Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Yesterday was an epic day - up at 3.30am - bed at 9.00pm - tired, tired! Had a really yummy (actually 2) samosas from a hole inthe wall - Rs10 for dinner, and a piece of plum cake from the main street bakery for dinner. I nearly fell asleep eating - except the samosas were really hot and spicy, and that kept me awake.
Practice is practice - nothing new - wont bore you to death. Classes are being taught by Saraswati now that Sharath is off on his world tour. The shala is noticeably quieter, with even more people leaving today. Led yesterday was quiet, but even less today. Nice for the space anyway. Now I'm on the Supta Kurmasana challenge.
Kids were great tonight, finished at 7.30pm - find it hard just to walk out when it starts to get crazy in there. Hopefully they will let me take some photos before I leave, it will be sad to go from there. But I have found a young yogini to fill my shoes - she came today with me and seemed to really enjoy it and I think she'll go back (many don't after the first go).
Cooking tomorrow - more yummy things. Life is starting to get a little hectic - lots of invites to lunches and dinners, an interview for a research project, a pedicure (feet are absolutely vile), shopping of course though nothing much - just stuff from a friend's dad's shop, and dinner with his family - always like the Indian invites, and trying to finish reading a couple of books before I leave (don't want to drag them with me). All trains are booked, and I'm starting to feel a little daunted about moving on and travelling around a bit. But it will be fun, an adventure, only a week left here in Mysore.
Til the next post - namaste.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The kids home was fun yesterday - I have decided that other than the practice, this is the best thing about Mysore. I really like going there - although I wish I spoke Kanada so that I could communicate more with everyone. If I am feeling better by Monday I may even see if I can do nearly every day before I leave on the 7th. It is just fun, and you get used to the children, and they you. If I get to come back to Mysore I will definitely be volunteering there again. I also hope to send and organise some on going donations to the home as I think they do an fantastic job. Some people think it's depressing, but they don't see past the bricks and mortar, it has a really nice vibe and the kids seem well looked after and they receive really nice care from the staff. They are not walking round in Bonds or OhKosh but who cares. I would very much encourage anyone who is coming to Mysore to give some time - it's good for the kids and it's good for your soul.
On the other things good for your soul, I went out to dinner last night with another yogini, from Sydney (though originally a Melbourne chick). Cynthia is a real laugh and we had a lovely night - went to a really nice hotel and ate in the courtyard. Food was OK but company was great. We even got frocked up a bit as yesterday was Hindu New year - called Ugadi in the South. I asked Jyothi, my house mum what you do for Ugadi, and she said that you buy new clothes - so any excuse - though they were pretty cheap - Rs249 for each kurta. Only wore one to dinner though. It was nice to put the glad rags on.
Things good for your soul number 3 - went shopping today - actually took a friend to Badsha's - they have great fabric - best in Mysore. Anyway it's always fun and they know me in that store from last time. So far I think I have bought 20+ people to their shop - I think they, and my tailor, should give me commission. In fact the other night I was having a good old chat to Lokesh and Suka (tailor and his wife) and someone came in (a very annoying person - origin - I'll let you guess), anyway after we got past (spoken very slowly) "Do you speak English" (to Lokesh), which I answered as slowly "Better than me" (did she think I was sitting there staring at them), Lokesh handed me a dress he was making and got me to thread elastic (lots of students are leaving and lots of orders to finish). So they think I should bring my sewing machine next time and set up there. Between the orphanage, the tailor, and the fabric store, not to mention yoga - I have got all my time covered - next trip at least.
As tomorrow's practice is 4.30am - Sunday led - I am heading off for a quick bite now and then an early night. Last night there was a huge storm - we have been waiting for it - in fact I have been buying mango's - to die for - and all the Indian's keep saying not to buy them til after the first big rain - well it's been so now I will eat up big while I am down here. Glad I have been eating them the last few days though - anything that will get rid of this cold. Well off to cough out my lungs, and have a bite.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Again practice was great - the last Mysore class with Sharath. And got to bind again in Supta Kurmasana - much so that I felt like my finger tips were going to break off - better eat less - which I haven't been doing - surprise, surprise. Actually had another cooking class yesterday - samosas, pakoras, bhajis, and Halwa - all very yummy but lots of deep frying, oil and or ghee - but everything in moderation. The great thing about cooking class is we get to eat it all afterwards.
The afternoon was again spent at the orphanage. Auntie in charge of the babies room/nursery has a bad cold/flu and proceeded to sneeze over the babies and me nearly the whole time I was there. I sent her off for a tea, which co-incided with the new baby (about 2 weeks old) waking up. She had been in hospital as I think she was left at the gate very new born. She even now still has her umbilical cord - anyway I thought she was better off not getting sneezed on if only for that time given she is somewhat fragile. Some may laugh that I am left in change of now 6 babies - and that little one, but I am getting good at this if I do say so myself. I know it is only for 2 - 3 hours at a time but they seem to like me - the babies that is. And I have got used to all their little personalities - they are really adorable, particularly the little boy (names omitted to protect their little identities). Anyway suffice to say all the babies have the sneezes - as do I - thanks Auntie.
Today is moonday so no practice, but led tomorrow at 4.30am. Had a cruisy day as lots of people are leaving, not that it makes any difference to me. Shala should be relatively quiet next week.
Not much else to go on about (actually lots but I wont bore the world anymore than I have) so - that's it for now.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Just had an awesome dinner, made a salad from greens I got at the organic market on Sunday (crunchy greens are absent from Indian cuisine), and had a piece of quiche I got from Cubs. Washed down with a fresh lime soda, and piece of plum cake from the little bakery on the main drag. Had a quick snack from a nice little pure veg restaurant Authana's - samosa (hot sambal - hhhh - fire) and a very slow arriving fresh lime soda - delicious. Have cooking class tomorrow - samosas and snack food.
Spent the day with a young girl on a youth exchange program - she is from Sweden and doing full time volunteer work at the orphanage. We went shopping - she is going home and needed some assistance. I am an expert in this field and she knows how to navigate the local bus system - together we were a great team. Had a great day, after a very long breakfast with a couple of older blokes from the US - in their 50s and 60s respectively. They just sat down at Tina's and we had a long chat about yoga and travel for ages - got there at 8ish left at 11.15am. Oh the life!
That's all - loving it, tired and no coffee today, but will sleep well tonight (now).
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I would really like some dal but it's too far to walk and get some now. Actually they just gave me an ice-cream at the home, someone had bought a whole bunch for the kids, and Auntie wouldn't let me leave without having one despite my protests - she told me she would not give me my bag until I ate one. The children were so good and lined up, all very excited though but not pushing or nauty or anything like would happen at home. Might do the same and buy them a treat before I go, as well as a donation. The only little baby boy is teething I think - he was really restless and wanted to chew on my finger. Nursed him all night - actually did nearly 3 hours so he would go to sleep. Might see if I can find him a teething ring or something in the morning. He is a real cutie.
As for practice - oh yeah that's what I'm here for, I have plateaued - I need to have a light food day or two. Actually I was hoping for some assistance with Supta Kurmasana today, but it didn't happen. Some people repeat the pose they are stopped at about 10 times til they get the touch by Sharath, but really I'm not going to those lengths. I did it twice this morning, only as first time the chick next to me was so close I couldn't straighten my left arm and was all kind of mankie, so I did it again. But I would love to move to the next pose, but figure it probably isn't gonna happen - oh well. They are allowing people who don't get there binds to move forward, which didn't happen last time I was here - no bind, no bind, no next pose!! Not now however. Anyway unless I get some assistance, I wont get the next pose, hate it anyway, so can have a months holiday from it!!!
We have moonday this week - 26th, and the 27th in Hindu new year. Jyothi tells me the thing you are supposed to do is get new clothes, so might buy myself a kurti or something as I am sick of the few clothes I did bring with me (not many). Any excuse for a new garment! Wish we had practice straight through all week though.
Met a guy today who had this amazing old volksie - he had actually lived in Melbourne, but the car was fantastic - all restored, very nice. If I ever get round to posting a few photos I will put it up. He has something like 31 cars and 50 odd bikes - think he might be pretty cashed up, though he didn't look very old.
That's about the extent of the excitement - cricket is not on at the moment, and that is often the highlight of my day (India that is not those bogan Aussie's. Saw a headline that my mate Symonds is up to his tricks again). Sachin has been playing so well - lots in the paper about him in the last few days. Also the IPL - hope it goes ahead - wish they would play it in Australia - I would go.
That's it til next time - good night.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
With no practice this morning, we decided to embark on a walk up Chamundi Hill (more like hike). Actually the incompetent fool of a rickshaw driver took us half way, not to the bottom as I requested. He then tried to extort a small fortune out of us, much to our protests and refusal. We won!! Well actually if he had dropped us at the bottom as I asked, we would have, but it cost us an extra Rs 40 -50 for the half way point. Anyway again I think we were winners, as it was a hot steep climb, the decent to the bottom being more than enough for our legs.
I went home for a nap - tired, and now very used to that mid morning or afternoon nap. Will probably kick myself at midnight tonight when I can't sleep, with the 3.15am wake up looming - yes 4.30am practice again tomorrow. Anyway feel better for it now after waking up with the sniffles, courtesy of other students I think, not my gorgeous little orphans, who again I visited yesterday afternoon. It is great going to the home 3 times a week as everyone gets to know you and you them, though it will make leaving difficult, but I am enjoying the time with the little cuties.
More from Mysore and my mat tomorrow.
Friday, March 20, 2009
No other interesting tit bits - just hung out with Lokesh and Sukunya this arvo, drinking chai, eating biscuits (now I got the touch) and just doing boring stuff. Finished the book I was reading so might start Vikram Seth's Ordinary Boy - a mega epic about 2,000 + pages - should see me home I think.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
While on the subject of food, today we had a cooking class with Tina, it was great - Spinach Dal, Bhindi Masala (Okra/Ladies Fingers), and Chapatis - yuuuuuummmmmm. It was really great and Tina fused it with a history/cultural lesson which I found facinating. The great thing is that at the end we get to scoff it down, and a bit along the way too. My favorite thing though was along the way - a chapati with some ghee and jaggery, then all mushed up - it is a quick dessert - more to worry about than chapatis now with getting supta kurmasana! Next week is snacks - samosas, pakoras etc. A friend - my tailor's wife, Sukanya - has also invited me over to teach me some dishes after I told her about my class - can't wait, it will be fun.
Prior to cooking class I went to my friends cafe - Cubs - and he organised for a friend who works for Vodaphone to bring me a sim. I opted for a lifetime one (only Rs 50 more), but can't get it to work in my phone - it keeps telling me restricted access and I need to add a restriction code - so I suspect it is locked by good ol' Telstra. If anyone has any info let me know via email, as I would love to be able to make calls etc. cheaply - as happens here. My friend Santosh - from Cubs - lived in Woolongong and Sydney for 4 years, and loved Australia. He saved up and opened a business in Mysore - which is thriving. He is good value - it is funny when he comes out with Aussie slang. He is going to put me in touch with an astrologer - I am interested in finding out what I can about past, present and future lives - if at all possible. Particularly past - as I am sure I must have lived in India at some stage in a past life. Stay tuned - hope it can be organised.
Had shift 2 at the children's home - man if I was ever unsure around little babies you would never know it now. Had 5 babies under 3 months in my care - one on each arm, one resting between my knees while in crossed leg position, two on the mat on the floor next to me. They are so cute - Indian babies that is - with their dark locks and dark eyes, some with latte skin, some like a short espresso - they are gorgeous. Didn't get shat on today, but did get spewed on and a bit of pee on me - hey but who cares. For quite a period of time I was the only one with all these babies and ended up doing 3 hours rather than 2 as everyone just disappeared - and left me with the babies - what were they thinking - if only they knew I had little experience with tiny infants - but not now.
Well am off to bed - I am nearly threw my first novel - reading not writing that is - and have now a list of books from it's bibliography - all about Partition.
Til tomorrow - namaste.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Had a cruisy day today - trying not to eat....actually just trying to have lots of downtime and not feel guilty about having naps every time I feel like it.
(I am in an internet place - guy next to me keeps hacking up stuff - as long as he doesn't spit too - it's discusting).
Got shat on again today - this time by a bird - lovely - they have big poo here.
Each day I am loving being here more - am doing less socialising by the day - it is nice being quiet and just reading and watching the world go by, without feeling like you have to be doing something or some activity. The volunteering will take up some time, and tomorrow I have a cooking class - so that is my activity for the week and will also form part of my socialising too. Am looking forward to the class though, Tina is taking it and she is a fantastic person, and a really good laugh too.
But back to India. On Saturday and Sunday it rained quite a bit - it was lovely - I got caught in it both days - it was fantastic. Each morning I acknowledge being here, particularly as there are things you no longer see in Australia that you see here - like - people washing their paths and the front of their house - hoses and all. They take so much pride in the cleanliness and appearance of their homes around here and after washing the front down they use rice flour to make a design - Rangoli, which I think is to keep the good spirits in or the bad spirits out - something like that. The designs are very intricate and beautiful.
Anyway I love it and my love affair with India continues - stronger than ever. Might see an astrologer to see when it was I lived here in the past!
Today was my first shift - and I tell you I touched more babies than I have in nearly all my life, changed more nappies than ever before (thank Krishna they don't have disposables - save the planet!), and got peed, shat and spewed on lots (I know some of you are laughing and/or in disbelief). It was relatively enjoyable surprising particularly given I would not consider myself good with babies (average 2 - 3 months old in the nursery). They are really cute though - love Indian kids. There was no one really telling you what to do - and even when there was they didn't speak English. All quite bizarre, but am glad I am doing it.
After my shift - left at 6.30pm, I headed home to wash up and change clothes (think poo, wee and spew), and then headed out to find something for dinner (not really very exciting decided to do a light snack instead - vege quiche from Cubs). I think it is really fantastic that the ashram (Children's home) is not too regulated - like what happens at home. Having had some experience with children's services when I worked in Shepparton, it is refreshing to see that kids still turn out OK without crazy OTT regulations. DHS would die if they saw what happens here - nothing bad at all but just not western craziness and regulations gone mad - really much like all of India. Somehow in all the chaos and madness, the place actually functions and is refreshingly alive because of it.
Anyway can't finish off without boring you all a bit more about my practice - actually nothing much happened at all - experimented a bit with Supta Kurmasana - Sharath disappeared so no adjustment. Anyway tomorrow have been bumped up to 6.45am so hopefully he will be about. Just want a touch - I think the bind is out of the question for this pose - but never say never, I used to think Marichiasana D was not for me but look what happened. Anyway enough bantering - off to bed for rest.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Back to patience - well I think I agree for me not much comes easy - and I have come to totally realise over the last few years, the more you think you know, the more you don't know. What you think you have in your practice, you can so easily loose, and for me my practice can totally plateau or suck for long periods of time. Fortunately patience with some poses has paid off, but I need plenty more - always another challenge waiting around the corner.
Anyway will make it short but sweet, as practice at 4.30am this morning meant a very early wake up. Only one led class (primary) meant it was going to be very full, so an early wait at the gate was necessary for a decent spot to lay your mat. It was good, hot and sweaty, and I enjoyed nearly all - with the exception of some poses where the count was long, and the hold was hard!
The weekend overall has been fun - had a nice quiet day yesterday - just caught up with some locals I know and had lots of chats and chai. Am enjoying the down time and just reading, sleeping, or whatever I feel like really. It rained and I was out and about so go a bit wet - something that hasn't happened for a while back home in the land of kangaroos.
Looking forward to practice in the morning, though am a bit full after dhal and rice for dinner, with a bit of garlic naan to stink out the shala. Oh well til tomorrow, namaste.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Everyone is a buzz with planning activities - day trips etc. but as I have done many I am just chillin' out, reading, sleeping, eating - in essence having a holiday. Initially I feel like I am being lazy but have to remind myself it's OK - and I'm loving it. Next week however I have organised a few things - cooking classes - one next week, and then the following week, lots of yummy things to cook upon my return for people nice enough to send me an email or two (so far very small dinner party). I also went again to the orphanage and I am going to do 3 shifts a week commencing Monday. Other than that my focus is practice - and am loving it, though I may not think that at 4.30am Sunday morning - next led practice. Til then - namaste.
Went to Tina's after practice, she was not there the other day, but a received a warm greeting from the lovely Tina. Of course I had Spirulina, Lime and Mint, fruit salad, and today and egg roll - a fried egg, and onion rolled in a chapati - what's not to like -mmmmmh. It was nice chatting to her, and I also found out about some volunteer work - the schools are nearly on holidays, so no English work, but she sent me to the orphanage, where I went after breakfast.
Tina had said that they had received many little babies this week - which they had. Indian kids are just gorgeous, I might just bring one home. It is heart breaking in the orphanage - mainly little girls, but a few young boys as well. They are soo cute - I was playing in the yard with some, sitting on a see-saw, pushing a little girl with a broken arm on a swing. Man they are soooooooo cute - did I already say that? I have yet to sign up as there was no one there to take our details. I am thinking of doing a couple of hours a day - well maybe 4 or 5 days a week. While I was waiting there was this little girl sitting in the doorway - maybe 12 - 18 months old, a runny nose, and she was falling asleep sitting up - did not look right. So I picked her up - and yes she cried - but then she just went to sleep in my arms - apparently she was sick and that's why she was fatigued, and I was hoping I didn't then come down with a cold too. Anyway she was gorgeous - as they all are - too cute for words. Will find out more tomorrow but would love to do some work there. More on this later.
Had a fairly quiet day otherwise - am reading quite a bit, and had some yummy samosas for dinner, all in all not a very exciting day.
Tomorrow is first led practice for me - always hard, but also fun, can't wait, am always a little nervous before class here - no fear, no fun!!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Practice yesterday was also great though I was a bit confused after practice. After my high of Monday, I felt a little flat - got my bind in Marichi D again, so after waiting so long for that - now I want Supta K - but if I continue on my eating frenzy here, that wont be on the cards. BTW got cake - bought it before practice, though my housemates, Sara and Bree got some after - they were Carrot cake virgins - and I believe it lived up to my hype (as did Diviya's chocolate) - we in hailed it on the roof of our house - our lounge room, with chai and pomegranates. Anyway back to the practice - it was great - I am totally loving being here, and truthfully I am glad I could pull of Marichiasana D again, particularly as Sharath was watching. Anyway after Supta K - with no adjustment unfortunately, did my backbends then moved to the back (was headed to the change room but Sharath sent me to the back) and Sharath asked if I did backbends - I said yes - then he signed with hands over chest the drop back thingy - I said no - he said Thursday - I said OK (was saying holy shit under my breathe), then he said after full primary - which is what is was last trip. Anyway I have no idea - so tomorrow will be a surprise I guess. But that would be great - I need a new challenge - but that's Supta Kurmasana - and wont that be a journey!
Apart from practice, have been having fun with my new pals Sara and Bree - it's their first trip to India so they are buying everything - with me as shopping guide. We are all having a great laugh and amusing half of Mysore in the process. Our busboy at Hotel Dasaprakash, where we had masala dosas and fresh lime sodas last night was very amused with us, as are the staff at Badsha on Deveraja Urs Road - love that store - the most beautiful saris and fabric, and the chai is awesome - worth shopping there for that. All in all life is great - am very relaxed, rested of sorts - moon day today, which I got through so far unscathed.
The first moon day last trip I decided to pat a dog - not a great idea - well wrong dog to pat. The dog actually is no where to be seen - hope it didn't drop dead from rabies!
So much to tell - though one wonders if anyone wants to hear (except Mark) - if you drop me a line or send me a comment - I might know. Til next time - will report in after practice, cake and Tina's tomorrow if the power isn't out, over and out from Mysore India.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
After conference I went with Sara and Bree - my Canadian house mates to the palace to see the lights - something I didn't do last trip - it was fun, and very pretty. Bed early though for fist practice today.
Up early, cold shower (bucket), read a little then off to practice - 50 metres down the road to the Shala. I was very happy to see the cake man out front as I had asked a few people if he was still about and they were not sure. Others who were part of my Mysore world last time have moved on in one way or another. Anyway mental note to get cake on way out - so me thinking of food. And this cake is to die for and for those in the know - you totally understand what I mean. Into shala - I hear the "one more" and I step in (was given a 7.30 start and it's about 7.25 at the latest), and I get from Sharath "You're late" - which I wasn't - he points to the clock - it is about 7.45am. Anyway nearly every person from there on in got the same treatment, so I fugure it just wasn't me - we just need to set our watches to Shala time. Anyway got upgraded to 7.15 tomorrow, so let's hope it's at least 6.30am by the end of the week.
Anyway it was gorgeous and hot and everyting in my body felt good - no sore this or that just contentment and an overall happiness to just be there. Anyway standing poses felt great - mat was a bit slippery but was having a ball. On to floor, all was fantastic - Marichiasana A fine, B great ankle feeling OK, C wrist both sides, on to D feeling fantastic - right side ankle a little twinge, but sucked it all in and up twisted reached - no touch but bind. Only those of you who know my journey with this will get my sense of joy and elation, and loving it so much I did 7 breaths. Jumped back - ready for left side and Sharath asked - did you bind, and I turned and happily said - "Yes I did." One to left side - easy peasy - and continued on to Supta Kurmasana - where he ajusted me - but no bind but I couldn't have cared less - he told me to stop (I was glad - had used up all my energy and adrenulin) and then did my backbends (when I started to dream about cake) and then finishing - was so happy I nearly cried.
Finished - out I went - dreaming of cake - he was gone - no cake!!!
Oh well headed home for a masala tea, banana, then off to Tina's for breakfast - very delicious.
Showed my Canadian housemates around - the shopping tour of Mysore - got offered 2 jobs, work for the tailor Lokesh as a seamstress, and also in a favorite fabric store downtown. A day filled with so much fun, though I apologise to all the non yogis about all the yoga waffle, but guess what - that's what I'm here for, and no doubt there will be more. So forget it? - to touch is to bind - hell no - now there is Supta Kurmasana - and I haven't even got the touch yet.............................................
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Couldn't register at the shala as it is not open Saturdays or Moon Days - big sign on fence. So will do it tomorrow, and apparently there is conference tomorrow at 4.30pm. Will have a sleep in tomorrow and maybe a small practice in my room, while I still have the big room - moving Monday to the small room - it's cheaper and I just found out via the first edition of Indian Harpers Bazaar, that Manish Arora - on OTT Indian designer - is about to launch - well in conjunction with Swatch - a line of watches - can't wait - might even have to make a special trip to Bangalore to get one - love his stuff and desperately need a watch - sounds like timing to me - excuse the pun.
Priya - Jyothi's 19 year old niece just put a music show on with Bollywood clips - love it - and Papa was watching the cricket this arvo - yep I'm in India.
Looking forward to my first practice - my back feels a bit stuffed - sitting on a plane too long, and chained to my desk for the duration of the week - both contributing factors. Anyway it is always something - all I want are my bindings in Marichiasana D - probably wont be going any further than Kumasana - but me no complain - Marichiasana D will do just fine - will let you know come Monday.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Yes have made it in one piece, though a couple of times on the drive I had thought my days were over. I slept a fair bit on the journey from Bangalore to Mysore - I was sooooo tired, and after about 45 minutes of being amused by being back in India, I was beat. It was very smoggy, and it was rush hour as I arrived at 5.00pm, car horns as I'd known, and the stop start just wore me out. Once we got on the open road I was out like a light except waking with excessive breaking or horn. My driver actually was pretty good, and once I finally woke about 8.15pm I was quickly regretting it - we were nearly side swipped - on my side, and almost slammed into a car that decided to stop suddenly in the lane. Although it is chaotic though - there is a system I told myself. Anyway arrived about 9pm in Mysore - yeah - quick greetings to the family and then I hit the pillow, even to tired to shower.
Had the old bucket shower this morning - was really nice, and am off to town in a bit, then to register at the shala this arvo. Will probably skip practice in the morning - will see how I go and feel - lady's holiday!! It's lead and the first one is always the worst.
Well off to hopefully buy some pommegranites (spelling??) at the market - I hope they are in season. Might walk by and say hello to fang who bit me last time I was here - let's hope he's not foaming at the mouth. More later................
Friday, March 6, 2009
Watched some other worthy shows - TV - but in my delirious state can't remember the name of one, the other was about the Iditarod - which just made me miss my dogs.
Best I head for the departure gate - have got a good seat this time - can watch the 3rd episode of the telly show I can't remember.
Bye from Dubai. See you in India.