Friday, 29 January 2010

ʱʘɱɕ ʂʬɛɛɨ ʱʘɱɕ

This is where I sleep whilst I am in India. I should have a mosquito net over my 'four poster' but there aren't too many mosquitos and having the fan on a gentle cycle seems to blow most of them off course. It feels like a horsehair mattress but is probably cotton stuffed. It's quite flat and hard and well, I get used to it. The simplicity of the whole arrangement is the appeal. I don't have to think too hard or keep up any kind of standards. My simple bed, with my little mat and a spare bed for a guest or sitting on. There is a window opposite my pillow that looks out onto my closed in balcony (see below) and a window to my left that looks out onto a coconut tree and overlooks a small aviary. I call it the birdsong view. Who wouldn't want to wake up to that?
I have a little washroom with a solar heated water tank and a western loo, a couple of buckets and a jug. And numerous pipes, taps and things that I don't know what are for.

This is the balcony from my room, it's my favourite place, could you guess that? My 'chaise longue' is an old spare bed I dragged out here and can you see my yoga mat rolled and ready? It's sunny and conducive to chats and facepacks and hair oiling and drinking chai and reading and meditation and listening and being a nosy neighbour (OMG the action is fascinating) and I can push the table back for extra yoga practise (this is rare). 
The sun streams in and I inhale yellow light and exhale lotus flowers.
And this is the heart of the house. The wondrous space that is Pushpa's kitchen. Everything is rustled up on two burners. No oven here. The sink and worktops are black marble. It's a standard Indian kitchen and I love them. They all seem to be black and white. I've not seen a variation on that theme. Some have grinding stones built in and washing clothes stones. Washing machines are rare. I sit on a little stool in here to eat my meals. Watching and learning and listening, I'm even starting to understand some of the singsong Kannada that chatters around over my head. There are always numerous women gathered here, peeling and chopping together. When they visit each other, they all start to do the chores. I love that. And you should see how glam they are for coconut grating. When they are not in their nighties, they are knockout these gals. If they weren't so shy I'd be snapping away for you.
Just a little peek at my Indian living arrangements. And these are totally luxurious of course. There are huts made of mud on the same street and huge families residing therein. I play at  living simply, there are many here who have no choice. And it's a cliche but they are so happy and friendly and relaxed. Warm & inviting & inclusive, all of them. I have a permanent sense of admiration. We have got everything and yet we are so closed. Is it the weather?
Namaste, my friends, namaste.


SCB said...

I've been doing a quick catch-up on your travels, having left you a while ago, travelling through the airport with your glamour toes! It sounds as if you are having a fabulous time, and your posts are bringing back to my mind the sights and smells of a different India, 20 years ago... I want to go back now! Enjoy yourself, Sara

Bingo Betty said...

Thanks for sharing. Looks a total swoon... but why no piccie of the toilet!? x

rebecca said...

Oh Lou,
I so appreciate you sharing these things.

You know, the simplicity is something I think of often, and I think that the more complicated our lives get and our thoughts get, the more miserable and stressed out we are. I've been working on kinda slowing down and simpling down and once I get over the initial anxiety of having nothing to think about or worry about it's deeply relaxing (and this relaxed feeling in itself is so alien as to cause a kind of anxiety too).

Miss you, big sis.

Ooh, I've got a few people in Mysore on the lookout for you :)

louloulovesbooks said...

Thanks Sara for catching up, it's nice to know who's along for the ride! I would have loved to have been here 20 years ago, the traffic is appalling and I can only imagine there were lots of pushbikes and hardly any cars or scooters. It must have been so peaceful.
BB...did you really want to see the bathroom? I was being English and reserved but I guess you are casing the joint huh? You might like to bring a Bingo Betty cleaning pack for your particularly reverent standards..;-) {no cleaning mama here}
Becca It is indeed hard to have not much to do or think about but it gets interesting and introspective and relaxing indeed. I feel some shifts and I like it. Tell them I'm in Gokulum...that narrows it down a bit! Miss you too. You should be here and you will be one day...

Meghan said...

Wow the balcony has had a make over!xx