i'm on varkala beach right now. wow. anyway, this is the fastest and most reliable net connection i've seen in india so i'm going to start posting my journal entries i wrote from my trip so far (they're on paper!). so pay no attention to the date the post was made and the date i put on each entry is the day i wrote them, not necessarily the day the events happened (but sometimes they are). ok i hope that made sense.
"excuse me, your entertainment compartment is exposed." this line, spoken by one of my travel companions, amanda, gave a great start to the trip...
On the plane to delhi, listening to "bollywood hits". alex had bought a lot of hindi cds to make this trip even more indian, apparently. on the plane , they are playing the worst of the BAD kind of smooth jazz(which is why i am now listening to a cd). it does make me miss the grocery stores back home, though i enjoy this kind of jazz in neither place.
"life is like cherry pie. i liked it a lot more when i was a kid." ~alex, making fun of karla in the book, shantaram (this is really funny if you've read the book...read it.)
we arrived in delhi, there was a 3 hour lay over. there were so many mosquitos. maybe i was too paranoid about dengue but i loaded on deet for a good portion of that time. we are on the bus to autright now (our final destination is a small village called jibhi) . the air has so much weight caused by the smell of blatantly staring men, smog, and heat. i was beginning to feel rather cranky, but then i caught a glimpse of the himalayan foothills' sillohettes only just noticeable and consumed by pollution.
i am reading this book right now called the unbearable lightness of being. surprisingly enough, i had first started the life of pi at the beginning of today (hence the start of our trip), but i accidentally grabbed the wrong book from alex, when i took my unassigned seat on the plane to chandigarh (we couldn't sit by eachother). i found so many amazing quotes from this book, so i am writing them so i won't forget:
"metaphors are dangerous. they are not to be trifled with. a single metaphor can give birth to love."
"we can never know what to want, because living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come."
This book (by Milan Kundera), as i have understood so far (i'm only on page 200) is about jumbled up relationships and all the pain and happiness that comes with each conncection. yet, this is just the surface level of the book. it is actually using relationships to exemplify each extreme of a comparison and the fact that the polarities are seen as either positive or negative. more specifically when he compares weight to lightness. he stresses the point that lightness is not necessarily the positive, hence weight is not definitely a negative quality. something to think about. i highly recommend this book (well...i love it so far).
"and what he yearned for at that moment, vaguely but with all his might was unbounded music, absolute sound, a pleasant and happy all-encompassing, overpowering, window rattling din to engulf, once and for all, the pain, the futility, the unity of words. music was the negation of sentences, music was the anti word!"
i suppose what jives with me most about the unbearable lightness of being could even be revealed in the title. unattachment or lightness. i have really found "unbearable". so i have discovered that i have chosen weight with my time here in india and lived with the impact of that decision. and living with the reaction of everything instead of rising above it all. after all, you cannot find "pure bliss" by avoiding life.
after arriving in aut, we desparately tried to find a guest house. unfortunately, there were no vacancies anywhere in aut. luckily, the guy who had been trying to find us a room, had rented a room himself and he let us stay with him. because he was smoking cigarette after cigarette, i had terrible allergies so i took benadryl (my life saver) and conked out almost immediatly. unfortunately for alex, the guy kept waking him up throughout the night, asking him if he wanted to smoke, and when he was asking this question, he was snuggling up next to alex, which is socially acceptable in india. poor alex.
we took a jeep the next morning at the crack of dawn up the mountain to jibhi. this is the place anjali pai recommended (the woman who takes us on crazy treks). little did we know that the place we were to stay was a yoga ashram. so alex and i, as a dedicated yoga team, are going to try do some yoga while we're here.
the rooms are very nice in a log cabin sort of way, perched comfortably in a valley. the rushing of the river below us can be heard at all times.
ok i'll tell you the rest of my first day in jibhi... where did i leave off? oh yes, arrival at the ashram.
we were greeted with not only delicious banana porridge and toast with aloo, but by danielle, sarah lee and sara wexler. they had beat us! after tea, we all decided to go on a hike up a mountain.
after my first few steps, i realized i was suffering from altitude sickness. my body wasn't tired (thanks to months of yoga and power walking everyday) but i wasn't getting any air. my chest felt on fire and my face looked like fire. i was feeling so dizzy climbing, i slipped a few times. just my luck, i fell into a thorn bush. so i was expected to continue, hands bleeding (and there are still thorns in my hands) and no air. the trek was gorgeous though, and every so often, i noticed a rich smell of some sort of lemon citris and evergreens combined.
PRESENT TIME: enough typing for today, i'll finish this hiking story later. sooo much has happened since then. that was just the first 2 days of my travels.