The Goddess Chamundi, used in an ad.
Some highlights and lowlights, starting with the lowest of the latter:
Yesterday during practice one accidentally kicked a woman in the head - hard - while coming up from Supta Konasana. Unbeknownst to me, she was in Parsvakonasana, her head next to my right foot. And afterwards she seemed to be in some pain. I apologized twice. But it did not seem to help. Anyway, I am very sorry for kicking you, and will be much more careful in the future (as I was today).
Many Indian people are staying at the hotel this week. The other day, some children from Hyderabad (in the neighboring state of Andra Pradesh) were on the roof while I was hanging laundry. The young girl was full of questions. "Are you married?" she asked. "No," I replied. "Are you?" Then I asked her a few, such as why her family is visiting Mysore. "Marriage is there," she explained, meaning they're here to go to a wedding.
The other day I was walking on Sri Rampet (a commercial street parallel to Devaraj Urs Rd) when I came across the tiny shop of the man who sells Indian prints and frames - and whom I visit every year (my teacher Suddha first sent me to him in 2002). He recognized me, and invited me across the street for coffee. The main floor of the restaurant was full - I mean FULL - of men, so we went upstairs. The coffee (which is more common in this part of South India than chai or tea) was steaming hot, and we poured it from the stainless steel cup into the matching saucer and back again to cool it off. You leave a bit in the saucer and slurp it up. Wonderful.
It turns out that yesterday's demonstrations were part of a nationwide labor strike protesting government policies, such as the privatization of banks and the new airports in Bangalore and Hyderabad. According to today's paper, the strike was most successful (ie it more or less shut down) in areas where the communists are in power, such as Chennai and Kerala.
Indian Sushil Kumar, from Maharashtra, won the bronze metal for wresting. This is India's SECOND individual Olympic gold medal EVER. Go India! There have been many editorials bemoaning India's lack of athletic prowess off the cricket field. Most writers say that there isn't much a sports culture here, and that children are pulled indoors and pushed towards academic excellence. I see another problem. It is NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to catch the Olympics on TV here - which is how we got hooked as kids. Sure, you get the highlights from time to time, and a match here or there (Jammu, who is in Delhi, was ecstatic about yesterday's women's hammer throwing competition, won by Belarus) but there's no round-the-clock coverage. It's a shame, now that one has an actual TV in one's room.
SOME HEADLINES FROM YESTERDAY'S DECCAN HERALD:
"3 Cows Killed"
"Leopard on Prowl Again: Cattle Attacked in A'gud"
"Classical Status to Kannada [the local language]: Samara Sene Stage Protest"
"Person Kills Self as Wife Stays Aloof"
"A Guru's Role is to Awaken You"
"Mush Fate Hangs in Balance"
The weather report, by the way, tells you what happened yesterday. The "outlook for subsequent two days" says, every single day I've seen it: "No significant change is expected over the state."
"A homemaker who had to face the wrath of her husband allegedly under the influence of liquor for objecting to his desire for second marriage at Kavalande near Nanjangud on August 13, succumbed to the burn injuries on Monday night.
"Gulnaz wife of Riyaz alias Chan of Kavalande was allegedly set afire by her husband after dousing her with kerosene at their house, when the quarrel between them reached heights. Soon after the incident, he went elusive for a while and later surrendered himself before the local Police.
"Riyaz, a cattle vendor was seeing another girl in Kerala during his weekend visit to the neighboring State on business purpose.
"Whenever, Riyaz proposed to marry that girl, Gulnaz allegedly used to pick up a quarrel. Moreover, the couple had four children. Javed, the younger brother of Gulnaz had rushed his sister to KR Hospital. Postmortem was conducted at KR Hospital Mortuary. A case has been registered."
Hoarding (billboard) for the latest blockbuster with Kannada film star Ganesh
.......And now, this week's dilemma: should one stay or should one go? What is one learning here? Kapotasana is getting worse, and seems to hurt the back and neck - even with visits to K for deep tissue massage. Is there an opening in the offing? Or is one about to do some damage? The body rarely lies....One must have faith, yes, but one also has doubts. As for the latter.... One is far more likely to be cast in a Big B Bollywood blockbuster than to receive The Big A - but the new new rules are rather interesting. One could be wrong, but the old days, it seems that Guruji gave his blessing, the teacher taught, and that was that.* Speaking of which, one has not seen Guruji in over two weeks. Now that really is a shame.
Ramakrishna says, in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, "It is God alone who blesses."