Tuesday, August 07, 2007


I can't seem to access the thumb drive, so no pictures from Coorg today.

Instead, a story.

Today, my second day of Laghuvajrasana, my dropbacks started out nicely and then went to hell.

In fact the whole practice was rather difficult.

Perhaps it's because I weigh least five more pounds more than I did when I arrived.

I think I will be the first person to return fatter, rather than thinner, after a trip to India.

Even a local friend recently remarked, "When you arrived, you looked patient." Not Buddha-patient, but hospital-patient. "Now, you have belly. Now, you look health."

When Sharath came to my mat today I had one dropback left to do.

I did it, sloppily, with a few comical back-steps.

"Sorry -- I ate too much last night," I said. "I was guest and could not say no."


Last week Ammu asked me if I had any foreign coins, because his young neighbor is a collector.

I gave him a few Euros, and the next day he told me the boy was verrrrry excited -- and that I was invited to dinner at his house.

That dinner was last night.

The family is from Rajasthan Rajistan, and showed us videos of their traditional dance. The men wear turbans.... The 15 y.o. daughter - who was in jeans - is rumored to be an excellent dancer, and there were hopes that she'd teach me some bhangra moves before I left.

They all spoke Rajistani and Hindi; everyone but the mother spoke Kannada, so I used the few Hindi words I know with her ("bus" = enough, "toda" = a little, "nihay" = no you get my drift).

They were also Jains, so of course we all knew the word "ahimsa." Although I of course mispronounced it.

Apparently there are three Jain sects....

The son showed us his coin and bill collection. If you hold the old Indian bills up to the light, you can see an image (see above) having to do with Ashoka the Great.

They plied us with excellent masala chai, fresh aloo parotha (potato bread) and carrot halwa.

It was so good -- and unlike anything I'd ever had before. The bread was moist-but-flaky and served hot off the grill. The Halwa was milky, not too sweet, and lighter in color than I'm used to. It too had just come off the stove.

I lost count of how many parothas I ate; I just know that it's rude to refuse more food (it is, isn't it?).

When we were finished I could barely walk.

And then they served us their traditional delightful milk drink (possibly Thandai) made with fennell, rose and something else I didn't catch (apparently it's sometimes even made with bhaang, or ganja).

The mother kept saying, "rose, rose,"

And I said "gulab, gulab."

It was a very nice night indeed.

But boy, did I pay for it today....

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