Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Yesterday Sharath told me (and many others) to come at 7AM instead of at 7:15.

Today I came a little bit late, figuring there'd be a bottleneck.

I was right.

So I waited patiently as the others sorted out who would go next.

Things had thinned out when Sharath poked his head in and said, "7:15 next"

I pointed to myself and said, "7:00?"

And he said, "What are you sitting there waiting for?"

And everyone laughed as I ducked my head and skulked inside.

(This did not stop me from doing decent backbending -- even after just primary series, which is what you do for the first week here no matter how advanced your practice).


Their laughter was not unlike that of the Salwaar Grrlz (young women wearing the salwaar kameez) who looked me up and down and up and down and pointed and could not stop laughing as I passed them while walking home from having snacks at Ammu's house. Like the other yoga students, it did not seem like they were laughing with me. "What am I doing wrong NOW," I wondered -- and I remembered why I like to drive the scooter and wear the helmet and go around incognito.

I'd gone over to see Ammu's new printing business. But it was silent as there was no current (power) on his street because they're installing new power lines. He offered to print my book at a very reasonable write. Now I must write it.

Then we went to his house, which is quiet without the dog Blackie (who took a death leap last week). His mother made us chai and gave us some of the biscuits Ammu brought back from Ooty. She also made bonda. She was very sweet and I love to eat but the onions inside gave me pause -- -- onions are not sattvic (mild) and hence not part of the yoga diet -- but I ate the deep-fried snack anyway.

(Ammu went to Bangalore last night to work for some weeks on a new film about early Indian resistance to British rule. He may have a role for Catesey. Apparently he showed Valerie Loves Me to his director, who saw me (I star in it, although by all accounts I cannot act) and said, "Who's that girl?" Girl, ha.

Although he supposedly came down early one time last week, I've not seen Guruji since arriving. There hearsay is tha his conditioned has worsened. They are taking off three days for his birthday:
Sat July 28 (the shala is always closed on Saturdays)
Sun July 29
Mon July 30
Tues July 31

One of those days is the full moon/his birthday.

He was born July 26 92 years ago on a full moon.

I was born on July 26 43 years ago -- on an inauspicious moon.

And on July 26 a new festival starts here in Mysore -- it's meant to be like Dussara but based on performance. Sonu Nigam and many others are slated to give concerts.

The newspaper says that 20 percent of the seats will be reserved, and the rest open to the public.

The papers do not say where these performances will take place or how to get tickets or even give a phone number to call.

Ah, India.


Today after practice, pedicure, bath and laundry I went to do an errand at Nilgiri's (supermarket). I'd parked the scooter and was walking into the Kaveri Lodge when the owner popped his head out and asked me if I had eaten my lunch. "I'm about to go now," I said. "Have two chappati," he said.

So I sat and ate lunch with him and his wife in his office in room #6 (I stayed in his old office down the hall for a few hours last year, when my plane arrived one day late and they had, understandably, given up my room).

Actually, he and I ate while his wife served us. Afterwards, she ate what was left. (Can you say, "guilt?")

She'd made the food at home, with help from one other person. Apparently it took just one hour. There was bitter gourd sweetened with jaggery, a tasty veg dish whose name I did not catch, a very tangy sambar and rasam. They are Tamil, and apparently their rasam is different than that of the Kannadigas (in Karnataka). I think they were right, as I really liked it. It's also good for digestion. The bitter gourd is good for diabetes and the veg dish was full of iron. The meal ended with salty curd rice -- also good for digestion.

We made small talk -- his father opened the lodge in 1974 -- until he said something like, "Madame will be taking rest after lunch?" and Madame took off.


Students do stupid things during their first few jetlagged days here (well, I do anyway).

On Sunday night (after the bus ride), I set the alarm for led primary series class at 6:15AM and went to sleep.

On Monday morning I was driving ot the shala when I looked at my watch: 6:45.


I checked the cell phone and it too said 6:45.

So I turned around and went back to Room 19 for self-practice.

It all went well until backbends.

I wanted to prepare for dropbacks, so I locked the bathroom door and pulled my mat up to it so I could walk up it with my hands (to go from backbend to standing).

I was halfway up when the door flew open and I landed on the middle of my back, hard.

(The floor, by the way, is concrete).

I went into yoga mudra (cross-legged forward bend) and stayed there for a few minutes before scanning my body; everything seemed to be OK, although my neck and shoulder were sore.

But while rolling around in Garba Pindasana the next day I noticed a sharp sting in my right middle back.

So after class I went to the ayurvedic pharmacy behind the hotel and got some pinda taila (oil) to put on it.

It seems to have worked.

Ah, India.

A new Bangalore airport will open in January 2008. Or so they say.

The sad photo shows Hotel SaptaTERRY, a nearby restaurant where the service is good, the food is safe and no one looks twice at you.

1 comment:

  1. Caroline3:21 PM

    Ah India, indeed.

    Thanks for the amazing posts about my favorite city in the world.