Sunday, March 02, 2008


The People
I just had the idea of keeping track of the different interesting people I meet. I should have been doing this from the start because I seem to be meeting an enormous vfariety of people from many places in the world, each with an interesting story to tell….So I will try to go back to remember all those I’ve met so far, and if some get left out, well, I guess they were not all that interesting in the first place.
The first person I met was a sweet girl from Australia, with that special Australian glow of health about her, and she was my neighbor the first few days when I was so ill, went down and ordered my food for me when I needed it, and even went out and bought some Tulsi for me when I realized I hadn’t brought any with me. She understood my need to be alone but never failed to ask if I needed anything. She was supposed to have come with a friend but in the end the friend couldn’t come, so she braved India by herself, had a great time, and here in Rishikesh met up with a friend of her friend’s, a young Indian guy, with motorbike, and had a lovely time traveling the mountains with him. And she celebrated her 35th birthday here. The young Indian asked her if she likes children, and she said yes…so he made her a surprise birthday party at a local orphanage where all the kids sang Happy Birthday to her and then were all treated to birthday cake. She said it was the best party she’s ever had!
Now, let’s see…Well, I “re-met” a lady I wrote about last year, a really funny
French lady who was doing panchakarma the same time as me and we used to compare notes, but she was SO graphic and it was really funny, with her French accent and limited English. One of her favorite expressions was “ooh-la-la”…Well, one of the first days I was out, I bumped into her and we had a nice chat…she is also here just to relax this year and I actually bumped into her two more times over the next couple of days., when she tried to convince me to come to Varanassi with her. In the end I declined. I didn’t feel like moving anywhere quite yet.
Then there was the sweet girl named Bea (short for Beatrice) from Hungary, who is here just being alone, taking courses, and relaxing after several months of running around India. She invited me to lectures with her at the Sivananda ashram, but they begin at 7 in the evenong and I’m not big on going out at night…so again declined. She is staying up on the Hill Top and very rarely seen.
Then my first group of Israelis one evening, who are staying over in Laxman Jhula and came up here looking for “all the Israelis” and were surprised and disappointed to find that there are none staying here. They had a big dinner, we spoke for awhile, and then they headed back to Laxman Jhula and were hard put to decide where to head to next. When I suggested that they relax here for a few days and just enjoy Rishikesh, they said th”there is noting to enjoy here…nothing to do…very boring town”.
And then the day I was up having a lovely kicheri at the jaipur Inn Restaurant, the day I mentioned there was a political convention, I met this really lovely coupoel from carmel California. They were so California! Named Lynn and Marc, blong, blue eyed, brown skinned and looking so well put together. Turns out they were staying at the Swiss as well and had just arrived that morning after a whirlwind trip around “all of India’. They were exhausted but enjoying themselves. He did most of the talking and we had many lovely discussions ranging from the upcoming elections in America, their views on Obama vs.Clinton (and nothing good to say about mcKane), to talking about the pros and cons of all different kinds of yoga (this one day when Marc came in panting to breakfast after having a session of “Nazi Yoga” as he called it!! They were here for about a week and we spoke a little each day…they had rented a bike so were out and about a real lot, and planning to end their trip in Udaipur….although Lynn actually was ready to either just stay here another week or head home…haven’t seen them since yesterday so I assume they’ve left.
A lovely young girl, probably late 20’s early 30’s with her husband, who basically kept to himself and her really cute 3 year old son. They had been in India for months and this was the very end of their sojourn. The little boy was so outgoing and relaxed (not surprising…his Mom was the same way…soft-spoken but friendly and open and completely at peace with mothering). He spoke English and French and when I asked how that was, she said they had spent 2 months in Goa and their was an American family there with a little girl his same age and he had learnt English from her! Kids are amazing. They left today to go back to Delhi and from there to Brussels to plan their move. Her husband teaches Tai Chi and after being in India, they realized, for the first time in their lives how dark and dreary Brussels is, and have decided to plan to move to New Mexico to get away from the weather and into a healthier life style. They have friends who live there and have been trying to convince them to move for the past 3 years…now they are doing it.
Family from America…Her name is Jean, her husband is Abe and her son named Noah. They are from the States…she says she was lucky enough to marry a “nice Jewish boy”…she is not Jewish. She was 38 when Noah was born and he is now 7…a child/adult who was as much apart of our discussions as his parents were…fascinating child. The father is a professor of Middle Eastern studies and they went to live in Peru where he was offered a professorship at the University there, so that Noah could have a diverse environment, learn a new language etc. They do home schooling and take it very seriously. They rented an apartment just down past Welcome Center which I will check out one day. It is a full complex, and they found a flat available, without kitchen which was OK for them as they enjoyed going from place to place to eat. They had 2 bedrooms, two full baths, and living room and terrace overlooking the Ganga, for only 10,000 rupees a month! I will definitely go down there to check it out as if I ever decide to come back here for any length of time, or even come with a friend, it would be wonderful living arrangement, but I would then want a kitchen as well.
Benjamin (met him the first nite I went down to eat at mamaji’s)…I have a brother named Benjamin so I told him I wouldn’t forget his name easily and he said he has a sister named Jane! He comes from all over the world-left family of 5 sisters and “bitch” of a mother…England (Harlow),malaysia, Australia, mexico, partner killed…he was married and divorced and then had his son taken from him at 25…worked in many jobs…also studied Shamanic healing while living in Mexico and we have been exchanging healing sessions…lovely person….dreams of setting up a healing center and growing trees from seed and reforesting some place somewhere in the world where he could get funding or backing or have some government agency or private person give him the piece of land to do this on…build his own house, grow his own vegetables etc…will be in India until July where he is slowly recuperating from the loss of Marie –Cruz, his partner in Mexico for 3 years, who was killed by a driver while she was riding on her bicycle just 4 months ago. Turns out he will be studying with Swami Dyananda at the same ashram where Akhilesh, my Reiki Master, lives…very small world.