  I had already peeled off whatever I could and was feeling really hot!, and then the trees began talking to me, asking me to look at them, to study them and, yes, to photograph them.  Which I did for the remaining half of my walk.  I don’t know yet exactly what this was all about, but it was definitely a wonderful walking meditation.  While communicating with the trees and photographing them at their request, I also heard the lovely sounds of the water rushing along beside the path.

Try to ennjoy this video as I enjoyed the actual sounds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBzFSMomOoE

And in the past, I have received messages from tress which have always helped me through difficult places. You can read one of these stories at this link:

http://mindfulnessjournal.wordpress.com/2007/03/08/messages-from-the-trees-march-3rd-2007-rishikesh-india/

…and I am sure as I begin to go through the photos, in order to post them, I will understand further, any messages the trees had for me today (or not!).

So enjoy these photos, and the next post will contain lots of photos from the lovely village walk of today, as well as my new reality regarding  the subtle but very real changes in my  body…


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