Monkey Shines

November 23, 2013

They look SOOOO human!!  Or is it vica versa??  🙂

Let's see...what should I do today?

Let’s see…what should I do today?

hmmm....where DID I put the car keys???

hmmm….where DID I put the car keys???

Just enjoying the view

Just enjoying the view

Have a great day!!

News Flash!…A Whole New Concept in Panchakarma- Nov 3 2012

November 3, 2012

News Flash!!…A Whole New Concept in Panchakarma

Crowded Bridge During this Festival Season before Diwali

My diet during panchakarma is usually very restricted in order to get the maximum results from the detox.  Porridge in the morning, kitcheri at lunch and steamed veggies and chapatti for supper.  All with lots of ghee.  In between meals, fruit and nuts as desired and one glass of hot milk with ginger before bed.  That’s pretty much it.

I don’t usually feel hungry once I get used to it, but it gets soooooooooo boring that I feel like pulling my hair out at times. Especially when I sit in restaurants and see what everyone else is eating!!

This morning, I simply could not imagine another bowl of porridge.  So I went to ask Dr. Arora if I could perhaps, just this once, have something else.  I am feeling the need to “get my teeth into something”.  He asked me what I felt like having, and I blushingly said “Paneer Parantha”.  Without a second thought he replied, “Yes, for sure, why not?- Go have it and enjoy!!”

Which I did!!

But then, I realized, this was a one time deal.  And didn’t like the idea of going back to porridge.  So went back to the clinic and…

Sooooooooo Cute!

…. asked the doctor what he thought of the idea of having brown bread (no yeast) with butter for breakfast instead of porridge.  And his reply was, “Wonderful!  But you can put some fruit jam on it as well!!”

Wonder of wonders!  I asked why?  And he reminded me that this is a very easy , mild form of panchakarma, mainly to get my energy levels back up and my body balanced and vitalized again. You may remember that he already suggested TWO glasses of hot milk a day  together with biscuits (which I have been thoroughly enjoying).  And said if I had asked 2 weeks ago, he would have agreed then as well!!  (was embarrassed to ask then – but he was happy that I came this far with the full detox diet)

So, beginning tomorrow morning, I will have my lovely brown roll from downstairs, freshly prepared each day, with butter and sugar free blackcurrant and cranberry jam which I bought now. And will have my hot spiced milk together with it.  What a lovely breakfast treat, for the rest of the treatment days.

 It will be heavenly for sure!!  .  I am a very happy camper!

Namaste from Rishikesh

Monkey Shines and Happy Tourists – October 17, 2012

October 17, 2012

Feelin’ Good!! Panchakarma Day 4

Ganga from Laxman Jhula Bridge

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!

Local Tourist During Navrati Festival-NOtice the Plastic bottle at her side. She has filled it with water from the Holy Ganga and will take it home.

Happy Indian Tourists


Monkeys on Laxman Jhula Bridge

Bathing in Ganga

Refreshing Fruit Salad Along the Ganga-My favorites-Pineapple and Papaya

Ram Jhula in the Distance

Colorful Table Centerpiece

Beautiful Colors-Waiting on Line to Drink at the Water Fountain

…and just for fun-More Monkeys:

A great day to everyone!

Namaste from Rishikesh


March 9, 2011 – Vacation Day 7-8 – Paying the Price

March 9, 2011

March 9, 2011 – Vacation Day 7-8 – Paying the Price

Flowers on the “cotton Tree” -more later in the post and on Facebook Photo Link

Outdoors until bedtime…beautiful weather for sitting, and still cool enough that mosquitos are not yet a real problem.  But staying up and about until this hour, also makes me hungry for more food.

You’d think I’d eaten enough already today….will just have some nuts and dates though…in the end I ordered a fruit salad!

fruit salad - apples, papaya, pineapple, clementina, grapes, pomegranate

Have begun getting myself ready to leave….going through my stuff…what stays, what goes, what I still need to buy etc.  Just 5 days left here then I will be for a day and a half in delhi before my flight.

I will begin with the morning of the 9th after the night of the 8th!!

One lesson I have learned in life, and tried to teach to my children as well, is that everything has a price…before you make a decision to do something, consider the price and if you are willing to pay it!

Every year following panchakarma I kind of go crazy when it comes to eating things I shouldn’t, and things I couldn’t eat for the past month.  And after a week, this always ends and I go back pretty much to the “straight and narrow”.  Of course, this type of indulgence definitely has a price…and I paid most of it last night, and am paying the final installment today!

I don’t get diarrhea or anything, but certainly would be happy if I could vomit (but never manage to)…It is just a feeling of such total discomfort in my stomach and abdomen that I feel like crying…the pain is relieved temporarily with Reiki, which helps to release gas from the area, and by taking lots of ginger oil and drinking hot ginger.  But there is no way I could sleep last night, and am still uncomfortable today, and of course tired from no sleep, and weak from not eating.  Today I will stick to hot ginger and some dry toast with a drop of ghee.  By tomorrow I will be fine, and if truth be told, when I think back on it, except for yesterday (which still makes me nauseous when I picture everything I ate), the week of food fun was worth the price. (It is now evening, and  I am not feeling well at all.  My stomach seems to be much better, but I am feeling, weak, slightly dizzy and have a very slight fever.  Hope it is nothing more serious than just overeating, but tomorrow will tell for sure)

So what did I eat yesterday?  Well, that is part of nice story of  what I DID yesterday.

I woke up in the morning and decided I had to get back to properly before I head home.  Most of the restaurants I eat at are noisy, crowded, with loud music, etc., and also serve only standard meals from the menu.  Which means if I want to request with no potatoes, cabbage or cauliflower it is a problem as the veggies are chopped and mixed in the morning for the whole day. I also want a place with a shady outdoor view overlooking the GAnga, which also limits me to where I can go.

So today, I went checking out some new haunts, and after several unsuccessful attempts, came upon Prem’s Namaste Café down in Laxman Jhula, with an upstairs sitting area overlooking the Ganga.

view from Prem's Namaste Cafe

The owner came from Nepal in 2000 and opened the restaurant with the idea of bringing something a little different to the area.  And he seems to have succeeded.

He has the standard dishes, but also a more varied menu as well.  Some lovely fresh salads, brick overn pizza, lots of tofu dishes and many many veg dishes to choose from.  When I asked about things I could not eat, he was very accommodating and promised me a good meal to my liking.  It was freshly prepared (which means waiting, but these are always the best meals and the freshest),  Everything lived up to his promises and I hope to be back there for my last few days here in Rishikesh to try some other dishes. (obviously I was not there today, and looks like tomorrow I won’t be either).

It is really quiet here, overlooks the Ganga and is very clean as well.

There is a pleasant cooling breeze coming off the river making it really comfortable..not a drop of sun – probably freezing in the winter, but just perfect now.


SO…what did I eat:

Veggie and tofu dish with beans in it which was scrumptious – not greasy, not spiced in any way – just lovely and something I’ve never tasted before anywhere in India.

I also ordered a butter Naan, the first time I had one this trip, and it was also delicious:

butter naan

And just then, eating, relaxing, enjoying the view

view towards laxman jhula

I had one of those moments when tears of gratitude overwhelm me!  I am so blessed to be here and so grateful to all the powers which make this possible for me.

And the final, extra touch, was my chai was served in a holder so that I don’t burn my hands as usual on the hot glass/

chai in holder

There is this gorgeous tree here with amazingly beautiful red flowers.  Owner says it is a “cotton tree” and that after the flower and fruit, the tree is covered with cotton!  And he says that this tree is one of the blessings of this restaurant for him here in India.

cotton tree-see more lovely photos on the facebook link below

See this link for lots more beautiful photos of this and more from today:

It was just so beautiful I could not leave, and sat and did my needlepoint for quite some time, and just enjoyed the view.  At one


point, a monkey came along to feast on the cotton flowers and must have eaten more than 20 before taking off.

let's see...what's next

I wonder if you can see how much he enjoyed his lunch from the pictures



And then, coming down the Ganga, was a traveler, with small pack on his back gliding along on what looks like a surfboard with a paddle!!

guy gliding down ganga on surfboard -see more on the facebook link

By this time, I was hungry again, and decided on something sweet.  I ordered something called a bhagsu cake, described as layers of cookies, caramel and chocolate – very sweet.

Bhagsu Cake - Sugar Ecstacy

(I am feeling nauseous right now just thinking of it!!!)…Well, it was pure indulgence – sugar ecstasy for sure.

And that is what I ate yesterday and thought I was paying for today, but perhaps it is something else…will see how things go tomorrow.

That’s it for today – Don’t forget to check out the Facebook Link for lots more photos of today…I sat for hours in just one place and so much beauty found me!



March 5, 2011 -= Vacation Day 4 – Full Day Out from Sunset (yesterday) to Sunset (today)

March 5, 2011

March 5, 2011 -= Vacation Day 4 – Full Day Out from Sunset (yesterday) to Sunset (today)

Yesterday evening, after  a overcast, dreary day and rain in the morning, the clouds began to disperse and roll away

the heavens clear just before sunset

Eventually leaving a clear sky.  With what was left of sunset

As there was so electicity in the evening or some reason, I found myself asleep just afer 8 in the evening. .

And the next thing I knew, the sun was steaming in the window facing my bed and woke me up!  It was 8 in the morning!!

Poked my head out the door and, for the first time, felt warm air in the morning.

I immediately headed outside and did my morning meditation sitting in the sun, followed by my morning yoga prqctice, also out in the sun!  Normal life on the rooftop has begun!

I am now sitting, drinking a glass of hot spiced milk after taking my chawanprash tonic.  I Look out over the Ganga and for the first time at this time of the day, it is flowing.  It is usually quiet, still, sluggish in the morning hours, but now, from up here, I can see the current moving along at quite a pace.

I imagine the recent rains, as well as the warming air has begun melting the mountain snows and as they run down into the ganga, the current becomes stronger, bringing the river, as well as myself, back to life in the warmth and sun.

I sit here now staring at the lush green mountain opposite me, feel the warmth on my body ( down to tank top by this point and it is only 9:45 in the morning.

Looking forward to a lovely, lazy day, but finally getting in some good walking as well…

Back later…

Check out this link for some photos of the rest of the day, as well as a beautiful sunset again!

Took a long walk out the back forest road down to Ram Jhula where I had a lovely breakfast, overlooking the Ganga, of Aloo AND Paneer Parantha…one of each, a masala chai.  Then over to check on my parcel and back up to Tapovan.  Delivered some pictures I had developed for Laxmi and Devi, did some final shopping for supplies for my last 10 days here, and then thought how nice it would be if I could ride up to my room, instead of walk, drop off my stuff and then continue down walking to Laxman Jhula to sit along the Ganga.

Well, just as I thought this, a friend, with a full bike, came along, and offered to carry my shopping bag up for me….and then, as I continued walking, a Rickshaw stopped, and of course I declined as I will never pay 50 rupees to ride up a hill for 1 minute when I can walk it myself.

In the past, there have been several drivers who would offer to just take me up as they were headed up anyway, without taking money.  But this year this has not happened yet.  To my great surprise, the driver just said, “no problem Madam, come sit…ok”.  And so I did, and got my ride up as I had thought a couple of minutes previously.  Now I sit in my room, will have a nice drink of water, and in a few minutes head back out for a day along the Ganga.

IT is now 7 PM and I have just returned to my room!!  My longest day out, but what I usually call a normal day here in Rishikesh.  It has been impossible up until now, and I am really happy.  One of my knees is loudly complaining, but I am sure it will be fine by tomorrow.

Headed down to Laxman Jhula, found a nice quiet place along the ghat, away from the crowds, which are huge…

shady corner at the ghat

also Saturday and local tourists, as well as the Yoga Festival this week…At one point I started to feel hungry and realized it was already almost 3 o’clock, so went down to my nice quiet restaurant along the Ganga, only to find it full, and having to wait for a seat for about 15 minutes.  But the wait was worth it as I love their freshly made, simple, homemade food the best . Stir fried vegetables with paneer.


And of course the cold coffee was as wonderful as ever, and greatly appreciated on this very warm day of walking.

Sat for quite some time there just relaxing and then headed back up, deciding to stay out for what might be a lovely Ganga sunset.  It was not as wonderful as it is sometimes, but I did have a nice fruit salad out on the terrace while waiting for the sun to set.

To my great surprise, all of a sudden, a monkey had one hand in my fruit salad, and when I looked up, terrified, he was face to face with me, his lips curled back, his hair standing on end, growling viciously at ME, as if I was the one stealing the fruit salad.  I jumped up (did not have the presence of mind to photograph this, even though the camera was open on the table), and the owner came running out and chased him away.  This is truly the closest I’ve ever found myself to an aggressive monkey…

Anyway, he left, the owner gave me a stick to keep on the table, and I simply went back and finished my fruit salad (several pieces missing, but no problem).

Sun setting over Ram Jhula

I came home quite content and relaxed, despite the ong day out in the sunshine and fresh air.  I imagine I will sleep very well tonight (I actually sleep very well every night here).

Don’t forget to check out the Facebook link above for more scenes from my walkabout today.  It was a lovely day.  I am truly blessed!



February 18-19, 2011 – Interesting Couple of Days-Global Internet Village– Panchakarma Days 21-22

February 19, 2011

February 18-19, 2011 – Interesting Couple of Days-Global Internet Village– Panchakarma Days 21-22

Yummy Home Cooked Lunch

The last couple of days have been interesting, at least for me.  First of all, although it is still chilly, the sun has been shining so I have been able to relax comfortably on my rooftop, as I have been quite tired the last two days, something which is expected, and up until now, I have not felt this year.  So it was lovely to be able to sit out and read, eat, relax, do needlepoint and enjoy the sunshine at the same time.  Cooked my own lunch yesterday as I was finished too early for lunch and didn’t feel like waiting around.  My own food is always the best in the end, but it is nice NOT to have to shop, cook and clean up afterwards.

On the way back I found this:

Wedding at entrance to High Banks-Guarantee of Three Noisey Days and Nights

At the entrance to the area I live in and I knew this meant 3 days of lots of noise.  Last night it began and I am very thankful that I have good earplugs which block out all noise.  Most people up here could not go to sleep until 2 in the morning…tonight and tomorrow it continues!

After eating lunch yesterday, a young girl came up and said she heard about me and wanted to know if she could get a tarot reading and healing session, and I was very happy to be given the opportunity to get back “into things” again.  It was a lovely session and another day came to a lovely end.

Today, being Saturday, while having my herbal tea outside the clinic, I got a few shots of the colorful crowds which converge on Rishikesh on weekends to go down to bathe in the Ganga…

Colorful Saturday Tourists Going Down to Ganga

You can see more shots in this new facebook album of local life scenes:

Today while at Dr. Arora’s, another client came in to talk to him and after she explained what she needed, he pointed to me and said “SHE is the expert”.  And thus began a new career for me….transferring, converting, merging and burning videos from a digital camera.  For me it is simple enough to do and the other person was ever so happy.  And while doing that, another YOUNG girl came up, saw my laptop, and asked if I knew how to upload photos…I said yes, but would not allow her to put her data stick into my laptop USB port.  I’ve had too many problems with viruses to take the chance.  So she went to check it out someplace which I recommended, and later, will come up for me to teach her how to compress and upload them!!  Never thought I’d be doing THIS in India!

And now a funny story. I won’t go into details as I don’t want to expose people who might not want exposure, but it seems that a certain yoga instructor in America, who is making her first trip to India with her husband this year, has brought me to the attention of the American public via TV interviews.  Seems she was interviewed on a national network and mentioned how the internet had helped her to arrange her trip to Rishikesh.  Her husband had found MY blog doing a google search and for the last couple of months we have been emailing back and forth.  Well, I HAVE been emailing with a nice man from America who is coming with his wife soon, and thought “could this really be me?!?!?”. It has been a pleasure helping them, as I have helped others coming to India for the first time.  But how did I find out that I was mentioned in her interview?  Well, someone commented on my blog and I asked, as I always do, how they found my blog.  She explained it was after watching a TV interview with a yoga instructor who’s husband had been emailing me regarding their upcoming trip to India…(not by name, by description…a woman from Israel who has a blog about Rishikesh where she has been living for several months a year, every year for the past number of years). So she (the woman who was watching the interview) googled Rishikesh, blog, Israel and lo and behold (!), MY blog turned up!!

I find this all quite amazing to say the least…what a world!

And that’s it for today



January 12, 2011 – Can’t Get Enough of the Ganga- Photo Post

January 12, 2011

January 12, 2011 – Can’t Get Enough of the Ganga- Photo Post


Following two days of terrible fog and cold and staying home, I woke to find the sun doing its best to warm the air, as well as the spirit a bit.  I was out for a good long walk, as well as doing a “big” food shopping and having it delivered to my room!!  Very nice.

I find myself using my camera more and more and trying to capture the spirit of this place, perhaps its energy, in photos rather than in words.

I hope you are enjoying the photos and not too disappointed that these posts are short.  I DO have things to write about, but somehow don’t feel the need to write, and refuse to so something only because I “have” do.  I have to do nothing here but take care of myself…heal the healer…so that I can get back to full energy and service to others.

So enjoy the photos and keep in touch.


January 5, 2010 – Photo Post – Rishsikesh Market and More

January 5, 2011

This will be mostly a picture post.   Some views from my balcony of monkeys visiting and eating the flowers for breakfast,  views from the Rishikesh Market where I went today to get a squeegie to wash the floor in my room and to visit a friend for a delicious lunch, and this picture of a lovely breakfast I prepared yesterday…

Compliments of my dear friend Yael who graciously shared her amazing recipe with me for “sort of” cheese tomato omelette!!

views from the Rishikesh Market

note the shoes left outside the shop

Bangles for Sale

Jewelry and Headpieces for Rent for Bride and Groom

and more bangles

Flowers for Puja Ceremony on Ganga

Beggars Near Ghat - Note the Contrast between Beggars with Bare Feet and Cars on the Street

And some Morning Visitors for breakfast on my rooftop!



January 4, 2011 – BRRRRR…Unprecedented Cold – Monkeys, Winter Dress and Food

January 4, 2011

January 4, 2011 – BRRRRR…Unprecedented Cold – Monkeys, Winter Dress and Food

Ganga View from Restaurant on Cold Dreary Day

It is now 4 AM and I woke up for some reason, and instead of just tossing and turning and trying to fall back to sleep, which never works anyway, I figured I’d get my notes of the past day written up.
So I am in bed, under several blankets, with lots of warm clothes on, the heater turned on in the room and a hot water bottle to cuddle up to, and I am actually quite comfortable. One o f the nice parts of the cold weather are these lovely red winter carrots…so delicious..amazing flavor..and have only seen them in  India

Delicious Red Indian Carrots

But the truth is, as you may remember, last year was the coldest winter on record in North India. Well, this year has surpassed it over the past week! It has gotten colder with each passing day and yesterday, at the “warmest” part of the day, it was 10 degrees outside. (if you need a translation, that’s around 50 farenheit I think- but remember – that is the warmest it gets.) It is snowing in many places, but I imagine it is down to 2-4 degrees most of the time here…this is the weather I do my best to stay away from, but it has caught up with me and I am really really cold. So much so that I relented and bought a hat – which I seem to have lost after using it for the past two days. It actually did make a big difference being out with the hat on. If it continues like this, will just have to buy another I guess! I am also wearing a fleece jacket which I have never worn before in Rishikesh…I usually save it for Dharamsala, but right now it is keeping me comfortably warm during my walking around.

Dressing for Warm Weather

And I am obviously not beginning my panchakarma as planned. It will have to wait until it gets a little warmer. Nothing is heated here and there is no way to get undressed daily for massages in this kind of cold.
The biggest problem is the fog which is hiding the sun. Last year most of January was foggy like this and I hope this will not be the case once again. Although at the moment, I hear the usual Rishikesh night wind blowing for the first time in several days, so hopefully this will clear the fog and in the morning I will find the sun shining.
OK…back to my “adventures” of the past couple of days.

Sunday, out on the bridge, some interesting interactions with the two local types of monkeys. The beautiful grey and black lemurs, gentle and quiet, and the noisy, aggressive rhesus monkeys.
This lovely grey lemur is always sitting quietly at the bridge, where people usually give it stuff to eat. As I went past today, he was sitting as usual, when all of a sudden he got up from his seat, walked down and directly up to a person walking next to me, stood up straight on his hind legs and not aggressively, placed his hands on a snack the man was holding in his hands. He gently grabbed it, without pulling, as if waiting for the man to release it into his hands – which of course the man did without further prompting. He then very quietly walked back up to his seat, slowly opened the snack which was wrapped in newspaper, and quietly began eating it. Very interesting interaction.
And then, just further up the bridge, a rather large rhesus monkey, ran up to another man, with much shrieking and screaming, aggressively ripped a plastic bag out of his hand, ran off with it and ripped it open and gobbled up what was inside.

There is a very well known Vedic astrologer working here in Rishikesh, who also works in Germany and other places during the year, and although I myself have never felt the need to consult him, I have sent many other people to him who have always been amazed at what he was able to reveal to them during a consultation.
Well, this year, I’ve felt the need somehow to talk to him, beginning even before I left for India, and so I packed my Vedic birthchart (prepared for me in 2007 in Dharamsala) before leaving home.
And after the work I’ve been doing over the past couple of weeks here, and couple of very insightful Tarot readings, I knew the time had come to go see him. I went past his place a couple of times last week but it was closed, and I figured he was out of town, and yesterday decided to give it one more try. If he was still closed, that would be a message to me that I don’t need to speak with him.
As I approached, I saw it was indeed closed and was getting reading to leave, when someone came along and began opening up the shop. Seeing me, he asked if I needed to see Prateek. I said yes, he explained that he makes his appointments and just came in for a short time to check something, and if I wanted he could make an appointment. Long story short…I saw him today but he asked me to come back on Friday for a full consultation…so will let you know how that goes.
I also “just happened” to buy a book by Doreen Virtue before leaving home, called “chakra cleansing” which I threw into my suitcase at the last minute.
Well, this morning, I took it out and began working with it. I first worked with Archangel Michael on etheric cord cutting and then with archangel Raphael to send unconditional love to all those that I cut the cord with. It was very powerful together with the Tarot reading message regarding the changes in my life this coming year. I am curious to see if Prateek, the astrologer, will have any further insights to add.

I am now sitting in a new restaurant which opened in Laxman Jhula which looks lovely and promises good food,

One of the partners in it turns out to be the owner of the the Day and Night restaurant in Dharamkot, who is now here for the winter season. Although I doubt there are any more people here right now than there are in Dharamkot. Everyone seems to have fled South to the warmer weather sometime over the past week.

And of course, India means cows. Notice the interesting horns on this one..

And now…back to sleep and hopefully get this posted, along with some more pictures, when I get out later today.

December 25, 2010 – Xmas Once again in Rishikesh

December 25, 2010

December 25, 2010 – Xmas Once again in Rishikesh

Ganga View at Ram Jhula

Lovely couple of days but nothing much to write – phone still not working (typical Indian story just so that I cannot forget I am actually here!), but I did get my gas balloon today so tomorrow can begin cooking for myself, which is always a pleasure. Had a pleasant day out and about, and have been having daily back massages, IN MY ROOM, to try and straighten out the muscle problems I’ve been experiencing since lifting my much too heavy granddaughter a few months back. If nothing else, it is true pampering!.
Weather is getting just a drop colder from day to day, but so far, still pleasant enough to be comfortable if dressed properly, which I am.
So will end here and just make this a picture post to keep you interested in coming back here.

lunch at ayurpak

Nice View from Here

Yes...definitely a nice view

getting ready to fly

on your mark


home from shopping

freshly sheathed straw

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