Masjid Fatehpuri at Dusk
Just some photos. It was so beautiful….no words are necessary here I think!
As promised, I will begin posting stories and photos (mainly) from my recent sojourn in India. I found blogging to be a true intrusion this trip and did very little posting while actually there. So I will now begin trying to catch up, for myself as well as for my followers.
I blessed this year with an amazing first time adventure of experiencing, and exploring Delhi with local friends, rather than as a tourist, and it was a whole new experience for me. I will begin this post with my first days in Delhi.
I explored places I’ve never beendto before, travelled on the Metro for the first time, saw some of the new wonderfully modern areas of Delhi as well as the traditional markets and local antiquity sites. I hope you will enjoy the next few posts which will hopefully tell this story, mainly in photos.
I’ve been away a long time and feel the energies of Rishikesh calling me back each day. Won’t be back for a couple of months, but would like to share some of my all time favorite shots of Rishikesh with you for the time being. Hope you enjoy! Check out the full gallery at the end for more photos.
Namaste…see you soon in India!!! Enjoy the full gallery below for lots more shots….sooooooooooo hard to choose from the hundreds that I have! 🙂
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.!
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.
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.
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
To my great surprise, I am feeling wonderful. Actually better than I have felt for the past few months. I was “out and about” today…met a lovely Israeli girl when I went for lunch and we spoke for more than an hour, and then continued down to do lots of errands in Laxman Jhula (none got done, but it is not important). Had a wonderful walk, the weather is getting better each day, I am getting stronger and more fit and the hills are easier than they were even yesterday. I have more energy than I have had in a very long time. I know there will be more difficult days during Panchakarma, but for now I am in heaven.
Just making this into a photo post with some sights of the day. Enjoy!
…and just for fun-More Monkeys:
A great day to everyone!
Namaste from Rishikesh
It is now 6:30 in the evening and I am happily sitting out on my rooftop terrace, enjoying the still comfortable evening air. Soon it will be much to cold at this time of the day to sit outdoors. Even now I am wearing jeans, woolen sox and my warm shawl, but am comfortable and feeling blessed.
I have already eaten my kitcheri for supper and later, before going to sleep, will have my wonderful hot spiced milk and biscuits. But I now bought myself good, wholesome organic oatmeal cookies…much more expensive than the “biscuits” the doctor recommended – plain cookies made from flour oil and lots of sugar and additives. Those were 5 rupees a packet, the ones I bought were 120 rupees a packet!! But I will feel much better eating a couple of those with my milk. :-
I cannot believe what I did today!. After my treatment, which was lovely- massage and navi basti (hot oil bath on navel area – a kind of bowl is formed out of chickpea flour which is made into a kind of clay, and then placed over the area to be treated, and hot medicated oils are poured in and left to do their magic on the chosen part of the body).
Then I was told that Manju, the doctor’s wife would be arriving. She is one of the sweetest women I have ever met, a wonderful cook who I learned much from regarding Indian cooking, and a dear friend. So I waited for her and was so happy to see her when she finally arrived. I will be going, together with my friend Michal, to visit her one afternoon in the coming days, and to enjoy some of her wonderful cooking (whatever I can while doing panchakarma) and of course her lovely company.
And then I decided to have pulao, something I am allowed every few days instead of vegetables and chapatti, but was by then too tired to go all the way down to where I had intended to eat. So I decided to go to a nearby place and see if their pulao was any good (it wasn’t). But it is the lovely place along the Ganga which I so enjoy, which changed hands but is still in a beautiful setting overlooking the Ganga PHOTO
….and then, cannot believe what I did! I walked full force into a plate glass entrance door to the restaurant- which I absolutely did not see! Strong enough to draw blood from my mouth and nose and raise a huge bump on my forhead!!
Thank God for Rescue Cream and Reiki!!
By the time the meal arrived, the bleeding had stopped and the swelling was down. I continued with Reiki and Rescue for a time after the meal. When I got back to my room there was still some slight swelling on my upper lip and forehead…did more Reiki while napping and now it is fine. There is still some slight pain but nothing compared to what I felt when hitting the glass! I almost fainted. Now I understand the expression “seeing stars”!!
The restaurant itself is lovely. Still called Café Delmar, but with a Beatles, 60’s theme about it. It offers many Vegan options – a first here in Rishikesh and there was even classical music playing in the background when I arrived.
AND….they have free WIFI!!!!!!!
Began taking a few odd photos today and will try and post several each day if something worthwhile comes out.
Will relax the rest of the evening, go to sleep early, and hopefully be awake for another lovely sunset tomorrow.
Below, if you are interested, is some information regarding the significance of the 9 Day Navrati Festival now being celebrated in India, and bringin many local tourists to town as well.
Mahanavaratri , nine night Goddess festival started today and ends on 24 October with Vijayadashami.
Navratri is divided into sets of three days to adore three different aspects of the supreme goddess.
First three days
These initial days
are dedicated to Durga Maa, the Goddess of power, energy and transformation, also known as Kali in order to destroy all our impurities and negativity. These three days the devotees meditate on the fire aspect of Goddess and purified their Sanskaras , the conditioning of old vicious habits etc.
Second three days
When the impurities are removed then the pure spiritual wealth is bestows by Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance. These three days the devotees meditate on the soft and soma qualities of Goddess to experience love and compassion as his inherent pure quality.
Final three days
Once the aspirant succeeds observing the evil propensities, and develops Sattwic or pure, divine qualities and then only he can receives the light of supreme wisdom by the grace of mother Saraswati..The final set of three days is spent in meditating on the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati..
The tenth day, Vijaya Dasami is the celebration of liberation of the soul, the victory, the achievement of goal of all goals.
These nine nights are designed for our spiritual evolution. It also falls on very special planetary situation, twice a year, the beginning of summer and the beginning of winter on a very auspicious day.
Namaste and Blessings from the Goddesses to all
Well, I’ve been here now for just three days but it seems like I’ve been here for a couple of weeks at least. I am now sitting in my room with Tata Photon+ mobile broadband service stick which my friend is lending to me whenever I want it so that I can use internet in my room. The wifi services here are not working well enough for me to take advantage of them in my room, so this is a real blessing from him to me. I am listening to lovely Israeli folkdancing music (which I love), and eating Besan Ladoo…which I also love!! Heaven on earth.
I honestly haven’t felt like writing since I arrived, but have many things written in bits and pieces in my notebook….hope to eventually get them all up here. And to my great surprise, I haven’t taken (hardly) any photos either. But I won’t force anything to “happen”. Just flowing with things as they go.
I arrived in Delhi on Wednesday morning at 4:30, with my friend M. We were picked up by a taxi which I had ordered previously and began our journey to Rishikesh. And to my great surprise, it took a long time for me to feel like I was actually in India! Everything has changed so much over the past year and 8 months. It took hours before my friend had her first traumatic meeting with Indian culture shock. She was beginning to become complacent, maybe even bored, but India being India…it will finally find its way to you in all of its glorious, and not so glorious ways!!
At the airport there was no initial assault on the senses as there used to be. We could have been in any lovely airport in any country in the world. The new terminal has nothing to give you the feeling that you are truly back in India. My friend was pleasantly surprised, and happy, but I was actually disappointed. . Pleased of course that progress is moving things forward, India as always moves ahead while standing still….But I wanted desperately to “feel” India on a gut level, in my soul!
We were taken to our taxi, and to my total astonishment, there was AC working!! And it worked most of the journey to Rishikesh! Quite unbelievable. Not only is it obviously more comfortable during a hot drive, but it keeps all of the dirt and dust out of the car!
I was already told that the new highway is open and running between Delhi and Rishikesh, but had no idea what to expect. Well, the first 150 KM of the 250 KM journey took under 2 hours, Then we stopped for breakfast and toilet and lovely Cheetal Resort. When we got back in the car, the driver explained that the highway only continues for another 10 KM and then we are back on the old road for the last 90 KM of the trip to Rishikesh.
So, finally, we would “feel” India!! The highway is approached through a bypass road from the airport, so we didn’t even get to ride through Old Delhi or New Delhi on our way out of the city. And all of the hussle-bussle was truly missed by me.
Once off the main highway however India finally “hit” with full force. I was ecstatic, my friend traumatized. We were back to the horror and magic that is travel on Indian roads. (You might remember the previous post- Rules of the Road).
The last 90 KM took well over 3 hours of nerve-wracking driving, noise, smells, near death passes, a cacophony of humanity coming to life in the morning hours. Just wonderful! But my poor friend! I think you NEVER forget your first drive on Indian roads. Just like you never forget childbirth (!). It finds a place of honor in your soul and stays there forever, but hidden enough to allow you to venture onto the roads again for travel in the future!!
I am going to end this post here so that I can finish it up and post it. And hope to continue either tomorrow or later today with one more catch up post about our first two days here. They have been a blur of sensory, culinary and physical stimulation…exploring, showing my friend the local sights and also how to find her own way around, eating wonderful food, enjoying the perfect weather, see all my wonderful friends again and just feeling peaceful and tranquil and back home after much too long.
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.