My India Journal 2000
1/12/2000 - I walk with Baba in front of Access, wondering about my
trip. My 7th Journey to India. A land of contradictions. Soon I must
pack my stuff, and head for the airport. I fly tonight . A message from
Baba ,-[pgbbbbbbbbbbbb7 as he walks upon my keyboard,
he sez Me-Out meowwwd BabaKnows .....
1/14/2000 - My flight is long, and on Korean Air they have lousy food.
I meet a couple of guys that are also transfering to Delhi after landing
at Mumbai (Bombay). I suggest we travel to the domestic airport together.
In Mumbai there are two airports, one is international and the other
is domestic. Well, a good plan, but... My bags came out of the baggage
area and somebody pulled them off the belt and put them on the side
before I could see them. So I waited, and when I found them I was late
and the other guys already split. I was in such a hurry (in my mind)
that when I got into a taxi, my meditation beads broke and went flying
on the street. I saw a lesson I needed, took a big breath, and continued.
The locals helped me find most of the beads and I raced across town
to the other airport. Slowly, I raced across town, lots of traffic in
Mumbai... Well I dashed into the airport, very anxious not to miss my
flight, also thinking about where I might stay if I missed it. Only
to discover I had to wait about an hour anyway.... India, the land of
hurry up and wait.
I land in Delhi, and Im not sure if Anil is meeting me or not.
I hope not, cause its late and I can just catch a cab and go to
my hotel. At the airport there are special taxis that are on a fixed
price, but you pre-pay at the airport. While Im arrainging this
I notice one of the guys from my flight, his name is Eric. Hes
from Oregon, and he works for the forest service there. He came to India
to see tigers and birds at the animal reserves. His parents friends
are supposed to pick him up at the airport and host him a week. Since
they didnt show up (I think they went to the International airport
looking for him) I suggest he come to stay at the YWCA till he can find
his friends, he seems to be a cool guy so we off we go.
1/15/2000 - The YWCA International Guest House is a good hotel, in the
central part of New Delhi. There is an old Delhi, by the way, where
you can still see parts of these huge walls and old buildings. But,
I want to be in the middle of town and this is aboul five long blocks
from Cannaught Place, a big park around which there are two circles
of shops and resturants.
Many of Delhis international travelers come here, and so I think
I may meet some cool people. I find some westerners are staying at the
YWCA also. I suggest that a few of us tour Delhi and off we go. First
stop, the Lakshmi Narayana Temple. Very nice energy, not that its
peaceful, lots of traffic goes by it, but inside you just feel like
life comes to a stop and you can really take a breath and enjoy it.
Good energy.... Next stop, is Manab Quitir, the oldest standing mosque,
and theres not much still standing. The main tower is impressive,
about six stories tall and nice little terraces around the upper levels.
I suppose they would call out the prayers from the top and all moslems
would face Mecca and pray together. The rest of the ruins are quite
vast, it was a large courtyard with high walls, some still have there
stone roofs still intact. and a number of out buildings. There is also
a big piller about 10 feet diameter (3 meters) surrponded by a 5 foot
thick wall. As I walk around the piller I feel some very strange vibes.
Especially around the back side. Whatever that was, I dont know,
but interesting anyway...... Then off to the India Gate. It looks like
that big arch in France, and its a memorial to the vetrans that
fought and died in the wars defending India.
While we were there, there were lots of army all around there. They
were preparing for their big parade on Republic day (Jan 26th). There
were some tanks and rocket launchers and even a helicopter on display.
But the most fun was when we were walking back... This army guy comes
by on his motercycle, not holding the bike, just balancing. Wow, hes
cool, and another guy comed by, and hes sitting backwards on his
bike, just looking over his shoulder and leaning to steer left or right.
Double wow! Then more and more came by, some standing on the bike seat,
others with 3 or 4 on a bike, more on a raised seat, maybe 10 feet up.
And the grand finale... was 10 bikes across, with 10 riders, 10 guys
standing on the backs and 9 others balanced between each bike. They
were practicing for the Replubic day parade. Last stop, was the Lotus
temple of the Bahai faith. It sits on a hill overlooking the city and
it is shaped like a huge lotus flower with 9 petals. Each one represents
one of the worlds major religions. They believe that you should keep
and respect your own religion as you join Bahai, then as you grow to
understand your own roots, you can share it with the world. No statues
or singing at all inside, just a place to sit and be quietly there...
We went back to the hotel and I was tired and ready to... rest, eat,
meditate, smoke and crash out, in that order.
1/16/2000 - Today I went to visit Anil, at his office. Eric also came
with us. I showed Anil my Ibook computer and he said he wont let
me leave India with it, hell have to buy it from me before I go.
Well, well see... I did tell him about my plan to bring a group
to the big festival next year and he suggested a few people to talk
to. He said also that his wife, Angeli, wants to go the festival next
year. Then Anil invited us th his home for dinner. Well, OK I said reminding
him about my being a vegitarian. Well, he had to call and tell Angeli
to quick make something veggie. When we got to his house, I met his
wife and daughter, and I remembered he had a big Dog, named Cesar. We
all had a good talk together, I think Eric was starting to relax and
enjoy India more. The food was very good and I later told Anil that
I want to take them to a nice restaurant sometime too. Plenty of time
for that, he said.
1/17-20/2000 - Been busy meeting with internet company to start an account.
Its cheap here I can Pay about 3500 Rs or $75 for 250 hours of
use or 3 years, whichever is first. Meeting the tourism dept. to find
out about the festival next year. They can provide all tents and facility
for me. Sounds too good to be true. Well see... I also meet with
associates of Anil that do web streaming, and we discuss the festival
project. We discuss the possibilities and I ask them for a price to
stream the festival on the main day that means live (and expensive)
and to post an hour of video per day onto the site, which is cheap.
I may even do it myself. Theyll let me know the price...
1/21/2000 - Today I started reading about becoming a Channel. Wow, it
could be me! I dont know, but it feels right. Well see...
I go to the central park area feeling like Ill meet someone...
Maybe to help with my festival project. I see some travelers pass by,
but something tells me to be patient. After some time passes, a fellow
comes over to me to talk. It feels like hes OK. From Switzerland,
his name is Tom or Maruti Das. We hook up, have a smoke and then he
takes me to see the real center of Delhi, called Para Gange. It is a
crowded part of town with a market winding around little alleys and
back streets. There are westerneres here too, but the ones who have
lived here or traveled India many times. I feel right at home here,
and right away meet some more people, even another guy from California.
I think these folks may also want to come to the festival next year.
So, we exchange e-mails and move on. Back to my hotel now, I say goodnight
to my new friend Maruti and ask him to help me tomorrow on the project.
Yes, well see.....
1/22/2000 - Ive been resting and reading more. I went with Maruti
to contact the Govt of UP tourist office to get prices in Allahabad
to stay at the Govt hotel. They are also trying to make a yoga
conference in rishekesh. We will try to promote their conference to
see them help us at the Kumbh Mela.
We get posters and Info about their project, maybe next year we can
add the yoga conference as an option for our group. I start to work
on the computer, finish rate card to make it into web pages. I may be
ready next week to post it in public view.
1/23/2000 - Today I go again to the park to meditate and relax. Later,
I meet with Maruti and we start to put up some posters, we decided if
we get people to sign up we will split the 15% commission. It feels
to me like practice for next year, and I can see what these government
tourism guys are like for reliability. Today we also walked to pahar
ganj to check out the other side of New Delhi. We met people
from Austraila, Germany, Portugal, England and of coarse all parts of
India. We parked on a rooftop cafe, got some good food and can look
over the whole busy street. We are smoking and this is where I send
this note from.....
1/24/2000 - Today I checked out pictures of deluxe tents to rent for
next years festival. They look real cool. inside fully furnished. even
western toilets. (eastern ones are basically a hole in the ground) Ill
show some pix on the web site, hopefully to be up soon. Im reading
and meditating alot it feels good to be home in India again.
1/25/2000 - Today I priced the airfare for my journeys around India.
Wow, Its not cheap to fly, like I hoped. To visit Bangalore, its
about $255 each way. Then I heard about a special ticket I may get....
a tour all India ticket... It costs $500 for 15 days of travel, and
you can go to any city the fly, inside India, of coarse. Ill start
that journey mid February, after the festival (Feb 10th is the main
day). Today I met a group of Tasmanians (Australians), they just returned
from a month of Tibetan studies. They met the Dali Lama... Thats
cool. We went out to dinner together, about 15 people. I suggested a
very fancy veg restaurant, but $5 a person was a lot of money to them,
so we go for cheap food, about $1 each. I guess it depends how long
you are here...
1/26/2000 - Today is the parade, I just woke up and I hear loudspeakers
in the distance. Im a little worried about trouble at the parade,
so I think Ill stay inside and watch it on TV at my hotel lobby.
Well see... (time passes) Well the parade was totally cool. First
the tanks and missles, wow what big missle you have... Jets roared by,
I could hear them outside and ran out out of the hotel in time to see
them go by. When I went back in, they went by on TV too. Then the Colorful
Camels, about 200 all strolling by in perfect formation. There were
marching bands and floats like Macys parade. Each state had a
special float, some had local dancing and craftmakers. Others had music
or groups showing village life, as if it were plucked out of time and
made to appear in front of the viewer. Very good stuff. Then, the grand
finale! The army team of stunt motercycle riders..... just as they had
practiced all week long, they were totally awsome... Really. Standing
or sitting backwards in piles and clumps these groups of men risked
serious road rash, and even injury if anybody sneezed or moved an inch.
It went perfectly smoothly.
1/27-31/2000 In the next few days, I moved to another hotel, the Indraprasta
Hotel. Its not far from the YWCA, on Ashoke road near Janpath.
It is a tall building with 18 floors. I settle in to the 14th floor
with a stunning view, a great south indian resturant downstairs at half
the price if the YWCA (was 900 Rs or $20/day). It now costs 550 Rs or
$12/day. My window looks out over a section of the city that has many
trees. Its nice to see from up here looking out over the jungle
of the city. From the streets its so busy. Traffic is real tight
about rush hour and their idea of driving too close is less than 1 inch...
But from up here, I feel very peaceful, especially when I light some
Insence and play wave sounds in my music machine.
I visited my favorite rooftop cafe again and met some new friends. Maruti
went to Hardwar for a couple days to see his guru. A french couple I
met told me it costs only 200 Rs or $4/day in Parah Gange, but that
the police visited them a couple times a week to search for terrorists.
No thanks. Theres a price thats too low and this is it..... (In
fact, later when I visit Anil again and he says to stay out of that
area, its dangerious. So I decide to be more careful.) They seem
like a nice couple and we have dinner together at my south Indian resturant.
They are off to Kathmandu Nepal in a few days to have handbags and shoulderbags
custom made. He says they sold 800 last year at the local market in
their village in France. Shes the designer, Bridgette... And off
they go to Nepal. Most western people I meet are just passing thru New
Delhi. Going where? Everywhere... I say most.... but a few fall through
the cracks. Some westerners actually live here. As I meet them they
have somehow adapted to live here. One fellow, from America is staying
with locals and helping their family travel buisness. Alberto is friendly,
hes from NY and so we connect. He appears regularly at the rooftop
cafe, trying to interest travelers in his hosts business. Going to Kashmir
anybody? Well, it is a really nice place, even if there is a war there...
I can see hes tired of trying to sell. Maybe hell come to
the Mela, well see...
Today I visited Anil at his work, and surprise! He got an Imac. For
his Sister, he says, but hes smiling like a child. He is having
fun teaching his sister how it works. Her name is Sadhana and she is
designing and selling a line of clothes and fashion accories to stores.
Sadhana uses the new computer to track customers and vendors. After
she finished her work and left for a break, Anil hooked our two Mac
computers together and we exchanged all the stuff thats cool. He helps
me get my system reinstalled. Im all set to leave town, but....
I need some cards printed, well hes getting some for his sister
anyway, so its set up for the printer. I hear him say hes
taking his daughter to the eye doctor. Hmmm, I could use some new reading
glasses too. So off we go to pick her up from school and get an eye
exam. The doc sez I need new specs. Thats what theyre called here.
My old ones were not only wrong, but different from each other, left
to right. Wow, after I pick them up the next day, I can see much better
when I read. Everything I need, Anil seems to have going on. He has
been such a help.
2/1/2000 Been trying to get out of delhi. Two weeks is too long, but
I made the connections I needed. Now its time to go. I pick up
my printed Kumbh Mela 2001 cards as I visit Anil again. I say goodby
to him for now... Today Ill visit the Jantar Mantar park to relax
and meditate. The energy inside the park is more peaceful and better
for me then the street. After being out in traffic I feel the need to
chill out. Delhi is an intense place...
2/2/2000 Im thinking about MurutiDas, is he back from Hardwar
yet. When I call his friends travel company to find out if hes
back, and hes is right there. Wow... Going to the Mela? Yes, why
not? So I meet him and we are ready to go. What about Alberto? Well,
the train station is near the cafe, so off we go to see if hes
around. As we arrive at Pahar Gange, I can see Alberto right away, hes
on the street up ahead. We start to talk to him. Do you want to go to
the mela? He says Dont know. Just then a cop comes over... He
is living with these Kashmiris. Well the cops must regularly hassel
these guys, and they run away when they see the cop. But, Alberto stands
his ground. So the cop thinks Alberto is local and walks up to him and
slaps him hard right on the face. Im about two feet away, Alberto
suddenly starts to fight back and the whole street runs over to see
it. A second cop jumps in and they grab him. Theyre taking him
to headquarters now and I cant believe whats happening.
Im trying to tell the cops that hes American, and when they
hear that they let him go, but what a scene. Delhi is intense. Well,
now Alberto... Do you want to go to the Mela? And off we go, three babas
on the night train.
2/3/2000 The next morning, as we arrive in Allahabad, we pick a cheap
hotel cause they dont have much money. Then, after I lock up my
bags safely, we go to explore the mela.... The first day in the mela
is exciting for me. I know where I am again, remembering the roadways,
pontoon bridges and favorite smoking spots. As we walk the last half
kilometer into the mela grounds, theres a kind of carnival by
the road. It has rides, a ferris wheel and a motercycle driving around
a big barrel or something*. Then we walk past rows of shops selling
blankets and kitchen stuff,flowers and sweets to offer to gurus and
to the river, and posters and statues of the Gods and Goddesses. The
shops continue as the road splits into two and they both lead up the
rise of a gentle hill. Now... I have seen this place both, very full
with millions of people and nearly empty with only hundreds. As we come
to the top of the hill, we get our first sight of it... Its full,
all the way across the river an ocean of tents. Three kilometers across
and at least a few kilometers up river I can see tents, tents, tents*...
and then, up river, open sand. Unlike the Maha Kumbh in 1989, there
was no open sand to see at all then. I will guess this is half a million
people living here now. In 1989, there were a million in the river banks
and another million camped on the way into the grounds. As we walk down
the road I remember a spot where there is a tree near the road. there
are usually shiva babas hanging out here. Yes, sure enough, there they
are. I doubt these are the babas from before, but maybe... So we take
a break here and the babas offer us their chillum, (smoking pipe) with
charis (hashish) and tobacco mixed.
We explain that we dont smoke tobacco and we then offer to smoke
some good pure charis with them. They are not used to this and lots
of laughing results*, and were all are having fun. Boy are they
sad to see us go, but we must explore more. The mela is so big, that
after a while we come to the sangam. The main bathing area, where the
rivers meet, the confluence. The other guys take a dip in the river.
I feel reluctant to go in, dont know why. Then weary, we head
back for the long walk back to the mela entrance area and the even longer
cycle rickshaws through rush hour traffic. When we get back, I decide
to split from the hotel they are at and get a nicer one for myself.
Im tired and out like a light!
* MUST SEE TO BELIEVE
2/4/2000 The three of us decide to take a boat this time to get to the
mela. It is very shanti (peaceful). A slow entry into the mela energy.
When we get to the main bathing area, its different being in a
bout then on the shore. I feel safer and decide to take my dip into
the river here. The other guys can watch my stuff while I go in the
water. Ok, yes Im standing in my underpants and the water is not
warm. But after a few minutes I get used to it. Its only waist
deep and the current is so strong, it will take me away if I let it.
I did the prayers and offered three coconuts, and then took three full
dips, under the water. Very good feeling to let it flow over me. I return
to the boat, pay the priest for services and coconuts (about $3). Then
the boat took us to the shore so we could do lots of walking around
the mela. We saw too much stuff. There were camps that had stages with
singing ans some with speaches. Booths were selling all wares and the
beggars were lined up along the main streets. There was one beggar who
had his burried in the sand... He was breathing with difficulty, so
I gave a donation for his deep spiritual quest (or maybe he was crazy?).
Through the mela, always something different to find. Its amazing.
2/5/2000 The crowd is even more today, it is unbelievable. MarutiDas
wants to stay in town and rest, so Alberto and I head out to the mela.
We met this group in one camp that invited us to stay there with them.
I may, later... They show me the deluxe tents that I saw pictures of
earlier. There is even one with a western toilet with a cement floor
in the washroom/toilet area. This is a cool camp, central location and
guard in front with tin walls around the outside. Looks very safe...
Visiting a few different camps, meeting new babas and sadhus. After
walking for a couple miles, we then decide to set up the tent in a spot
that is up river a little and so its quiet. I do a really great
meditation here and Wow, now I feel like Im really at the Mela.
Albert also does a little meditation, but I feel his uneasiness with
the crowds. After it gets dark we head back. Its a mile walk to
the Mela entrance, where we catch a cycle rikshaw back to town.
2/6/2000 Off to the mela again, meeting babas and gurus. One guru who
has the magic power, according to the story about him in the paper he
shows us, to make people stay with him, under his control for 45 minutes.
Well we waited the 45 minutes before we could leave and realized that
his making people wait, was the lesson that most people needed. To learn
to be patient, wow, another of Indias contradictions... As we
leave the mela, we ride a horse cart, just to try it. It turns out to
go pretty fast and it was fun too. Off to my nice room to rest...
2/7/2000 Today I go on my own to explore the mela. After a good rest
and a nice glass of lassi (kefir) at the Yatrik hotel, I get a moter
rickshaw, same driver I had before. Good, he speaks english too. Off
to the mela grounds. He takes me close to the entrance, only about a
mile to walk. Good thing I been walking for months to get ready. First
stop, the babas by the tree near the fort entrance. They remember me
and its all buddy buddy.
2/8/2000 Im feeling like staying at the mela in my tent. when
I talk to the MerutiDas and Alberto, theyve had enough Mela. They
are going to Benares... Cool, I have more fun anyway just being around
the locals. So, I check out of the hotel, say bye to the guys and catch
a rikshaw to the Mela... I found a site for my tent away from the crowds,
on the bank of the ganges, accross from the main bathing spot. The river
is strong, but only about 100 meters across. I can see the Jamuna river
as it pours into the Ganges, becoming one mighty river on its
way to Benares and Calcutta and to the ocean.... I write from this place
of total Shanti, peace and solitude. A baba walks by each hour, not
much more. But just across the river are thousands still comming and
others going as the sun starts to head down. I will remember this time
as the best of this visit....
Later the same night I am sitting in my tent, on the bank. I hear the
rivers edge slurping and lapping along, and the cacaphony of sounds
behind. Singing, bells ringing, spiritual talking and music all on loudspeakers
just accross the river, some half mile away. And then, a train will
cut through it all as it crosses the main road/train bridge across the
Ganges. Its about 3 kilometers across the river bed. Now the water
is only 200 meters across, but in July the Ganges is the full 3 kilometers
across. The sun set while I meditated and a slice of the moon could
be seen for only a short time. Now about that sound, its still
going strong. Late into the night...
2/9/2000 In fact, all night long there were sounds from the loud speakers.
Till about 3 am, when it seemed to quiet. I could still hear the roar
of the crowd from all sides. People were comming to bathe at the sangam
all night long, but once when I woke and looked over the 200 meters
across the river to see, there were only a few people at the water front
taking a dip. Then, it grew again to hundreds of people in the early
hours. Now, at nearly 7 am, the crowds are in the thousands again, gathered
again to take a dip and pray to the Holy Mother Ganga. I can see that
there is no hurry in the people, they are sharing the limited space
like they are sharing everything here, only at the mela. No pushing,
shoving, or cutting in front that is everywhere else in India.
In the markets and on the streets its a matter of coarse, if I
can squeeze my car in front of your bus I will and, if I can squeeze
my motercycle in front of your car I will and, if I can squeeze my bicycle
in front of your motercycle I will and, if I can squeeze my body in
front of yours I will.
In the Mela, its different. People come with an open mind, well
most do. They come here with just hope that a blessing will come to
them and little expectation of what facilities are available. Some come
to camp and live here, but most are just visiting for a day or two during
one of the special times. January 14th, February 5th & 10th, and
As I write, more pilgrims are comming to the sangam, looks like about
ten thousand now. I sit in my tent, watching them gather. Im camped
on a sand barge on the middle of the Ganges. I was dropped off by boat
yesterday afternoon. Im not on a deserted island, I can wade to
the other bank, but there are no other tents around this spot, just
some sadhus that wade across the shallow water from the other bank,
to take a dip here where the river is deeper. I think this empty place
was very full on the 5th, but now its peacful so Ill stay
here for now....
Now, half hour later, a fog has moved in and covered the whole river.
I cant see more then 100 meters. All white, I can just see the
sun, but I still hear the loudspeakers and the dull roar of a crowd
of ten thousand people all calling out or praying or just laughing at
once. Now and again I hear a group cheering for something and they all
call out Jai meaning victory to god.
Later in the afternoon Ive been meditating and reading about channeling.
A lazy day by the river. Just what michaels ordered. Well, I could be
here forever, but... My instincts lead me out of the mela, for a hotel
in Allahabad, and a chance to see my email. I hope Irina has sent me
2/10/2000 It takes a while to get out to the mela today. As I stop at
the bank, I meet a guy from england, Dan. He just saw the mela when
he took the bus up from Benares. We cruise to the mela together, but
he quickly chooses to walk around the mela grounds and explore the fort
and sangam. I set up camp on the river bank again, but this time near
the #2 bridge, on the near bank of the Ganges river. Near some babas
I met a few days ago, they have a nice tent on the edge of the riverbank,
about 20 feet above the water level, overlooking the three bridges setup
to carry people and vehicals across the Ganges. There is a constant
stream of people crossing the river. On the main days the traffic is
controlled to be one way (mostly). Today is very busy, but not the crowds
of the 5th. It is good that I arrived early. This spot is looking out
from my tent upon the river and the streams of pilgrims crossing. There
are Tents with colorful flags in almost every corner of this 3 kilometer
wide river bed. I have a break from the constant flow of people asking,
Where are you from?. I have to chase them away sometimes.
Especially when I setup the tent, their eyes are so wide. Then, after
20 minutes or so, the crowd gets tired of hanging around. Then, there
is peace... till the next person comes by to peer in... Hello....
. And I came here to find peace? Well see.... Ill
try to do my Meditation... Well a top class meditation was had. I experienced
Mother Ganges, flowing with love. Im just hanging out , enjoying
the energy as evening has set and I write these lines. Soon I plan to
go back to the Milan hotel to sleep, charge my computer and check my
2/11/2000 Well, a good night sleeping helps. Today I will just rest,
meditate and write/computer/read stuff. A day to absorb the intensity
of a tent city... Wonderful place, Allahabad, its old name is
Pryag. From the roof top of the Milan hotel, you can see the real city.
rooftops are dotted with plants and hanging clothes. Children are out
with the sun and up go their kites and their spirits both to fly high
above the rubbish and noise of daily life. The streets are a mix of
shops and people buying all things. A prosperous city, yet all corners
are piled with the litter of an old city. Some buildings sit still where
a roof or wall has fallen, to become the shelter for another poor family,
still lower on the chain of existance. Soon I go for my train back to
Delhi. This will be first class, private compartment. Wow, for $20 I
can relax, and enjoy the ride. when I wake up Ill be in Delhi
(at 4am...) oh well, the night train had over 100 people waitlisted,
so I travel in the afternoon...
Before I go, theres time to check out the Kumbh Mela reservation
for next year. My rikshaw is waiting, Puran Chandr, Auto # 116. He has
helped me already a few times and has an AUTO rikshaw, thats faster
than a cycle rikshaw. He helps me talk to the Kumhb Mela office on the
phone, because they dont speak english. He says we should go to
their office. I ask if its far and he says no, but looks at me
a little funny. So we start to cruise and of coarse their office is
at the mela. I got to meet Chandrika Tripathi, official space arrainger
for the kumbh mela..... And he speaks english (thank you Lord). I even
got his phone #, cool. Well, I ask for an application, and he gives
me a pen and blank paper. I wrote out anapplication and then he wanted
me to meet the Digambara, or district magistrait for the Kumbh Mela.
But, after I waited for an hour, I had to split to catch my train. My
train, is so cool... Im writing this from my own private compartment.
I have a window out the landscape, and a locked door on the other side.
It has two beds on one wall and a little table. At first I was booked
to another compartment, that was full of people... Then I talked to
the conductor, asked for private, and he found me the right spot. It
all took five minutes, and he felt like he rescued me. I only got what
I expected, but was not going to get, cause thats the way things
go, and it all worked out anyway... Did that make sense? Maybe Ill
have another one... Itll be a long train ride, 3pm to 4am, wow...
2/12/2000 A long train ride (little sleep) and now Im back at
the YWCA in Delhi (a little more sleep). Ill visit Anil &
check my mail, then make a plan about Bangalore. I think Ill go
to the Jantar Mantar and meditate... Back in Delhi again, Yes. Nice
Meditation today, very good energy. For lunch I am at the rooftop cafe
in Parah Gang writing these words. Its nice weather today, foggy
in the morning, but clear now. I feel more pollution has built up since
I was here. I talked to Anil and Ill see him tonight. All is well,
and soon I go to Bangalore... Now, I think Ill order another Pinapple
Lassi (Kifir). mmmm good...
It is night now and Im happy in my YWCA room (with the heater
on) just writing on the computer again. I think Ill send some
more mail out...
2/13/2000 This morning I changed hotels. Not a big deal, but took a
couple hours anyway... Back to the Indraprastha, this time on the 12th
floor. After moving, I took a quiet day, starting with a meditation
at Jantar Mantar, the observitory from 1710. then I walked to Cannaut
Place and sat in the park a while. I spoke to this french guy who seemed
about 70 years old, though he didt speak much english. I somehow
inderstood him to say, hed been coming to India for 30 years,
but now it was degraded too much. He wasnt comming again. Then
I went to my rooftop cafe, to look down upon the degraded India of Pahar
Gange. I slowly walked back through the market and picked up a few things.
It is a cheap place to buy stuff. Then i caught a rikshaw Back to the
Hotel to chill and charge my batteries...
2/14/2000 Happy Valentines Day... I sent a card to My valentine, and
I got one too! A quiet day with morning meditation at Jantar Mantar,
lunch at the rooftop cafe in Pahar Gange and an evening at home (the
Indraprasta Hotel) on the computer. I wanted to call home tonight, but
no phone around here...
2/15/2000 Today Im off to Bangalore. I feel happy. I started the
Kumbh Mela project and Im ready to go find myself. The Ashram
is a good place to begin this part of the journey. I visited Anil again
today, he picked up my air ticket. I saved $75 paying in Rupees (about
$180) instead of Dollars ($255) for a one way ticket. I called my friend
Sudhir yesterday. Vatsala, his wife answered the phone. I told her about
my arrival and she said theyd pick me up. She also said she would
call the Ashram to let Rama Mata know Im comming. It will be so
good to be with my Bangalore friends again. After Sudhir & Vatsala
picked me up at the airport, we went out to the Polo Club for drinks
and dinner. I had a beer & some spicy food. Ill sleep well
2/16/2000 Today I woke up in Bangalore, feeling fresh. Sudhir has a
large house, very nice... The guest room is upstairs, just off the rooftop
deck area. When I did my meditation I enjoyed being in the open very
much. Nice place, with lots of trees and birds. Last year I didnt
relax enough to enjoy this place fully. Not too many people on the street,
and more relaxed too. Much nicer energy then Delhi. Well, after a Masala
Dosa breakfast, its off to the ashram. Ill stay there first,
and check out the town later.
Im at the Ashram now. I had a nice slow walk about the place.
So peaceful, so shanti... Im resting at my cottage, writing this
and waiting for Rama Mata to return from Bangalore. I havent yet
seen her. I have brought her Almonds... Feels like Im home....
Ive asked the mgr to clean up the cottage and fill the pool...
On the rooftop, is a deck and a pool. Its hot here and that will
be cool to soak in. should be ready tomorrow. I had a wonderful talk
with Mataji, very inspiring. Shell come to Kumbh Mela next year
and give a one week lecture program about Bhagavatam. Now I can start
to invite people to come. Dont know the prices yet, but well
make it affordable for everyone...
2/17/2000 Today is a beautiful day. I woke early to the sound of birds.
I did my meditation on the roof and then took a dip in my pool... I
had the idea to make a pool on the roof, fifteen years ago. Today was
my first time swimming in it. Feels great.... I go from my cottage to
the main house to talk to Mataji about fixing up the cottage, keeping
it empty, and offering it as a retreat place for travelers. The 300Rs
per person would go to the ashram, and the place would be kept cleaner.
After some dosa and my talk with Rama Mata, Im doing some work
on the computer, studying and reading. Ill try the internet connection
later, when the electric returns. It goes out a couple hours a day.
Life on the ashram is good, peaceful and healing. I may stay some days
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