Day 16 – Wed. March 1 Sangam

With 25 more days to go on this trip, the journey so far has taken its toll on me. Some of the group are short tempered and have taken it out on me. I was prepared for this, but I was at my breaking point. With jet lag, lack of sleep and most of the group on malaria pills ( I chose not to take them this time. Previous experiences were not good) we were not our usual selves. This morning I had signed up for yoga with Kirti, a long time associate of Sangam. The moves were so difficult, even with the massage of the other day, travel makes the muscles atrophy. Later is shivassana, she led us through a relaxation exercise and when coming to the third eye, told us to visualize the deity of your choice and ask for release of negative emotions. I did and I DID! Tears welled up and I pushed them down. Later, walking back to the breezeway I met a participant who got word the evening before that her mother in law had passed… like I said I feel things a lot and her energy of sadness combined with my feelings of ineptness together with grief over losing a friend recently, jet lag, homesickness and everything in between opened the gates of my eyes and the tears flowed. I couldn’t stop. We cried together for a moment until I just had to have privacy and sob it out in my room.
People see tears as a sign of weakness, especially those whose constitution or upbringing or whatever, have been told to live a life of toughness, hardness. I prefer to let out those emotions instead of bottling them inside. Emotions tend to augment your energy of the body and eventually create health problems. Not to say I won’t have major health problems one day but releasing them brings peace. And after breakfast I felt peaceful and in control again.

Our day was scheduled, first was a tour of the facility, which has changed significantly since I was here in 2002. More modern, brighter, cleaner, yet my memory of certain facilities have stayed the same. We were given a briefing on our visit to Pune shopping by Rickshaw. Now THAT was an experience!! As soon as I am able to get a reliable internet connection I will post pictures in the gallery, I’ve managed to put up a couple on Facebook.
After shopping in the market, an amazing vegetarian lunch, we entered the fabric store to find fabric for sari’s. I said I wouldn’t, no didn’t need a sari. I changed my mind, I’m female and allowed ?.
I wanted a purple and gold but settled for mauve and gold. I then wanted to have a Punjabi suit to wear on this trip and found a really colourful one, I could wear them at home as well. After 75$ or so, I will have 1 sari and 3 Punjabi suits. The tailor will come tomorrow to measure us.

Most of the group took the bus back and 5 of us headed off to see another Fabric shop, this is where I bought the material for the other 2 Punjabi suits. Fun stuff! Walking along sidewalks busy busy busy, we approached a bus stop. We waited here chatting and people watching for almost half an hour. I love people watching, it makes time go fast. In the building across the street on the second floor we could hear children reciting schoolwork. They were really loud, I realized we could hear them above the traffic and honking.
Hopping on the bus we stood in the middle of the aisle tightly gripping the handles attached to the ceiling and bars (do NOT touch your face until soap and water! You know how hard that is to do?) of the seats we positioned our feet and enjoyed the ride! Finally a seat came open and us two older women (yes I guess I am now ‘older’) slid into it with my right butt cheek coming down hard on the metal edge of the seat and wall of the bus. That will be a bruise!

We had to transfer busses and quickly got off to walk down a steep set of well worn stone stairs to find the waiting area at a bus station. Stepping over sleeping dogs that were blocking the path (let sleeping dogs lie) we found a place to sit and wait and watch people again. Waiting another half an hour or so out bus came and we managed to all get a seat. A young girl stood beside me later and we fell into conversation. She showed me pictures of her little brother and husband. She must have been a teenager but who am I to talk, Steve and I were married when I was 17.
Her husband was handsome and I told her so. The scarf she had covering her face up over her nose sheltered her smile but I could see the pride in her eyes. I think my comment made her day. We spoke about graveyards as we passed by one and what they do with bodies in whatever religion you were, Hindus cremate, Muslims (at least her sect) bury. It was hard to understand her above the noise of the bus, but after some repetition we managed. It was an honour to meet her.

We arrived at 6:30 and after an excellent meal got ready to go to campfire. I had finally unpacked and gotten my clothes together for the dhobi wallah to take my uniforms to be washed, ready for the next journey to Switzerland. But I’m getting ahead of myself….
Campfire was fun, but we didn’t have it outside. The heat and the Mosquitos were bad so we stayed in the hall. What fun! People contributing their choice of songs, new ones and old favourites, the Manager came later and we sang to guitar. Tears flowing again, I love music…
Afterwards I grabbed a chamomile tea and went to my room for well deserved sleep.


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