Ayurvedic India Week 3-4: India in a flow, how can I ever describe?

 Listen to below music while reading to help dream away for a few minutes in the wonders of India. 

 

 

When you travel nothing is nicer than when you get familiar to your new surrounding and you feel you are part of its every days life.

I was in my third week in India and finally got into a rhythm.

I loved my daily tours to the treatment centre that was based on the top floor of a little shopping mall. Although the building on it is self had a “bric et brac” appeal. It did not matter much. Yes, it was cracky, unfinished and there was no clear retail marketing strategy behind the whole construction. But exactly that was what maked it  fascinating, it was not perfect, had its flaws but it was vibrant and different.

When I walk in any western city nowadays you can already predict that next to Zara there will be soon enough a H&M upcoming or a Mango. It is planned and it shows. All those marketing people ( of which I used to be part of), seem to forget that life is all about living experiences and what is the fun of an experience if every ride in any park is the same.

I loved to wander around my grey shopping mall that was coloured with all these little stores. Electricity cables were hanging over the wet floor and there was daily a live show of a chicken massacre at the butcher while you were at the indian barber shop doing your indian threaded eyebrows .

My life was small, I only lived on the compound where I drifted by the Ayurvedic rhythm of delightful healing treatments. I felt being part of a mysterious feel good movie that was rolling in slow motions. I had a content smile fixed on my face and I was simply floating.  I have never taken drugs but I guess that taking heroin must be  like this, but with the beauty that this all came from inside and without any tragic suffocating monkey around your neck killing you softly. After being scared to go, India was really getting in my veins and slowly putting me in a very warm and mellow feeling. I understood why all those people were taken by  this magic and mystery. I felt like never leaving this warm womb. Life was just beautiful here, for no specific reason. Despite the long list of reasons why I did not want to go , once you were there, it was all you wanted, I was hooked on this divine “Nice and Easy”.

Strange how I could just close my eyes and remember every single detail. Normally I am quite distracted and don’t have such a sharp recollective mind. The colours of the people and their clothing, kids playing cricket at sunset after school, it was the “Best Exotic Marigold hotel” at his best. A “Must See” ( both the movie as India).

I don’t know if were the black beads that the doctor gave me, the treatments or my new philosophy of life of letting go and float, but I felt profoundly happy, in a bliss.  I wished you could smell with me the mystic combination of the smell of herbs being cooked, incense of all the people doing their puja/hindu rituals at home and the uncommon perfume of the trees in the park. You would see some garbage but it was not like a disruption of this floating dream, it was simply part of it, just like the street dogs full of fleas with their street fight signatures.

In the afternoon I would sit at sun set in the park. Women all together sitting together in wonderful colours on the grass, would timidly greet me, revealing their perfect white teeth. Curious little kids surrounding me like little monkeys in front, from the back and aside, asking for my name and trying to put their excellent english to the test. I would usually be too impatient to sit alone anywhere. But here I felt peaceful. Something very innocent and joyful was blowing a hypnotising air on those afternoon moments in the park.

The Vaidya’s advice , on top of the cow and banana, was that it would be very wholesome for my deeply desired wish to be  around children. This exercise was served on a silver plate. During those afternoon on my little green iron bench in the park I was invisible, covered by little indian kids that were looking at me with their big black bead eyes. Other days  I played with the kids of the Vaidya and we fed the magical cow. The divine animal that the Raju family suggested to see every day to expose myself to her divine “Motherly” incarnations.

Whatever this Ayurvedic myth was true or not, every morning  my way to the clinic was filled with joy. Kids going to school, waving and from the heart wishing me  a true” Goodmorning Mam” , “See you later, madam” and even from far on the end of the street running to scout out load” Maaaaaaam, byeeeee”.

How much did I miss this. How much did I need this. In Paris, the city filled with its own eternal magics,  the “Bonjour” ( despite the delicious croissants or pain chocolates)  never came with a free gift of a smile. A smile of kid, a cow, the ladies in the park, so simple poured me under a refreshing but warm shower of joy.

This high, could I relive it? Or did I need to seclude myself in India from now on, listening to heart moving indian flutes and float in their mysterious rivers?

I just closed my eyes.  It was all there, the park, I could relive again.

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Day 10 -11 Ayurvedic India: Messenger pulse diagnosis……mysteries in life ( part 1)

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The last two days have been a bit dark, but today I was hopping around again. Could it be the fatal cocktail of the beads and the Patronus exercise? It has been only 2 days, nevertheless I was really over my dark Dementor episodes, sparkling around and  “Dancing on the moonlight” just like the song.

Whatever you have been thinking of my Ayurvedic experience till so far; trust me if I say: at least get the black beads.

You see the Smirti medicine is a necessary evil, it is restoring your body from a deep level, but it is no free lunch, you have to go through some emotional and physical hustle and pressure to get a diamond out there ( If you missed out, see sniper story).

The black beads however are a real quick and dirty emergency mood fixer. I am surprised that LA celebrities are not already on it. No calories, herbal, eco and they are a bunch of cute sweet black shining little balls.

Long story short, I was my usual vibrant self again. I was relieved with my “mood du jour”, cause today I was seeing the Vaidya for quite a little something and it was absolutely required that my mood was anything close to the vibe: ” Put your hands up in the air”.

As you may remember, every day I went and saw the Vaidya for my pulse diagnose. Usually directly after I was going to my cleansing Pancha Karma Treatment. But today I was going to see the Vaidya for a special pulse diagnose: The messenger pulse diagnosis.

Let me get you softly and slowly there or else you could experience some ratio resistance.

Did this ever happen to you: you are in a public space and have your back turned to somebody, but you just feel 2 eyes pinching on your back. You know that there is somebody staring at you. You turn around and yes, it is true.

Scientifically it has been identified that the activity of single brain cells find that particular cells fire when someone is staring right at you, but—amazingly—not when the observer’s gaze is averted just a few degrees to the left or right of you. I have checked on google, but other than that there is not a lot more research about it.

But the question is: do you need to have scientific proof for you to believe that this happened? You have your own eyes, heart and mostly your own intuition

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So you have experienced yourself to have a very unexplainable capacity to sense things or feel somebody’s energy. Well, take now this undeveloped quality that you have and imagine now that your parents from day 1 teach you how to nurture and improve to listen to it. Imagine then that your parents are very knowledgeable and have very fine-tuned awareness and intuition about the body and the universe. On top of it, you have 500 years of family Ayurvedic know-how of life ( Ayurveda means Science of Life) at your disposal. Can you imagine then that not only you are able to feel somebody’s energy behind your back, but perhaps even from a longer distance? If I got you till this point then you are ready to go to read about Messenger pulse Diagnosis with me tomorrow. If you need some extra rational comfort, read some of Einstein’s energy theory and join later.

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First days to Ayurveda India: images to the story

 

 

First Days: Hyderabad -Ayurvedic India

Here I was, in front of my apartment at 4am deep dark in the middle of India, in a city called Hyderabad. No idea where I was. In front of an apartment door looking very locked.

Looking at my driver who brought me there, I asked: Sir, did you get the keys from the clinic? I wondered: What does this head shake means?  Does this mean: yes/ no? Soon enough, I learned it could mean yes, no, maybe or dont aks me anything.

After understanding that “wait 1 minute, madam”, could mean wait 1, 10, min or longer, I called the clinic manager. He advised me to wake up the other patient, who was inside in another room in the same building and he would let me in…. I was like “at 4am, really?”

My future american neighbour opening up the door was extremely kind and immediately lent me his Raju’s Clinic Guide. A MUST have the first day you arrive.

Once in my room and before going through this small book, I did something very unlike and unnatural to me: I cleaned at 4:30am both bathroom and bedroom entirely. I mentally prepared myself to everything, I heard all sort of stories about India and on top of this I had my own hygiene phobics. No problem, I switched off of the “princess button” and there I was rubbing and scrubbing the bathroom with my cleaning kit (which I hallelujah brought along).

The place itself looked OK (if you like a ’50s cuban faded retro colours kind of style). Humble yes, but that didn’t matter, I was a woman on a mission and if that’s what it takes, I am on it.

After the cleaning I was ready for a shower. The shower only had cold water so I boiled water from the little water boiler in the shared living room and filled the bucket that was in the bathroom. For sure that bucket was in the bathroom for a reason. After a spoiled little minute of “Oh where did I got myself into?” I splashed myself with the bucket water and I actually liked it. There was something very nice and peaceful in pouring water from that bucket (a bit Onsen style if you like) . And boy, considering how much precious water I waste back home showering myself everyday for 20 minutes, on top of it, I felt very ecological.

It was 5:00am and I was dying to sleep but I was also wondering if I was supposed to do anything specific on my first morning at the clinic. So I hanged on and went through the whole Raju’s clinic book. I read the banana treatment part twice. I did this whole journey to take the blessed banana in the first place, so I’d rather be on top of it and do it right from the start. I was hoping to get my banana first thing in the morning. I was supposed to take this at the first day of my cycle. But on my day of travelling at Heathrow airport Bloody Mary decided to come in early (great flight as you can imagine)…so in India technically I was on my second day already.

The days before I had PMS signals already, I wanted to benefit and have my cycle starting in India so I did all I could and I managed to postpone my cycle by 2 days by pulling cords on my big toes and big fingers and drinking and showering with cold water for the last days (some handy ayurvedic tips I found on the net and it worked). I just did not dare to expose myself to these Opus Dei cilice type practices in public…. so on the day of travelling, I did not pull any cords and so I had to ride the cotton pony into the plane instead…..(s**t)……..I managed to send an email from the airport to the clinic just one hour before boarding, hoping that I could start my banana immediately first morning of arrival.

Reading through the guide I learned that during my period I could not enter the clinic. It left me a bit puzzled: how am I supposed to get my banana now? I was too tired to worry and fell asleep to be awakened later by a western woman in Indian clothes knocking at my door telling me that I was expected to dress and come to the clinic. I did not know where the clinic was, but luckily she was waiting outside for me.

The woman at my door was another banana patient I learned . Together with two other women, we stood in front of the clinic but as we were impure we could not enter the building. There we were….waiting. For what? I did not know. But I just waited with them…in silence (as prescribed).

An Indian woman on a scooter showed up and one by one we were called. Padma, the warm and friendly scooter woman prayed first. Then she told me to 1) put myself heading East, like she just showed, 2) pray, thinking of the wish that brought me to India and 3) take the banana.

She put the aluminium bowl with the thin slice of banana somewhere on the side ( so while praying try keep a half eye open where she puts yours). Dont take it from any body directly. You can NOT get in contact with anybody while you are ‘impure’ ( Gosh why dont we apply this in our society abit? They didn’t make us cranky in those days for nothing). The banana, this time looked much smaller than the one in Germany I had before. I wondered: “Does this mean it’s less effective?”

For the rules to apply. As in Germany,also in India there is “no speaking” for the coming hour before and after banana. While at silence with the others, I was strongly doubting if my toilet could resist my expected 11 times of vomiting. Especially as some other ‘stuff’ this morning was still floating in my toilet. I broke my holy spiritual silence. I had to speak. “Can I please have a bucket or 2,3?” I said.  The Indian woman, Padma,  did not understand.  I explained her that during  my first time banana experience in Germany I vomited 36 times in 3 days. She ensured that this never happened and ensured me to just rest a lot. But just in case, she had me delivered 2 buckets in my room.

I went to my room and was waiting for the extra ‘treat’ I got also in Germany, simultaneously 11 times of vomating/dhiarrhea within 45 minutes after taking the banana. But here nothing happened. I was waiting and waiting…nothing.

Perhaps it would all start after eating? In the Clinic’s guide it was written that during banana you are not allowed to enter the dining room where the rest of the people where eating. Besides having no idea where that was, I was happy they brought the food to my room. The hot water ( the only drink I was goin to have to have the coming 3 weeks that I planned to stay) luckily I could boil next to my room. I was scared I would get sick of  the water but it was purified water and nothing happened. Neither did anything happen after I had my rice and milk, no side effects. What a great start!

Even if I had to get ill I would still have persisted with the trip. I had put already my job aside, no laptop or work mails distractions, no husband……I  was fully committed with no boundaries to go hardcore bananas. I intended to go all the way, now that I came from so far already for a healthy sunny shining happy baby. So I took it by the letter and did all that was written in the guide:

– Shower, silence and meditation prior and after banana

– No socialising

-No internet ( a true miracle and record for me)

-No physical activity

-Drink lots and lots of hot water to get the toxins out

– Sleep, sleep, sleep

I do not know if it was the banana or the jet lag, but I slept non- stop. Meaning really non-stop for 3 days except for necessary sanity breaks ( normally in India this could be a core activity of you get sick but I had no dhiarrhea at all, can you imagine! Sorry for the explicit highlight but it is quite amazing considering that I was in India and my last German banana experience did not spare me either) The banana, as small as it was, had a very deep cleanings impact and I just went with it.

During those isolated days, I once in a while saw my adorable american neighbour Patrick, who was together with the cleaning lady, my 5 min contact per day with human creatures …and then I had my evening mosquitos that became my enemy for the coming days ( you gotta hate something). Indian mosquitoes are a real little something, extremely persistent ( you gotta admire them for it), looking to coddle up in your ears ( why there? )  and very cleverly finding any whole in my own bee-keeper nighty night outfit.  I could only sleep being fully covered up.

This isolated life had a very new impact on me. I discovered that glazing at my ventilator was very hypnotising for instance.

On top of that, my small room had only one  no-see through window. So for the last days I literally lived a blinded life. So funny how sounds are becoming so important then. I could really understand how a blind person would feel. You are more apprehensive to small sounds and I made imaginations of how the surroundings would look like. I had only briefly seen it at night. The 20 meters walk to the clinic that did not last more than 5 min, did not allow me to have any clearer idea. I was shocked about the awful fights of animals that I heard at night. What on earth were these true scanning for their lives Uruk- Hai animals sounds that I heard at night? I could not wait to go outside and see finally India! The India that was only an India of sounds for me till now.

At day 3 the manager of the clinic, Harish, asked me why he never saw me. I said cause I am not supposed to do any physical activity and only rest or sleep. I discovered that I could do little walks in the street though. Wow, how happy I was with just such a small but great news. I walked the first night for 5 minutes and, the visual and the sound finally got together.

After 5 minutes however, I was so dizzy that I had to go back to my room. My body clearly was still in the ban of the banana.

After they forgot to bring my rice a couple of times, Harish also informed me that I could pick up my food also in front of the dining room. The staff or other patients could get my dish which is numbered with your room number (13 in my case). It would allow me to get out of my room, so I gladly I did that instead.  Even though I got used and even cherished those lonely moment with me and my banana, I was also happy to see some more faces.

After being the ghost patient, my neighbour told me that everybody was very curious to meet me. And what a great bunch of people was waiting for me.

Tomorrow: the great bunch of people and meeting the miracle fertility cow….check out the pictures of this story separately on my blog.Today it was about having a ‘ blind’ ‘imaginary’ experience

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A female solo passage to India : the top 5 checklist

To be honest, India ranked last place on my list of countries to visit and the list was long enough not ever have to go there.

But as with many things in life, life will take you where you have to be regardless of your own set of wish-lists.

Just before leaving, newspapers were screaming out loud about another foreign female traveller being raped. So before leaving instead of going to the pharmacy to buy all the SOS medicines “needed”… I googled for hours how NOT to get raped as a female solo travelling which I am. Every 22 minutes there is a woman in India being raped (and this is only the official number reported by the Indian government). Even liberal political female figures do not always protay the right message to make it any better.

I know that, initially, these phrases will cost me some Indian readers and for sure won’t do me any good as I admit with shame: I am totally pre-guidiced. I had not even set a foot in India and I was already doing a whole movie in my head.

I can rationally come up with a full list of arguments why in other countries that I visited many times I would have more chance of being raped.  I am normally so allergic to people’s ignorance. So being faced with my own one, I don’t understand what got into me. So lets agree, bear with me just for some more days and judge me later….

Anyhow, I think it is wise for any solo female traveller to, at least, have a glimpse on some of considerations I found on the net. Men just have a look it too, your behaviour with a woman, could help them to be safe as well.

Some may find the recommendations here below a bit illogical, not to say female submissive, but logics and customs in India are simply different from Western ones. But  this is not a forum on the so called right or wrong. Let’s give it a break, we are there as visitors of their country so I plan to behave like a good guest.

OK here we go, your top 5 solo female traveller prep list:

  1. Wear a ring: Your first absolute MUST HAVE accessory for this Season is the ring!. Being married, with a man (just for this occasion if you normally more into women) is one of the most sacred things in India and will make you a “good” girl in their eyes.
  2. Wear local clothes. If you can beat them join them. Forget your own “good gal but still amish cool cover up” clothes. Whereas women in India might show part of their belly, it is for instance a total No-No to wear a legging ( even if it is an Indian one) with a long sleeves t-shirt that covers more skin than theirs. Just buy their clothes and copy how girls wear their clothes. It is totally well seen if you are adapt, it is a sign of respect. I know some of you would feel the urge like making a Pro Femen move, change- the-indian-man’s mind statement and show them a western female free expression lesson and ignore it all. But for my journey I just wanted to get pregnant from my husband and not by somebody else. I keep this battle for an other time.
  3. Or Western ones with extra features. If you really don’t want to go Indian style and still be on the safe side… just buy a “regular” pair of jeans with extra indian Anti rape features that only require a hit on the button to be safe. Currently on sale: http://nypost.com/2014/06/26/rapes-in-india-so-rampant-women-invent-anti-rape-jeans.
  4. Ignoring is the best option. Different If ever being approached by a man for a chat, just ignore. It is not impolite and I don’t mean that you have to look at the floor and be submissive. Just don’t react. Also a simply “hi” could for some mean “hi….and more”. If ever it gets too much, a firm ‘ No’ will be sufficient. For information ask Indian women rather than men.
  5. Check dress code at destination. Goa is much more used to Western habits whereas Kerala even with lots of tourist is not. Even between big modern cities, Delhi is different from Mumbai. The Ayurvedic clinic where I went to, was based in Hyderabad. A big city with 7 millions inhabitants of which 50% Islamic. This left me puzzled: Should I go Hindu or Islamic style….and then for the record: HOW Islamic should I go?

Don’t get me wrong. I am just being cautious. It is not that all dangerous for solo female travellers in India . I hope in fact completely the opposite. But besides that, I believe there is clearly space for improvement regarding female rights as the below Indian film truly states on youtube.

Rape it is my (female) fault: