Monday 23rd September. Noon
A bunch of bananas, slices of fresh juicy pineapple, and much else … it’s good to be eating again. That’s a major reason for deciding to stop and unwind for a week or two. There is a limit to our endurance: a constant diet of rice and vegetable meals, with dosas and idlis as snacks is boring after a while. It’s good to be somewhere with a variety of food available, much of it geared to our jaded western tastes.
So, it was porridge and eggs on toast for breakfast, with tea no sugar! Since then, a lot of fruit. For supper, freshly caught fish with chips. Before then, more snacking … I must control this if I’m to stay in my budget.
Other seductions here include at least two book exchanges and an arrack pub – arrack is coconut sap liqueur which kicks the throat like most high-proof spirits, is this 70o proof – or more?
Then there’s a yoga class. This is conducted by Steve, a Keralan devotee of the Flying (a microlight plane for peace) Swami Vishnu Devanandaji. I could cope with the range of breathing exercises Steve led two of us through this morning, Being urged to complete movements composed of a sequence of back bending, toe touching, knees to forehead press ups was all very well, but they were beyond my range. I need to be reminded of the exercises of the evening class I was attending in London before my departure.
Since May my body has been subjected.strange contortions and potentially damaging distortions by the sheer discomfort of Indian travel modes. I’ve also had to compensate for the badly sprained ankle ligaments gained in Delhi which put paid to my planned trek through the Zanskar valley.
I can count on one hand the comfortable journeys which have brought me to and from the far north to almost the most southerly tip of India: Leh to Srinigar on a deluxe bus with a choice of seats (7th June): Jammu to Ferozepur by 1st class sleeper train: Jaipur to Agra by deluxe bus; the Air India flight from Delhi to Bombay. Come to think of it, that last one was apart from the food, was only Indian in name. The pilot was American.
So the exercise I need must be designed to tone up my body. If it produces “a total wholistic well being and creates a feeling of inner peace (No Age Restriction)“, all will be well.
However, less ‘om’, more me please.
[NB. My recuperation was an endless slouch – I didn’t return to the yoga class. Read on.]