Monday, November 25, 2013

Update three weeks in

So I am more than halfway through my time in India. It has gone by so quickly. Slightly less than two more weeks and then a brief week in Tanzania and then home. I will miss it here and am already sort of plotting my way back although I know it will be hard or impossible to get back before I finish my degree.

Not so many developments - more sight seeing and exploring the city. More yoga. More eating. Some work and Sanskrit classes. 

This is what happens if you leave your garbage on the front stoop instead of putting it on the curb.

I have started going to Yoga Sutras chanting with Dr. Jayashree and her brother Sri. Narasimhan which is one of my favorite things I have done here. I wish I had found them earlier - I will only get three weeks there. We go to their house in the city four times a week for about an hour of chanting with Dr. Jayashree and then a philosophy discussion with Sri. Narasimhan afterwords. Dr. Jayashree is incredible but I am not sure I can explain in words what is so amazing. She uses the traditional Indian chanting style with lots of vocal embellishments and has a beautiful voice. We learn the sutras and some other mantras and chants in a format where she sings and we repeat. It's sort of a very active meditation - I am usually very calm and completely exhausted afterwards. Also usually very hungry since we go from 11:30 to 1:30.

My room-mate Chris and I walked up Chamundi Hill which is just south of Mysore. I will definitely definitely try to go again. It's a bit of a climb - I think it is 1000 steps but it is really gorgeous. Lots of monkeys at the top but they are a bit frightening. There is also a temple and a chaotic market/kitsch selling area. After checking your shoes (you cannot carry them in your bag) you can go in the temple which is also sort of frenetic and filled with little stations where you can give money and receive blessings.
Temple at the top of the hill
Man making sugar cane juice about halfway up. With lemon and ginger. mmmm.
Chris took this picture. We are looking at the city from boulder behind a small clump of huts.
Chris and the view from the top
On Sunday we went to see Mysore palace lit up. For 45 minutes on Sunday they turn on a bajillion light bulbs stuck all over Mysore palace (which is basically the biggest thing in the city according to my birds eye-view from the hill). Its sort of a fun excursion because lots of families come to play in the grass and enjoy the evening so its filled with children with glow sticks and school groups and tourists.
So many lights.

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