This is #4 in my series on India. If you are new to my blog and would like to start at the beginning, just follow the link below.
I feel calmer and more like my pitta self today; I’ve come back to my liquid magma centre. Sleep of around eight hours last night gave me restoration, but the solitude has given me the most comfort. Last night I dreamt of following the resident peacock in the hope of catching a tail feather from him, yet observing he had none to give. Scene two of the dream and I was at the rooftop café. There, on the second or third step, I found a small, pygmy-sized peacock feather to have all to myself. It was a special find and a symbolic dream. The tail feather representing luck and, perhaps, the eye of wisdom and knowledge. More to ponder…
My second hot milking treatment today; much the same experience yet with different, more giggly staff. Because I knew what was coming, I was less interested in it all and so let my thoughts wander. I recalled my consultation with Dr. Ayurveda yesterday. He decided, without ever having heard of an Implanon (progesterone implant) before meeting me, that it was a bad idea to have one and quite unnatural. I felt misunderstood, unfairly criticised and that my right as a woman to use birth control was of no importance to him. As a male doctor who supposedly knows everything there is to know about women’s bodies, he of course knows best. His ill-informed comment that the implant is causing weight gain hurt me for the rest of the day. I refused to be photographed with the others after the dance performance and I hated looking at my (usually lovely) curvy bits. A new kind of body shaming has been illuminated for me.
Yet I faced a new day today, having let that wash over me and I am steeled for a better consult with him next time. Hopefully, my anger will not show, just reason and tact. Yesterday, I decided to ‘smile and nod’ at his fore-drawn conclusions. Perhaps women who make their own choices regarding their bodies plainly scare him. But smiling and nodding made me feel frustrated and just ended the consult very quickly. I walked away red-faced.
Today I awoke before dawn, did a huge wee outside in the cricket song-filled darkness and went to my first morning yoga. It was a bit boring and designed to ground the vattas in our group. But I took it as a learning experience and will write some of it down when I remember it for use with students who need a slow, deep practice. I liked some of the words used; our instructor describes asana well.
A big walk after breakfast and a morning pooja in the yoga room while, outside, workers sliced coconuts from tall palms with curved knives atop extraordinarily long bamboo poles. They swayed like giraffe necks from tree to tree, carried by strong men. These were implements the Grim Reaper would approve of. Huge bunches of coconuts whacked onto the ground every few moments – very entertaining to watch. Seven of us banded together to exit the retreat, aiming to view the local dam. It wasn’t that much of a sight so we endeavoured to walk on aways to a waterfall which never materialised, despite locals assuring us it was “Only 500m on the road, madam”.
On the sweat-inducing walk, some sights included long-tailed monkeys in the villages, butterflies of all patterned persuasions whirling in hot air currents, mandalas drawn with white chalk in the sand outside doorways, dogs with curled up tails following us in the hope of snacks, a sadly rejected painted playground of yesteryear, young boys teasing each other and washing fish in the canal alongside a woman slapping wet sarees on concrete, motorbikes around every bend and endless tiny foil packages scattered to the wind. The sight of street litter up close and in such abundance was saddening; truly filthy and unnecessary. It is hard to walk past without raging.
With sore feet, I head to bed. Slightly sunburnt toes and rather gravel-scraped soles. Next time, I’ll walk not in sandals but in sand shoes.
Asana – a pose, posture, movement in yoga.
Mandala – a very pretty, highly detailed drawing common in Hindu and Buddhist religions. Usually circular in form and representing the universe.
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5. India: Pitta