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Kali is calling...

and sandalwood wanderings...

sunny 30 °C

This last weekend was a holiday as it was a New Moon/ Diwali festival on the Monday. So on Friday evening I went into Mysore centre with Claire and Metteh and we had a little wander round Deveraj Market. It was wicked- from the architecture its kind of got its own vibe, all faded grandeur and peeling frescoes of deities... They bought bangles and shiny things, I bought the biggest avocado I've ever seen in my life. We stopped by the perfume stall to look at the oils and incense and to see the man with the most beautiful eyes, Noor, who remembered me from last year and we had the exact same flutter- flutter conversation.... Aaaahh.... Then we picked up some Pak supplies from Guru Sweets, half a kilo 100 rupees very nice! Then we went to the Ritz Hotel for dinner (not Ritz prices though luckily) and stuffed ourselves with very hot veg curry and parathas and lime sodas. The Ritz is great, it serves all food all day, not just dosas and idli with nothing else until after 7 like most Mysore eateries, and you can sit in the garden and linger for ages.

Saturday was spent reading a book about Tantra and the mystical roots of Ayurveda by David Frawley and resting as I've been a bit achey. Sunday was more of the same until Claire and I decided it was too too hot to sit about and we headed for a swim at the Southern Star where you can use the pool if you're not a resident. Turned out everyone else had the same idea so I spent about 20 minutes cooling off in the pool and then sat about in my swimsuit and cowboy hat, first bit of sun I've let myself near since the last India trip. I'm not a sun-worshipper generally but a little does you good, and it was after 3, so not the harshest part of the day. I got talking to a Venezuelan Yoga teacher called Maria who was really interesting and seems to have lived here, there, and everywhere...

Monday, Ajay expected us to practice although it was Diwali and I was looking forward to it. Unfortunately I woke up with that feeling of 'Somethings not right in my body and I might be a lot ill or I might be a little ill but I'm not sure and shit did i I accidentally get some tap water...' which was a bummer. I got up to do some sun salutations and the room swam so I went back to bed after a shower. Then I spent the rest of the day with a high temperature miserably in my room. I went out to buy more water and the guy at the corner stall groped me (it was no accident, both cheeks were firmly cupped) and I really wasn't in the mood. He got a grade 5 look (the one which can't be summed up at will, it almost has to come through you, like channelling some demonic entity that will drink blood for sure) and knowing he had done wrong, ran like the wind down the road leaving his aged father to help me out with cold water and fizzy pop. So I lay on the bed, reading about Kali all day, swigging fluids and managed to eat some curds with honey. I felt nauseous but wasn't sick. Then on Diwali eve everyone was out enjoying themselves in lovely clothes and I felt too ill to go. So I stayed in and with my ill and sensitized hearing had to endure firecrackers all night. The cheap popular ones that make no real light but sound like bombs exploding and scare the shit out of all animals and babies within a 10 mile radius. As well as completely pollute the environment. In fact 35 people in Karnataka had died in an accident involving them in a village near Mysore the day before, it was in the papers. So, no, I'm not a big fan. But there were some beautiful fireworks that I saw out of the window. And as I didn't sleep till about 3 I learned a lot about Kali. Kali represents time. And we are bound to time, with the samskaras we view the world through we tend to either live in the past or dwell on the future. The worship and acknowledgement of Kali energy is all about no longer being a slave to this. Of letting all that has gone go, and all that is to come to remain unanticipated. And one useful exercise is to empty your mind before sleeping if you can. Interesting. I have always instinctively felt that you should 'empty' before a Yoga asana practice in order to become a vessel for the beyond, to experience something beyond the everyday cares, worries, vanities and constant thoughts we all have... So am going to look out some more Frawley books if I can. I got 'Yoga for Your Type' by him last year, about Yoga and Ayurveda, and thats very, very good.

Yesterday was Tuesday and I still had a temperature so I rested again. Frustrating when you want to practice, but doing Ashtanga raises your temperature anyway so doing it with a fever is just not intelligent. Claire, bless her, came round with magazines and biscuits and bananas and I felt a lot better. By the afternoon I was bored enough of my flat to want to get out so got a rickshaw to Rashinkars to see if they had any cool cheap books. Without wanting this to go on and on I had a really crappy experience with a rickshaw driver- Laksmipuram to Mysore should cost about 30 rupees and he used the meter but then charged me 200. And all his friends circled around me and I basically got bullied into handing it over because I was alone. I mean, its not even 3 quid but its horrible when stuff like that happens. I shouted a bit to vent my frustration and told him he was a cockroach. I don't mind paying a bit extra, I'm not someone that'll get arsey over a few rupees but it was nasty and I was pissed off and kept telling myself to let it go, it doesn't matter, its just Kali throwing a spoke in the wheel of learning via a real 'C U Next Tuesday' of a rickshaw driver... I ended up coming back with a copy of the local Free Ads...

Today I was well enough to practice! Yay! It hurt like buggery but I took it slowly- just had that ache you tend to get after you've been ill so I took it slowly and didn't do any extreme backbends. This afternoon I went to look at the sandalwood oil factory with Eilis and her girls. The most beautiful smelling place I've ever been to. And we learned how sandalwood oil is produced, and the paste that they use in pujas. Theres a real shortage of trees at the moment as they hav to be about 15-20 years old before they can be used really for scent. And also its only the root they use for the smell, that part of the wood. The rest of the tree can be used for furniture and all that-but doesn't have that pungent aromatic vibe... The factory was built in 1917 and pretty much empty and not functioning at present. There was just a few guys sitting cross legged in an office sorting incense into boxes. The incense is made with the by products of the pulped root used for the oil so nothing is wasted. And they have a huge pile of old pulped wood through the back so plenty to be getting on with. Theres loads of brass equipment, distillers etc, and the whole place has a sandalwood breeze going through it. I thought how nice it would be to have a partner that worked there, they'd come home to you in the evening smelling beautiful... like Roger and Gallet soap... I bought a bar of soap in the shop.

Just resting now, for tomorrows Vinyasa class in the morning..

Posted by victoria8 03:46 Archived in India Tagged women

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