Sunday, April 11, 2004

Easter Sunday 

The heat is here. Everything requires that much more effort, first to decide to do, then to decide when to do, then to actually do. May have to alternate from my favorite 10 Rupee an hour Cyber Paradise where I am now, with the whirring fans and local boys watching movies on DVDs (and also checking out porn sites behind drawn curtains each terminal is equipped with) and red-lit altar over my head and no yogastudents to the more popular 25 Rupee an hour iNet with its airconditioned sparse room and orange pod-cubicles filled with mostly yogastudents. Any and all desire I had on my way here to start getting caught up with emails and make a blogdate are evaporating faster than the sweat lazily making its way down my temple. A short one, then.

Like an old-fashioned camera, the practice is slowly but steadily coming into its due focus, with everything else shifting a little and becoming softer and more peripheral, little by little. I think some of my earlydays practices, here, were just about maintenance and survival. Last few days, it’s just all gotten sharper and clearer- and I suspect my second month here, which I embark on this coming week, that process will continue. Now that I have a place of my own (two rooms of my own! And a balcony! And a rooftop!) and am less concerned with everything and settled into something, it is all coming. Strong practices and improving backbends. I am sure the heat will help, since before we had mornings that my funkyblack Adidas sweats and a long-sleeve shirt were very necessary, going to practice. Today was the first day that, though pure habit lead me to start piling on the layers I came in, post-practice, as I pulled on the leggings I wore over the shorts under the sweats, I got hot and threw them off and drove away not bundled up. At 7a.m. Although I heard it was below freezing in NY last week, so I am certainly not one to complain about the evening cool. Which we are seeing less and less of. The bravado with which I anticipated the heat’s onslaught is not so present at the moment. This afternoon, after practice and breakfast and shopping at the nearby organic market and tidying up my second room which is currently serving as my boudoir, felt too weak and didn’t muster the energy to make it to the pool for a couple of hours. Just wet my head and played dead in my room under the squeaky fan, on my new bedspread that is blue and white and has flowers and many elephants on it.

My room is baby-blue walled with burgundy floors (the whole place has the latter) and a white ceiling. Double mattress and four built-in shelves and a cushion on the floor. As you come in, a sense of cool overtakes you as the pistachio-green walls and invite you in. The washroom is to your left, kitchen just past the entrance alcove to your right. Washroom (slightly deeper blue walls) is equipped with a squat (or Turkish, as they are interestingly called in Greece) toilet, old fashioned water heater (not in use) and new-fashion water heater: Bucket. Plug-in prongs, like the tubes from an automatice kettle or a tea-heater. Fill bucket with water. Clip on heating contraption. Wait several minutes, checking water temp. Scoop out jugfulls and wash. Bucket also serves as washing machine and toilet flush. The deluxe edition: bought economy detergent and got free bucket, so I have two-one came with the apartment. Also was given two red plastic chairs (which have been migrating from balcony, where I sit and watch the neighborhood, to the (prettypink) boudoir, where I fling just-worn clothing, to the living room, where guests sit or I fling just-bought shopping), diwan-y mattress pillow thing, small coffee table Any and every thing else, I will need to provide. It won’t be much: renting fridge (500 Rs per month, or about $11.50 which am hopefully getting any day now) and may consider buying or renting gas stove so I can start making rotis and chapattis at home, sometimes. To be consumed when very hot with butter and jam and peanut butter and honey and bananas and chocolate and chutney. Also fantasize about buying a blender of sorts (it would pay for itself within a month considering the price of buying peanuts to grind. Versus the jars of peanut butter I go through, she says), and also making lassis (Take curd. Add fruit of choice like pineapple or mango. Sugar. Ice. Blend well. Drink immediately.), but we will see- may have to live vicariously through better-outfitted friends.

I am perfectly outfitted and very happy, finally. Daylong natural light and breezes from all around in my second floor littlepalace with pot for floating flowers at entrance and rooftop terrace that sees boundless skies all around and the life a non-sterile neighborhood far removed (but only a few minutes downhill on Scooty) from the Malibu that is shalacentral affords. Which is fine for some, but for me the chickens scuttling and pigs trotting and buffalo and goat herds passing and children playing and running after me shouting “hi auntie!” and “whatsyername!” and TVs blasting and ladies chatting and radios playing and men peeing and cows munching and garbage burning and sunsets blazing is why I am here. Here I am.

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