Feeling: UP ON ARMS

Feeling: UP ON ARMS

1. I never realised just how intense the Kiwi accent is.

In my exam I directed all to the wall and told them to prep for the handstand. I was met with an entire room of blank faces; the what? “Handstand!” I repeated, annunicating as cleanly as I could.

“The headstand?” They catechised.

I had to physically do one for everyone to get what I meant.

“Ohhhhh! The HANDstand!” They clicked. “Your accent is so strong, we didn’t know what you were saying.”

And when I went down to reception to request fresh bedware, I was met with utter and absolute bafflement by the boys.

“Sheet,” I repeated. “A clean sheet.”

“What?” They said, looking at each other quizzically like I’d cracked it. “Clean what?”

“Sheet. A sheet. A bed sheet! Like a blanket!” I cried, a little bit exasperated.

“Ohhhhh! We thought you wanted a ‘clean shit’!” They replied in rapturous laughter. “We don’t know what you say!”

2. Today we were discussing Tantra (a philosophical set of literature in Hinduism – pretty radical really) and Martinet showed us a video of some extremists of a similar sort of arm. There were some men who renounced the regular life, opting to instead roam the world spending no money but living on whatever they could scrounge from bins, the ground and givers. There was a complicated initiation thing where they had to meditate on top of a dead corpse, find their own human skull and do something with their members (as in phalluses, not each other) to somewhat curb their sexual prowess.

In the break Aussie Lyndal edged up to me and said, “Like, if you want to roll your winky up, go for it. But don’t eat human flesh.”

I have never had so many fake coughing fits in my life.

3. Excitement! When I was in India the first time, I went to the home of the chef from the yoga school. Anil (that’s him) lived in a tiny little room holding two single beds with his then seven-month-pregnant wife, his nine-year-old daughter and his toddler.

It was an experience that touched my heart beyond belief. Seeing the sheer simplicity these people lived with (through monetary lack, not personal choice) and the extent they went to to welcome me to their home (purchasing edible items they could not afford – in India a very prominent phrase is, “Guests are God”) stirred something in me that I had not before felt. I still have the pictures the older daughter drew me on my wall at home (well, Mummy Deb and Papa Henio’s house where I maintain – and probably will until the end of time – a bedroom) – illustrations of a boy and a girl on a date and little cartoons of cute little friends.

The nephew of Anil is my mate Govind, whom I am friends with on FB. We’ve kept in contact since and I messaged to enquire about a catch up. “I’ll come and get you and take you to Anil’s home,” he said. “Tomorrow at 4pm ok?”

It just so happens it is.

So this afternoon I have bustling about obtaining items to take to gift to the family. Colouring-in books and felt pens (a pack of Faber Castells, no less; unfortunately the shop was out of deluxe packets so I had to go for a standard, and giving them my own is not an option – I’ve chewed quite a few of those connector lids beyond belief), 10 bars of chocolate, some cookies and some biscuits and some Kiwi key rings I’d bought over from home. Tomorrow I’m going to try and buy some sparkly bracelets for both the mum and the girl, and anything else I come across the add to the mix.

I am a little apprehensive, I must say. Being 6kg up on the size I was upon last seeing them has me worried they will comment. To be honest, I almost (almost) decided I wouldn’t see them for the fear. But I quashed this nonsense in the bud; what a fucking stupid, ED-dictating decision to make.

So tomorrow at 4pm I will be awaiting scooter-riding Govind with a back pack of goodies to give.

4. I love how respectful the people here are of animals. Stray dogs and cows roam the streets, with cars sideswerving around them without even a toot (whereas in the case of people, it’s a blasting of the beep). Today I witnessed two fruit stall seller men handing pieces of papaya to all the monkeys on the wall along the way. And – aside from the burgled monkeys who steal your stuff – they’re all such docile creatures, not scared of people in the slightest.

I guess when people show you love, there’s no need to fear them.

5. Tomorrow is a day off. I am FIZZING for it. Loose plans have been made: after a touch of a trot up the mountain I shall make up the fourth part of the quartet at a cafe, then – if the rain has stopped – we are going to another pool site we have discovered to teach Priyanka to swim. At four, as aforementioned, I shall be picked up by Govind to go and see Anil and his family, then upon drop back I’m catching up with Rajesh – my yoga teacher from my first trip here, on whom (I’ll admit it) I developed a little bit of a crush. (He rode a motorbike, could do the splits and had a laugh that made the sun come out, ok?). (Don’t worry; that Hindi hunk ship has long since sailed – I now have The Pedaller who has about five motorbikes, can do multiple leg ups and has a personality that illuminates my life). (That’s as gushy as I’ll ever get on that subject too).

Oh! A P.S: I nailed this posture today. The Grasshopper (parsva bhuja dandasana). Held it for a full minute mate. (I wasn’t quite so as collected as the girl in the pic though; I definitely didn’t have the A-ok going on). I’d already somewhat mastered the second pic, but with one forearm down it’s adds an upped dimension of balance.

Up on arms.

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