It seems the rains arrived on the same day I did. The heavy rains make the world seem very small and yet I sit here on the stairwell of the house I am staying so I can find a WiFi connection which connects me out into the world. I am thrilled my computer and phone can be used–so far! I don’t have a workable socket in my room for a lamp to read, but I can use my internet if I find the right place on the stairs closer to the first floor. So India-the old and the new interwoven and existing side by side. I have been here 24 hours but it seems longer because the rains dampen ideas of going out for anything.
Arriving in Mumbai a little over 24 hours ago, my luggage being one of the last ones to arrive, I walked out of the airport pushing my cart of luggage. The airport has been modernized in parts. Coming out of the airport is not unlike walking out of an awards show where the crowds are contained along the sides and it is a wide birth so when you walk out everyone is looking at you and holding their cards with different names. I thought there are so many people I will never see my name. At the end of the walk I turned left and stood thinking I could be here forever and not find my ride. After 5 minutes a young man came up with a piece of paper with names on a list and pointed to my name and I said that is me. How it all works, I don’t know. The ride to Pune is another story!
Hours later after my arrival at the Shahani’s , I registered at the institute finding things a little more organized and bureaucratic–class schedules printed on the back of something else printed and being recycled instead of Pandu’s hand written class schedule. When I handed him cash, I asked him if he would write down I paid and he grunted and said nothing which I always think he hasn’t heard me, then with some delay or activity he comes back around and writes on the corner of a page I am holding Pd. $300. I am happy for that. He is actually quite amazing that he deals with as many people as he does and seems so casual and unofficial–yet he still runs the institute and all the people coming and going have to go through him! After admission I went to see the class room where it was practice time and I saw all the students practicing on their own and could hear Mr. Iyengar speaking with his group of assistants surrounding him. He had his granddaughter, Abijita, in a pose and teaching from what she demonstrated. She is so gracious and willing and it is wonderful to see him so passionate and doing what he loves the most-exploring the human realms through the body. I did a short restorative practice and just coming into a supported Halasana a women said it is time to clear the room of props. Afterwards feeling a little more grounded, I walked to a familiar vegetable cart near the turn around and was so glad I had on my plastic flip flops and a polyester skirt. I was wading in water and deliberately not thinking what was in this water. The rains do not stop Indians. The motorcycles, rickshaws and little cars are everywhere and crossing the streets are always a challenge. I thought of the old movies where the car goes by and splashes the person on the side of the road–that was me and any pedestrian here. I stood at the vegetable cart very straight so the umbrella was directly over my head and the rain coming straight down kept me from getting wetter higher up my body. Being the foreigner, I am the last one to get my veggies–all for 50 rupees, $1. So I wadded back and read and dozed and ended up not leaving again that day. Today, I have my first class and its the women’s class which Mr. Iyengar and Abi will teach! I look forward to it.
I am on Memphis time and not sleeping, yet, so I am writing and realizing it is going on and on. The birds have started their cacophony of singing and it is getting lighter outside. I am ready for this day! Much love Lou