Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Settling in 

The mosquitoes here are impressively oversized, but slow- I just smushed a couple sitting here, with a swift handclap. I was informed this morning that killing mosqies will give you bad karma. Short-lived, like they are. I say, ahimsa does not apply to them.. Spiders and ants and bugs I will sweep up gently and place outside. I have tried to drive the mosks out, with fan and swirling motions and coil. The persistent few that stay, we make war. I let them drink my blood at night, and chase them by day. Yoga Journal makes the best moskiekiller, I find- much better than getting their little bodies on your hand or book or towel. Swack!

Suspect I have found my favorite moment of the day, here. In the post-practice glow (or haze, depending on the kinda day you’re having), students spilling out of the shala are greeted by the coconut man (also flowerseller and various enterprising folk like the guy who sells bread and peanut butter). I am told that coconut-wallah comes all the way from Laxmipuram, where the old shala used to be, and is the same guy who has been selling to Yoga Students for a while. For seven rupees he will choose a coconut for you (“best one”) and a few hacks of the machete, last one decapitating the green head, yield a hole amidst fibrous shell for you to slurp and suck on the milk through a straw or straight from the hole. Always thought the stuff would actually look like milk, or the stuff you buy canned for cooking, but this juice is clear like water with just the right mix of sweet and salty to replenish and energize. No two are alike, either. Bet you can learn a lot and like a wine connoisseur discern the subtle differences from coconut to coconut.

The sun is just beginning to get bright, gather heat, and the air is still reminiscent of night’s cool. People hang out, or not, then go for breakfast, or not. I have been. Been going mostly to Tina’s, an Indian lady who also serves dinner and gives cooking lessons during lunch. Her back yard is an oasis of canopies under mango trees with cushions and low tables for students to eat and chill on and you can have fresh and safe and yummy nosh and chat, or not. There is also a bulletin board and a beautiful black bitch by the name of Coco who chases frogs, and has been known to sit up on other side of the gate (about 5 feet high), perched like one of the lions flanking the entrance to the New York Public Library or the gateway to Agamemnon’s tomb in Mycenae. She also likes to follow me and bark, after I have rubbed her tummy.

My favorite doggie is a mangy yellow littleguy that hangs out on my street (the same street the shala is on). He looks like the product of Benji’s smaller pup and an oversized rat- I call him weaselface, but mostly Buddy. He loves sweetmeats and gnaws on leftover ladoos as if they were bones. I always give him a little something, and he always makes it a point to say hello and follow me for a bit. I am told he got shots last week, curtesy of yogastudents. Poor littleguy is mostly unperturbed as the newspaper boy flings rocks at him and keeps trotting along, tail wagging, as the local-owned German Shepards bark up a storm from behind closed gates. Perhaps he enjoys a freedom they envy.

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