At 6 AM. the morning fog was lifting off the lake. Devotional music poured joyously over the loudspeaker of a neighboring temple and echoed eerily, as fly-by birds bore life to the serene setting. Sitting in silence I felt the sun spreading it’s rays across my body with an exquisite orange and gold. I inhaled….OM.
I’ll be honest– finding a place to crash is one of my ugh parts of traveling solo in India. It’s literally draining.
Budget cradles here spell the need for an open-mind, with a crowbar of willpower and let’s face it– India is not as cheap as it used to be and the room you get doesn’t always match the higher rupee you’re paying!
Obviously, the rules of the game and standards of house-keeping are different here.
We all have this idea that Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns have very stoic , temperate and reserved personalities. Afterall, walking Buddha’s Middle Path (of compassion), doesn’t exactly lend itself to the appearance of being excitable, emotional or argumentative. Yet, monks have their moments and in their monk clan, they reveal themselves to be absolutely human when it comes to “the art of debate”!
Who are we seeing? I asked
My party of yogi friends chimed in.
The name didn’t stir recognition for me.
His gaze was intense for such a young-looking face.
Piercing. Penetrating, as if he could see right into you…
Sitting in Dr. Marwah’s office, a stone’s throw from the Dalai Lama’s estate I stared at the picture he drew before me This was my diagnosis. I had a parasite in me– no wonder I’d been feeling like I was eating for two people!
What photos have the most meaning for you and does having your picture taken, have meaning for you?
I was wandering through the town when a moustached Indian gent recognized the camera strapped around my neck. He wanted me to take a picture of him in front of the town’s central bathing ghat, so I did.
How do you feel about eating with your hands?
For westerners, it’s a cultural taboo to “play with your food”. However, here in India it’s culturally feasible to do so.
My initiation into eating with my hands occurred when I met a pilgrimage family in Gokarna. They kindly invited me to eat with them in a food shack by the beach offering free food for worshippers. Foreigners aren’t allowed in any of the temples in Gokarna so I was hesitant to enter. Nevertheless, the family encouraged me on.
I’d spent the day circling the off-beat town of Gokarna, following the worn path of a merry-go-round. Boredom was closing in, threatening to seal me in like a concrete tomb. What to do when the town’s temples are closed to foreigners and you’re not into beaches?
Enter Gokarna’s local community theater…
“Life is a stage”… so the saying goes. But when does the rehearsal end and the real show begin?
Who am I today? Heroine, damsel in distress, drifting gypsy, lost soul or adventurous pioneer?
Traveling in India, I witness many stories unfolding around me. Various characters and scenarios emerge. Some cross my path weaving me into their story– as if I’m a silent destination along their journey. Others, pass by with an air of chaotic brevity, barely skimming my body by a hair’s touch. All part of my story; part of my theater.