I’m writing from Rishikesh – the International Yoga capital of the world and have just returned from an evening Hindu prayer ceremony (Puja) which took place on the Ganges river. Warning – this will not be a masterpeace mail, just a sketch of some of my thoughts at the moment…
I arrived in Delhi last Thursday and had the softest landing one could think of. Nothing of those scary stories I heard over the last few months. I was/still am hosted by a beautiful family of a good friend and they let me into their home and their heart and took really good care of me. They toured me around, gave me incredible insight with regards to the Hindu religion which they follow and fed me five times a day with home made food freshly made (except for the two times they invited me to some really fancy restaurants) and I also learned to cook and even made some chapati and curd.
The difficult times are when I travel on my own. When I am actually alone on the streets. All the warnings I’ve been given bout a women on her own in India turned out to be true – it is difficult. Everyone just stare at me all the time as if I am a living freak show. Noone touches me but as you can imagine this is not a very comfortable feeling. I am not fearful and I don’t feel any danger but this makes me very nervous. To avoid that I try as much as possible to walk around with some other people – I prefer foreigner men – I feel more protected this way.
The most adventurous experience I had was taking a local bus from Delhi to Haridwar. It was six hours of constant honking and spitting. The driver kept crossing to the other lane and whenever there was a car coming towards our bus – on it’s own lane – instead of slowing down or returning to our lane the bus driver was speeding up, honking at the car coming towards us. Every few kilometers, at the side of the road, we could see the remains of cars and trucks who didn’t make it. My God that was a scary experience!!!
As far as my journey goes -I have traveled from Delhi to Hairdwar which is a very sacred Hindu city where thousands of Indian Pilgrims arrive every day to sink in the Ganges river and to pray. It was interesting in a sense that there were hardly any foreigners in the city which was pact with 99.99% of Indian visitors. Initially, I’ve planned to stay in Hairdwar for a few days but the attention I’ve recieved there was a little bit too much for me so this morning I decided I need some westerns to talk to and left for Rishikes which is a lovely lovely city. I will probably remain here for a couple or three days before I continue to Daharamsalla for a Vipasana retreat .
I have so much more to say and write about the way India manifests your thoughts into reality in practically no time and about the amazing beautiful people I meet on the way and how much I receive from everyone but that would have to wait for some other time when we actually talk. For now I would just say I have entered the Jungle but it seems as if I am the monkey 🙂