Friday, May 29, 2009
Day 29 may 22 Friday
Jedi’s cold is full blown, not an allergy – those 2 days of riding in the cold rain. We pack our stuff – need to buy tarps. Whole plan of bypassing the rain has failed, though glad that we managed to hide in the hills most of the summer. post breakfast, we go to class and learn more on how to heal using prana, for diff ailments.– also learn distance healing, self healing and other stuff. Complete the course – still lots to learn and tons to practice, but is a good feeling.
On receiving our certificates, we pack and head out to Madurai for the 3 day advanced pranic healing and psychotherapy course. Once on the highway, we see clear weather and long open highways – after a month of riding in the hills at 30 kmph, a bit strange and unsatisfying to ride on the plains highways at 60-70 kmph. Near Madurai, we spot a huge rain cloud and its raining someplace – not someplace, but north and we are heading right towards it. Here and there, we pass around the rain, but as we enter madurai, its really close. We reach the place and call our contact who manages to guide us to the Center we are staying (for free again) just moments before the rains starts pouring heavily. Spend the evenng with the center head Mr. S. R. Ramesh Babu who is a karate teacher and also a pranic healer. Quite cool – heals both our auras which are congested. – feel lighter immediately. Have dinner.
Ramesh’s son is staying back and Jedi talks to him and finds a bundle of DVDs which he spends till 2 am watching and copying some stuff to watch later. Both ananya and jedi miss the Silence days this week.
Day 30 may 23 Saturday
Wake up and do our kriyas and asanas – from june 1 should start all the practices – finishing a month on the road for mataozm – almost 3 for jedi – pongal for breakfast - 1st day of advanced pranic healing – learn to heal with colours – in the evening go shopping for ‘tumbler heater’ with Ramesh Babu, who picks up gift watch for his 10th boards super scorer daughter – watch shopman is attracted to jedi’s aura and on learning his name predicts that he is meant for great things and should become an advocate to help people with his powers of counseling/convincing and giving right advice though without proofs currently.
Day 31 may 24 Sunday
Idiyappam breakfast at Bharma Ediyappa – steal seats from a baby – 2nd day of advanced pranic healing – more healing practice for serious illnesses like heart disease and cancer – our teacher Uddya is a clairvoyant - Chettinad and Karaikari dosas dinner – Krishna temple visit to hear Ramesh Babu accompany his musician friends on the tabla
Day 32 may 25 Monday
Pranic psychotherapy class – learn of the psychological aspects of the chakras and how to improve relationships between people and help people quit smoking among other things – jedi and ananya are keen to start using their new learning, starting with family – Ramesh Babu gives Jedi a prosperity generator - evening shopping for tyre tube and rubbing alcohol (dirty energy cleaner for pranic healers) – looks like no one wants to sell alcohol to us (think it’s the way Jedi looks) – finally get it at a veterinary medicine shop and it’s called Surgical Spirit – pack to leave the next morning. Unsure whether to go to rameshwaram or kanyakumari. To decide in the morning.
Day 33 may 26 Tuesday
Madurai – Kanyakumari
Leave the GMCKS Pranic Healing Centre in Myna Tippakulam, our home for the last 3 days – visit the Tirumalai Naick Palace which is being restored – far grander than what we imagined from outside, with the fattest pillars ever! – only 1/6th of the original palace remains and is being repainted in brilliant colours little by little – the court, theatre and the harem -
Tirumalai Naick Palace photos on Flickr
next stop Meenakshi Amman Temple – Madurai traffic sticks bumper to bumper – buy plastic sheets to rain proof our luggage – the shopkeeper is from Jodhpur – Jedi does some expert parking under very trying traffic conditions – the gopurams are gigantic and crazy colourful - the temple security think we are terrorists from Bangalore and examine Ananya’s swiss knife and camera, also forbidden to use phone inside – thousand pillared hall – Jedi taken by lady perched on peacock – the statues have boobs like orbs – poster showing visualization of emotions – the ceilings are covered with energy generators –
we sneak into the Shiva Temple that loudly forbids non-Hindus from entering, it’s the most crowded part and stifling hot - Meenakshi Amman’s hall has martian green pillars and murals of her doing cool stuff like flaying a sword or watching a dance performance – this is around the tank with the golden lotus that Shiva told us stories about - the temple elephant goes for a shit and nods his head once done – Jedi says it will take weeks to check out the entire temple complex -
Meenakshi Temple photos on Flickr
we set out for Kanya Kumari – mostly smooth highway so we keep zipping down – at a cool stop encounter a tiny orange super swift half snake half lizard – smog over a cement factory looks very hazardous for the people who work there - Ananya and Jedi are stung by the same insect while riding – she on her left ankle and he on his left hand – see the southern ends of the Western Ghats with fluffy cloud icing, Jedi says ‘it looks like a painting’, add to that cranes flying overhead - nearing the cape, windmills for as far as the eye can see (asia’s first largest windmill farm- must be 1000s ) – in Kanyakumari the first guy who approaches us promises a room with a sunrise view so we take it and the room is very much worth it with church and sea view and all – shoot some sunset panoramas on the non-sunset side – watch last year’s emotionally charged premier league final thinking it is this years – Ananya practices distance healing on her aunt and brother
Day 34 may 27 Wednesday
Wake up just in time to shoot sunrise from hotel balcony – inaugurate our tripod – Jedi has fever and chest congestion – Ananya does healing for him and her aunt – Aunt calls to inform to check if ananya had done healing as she is feeling much better – Jedi feels better too so we have brunch and take the ferry ride to Vivekananda Rock – the tri-sea is choppy – pay the usual visits to all the buildings on the rock – speculate on how and why Vivekananda came here and what it must have been like for him - do Shoonya meditation in the dhyana mandapam on the rock– check out book shop – super windy – take photos –
next, ferry to Thiruvalluvar statue – pose for photos on his feet – Jedi does headstand between his feet under extreme windy conditions – try to take panoramas of all 3 waters – ferry back – futile DVD shop search – nap – Jedi’s fever is back full force – watch TV, have dinner – more healing on Jedi. Jedi plays facebook mini prank saying reached rock bottom. Jedi keenly watching Aila path and aftermath. During meditation gets idea to visit neyyar dam ashram to buy yoga dvd – idea which by night becomes 3 day stay plan.
Kanyakumari photos on flickr
Day 35 may 28 Thursday
Kanyakumari – Neyyatinkara - Neyyar Dam
Another dazzling sunrise and we leave. Head to neyyar dam – weather is holding out – quite nice weather actually – the weather guys said 26th – today’s 28th! Good for us.
Jedi gets road rage – why do people overtake on curves? What is the basis of their angle and speed? Divine vision or too much EA Sports F1 in indestructible mode? Chants om 108 times to cool down. At one spot, a chicken truck has smashed into another truck of unknown cargo – chicken feathers and squishy stuff all over road. Jedi feels sorry for kerala- the entire state is one big city – just people, and traffic. Total urbanization. Also gold crazy – the biggest and most hoardings are for gold shops – josco, alukkas, and joyallukas.
Plan to have brunch in kerala but give up after marthandam traffic and stop to eat at Friends Hotel to celebrate the imaginary story based one-stop-all-shop near kaniyakumari (friends and co). eat brunch and ride on to see that we had stopped 50 metres before the border! Give trivandrum a skip and take neyyantikara route to neyyar dam –
Reach the ashram and check in – the yoga vacation batch is almost over, but it doesn’t matter – meet shreya’s sister who is doing work-study here – attend last moments of cooking workshop and eat seera. attend 4 pm yoga and get ass kicked – supper and satsang and crash. Tomorrow is holiday at ashram so not sure if yoga classes would be there.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
All Photos of trip to Laksadweep Islands (Kalpeni) on flickr
Week 4 photos on flickr
Day 22 may 15 Friday
Allepey – changanacheri – kottayam – edapally
Indian coffee house on beach – shut – Indian coffee house on mulackal street breakfast – found in 1958 at trissur – checkout and head via kottayam – lots of questions and turns – but mostly straight – in lemon soda country – soda in branded soft drink bottles – ride between back waters – duck growing? Land – lots of churches
– ananya says ‘ the people here eat duck eggs.’ – punished by jamming her left foot during a aerial segment of the ride at a sudden yahoo bump and scraping her left foot along the road. – after 9 Ow, owu, Awu.. and zero ‘STOP’s, a confused rider stops and lo behold, blood on the dustfloor. Blood red in color, this blood oozing out of what used to be rightmost space of her left big toe and for added color, the right skin of her longest toe. After this near fatal accident, ananya repackaged her toes, using her trip special first aid kit. Jedi helps by watching and asking all the right questions. Savlon, cotton, guaze, filipino alcohol swab, swiss army penknife scissors, water- roadside repair. – grand houses in kottayam – slow riding – palatial mansions here and there – kerala has the highest number of road accidents in the country – public transport has right of way and road cops also support that – man shook hands during a stop and asked the usual questions ending with congratulations – 3 months is a shocker – feels strange to say from Bangalore – but stick to it. – grey colored sada coffee – mango juice by roadside fruit seller cum generator juice maker. –
entry to cochin via some junction where we stop and wait for reshmy’s father – in a short while, reshmy’s house – tea and carrot cake - medical clinic – friendly doctor with tips and info about kerala and people – recommends rest, bandage, pills, and tetanus.
Dinner at alwaye at bread world.
Day 23 may 16 saturday
Thirkakarra - edapally
elections – all good – appam breakfast – royal enfield bike place closeby – give for service – walk back – drink mango time and bad tea – walk back and have sharja shake (milk banana chocolate?). get bike – go to Indian coffee house and snack tomato sandwich and other savories.
Languages need to be learnt – what are the 10 essential words or phrases that need to be known – 1? Where is 2? How much 3? 1-10 4?thank you 5? No 6? Help 7? What food is there? 8? Road bridge ..? observation – people when giving directions invariably use their hands to give visual cues to their audio and most times u can just watch the visuals and use key words and make up the directions, mostly correctly. Or simply, understand the directions.
Ananya roy says every road leads everywhere.
trip names idea – ananya – photaka devi - jedi = papathi
kerala men on the road don’t acknowledge the being of women. They look at or they look through. People drink boiled pink warm water. North kerala, they drink tea with their food.
Day 24 MAY 17 Sunday
Edapally- Willingdon Island – Arabian Sea!
15km + 154 nautical miles!
Breakfast and head for SPORTS (Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports)- Laksadweep office in Willingdon Island – park bike at office hoping it will be safe – be gone for 3 days! – get boarding passes and gift bag with laksadweep tshirts and caps. Go to Cutin wharf – M.V. Minicoy. Inside it looked and felt like a very big video coach – yaay- only showing malu films (not good ones at that). – walk around once out at sea – watch cochin go by and then the wide open sea – the further we go, the more the rolling and the spray – soon all around ppl start throwing up – we too feel queasy – drink welcome drink and then dinner – ananya skips –keeps body perpendicular to movement of the ship - jedi queasy but eats both dinners – crash for the night. – tomorrow laksadweep –
Day 25 may 18 Monday
Arabian sea – kalpeni island – thilakam isle -
M.V. Minicoy – get up early and go check out the sunrise – little spectacular with crescent moon (see photo) – good – after yester even’s disappointing nonsunset at sea.
Spot lighthouse and get confused coz map doesn’t show lighthouse on kalpeni – so think we are headed to minicoy – but its actually kalpeni – ship drops anchor – actually some maneuver with a bouy – little boats come from shore – they open the cargo and take out bananas, tyres, boxes etc. we go down the rope ladder onto little boat and head to land – the water is blue, green, clear, fishy.
Get on jeep and get taken to koomel bathing huts and drink our welcome coconut drink – and then breakfast – note on notice board says lots of things planned for day, but jedi gets urge to smoke so we go hunting and walk around the island – finally find shop that sells wills and also a board that says kalpeni lighthouse – so we light up. At the lighthouse, there is only a gardener who says we can but have to wait till some main man comes. So we wander around the beach and take photos and say aah ooh. We head back and convince the main man to let us see it now and not at 4 pm with the group which he says will come. We get a universal cochin lighthouse district pass and walk up the lighthouse – fantasic views – talk to the gardener who is from Andrott – no tsunami here, but some generations ago, one washed away an island. Main export from kalpeni is coconut, and its very obvious (see photo). We head back and everyone else has disappeared. We hang around, take photos, do headstand etc. until the motorboat comes and takes us to thilakam 2 isle where everyone else is. Immediately we are taken snorkeling! And wah. We are hooked I think. We head back after seeing something really new in life.
Ananya’s bandage gets wet. Back at kalpeni island, we find out that we have no more gauze. We have to go to the primary healthcare center and get before it shuts at 1 pm. So we walk again and have the wound bandaged, get gauze and betadine. And its FREE. Was a bit shocking and then we figured its government – now having lived in Bombay and well paying for everything – and never really going the government way – it was a nice feeling. We had watched Sicko recently and we felt a little happy. Back at koomel, we have lunch and then watch some guys do the local dances, which is more like a dancy martial art. We are taken to the local hosiery factory and see how they spin cotton. Then onwards to Tip beach where lots of snails and corals. Ananya sees shells that on seeing her run away. then back to koomel where we have tea. Then off to see corals at sea in the glass boat – midway the motor starter cable comes off, but the man quickly fixes. Coral in a shop and in the sea are so diff. somehow manage to get the lower mouth to meet the upper. See shoals of fish jumping in the water and birds diving into them…
Watch the sunset and then head back to the jetty. Its already dark and M.V. Minicoy is glittering. We do another midsea? Rope ladder climbing from swaying boat to rocking ship, but all goes well. Back on the boat, but this time like seasoned seamen.
See the nurse/doc/? From the primary health clinic on the ship and now understand his see you someplace on mainland India. Overhear lotsa conversations – esp. the one with the teacher from Andrott going for interview at Pondicherry. Have dinner and crash.
Day 26 may 19 tuesday
Arabian sea – willingdon island – edapally – devikulam
154 nautical miles, 137 kms
Get up at dawn and watch the sea. Soon a few birds fly around – surely there must be land nearby – more ships in the horizon – get to see the main deck and all the instruments – XO gives tour of equipment – is impressed that we know about fathoms J (not used anymore – only metric system) – have breakfast and almost miss sighting of land – entry into cochin – no free docking place at the BTP (boat terminal point) so they maneuver MV Minicoy along side MV Amindvi. We have to cross to the boat and then onto land – kickass trip –
back on land – head to SPORTS get bike and then on to reshmy’s house – pack and head out in a drizzle – monsoons are supossed to be early around 26th May, but why on May 19th? What premonsoon showers nonsense. Head off for munnar – have to be in Virudanagar by 20th evening for our Basic pranic healing course. Beautiful ride – bypass munnar and end up at the same place we stayed last time we came this side. Crash. Lotsa stuff is still wet.
Day 27 may 20 Wednesday
Devikulam – theni – usilampati – peraiyur- virudanagar
Leave devikulam after having complimentary breakfast – excellent ride – as soon as we cross the kerala border – the hills give way to the plains – think TN should be glad they atleast have ooty and kodai – more rain as we cross usilampati – its like we are going along the premonsoon shower trail – every break we take the rains catch up! Wet wet wet – thunderbolts striking the ground all around – scary – enter virudanagar and ask our way to the teacher’s house – about 150 mts (in retrospect – we didn’t know then) on the flyover, we get a flat! Push the bike down the flyover (its still raining), and lo – there is a bike fixer – second time this trip there is a bike fixer at hand – get tube changed – again the valve has conked – decision to increase air pressure and CHECK daily without fail. – find teacher’s house and get treated to dinner – go to the center and our free room – open everything and let it dry –
Day 28 may 21 Thurs
Chidambaram Nagammal Medical Hospital, Virudanagar
Most things have dried, though still. Two days of acid rain? Also everywhere is hard water. Get breakfast from teacher’s house and then off to class. Basic pranic healing!
Learn how to see auras, scan auras, and lots of other cool stuff. Even after these months of knowing and understanding prana, to see it is a bit freaky. Ananya tries to heal jedi’s cold.
Lunch again brought by teacher. Evening check out Burma Hotel. Crash.