Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Losted - to lose
Shift - to move

RUPEES PER DOLLAR: 46.3 (up from 45.9 last week)

Yesterday I lost my scooter key. After ransacking the place and the scooter itself I asked at the front counter and Vishwunath said, Yes, Madam, it is here. No problem. Apparently I had left it on the scooter. Oops.

And then I went and did it again today.

During the bucket-bath after class I also realized I hadn't brought my yoga mat up with me. I hurriedly finished and went downstairs and searched the scooter, where I'd tuck it between the seat and sissy-bar thing and.....nothing. I asked at the desk (hey, it worked before) and... nothing. I got on the scooter and retraced my steps... nothing. But during the ride I remembered a truck had been honking like crazy behind me at the scary intersection just outside of Gokulam. It had pulled up beside me and the guys had yelled something unintelligible, and, certain I was being harassed, I pulled the helmet's visor down over my face and ignored them. "I've shown them," I thought. Now I realize they were probably trying to tell me something. And now I'm out a Hugger Mugger eco-friendly mat and a carefully-selected quick-dry nylon yoga mat bag. Damn. Prashanth is loaning me his extra mat but now I have to buy a new (slow-drying, heavy cotton) bag. Yet another lesson about attachment, Madam.

Later I realize that if I had heeded the trucker and turned around / gone back there's a good chance I would have been beaned by a bus, which means that right now my brother would be trying to figure out how to fly my corpse out of the country. So maybe it's a good thing in the end....

But it was upsetting, especially after seeing Water last night (bootleg copy with subtitles, viewed on my computer). It's about how they treated (and still treat) widows here -- like pariahs. Prashanth, who's an aspiring director, had no idea that fundamentalist Hindus had shut down the shooting and that they had had to re-do the whole thing five years later in Sri Lanka. Then he volunteered that he has banned The Da Vinci Code (Da Da Vinci Code for all you Chicagoans) in his CD/video shop. Why, I asked. Because I have heard some things. Some rumors. Well, I said, have you seen it? No. Well, I said, why don't you see it and then decide. No, he said. If some things are not perfect, then -- ... BUT IT'S FICTION, I said. What? Fiction. Huh? Make-believe; not fact. That didn't go over so well....But far be it for me to let it drop.

Today I moved to my old room, Number 19, at the Kaveri Lodge -- where I stayed for FOUR MONTHS in 2002. I'd considered remaining in 17 with the recessed Indian toilet (it's a good prep for Pasasana, a twisted deep squat with the heels on the floor, which is impossible for me). But the old room was cleaner *and* has a hook for a mosquito net.

My new post-Bylapoopie question for decisionmaking is, How will it affect my yoga practice (hence no village wedding today)? On the one hand, the Indian toilet is good for Pasasana. On the other hand, a Western toilet ensures I will no longer pee on my pants leg when I take a leak in the middle of the night -- which means I don't have to rinse them out and put on new ones, which makes it easier to sleep, which makes for a better yoga practice. Malaria is not so good for yoga either. And something tells me that being violently ill into a western toilet is a far less unpleasant experience.

Yesterday afternoon P and I were on our way to see a Telugu action film when I gave V. (hotel manager) the key to my room (I usually use my own combination lock), and asked him to look into putting a hook on the ceiling so I could use my mosquito net. He literally flew up the stairs once he had the key in his hot little hand. This was unsettling, to say the least. But I got on the back of the motorcycle anyway.

On the way to the theatre we passed a horse standing in the street with its rear leg lifted; blood was dripping from its hoof and a puddle of blood had already formed on the ground. I could not stop looking, long after we'd passed. I asked P if someone would help it and he said, "Should we?" Sure but what could we do? Someone owns it, right, I asked. Yes, he said. We didn't stop. While he parked the motorcycle I pretended to be invisible as men, men and more men streamed around me towards the theatre. It was not a Mentos moment. When P returned I said, This is too much; I want to go back to my room; I am worried about my things. We went; a couple of things had been moved but so far nothing seems amiss.

Today we did make it to the Telugu movie (the hero is a prince in Andhra Pradesh and is very pale with large ears; the heroine was beautiful except for some reason she was wearing someone else's butt; there were dance sequences every half hour and it was LOUD). On the way to the theatre we saw the injured horse eating grass on the side of the road, rear hoof lifted. I'd also seen it this morning on the way to yoga; at that time it was on its bony side, covered in flies. Maybe it's improving; it's distressing but yet I didn't do a damn thing. I'm thinking I'll bring it some carrots or apples or something but what would that do in the grand scheme of things? the sad thing is it's just one example of how hard life can be here for both people and animals. Where and how does one start to help, and where and how does one stop?

In other news...

Three of my five yoga tops are already getting stinky from not drying quickly enough. So much for synthetic fibers.

And I stood up from backbend today -- for the first time in months. But only once.


  1. Loving your blog - funny, sad, thought-provoking. Many thanks!

  2. Anonymous3:31 PM

    What was the title of the Telugu
    movie that you watched. More
    importantly was it any good.

    You are right! there is so much
    suffering and poverty in India that
    you get used these kinds of things
    after you've lived there for a

  3. Geeez sistah, it's a good thing our head is attached to your body or else you'd forget it somewhere.

    If I had to come get your corpse, do you suppose I could get a cheap bereavement fare?

    I may send you an American made Snell approved helmet, but I'm afraid the $400 I'd spend for it would be lost when you leave it by the horse after feeding it some apples.

    Funny your little buddy Prashanth doesn't get that the Da Vinci Code is a movie of fiction, as they all are. And I thought it was only 'Mericans thought that way.
    And why would he care anyway, as I assume he is not Christian?

    Speaking of movies, Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Anniston (aka JenVin) were at the Music Box for the Chicago premere of their new movie.
    Richard Dent, the raccoon haired Gov. of Illinois, along with the Sec of state and other lower level office holders were on hand.

    Could there have been a Dreyfuss sighting there and at the Cub's game earlier in the day?
    Check the 45 pics here
    detail.html and see.
    Or check the 30 May Bill Zwecker Sun Times piece for more pics.
    You know him, right?

    Ahh Chicago, with flush toilets, pizza and ice cold beer!

  4. dreyfuss' lackey4:38 PM

    Amen, Brother Drey, amen!

  5. Another reason to watch where you put your bare feet, and other such things:

    India has most AIDS cases, passing South Africa, UN says

    Associated Press
    Published May 31, 2006

    JAKARTA, Indonesia -- India now has the largest number of AIDS infections as the spread of the disease shows no sign of letting up a quarter-century into an epidemic that has claimed 25million lives, the UN reported Tuesday.

    "I think we will see a further globalization of the epidemic spreading to every single corner of the planet," UNAIDS head Dr. Peter Piot said.

    The data released by UNAIDS show that India now has the largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS. With an estimated 5.7 million infections, it has surpassed South Africa's 5.5million.

    But the epidemic remains at its worst in sub-Saharan Africa, where 24.5 million people were infected and per capita rates continue to climb in several countries. A third of adults were infected in Swaziland in 2005. By comparison, India's per capita rate is low, at 0.9 percent of its 1.02 billion people.

    The agency report was released a day ahead of a high-level meeting on AIDS in New York.