Well today has been nothing short of different! I’m typing this post sitting in my sleeper on the train to Kovalam,Kerala. Squished in the isle and with a thin red curtain to separate me from the rest of the carriage, this is certainly an experience!
Packing this morning turned out to be quite a challenge. I had WAY more stuff than I realized. Normally Im a really light backpacker, but I think I got a little carried away with the yoga books. Iended up buying all but one book on Bharath’s recommended list of books toread. Plus I’ve been given other books, boxes of soap, bought some clothes…
Thank goodness I have a driver meeting me at the other end of this journey. It
the heaviest I have ever had my pack.
This morning I gave my beloved kettle, red
yoga mat, my Valentines Day vase and my special plate (I’m a little too
sentimental, I know) to the lovely couple who live in the besser block house
near my apartment. I knew they would really appreciate the gesture. Having to
make a fire every time they want to heat water would be really tough, so the
kettle will no doubt come in handy.
I carried my big bag of stuff to their home and softly said hello as I looked into their front door. The petite lady, in her colourful sari, came to the door. I tried to explain what I was doing but she clearly had no idea what I was saying. I ran back to my apartment and asked Pradeep to come and translate for me. By this time her husband stood outside also, and the smiles on their faces were priceless when they understood what this white girl with crazy curly hair was saying. They pulled everything out of the bag and inspected it all before quickly putting it back in and placing inside their home. I felt really happy with my decision to leave those items with them. I know they will be truly appreciated for some time.
Somu, my rickshaw driver, was late to pick me up. 9.30am he was scheduled to be there but didn’t arrive until 9.45am. I think he forgot as Pradeep needed to call and find out where he was. It was sad saying goodbye to Chethan and Pradeep this morning. They too seemed genuinely sad to have me leave also. But to be honest, I’m ready for the next leg of the journey as it means two things. 1) the next adventure and 2) I’m on my way home to my Owen and pooch.
The train station in Mysore and Bangalore
reek of urine. The stench is foul. The smell was more potent in Bangalore, as
one would expect. But it doesn’t seem to bother the locals. People are sleeping
on floors, chairs, in walkways – wherever they can lay down. So it’s clearly
not an issue. I guess they have bigger things to worry about… I sat in a coach
seat on the way to Bangalore and as you know, I have a sleeper for the 16-hour
journey I’m currently on. I’m certainly
getting the opportunity to test my ability to be still and appreciative in the
face of unpleasant smells, the constant noise and overall uncomfortable process
of traveling from A to B. I always look for the ‘single star in the black sky’.
There is beauty in all these experiences. I just need to keep opening my eyes
to see them.
In Bangalore, I seemed to be more of a
novelty (compared to Mysore) to look at as there must be less westerners’
there. One man sat about 3 metres from me and literally starred at me for about
30 minutes. I’m not kidding. It’s a creepy feeling and I certainly feel safe
knowing I’m in a full sleeper carriage with mothers and children.
Eating my heart attack biscuits I bought from a stall before getting on the train, I’m missing my yoga routine – or I should say my body is. It’s incredible what you notice within your body once you start going deeper your my practice. The oils are just nauseating but these are the only ‘safe’ food I could find to eat so my healthy diet needs to go out the window for a night. I have a vegan cookie I bought from Depth N Green yesterday that I’ve been saving (thank God I didn’t eat it earlier). It looks like this is dinner. Bharath always said our first priority is survival. So if this means artery-clogging biscuits to tide me over, then artery clogging biscuits it is!
For now, I shall continue to read my new book – Light on Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar before trying to get some sleep. With my huge pack and day-backpack shoved in my little corner with me also, I’m taking no chances!
See you in Kerala.