Friday, June 30, 2006


Today's Vocabulary Review:

Innerwear = underwear

Loose Motions = diarrhea

Make a Move = to leave

Doo-Doo = Kannada slang for money

Gante = Kannada for time

As I write this, yogis from India, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and America are watching the World Cup soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Southern Star bar.

Some of them left the Metropole Hotel and its many wide-screen TV's before the game started -- and just after they learnt that you cannot watch the game if you don't get the buffet. No one laughed when I said, "You can't have your pudding if you don't eat your meat." Yogis....

The Metropole is getting quite a reputation among westerners for surly service. They seem to have a lot of Indian guests and probably don't need our business. On the other hand, the man at the Southern Star (the other upscale hotel, which is next door) asked today, "Why not coming? For two days you have not come." People keep track of you here. The guy I buy the newspaper from every day said on Monday (after my road trip), "Where have you been? For two days you have not come!"

Which reminds me - yesterday I was driving past Aunty's -- the place across from Kaveri Lodge where I used to eat lunch quite often back in 02 and 04 -- and I saw her husband, and waved. But I haven't eaten there yet this trip because I'm sticking with Three Sisters in order to stay healthy. Now I'm afraid to show my face. But I'm even more afraid not to....

Today senior Australian yoga teacher Dena was getting a coconut after led primary series class when her husband Jack pulled up. He was on a bicycle with their two children perched in front of him, Indian style. Soooo cute.

Yesterday afternoon I managed to make the stonefaced shala guard laugh out loud when I arrived to pay Guruji and said to him, "Doo-doo gante!."

Guruji was resplendent in Brahmin white and smelled lovely when I hugged him. One of the joys of the old shala was waiting while he counted your money. He was meticulous, and it took forever. But this time he put my Rs 17,900 (around $400) into the money-counting machine that David Swenson gave him last year. I talked some Kannada to him but neglected to ask about authorization. Oops. Outside, in the shala, I saw Sharath reading the paper on the stage while some Indian students practiced in the front row. Between them Sharath's wee daughter stood on a pink mat, doing a slooppy version of traingle pose.

Today at lunch Harini of Three Sisters was explaning how to reheat halwah (an Indian sweet). Apparently you put some ghee (clarified butter) in the pan first. Apparently the person she was explaining it to wasn't getting it quickly enough. "You don't have Indian brain!" she finally exclaimed.

Less than an hour later the woman at the sari shop told me I must color my hair. "You must put black. It would look very nice." She said this while her co-worker was braiding Matrika's hair, Indian-style.

And later, the fine-looking Muslim men at a different sari shop concurred that I indeed look remarkably like Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi (who's from Italy) once they got me into a very grand black sari and wrapped the end over my head.

They did not look so happy a half hour later, when Matrika helped me negotiate the sari, choli (top), petticoat, sari webbing and stitching for Rs 1575.

I think that means we got a good price.

Also today: I ate breakfast** next to blogger Joey at Shakti House. He was non-reactive when I told him I've been stalking him.

Maybe I should start dying my hair again.


*"You Are My Sonia" is the title of the hit song from the fillum Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham . I learnt at breakfast that Joey, et al will perform a not dissimilar song, "Maahi Ve," at Guruji's 91st birthday on July 11. I knew it well enough to sing along with him. Maybe that's what scared him. Details of how the performance came about here.

**This was the same breakfast at which Matrika confessed that she'd envisioned him as demure woman from Hong Kong.


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