My highlights from last week were:
- Witnessing first hand the lovely Anu Ganesh working her culinary magic at a cooking lesson where we learnt how to make dosas, potato palya, coconut chutney and sambar, and then the best bit – we got to eat it all afterwards!
- Visiting a Hindu temple to perform prayers and seek blessings for Mahashivaratri, a huge festival to celebrate Shiva the Destroyer, with all-day fasting and all-night pujas. Many of the celebrations are centred on finding partners for unmarried women, so it felt like a particularly auspicious day for me! Om Namah Shivaya!
- Climbing Mysore’s holy Chamundi Hill (mostly by rickshaw), walking 3 times around a huge statue of Nandi the bull (Shiva’s vehicle), enjoying stunning panoramic views of the sprawling city of Mysore, and visiting the Chamundeshwara temple at the top. The best part was managing, by complete fluke, to visit the day before Mahashivaratri which meant the place was almost deserted – by Indian standards at least!
- Enjoying a boogie to some cheesy dance music and indulging in a spot of rum punch and sangria at a new moon party very kindly hosted by the ever generous Whittle at The Blue House.
- Moving house! After 2 months of living in a Maharana Suite at Mystic School, I decided it was time to move somewhere that felt a bit more homely. It was a tough decision, as I would be giving up so many luxuries: wifi, filtered water, hot power shower, new bathroom, fresh sheets & towels, lockable safe and a cafe with sauna and jacuzzi on the rooftop. “Are you mad?” I hear you cry! I know, I know but I’m now living in a sweet apartment in a different neighbourhood, which feels more Indian and less like a hotel room. I have to say the pink and green furnishings really sold it to me. And the best bit? I’m now much closer to the Chocolate Man!
- In the process of arranging the move I had a day where I had lots to sort out, including trying to get the key off the previous tenant and contacting the flat owner via Facebook. By the afternoon I was experiencing this strange feeling that seemed so familiar and yet so alien too. Then I figured out what it was: stress. For the first time since I left the UK in the New Year I realised I haven’t once felt stressed. And now I was getting mildly agitated over such simple things as trying to organise a key handover and having a slow internet connection! Those long, pressurised days of slaving away in an office in the corporate world suddenly seemed such a long way away. And for that I’m so very, very grateful.
- Attending Lakshmish’s Sanskrit and Hatha Yoga Pradipika classes. As a Linguistics graduate I’m fascinated by language in all its forms, so am relishing the opportunity to learn the basics of this ancient language, which not only has a different alphabet to my mother tongue but many different sounds too. By the end of it I might even be able to decipher some of the mysterious chants we dutifully recite day after day.
The highlight of my yoga practice this week comes in the form of a small, cheeky 7-year-old Indian boy called Sambhav – Sharath’s son. He’s just the epitome of cuteness. On Thursday we had a counted led primary class due to the moon day on Friday, but it was also Mahashivaratri which is a public holiday, so Sambhav had the day off school. We were almost at the end of the practice, sitting in Yoga Mudra, with Sharath counting his slow count to ten. He had just called “Six” when suddenly this little voice piped up from the doorway, shouting “Seven!” The whole room was sent into fits of giggles and Sambhav proceeded to follow his father around the room and into both changing rooms during Utpluthih to make sure all his students were holding the dreaded posture for the full ten slow breaths! Simply adorable.