SO MUCH FOR AHIMSA (NON-HARMING)
Last night we (Bindi, Miss Y and I) donned our best Punjabi dresses and met Joseph (Guruij's right hand man) for dinner at the tre posh Southern Star Hotel (the one where westerners buy a membership and hang out around the pool all day). He is charming and you can listen to him forever (his voice reminds me of Merce Cunningham's). Also he has a kick-ass 500-CC Enfield motorcycle (retro cool, made in India itself).
Later in the evening we were hanging out in Rm 13 (my room) and I felt something moving beneath the collar of The Man in the US's Sun Studio t-shirt and I tried to brush out whatever it was and it seemed to be gone and then a few minutes later it did it again and I screamed and brushed and brushed and it was a TABLESPOON-SIZE COCKROACH -- WITH WINGS (ie, after being brushed off it *flew across the room, scaring my friends*). Ick, ick, ick! I found it this AM legs-up under my bed and promptly ended its suffering. Thank Shiva for pink mosquito netting. But poor Bindi, she got no sleep after the incident as she was thinking about bugs all night. I don't mind them so much, but here they are fearless (turning on the light, waving your hands, hissing, etc have no effect) and like many local species seem to have no qualms about invading one's personal space.
Today we had our first practice at the new shala. Prashanth came at 5:45 to take us (minus one, who's on Ladies Holiday) in his rickshaw. He's not a rickshaw driver but he plays one on TV......Actually he owns one that he leases to others (smart guy) and took four of us in back -- my ass was hanging off the side -- for free. It's about a 20 minute ride, longer if you've too many girls in back (or have too much back). Yoga was really good, led primary series (they call out the poses in Sanskrit, vs. a self practice which is done most days) and I am still feeling the body buzz. The new place is spacious, has big pix of Guruji and Amachi and Krishnamacharya (Guruji's teacher, who also taught BKS Iyengar and Desikachar) and a very good vibe. The family lives above; there's a pic of it being constructed in my 2002 Mysore diary, which can be accessed at www.yogachicago.com. Guruji started leading, then Sharath took over. Today I learned that you should not go into Halasana / plow pose (even for half a second) to set up Sarvangasana (shoulderstand). Bindi learned you should not hook your feet ("clipping") in Utplutith (The Uprooting, where your hands are on the floor holding you up in lotus -- kind of like tolasana) which of course Sharath had us hold forever (and which I held the whole time,w/o hitting the floor once!)
After consuming two coconuts (rhey've gone up to Rs 5 to Rs 7 but are sold by the same guy) and paying many rupees to Guruji, Bindi and I headed back to the Kaveri and breakfast at Auntie's. Her place is a few doors down and she cooks for Indians and Westerners; what she has is what you eat. It was some really savory rice dish, I dunno what. Tomorrow it's dosas. Anyway she recognized me -- everyone does, even the Internet girl (who now wears glasses) -- and said, "Why not coming last year?" Love it here.
Tonight: I'll don a sari and head to mass w/ Prashanth (it's such a trip what w/ the bare feet and no hymnbooks and altar boys aiming the fan at the preacher). Then all of us are going to the Mysore Palace, where on Sunday nights they turn on the lights and have live music (usually an armed forces band playing Anglo tunes like Auld Lang Sine -- really bizarre).
If you're in need of comic relief -- and who isn't -- check this out: