Feeling: MORE MYSELF?
Maybe. I’m not entirely sure. But I feel like the sparkle is somewhat igniting.
So some succinct (ish) stories! (And I apologise; the imagery at the top somewhat suggests very anacreontic and somewhat soft core subject matter – alas, – or perhaps, thank goodness – it is not the case).
1. So at the school there are a fair few Indian lads working around, and at first it was very hard to recall their cognomens (I.e., their names). To help myself and the others along, I came up with phrases to jog the mem when needing to address one of the main four. They are as follows: Manoj – “ménage a tois”. This was very handy in that need-to-get-his-attention moments. (Though I cannot think of anyone less likely to engage in such a salacious venture – but then again, it’s always the quiet ones). Lakhi – pronounced “Lucky”. The first moment I met him, he was wearing a Qatar airlines shirt, which I took as a token of luck, as my special friend Eva from last time I was in India lived in Qatar. A very long way about remembering, but it works. Mohit: he is very merry, like Santa, who says “ho ho ho”, which rhymes with Mo, so Mohit. (Though then I always think “homo” and start thinking of cousin Ben and his upcoming wedding and then the monkey mind goes a’ swinging). And, Sumit: Prounounced, “Suuuu-mit”. I remember this one as not being “summit” as he is a very, see-through skinny young lad that I would not want to summit. Easy! And I never forget their names now.
2. I have reached Samadhi.
Before you start thinking I am an incredibly enlightened yogi master, let me delineate: Danish Marie and I went and got a massage, and it was one of the most incredible sensations of my life as yet (all 21, almost 22 years). My lass was a lovely woman named Deepa (such a fitting epithet for a well thumbed masseuse) and her hands were a glory from God.
It was advertised as a full body treatment and it was absolutely from toe to tip. (And not in the way my first one in India was last time – read story here https://popyarns.com/2015/08/06/feeling-a-lot-fantastic-a-tad-molested/ – though I must admit, there was a slight bum hole-finger slip and an accidental grazing of the front. These ladies get such a gusto going with the oils, the tempo sometimes slips up). I mean, she applied pressure to my chin, my tummy, my ears, each individual phalange – who on earth does that when you go for a deep tissue? Plus her application of oil was spot on; although there was a moment when she asked me to turn over I felt a tad like a glistening rotisserie chicken, after manipulating my muscles she towelled off all excess lubrication.
And, upon sitting me up to do my head and nurse my third eye, she tenderly pulled out my scrunchie, did her bit, then tied my hair back up complete with bobby pin reinsertion and all. It transported me back to being in the bath when I was a little girl, and Mummy Deb wish-washing my locks and tying them up after.
When I left I slipped 500 rupees into her hand – equivalent to about ten NZ dollars, 70 cents. Marie said, “Pops! That could be more than her months wage!” By mate, I would’ve paid her her annual salary if I’d had it on me.
(Decided if I ever do become wildly successful, I shall send a Cambridge Indian woman here to learn Deepa’s ways, and employ her to be my thrice-weekly lady). (Originally wanted daily, but decided this is a touch over indulgent).
3. Talking of tips; they say here to never give money to the beggars. All the idea of give to one, so many more, etc. But the other day after a big splurge at the tapestry store, I walked by who I refer to as, “the banana beggar” (he’s always in a bright shade of yellow). He still sits on the exact same step he did two years ago, eyes downcast and demure, up and beseeching when he senses you right there. I’ve always ignored him, but that afternoon I found the guilt rising with every step I took past him. When I got to the corner I just had to go back and give him something, so I popped a 100 rupee note in his little silver plate. His look was one of such disbelief, it made me realise that he may very well recognise me as much as I do him.
I felt like shit. “They” say, “That man that feeds the hungry feeds his own soul”, but my soul just felt wretched at the injustice.
My mandala didn’t look so sparkly when I got home.
4. Another exercise in shatkarma; this time being the self-vomit, when the practitioner drinks six glasses of salty water at pace and proceeds to make the self sick. (I ’twas extremely talented at it, receiving an impressed thumbs up from ménage-a-tois Manoj; didn’t want to eludicate on just why I was so successful). Although it is called “dhauti” for some reason in my mind I got it confused with the anal cleansing act and referred to it as “basti”. The morning of the clean I called out, “Group basti downstairs at 6” – sounds rather lewd, doesn’t it?
5. Today was just the most magical day. The six of us sorted scooters (well, merry-santa-Mo did on our behalf) (I wonder if Ben is planning the ceremony to take place In Queenstown?) and we took off early to the fork in the Ganges where the clear, blue flow meets the grey. It was incredible, so so worth the 2.5 hour each way (even better as we had been told it was four). And I know it was one of Beaver’s main reasons for coming to India (the currents are scientifically proven to hold immense healing qualities) so it was really special to be party to that.
So we picked up our scooters last night, and it was quite the comical case. Upon choosing mine (usually I always go for the faster shade of red, but for once I went The Pedaller’s way and got the blue) I attempted to mount and ignite it, causing me to get stuck in a big swamp of mud. Lots of Indian locals gathered around to photograph me in my mirthful enigma. Once I finally got going to get gas (and after a little speed up back), I tried to take the steeply gradiented driveway at pace and found myself upturned under my scooter, somewhat planted into a concrete wall.
Well, seven Indian lads ran to my aid, rescuing me from my plight. When I was up the right way and remounted (on the scooter, I clarify) I waved them goodbye and proceeded to shoot off into the opposite wall.
One of he lovely lads ended up driving me back up the driveway.
Today was eons more enjoyable, however. I loved my scooter; I thrive on speed and the fastness of flight. It was five hours all up of hooning up and down the Himalayas, scenarioing about my life right now and the near and not-so-near future. And when we got to the river and made our way down for a splash about, it was just so spectacular (it actually felt quite Enid Blyton-esque; I half expected someone to call out, “Dick! Fanny! How utterly jolly hockey sticks is this for a spell of a picnic spot!”).
A very, very special day.
(And I had to laugh; along the way, signs said, “Please avoid drinking alcohol, over speed and mobile when driving”, like you may ask someone to please remove their shoes).
6. I think Danish Marie was sent to me as a test. She’s skinnier than me, more flexible than me, and in comparison to my dimmed self-of-late, is radiating more happy energy and positivity than me. Usually I would avoid someone like that; the sense of self inadequacy would start to swell and emulous energies would start to disseminate.
But I absolutely love her.
I see that as a real sign I’m making progress.
And the ending:
I was walking along and I suddenly felt quite sad. A good 80 to 90 percent of Indian people will never leave this country, never see the world; it seemed so heart-rending to me, so piteous and plaintive.
Then I requestioned myself; is it actually?
Just because I uncoiled my travel Kundalini (will expand on this in a future post) a few years back, who’s to say such a way is right? The idea of going beyond the borders may not have even entered some of these people’s minds; take Manoj, or Ram (tour guide from Nepal); on asking them if they wanted to go anywhere, both said similar versions of, “Why would I want to leave when everything I want and need is here?”
If you’d told me in second year uni that in four years time I would be busting around India on a scooter, I would’ve told you you were cracked mate. I would’ve expected to be married to Jack Tame, be presenting Breakfast as he did talkback radio, and every night we’d have intelligent discussion over dinner in our central Auckland abode (he would had to have explained to me the ins and outs of the NZ political system; I feel my bluffing through “knowing” it all through uni would not have fooled him even slightly). For me to be here? It’s not at all where I saw myself.
Ask many why they travel and their answer is to see the world, experience different cultures and ways of life. I’d say mine is a little bit on its head; I travel to see how lucky I am. I travel to see how in the scheme of things, body size is so insignificant. I travel to get that thrill-fear, that dawned-on unearthing of new things and feelings and awareness. To find me. And work out what is and what isn’t important in life.
There’s always been this decay-like unhappiness that is concreted in me. Not a depression, but a caked-on sense of sadness and self doubt and unhappiness. When I travel, that part of myself gets chipped away at, like Exit Mould eating away at the black bits in the shower sealing cracks.
That’s why I travel.