Remember how I last complained that we had to pack all of our stuff in our little suitcases. It turned out that packing was the easiest part of it. Taking those suitcases all the way to India turned out to be the difficult part. After three sleepless flights and a four-hour car drive (car drive in India is like a wicked version of a rollercoaster drive), 30 something hours later we came to the beautiful southern city of Mysore. I’ve never been to the tropics before, and all the wild vegetation seem so overwhelmingly stunning! The air is also very humid, and I love the way nature has taken over the human factor – most buildings look damp and stained, and ready to be engulfed a day after people have left.
We’ve come here for my yoga practice at the Shri K. Pttabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute. I’m a beginner but I was very lucky that Sharath has agreed to take me in. I struggle a lot to keep up (and I not always succeed in it) but I am deeply grateful for every minute spent under his stern eyes.
Ashtanga yoga has become increasingly popular in the west in the last 2 decades, and there are hundreds of yoga practitioners from all over the world in Mysore right now. Finding a place to stay can be really challenging. I’ll cut the story of how we found our place, mostly because I don’t even remember it in full anymore. Different people took us to different places, and we finally liked one and decided to stay there. We knew we had to share a kitchen and a living room with another roommate. What we didn’t know then was that this was also the kitchen of the Indian family who owns the house, plus a very nice young man, Mahadev, who is the man for everything in the house, and who sleeps on a mattress in front of our door. At first I felt that he was intruding our privacy but then I thought that it was us who were actually intruding his. And in the end I stopped over thinking it, and we all started living like a big happy multicultural family with lots of head nodding (and circling, the Indian way) and little other significant communication happening between us. What’s most important, though, is that the boys really like him, and he is also very sweet with them, and in the end of the day, this is all that matters for a mother’s peace of mind. This and a big aquarium of fish which absorb ‘all bad effects’ in our living-room area. Oh, and a small stone tortoise which lives in a small bowl behind the door for good luck.
The landlady also saw me cross-stitching yesterday, and came down with her ‘Rajastani handwork’ to teach me how to do it. I tell you, folks, I would give anything to spend a year or two travelling the world, learning different handicrafts! Until then, I’ll try to enjoy Mysore and its strange ways to the full!