Pune update

Weird day today. I didn’t hear my 5:45 am alarm for morning yoga and slept in till 10. Then I had like an emotional breakdown. I just sat outside on the balcony and wept. Ah it was good to let it all out. I’m not sure exactly why I was so upset or what was wrong but I know that I have been holding some things inside. My poor grandparents – they were so worried and couldn’t understand how this could be a good thing. But I saw it as good. Some sort of release. I feel a bunch better.

I got this bomb wash, haircut, and blow dry for about $15 USD which is on the pricey side for Indian salons, but this lady was good so I decided to splurge :).

I finally found a coconut man on the street and he hacked it open with a huge blade so that I could drink it on the walk home. That was exciting. The coconuts here are big and green and shaped like melons. I think prefer ZICO.

Last night at Wednesday evening satsangh (group meditation) I completely passed out in a meditative state. I regained awareness about 2 seconds before the satsangh ended. Crazy. That never happens. Usually on a good day, I get distracted and have to keep centering myself at least for about 5-10 mins…and that’s on a good day! Maybe I was just really sleepy because I missed my afternoon nap to get a haircut. Or maybe because it was 12/12/12. Or maybe because some work was happening. Then the power went out and we had to make our way out by cell phone light. Oh India. Really cool experience.

Some discoveries…Amul chocolate ice cream is quite amazing. So is Bournevita, which is chocolate malt powder that you mix into milk. Granny and I just like eating it plain. Yum :).

Everyone here says I am so “supple” and by that they mean flexible – funny and strange way to describe flexible. At first I was offended until I realized it is a normal term here.

I’ve started to make masala chai every morning. I get out Granny’s spice box and let the magic happen. No cup of tea is ever the same, but it is always delicious, and that is the beauty of it. How to make masala chai:
1) Take 2-3 whole cloves, 1 cardamom pod, 1 cinnamon stick, a pinch of nutmeg, and a few peppercorns (if you’re feeling spicy) and mash them all together. A mortar-pestle is most effective, but if you don’t have this technology, you can grind it or crush it some other way. Also, the amounts I listed are just suggestions – you can modify the spice combos based on your mood, preference, or gut feeling.
2) Fill a saucepan with about 2 cups of water over a medium flame and let these crushed spices start to release their flavor. Grate in a small piece of fresh ginger and cover the saucepan to keep the spices in.
3) Once it comes to a rolling boil, add in a heaping tablespoon of tea leaves. Let the water continue to simmer for about a minute more and then add in milk (how ever much you prefer)
4) As soon as the milk boils, turn off the flame.
5) Strain the tea as you pour into teacups. Grab a Marie biscuit and get dipping! Yum.

So today I went to the dentist…only in India do the dentists operate with bare feet and also make you take off your shoes outside the dental rooms. I got a good cleaning and check up. No cavities. 18 dollars. Score.

Also today we stopped at Kayani’s bakery – really famous bakery in Pune, known for their schrewsberry biscuits. I don’t even know what a schrewsberry looks like but it was so crowded at the counter. Those Indians and their biscuits! So exciting, and I got to go back and try more things next time.

Later in the evening, Granny took my cousins and me to Zenobia, this lady who conducts Bowen healing therapy. Granny is super gung-ho about this. I’m skeptical but always interested in healing methods. She was a super comical old lady, with a chipmunk face and confidently said she would “put us right”. She made us lie down and nap for about a half hour while she poked and prodded different parts on our back, neck, shoulders, legs. It felt nice, almost like a massage, but I don’t know about how healing part works. Hmmmmm.

Now I’m at the airport off to Chennai to meet my dad and stay at the meditation ashram. Brought my huge pink Osprey pack along which is exciting, but I think I’m causing a scene – people keep staring at me with it on, so I’m going to sit down now. My flight is delayed. I hope they serve chai on the plane as I’m kinda craving some.

Much love,

SONIA

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