Last Saturday Ammu and I took a car to Coorg or Kodagu, a hill station in Southwest Karanataka where it rains seven months out of the year and they grow coffee and other items.
Very few city roads have stop lights, and in the country there are no stop lights, no speed limits and nobody to slow you down -- except for cows.
Instead, there are speed bumps. Not humps, but nasty, flat-inducing bumps.
And once you get outside of Mysore district, the roads really suck.
So it took us forever to get to Coorg. But at least we weren't on a scooter (like the last time around).
It also rained most of the way.
We stopped just inside Kodagu to get something to eat. Instead of the usual dosas and iddlies, the Muslim-run place (which had a poster on the wall that said, "God - Give us this day our daily bread") had roti and channa (chickpea) curry that came in a steaming bowl. It was the best curry I'd ever had in my life. The driver treated himself to chicken and eggs. Yuck!
First we visited Cauvery Nisagadhama, a peaceful forest along the Kaveri River, where there was a statue of the goddess Cauvery, and you could feed green pieces to the deer.
Next was Abby Falls, which Sean and I visited during the very dry (Indian) summer of 2002. Back then we could go all the way to the bottom. This time the falls were much were powerful, and the path down was blocked.
It began to rain when we were on our way to The Raja's Seat, which has a lovely view of the city of Madikeiri.
Then it started getting foggy.
It continued getting foggy, as we drove towards Talkauvery, or the mouth of hte Kavery River.
In fact it became so foggy you could see absolutely nothing; even the driver seemed to be having a rough time of it.
And still it continued to rain.
Yet we finally found our way to Talkauvery, where there is, of course, a temple.
Below it are steps to a large tank (pool), which you walk around three times before visiting the priest.
It was frigid, but one woman immersed herself in the water, and the Brahmin priest threw even more on her head.
The priests do the actual puja over a little square of water next to the tank (instead of inside a temple). Flowers float on top of this holy square of water, and coins line the bottom.
Ammu told the priest our names, and he repeated them and did pujas for us.
And this time, staring down at the water and listening to him chanting in Sanskrit, I actually felt something.
On Monday the stiff guy next to me was given Ustrasana and Laghuvajrasana.
I was given Laghuvajrasana.
Monday evening I ate that ton of food at the Rajasthani house, which made Tuesday's practice difficult.
So I ate much less than usual on Tuesday.
On Wednesday I'd just popped up from Laghuvarjasana when I heard, from across the rooom, "Kapotasana!" I looked at Sharath, and then looked behind and beside me. Then I turned back to Sharath, who was still looking at me. I pointed to myself. "Me?" Yes, me. I tried it on my own and came nowhere near my feet. When I saw Sharath again I showed him the estimated distance, and he helped me try it again. NOt only did he get my hands on my feet(my feet, not just my toes) -- but they stayed there once he'd let go.
I floated again in dropbacks.
But last night was more food at the Rajasthani house -- baby corn parotha, a whole wheat ball whose name eludes me, curry and curd and homemade ragi pappad -- and today pasasana and dropbacks were a joke. But Sharath helped me in Kapotasana got my elbows on the floor -- for the first time ever, and with no pain. He really knows what he's doing (even if I don't always agree with it).
TODAY'S VOCABULARY WORD
green pieces = cucumber slices