Saturday, January 31, 2004


I finally made it to Mysore last night and the cows are still florescent yellow from the January 14 festival.

Before leaving Kerala we made a bit of a scene at the Trivandrum airport. Three girls in Punjabi dresses (me, Miss Y, Bindi), two adequately covered (T and U) and two boys tan and looking fab (W and The FC, who was dressed in his tailor-made "Hugh Hefner outfit" featuring black paisley satin pants with red buttons all the way up the sides and a red red shirt). There we were making a fuss and forcing another passenger to take our picture with no fewer than five cameras.... and then a security man came over and said it's not allowed.

The flight was uneventful but the car ride (in an aqua Ambassador) was not; due to traffic it took a full hour for T, U and I just to get out of smoggy Bangalore (Miss Y and Bindi stayed overnight in that city; the former to visit her nurse friend and the latter to chill in an AC hotel w/ cable). Along the way we sucked more exhaust than you can imagine. Then there's driving in India at night -- not recommended. It's one lane each way shared by tongas (horse drawn carts), rickshaws, bicycles, pedestrians, autos, lorries, giant steel busses, cows, goats, and vansful of tourists. Passing is done on curves, uphill, and everywhere (preferably on an uphill curve in front of an oncoming truck) It took over four hours to get to the Kaveri Lodge.... which seems like it hasn't been cleaned since I left at the end of May in 2002. They remembered me, which was nice, and set me up in in the room directly below the one I stayed in for four months (western toilet!). When I'm there I keep wondering what year it is (When I'm not thinking about the dirt).... esp after ordering a breakfast chai and installing a new pink mosquito net (apparently Bob and I did NOT get ripped off when we paid Rs 350 for ours in '02). Vishunat (main manager) was there this AM and asked how i found the room. "It is nice but it is a bit dirty. "Thankyouverymuch," he said, interlacing his fingers at his chest and bobbing his head in gratitude. I decided not to press the issue. T. cleaned her room w/ Chandrika soap and now I've given mine a once-over.....Not sure how long I'll be there tho. It's 5Km to the new shala from there.

Today Prashanth came and we went around on his motorcycle running errands. He looks the same, and has stuck with the ashtanga teacher Iyengar (Rs 100 or $2/month for Indians, $100 for westerners) and is nearly finished with the intermediate series (I started teaching him the sun salutations and standing poses on the roof of the Kaveri Lodge in '02). He did not seem too impressed by the Frango mints T offered him. In any case he is back in school f/t (he has a master's in computer science) studying fil-um. His acting teacher was a big actor back in the day and is his mentor; Prashanth wants to direct.....

I went to change money at the old American Express place across from the Hanuman temple but it's changed hands. They still change money though, don't they. The dollar is still crap, 44 rupees per (in 2002 it was 48) and what used to cost $550 -- a month at Guruji's, which is now paid in rupees -- is nearly $600. They gave me such a thick stack of notes I had to count it about 20 times. It looks like I robbed a bank.....

There's no registration at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Inst on Saturday but we went over on a whim and caught Guruji, Saraswati and Sharath on the way to their car, dressed to the nines. Sharath of course looked like a Bollywood film star. Guruji said, When did you come and I answered last night and told him Y was on her way (she's been here, like, six times). He said to register tomorrow at 9. Sharath then told me to come to led practice tomorrow at 6:30. "Come early," he said, "Come at 6'15." Not sure which practice it will be (primary or intermediate) but it will be practice, that's what's important. Saraswati asked where we're staying. I said the old neighborhood, we're looking for a house. Or something....

In a short time Y and Bindi will arrive from Bangalore. Then maybe we can get more food. As far as I'm concerned it's all about eating/sleeping/yoga.....Not necessarily in that order.

1 comment:

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