Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Girl’s Guide to Mysore, Part Two - Pleasant Insanity

I’m sitting alone in my little bedroom in V. V. Mohalla, a neighborhood just about 10 minutes from Gokulum. Outside my windows there’s a perfect South India breeze and the sounds of scooter horns mingle with mooing cows. I’ve been in India now for just over five days, and am finally settling into the rhythm here.

The first moments in India were shocking. Driving from Bangalore’s airport into Mysore was an interesting glimpse into India’s way of living. People walk along the highway, and the only traffic law is: “Please Honk.” Three hours later I arrived in Mysore, to the lovely Green Hotel. Situation right along a busy main road in Mysore, the hotel was at first not what I expected (horn honking, again!). But once I settled into the room and saw the beautiful garden and ate their exceptional food, I was sold!

The first days in a new country, even one as strange and wonderful as India can be extremely lonely. Yoga practice was really a welcome ritual to return to. Two days in, I met my friend from Florida, Shanna. We were both relieved and excited to see a semi-familiar face in this foreign land!

I’ve begun to describe India to myself as a sort of pleasant insanity. Nothing really surprises me here, because I’ve resigned myself to the idea that everything is at the same time unusual, and yet exactly what it seems! (Also known as a country of contradictions). Many of the buildings here seem to be in a purgatorial state of construction and disarray. Traffic lanes don’t exist, why would they? Cows block traffic, and dogs literally run right along with it! And at the same time, the peaceful nature of the place permeates my daily experiences. My apartment is right in between a beautiful park and an equally lovely ashram. Daily, as I walk to my morning asana practice, I hear lovely chants coming from the ashram…

I like this new universe of pleasant insanity. I like the pulse of this city. It’s about 9:52pm, on a moon day Thursday. Practice comes early here, so I’ll end this post for now. Next up: my first pleasantly calm, yet hectic experiences at the KPJAYI shala…

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