My Life in Words
Tips, travel, yoga, mentoring, life, and everything in between.
I have always wanted to explore the riches of India, seeing it is the birthing place of yoga. But beyond that, the cultural diversity of each state, the poetic visuals of a language so highly regarded in its antiquities of evolution, Sanskrit. I have long to see the Taj Mahal to check mark the box on the bucket list, and walk on dirt roads infested with garbage, people, colors, cows, vegetables, Hindi shouting, bobble head moving, yoga, and being vegetarian.
As I write this now, I'm in Harayana in a town called Rohtak with the same family I lived with in Cebu, my Indian Jaat brother Veer who helped in my development of yoga, his beautiful wife Claire, their two kids and his family. I'm in a traditional Indian household where there's not just one family but a few living under the same roof, scholastic older generation spellbound of the Indian tradition, with a younger generation blending in, a caste system prevalent in it's place of society, and two foreign females, Claire and myself in a town where there is upper middle class, and lower class. It's the town you would see on the tv that runs economically sound but wouldn't be ever featured on luxury locations. These homes are homes to prominent doctors, lawyers, politicians, landlords, high fences, two to three levels, this is what you don't see on the television in highly viewed places of 'third world countries'. If there is anywhere to be quite honestly where I felt comfortable entirely with all I'm encompassing of India, this takes the cake.
I flew into Delhi late Sunday evening in the early morning of March 2nd, 30 minutes ahead of schedule via Munich on Lufthansa. I haven't flown Lufthansa in years, perhaps even a decade ago. I love that airline, I have always enjoyed Munich airport on it's efficiency, cleanliness, and they even have a relax pad with sleeper pods where you can rent one for 15 Euros an hour. On our flight to Delhi, the staff where half Indian and half German, and I got to use my German I haven't used in years! Simple stuff like water without gas please, thank you. Hey, not much but it was nostalgic nonetheless. The flight was smooth and upon arrival, I gathered my belongings at baggage claim, walked out, found my driver, and on the road we were in. If you would of seen the van I was in on our way, you would of laughed. It was a tiny mini van, and with one windshield wiper. What you think you'd see in asian countries.
I am in India.
It was hard to fathom at first that I had finally made it to the motherland of yoga, and I can see all of the mumbo jumbo first hand finally. My visa is only for six months and unfortunately I won't get to see all of it, but I am fortunate I get to see Delhi and on top of that, I'm with people I know from the Philippines. Veer and Claire had said they were going to come back to India when I was living with them back in 2013, and I said I would go to meet. In 2014 I lost touch with them and it wasn't because of anything bad, or falling out, I just went into introvert mode where I needed a reset mentally, and just stopped talking to a lot of people. However it didn't hinder a friendship one bit, because we picked up where we left off and it was like no time was missed.
Prior to meeting up with Veer and Claire, I spent two days alone in Delhi staying in Pahar Ganj, a backpackers hub. The first day I simply didn't leave the room as I was recovering from the trip, sleeping about 15 hours total. Jet lag kicked in as it's been so long since I've flown to the east from the east and not from the west. My room was $13 a night and it sufficed for a long sleep apart from the construction they were doing. I didn't care, I needed that sleep. The following day however, I went down and checked out a place to get a sim card, tried to find a map to tour around, but ended up with Amit whom had no idea he was to be a tour guide for me that day. He took me to get a sim card at some hole in the wall location next to my hotel and I'm telling you I was in a bazaar most people would not see themselves in, yet heaps of foreigners walking around since there are endless amounts of shops and low budget hotels. When I was finished getting the sim card, I told Amit he's coming with me so I don't get the run around and I'd buy him lunch. I gave him a few rupees as well, and he took me to the India Gate, took photos, and we also toured the Red Fort which was amazing. He then helped me get probiotics for my stomach so I don't get 'Delhi Belly' and then we went back to Pahar to drop me off at the hotel. He's slightly smaller then me and when I first met him I said I want a good experience in India, and I'm not afraid to punch someone if I need to. Actually I said I will beat someone up or him if I have to, so he and I had an understanding. He was great and I'm glad he was willing to go with me for a few hours allowing me to see Delhi with the help of a local.
After I got back to the hotel, I needed some food so I walked over to the other hotel where I met Amit and had an afternoon/dinner meal on the roof top restaurant. What a spectacular view it had of the hustle and bustle down below. I ordered pasta since knowingly next week when training starts, I will not get to eat some good ol' carbohydrates like penne pasta with cheese on top. I took full advantage of that. When I walked back to my hotel, one guy tried to chat me up on the short walk and I declined to do so. He wouldn't stop with suggesting I talk to him, so I turned around, looked at him dead in the eye face to face and said I don't want to talk to you. B*tch mode, have to be vigilant when you're alone. Soon after I got back to the hotel, I took a shower and rested a bit. My boyfriend was in Shanghai for the night so we skyped chatted which I was happy about as he was in a relative time zone, but we both were ready for some sleep so our conversation wasn't very long obviously due to jet lag.
The following morning I checked out at 11am and waited for Veer and Claire to come get me from Rohtak, chilling in the lobby reading the Autobiography of a Yogi. When Veer arrived, we gathered my stuff and headed to the emporium that sells designs of every state. There's a contrast to each area of the country when it comes to their furniture, clothing colors, fabrics, woods, statures, etc, it's quite profound when you see the difference in each. We spent a few hours cruising around before our journey back to Rohtak. Listen, I've seen traffic in my time but Delhi, Delhi traffic by far is top of the list of the most chaotic! I'm talking centimeters from each other when passing cars. If you have a weak stomach or anxiety, forget about Delhi. Just don't bother going to Delhi if you aren't open to the method of the madness on the streets. Not for the faint of heart when in the cars and in traffic of Delhi.
Now I'm here on Friday and we just finished celebrating Holi with getting colorful in the garden with colored flour. It's much safer for us to have fun within the compounds of the house as oppose to doing it out in the streets, especially for us females. The Rana house is so big with several immediate families living here, that really, we don't ever have to leave the palacio. Right now as I close this Indian blog, it's siesta time after eating a lovely home cooked meal (which is every day) wearing traditional Indian garb. I'm lying on my bed, looking to the right out the window hearing the sounds of a town closed for holiday but keeping the spectacle at bay, or at least on our blockade. There are several universities here in Rohtak, highly educated township about an hour outside of Delhi. Somewhere you wouldn't put on the top of your list because there isn't much historical value to an outsider coming to India, myself included. I wouldn't know much about it, but having been here for a few days, I am fully aware of the prominence it has in Harayana with the affluent beings who reside here.
The past few mornings I get up to practice some yoga, do planks, today I did squats, and lazy boy lunges to keep the juices flowing. I've practicing in the morning in preparation for training next week. Coincidentally, Veer and I are taking the same training in Rishikesh next week so it's wonderful how it all worked out! I couldn't be more grateful to come to a foreign land and end up in the house I am now. Recovery from a food coma is tomorrow and Sunday we head to Agra for some sightseeing at the Taj, before Veer and I leave next week to start our intensive. I'll keep posted next week or sometime down the road of the journey of this traveling yoginista.