Mahabalipuram, Kancheepuram district , State of tamil Nadu
Apr 13, 2008
|Finally - the coming together of a space in time, a computer and me. Vanakkam from Tamil Nadu where it is exceedingly warm and humid right now.
i write from the business desk of our resort - the Grt Temple Bay at Mahabalipuram - complimentary internet access 24 hours. i hope i resist the urge to spend that long on computer. it took me a while to figure my way back onto this Trip Journal website - it's not my familiar point of entry - THAT IS FOR SURE!!! And what was my password?
Thank you for your messages, and also to Dave for the insertion of the airport photos. I was certainly excited, but more than that, sleep deprived having had only two hours sleep, and having spent half the night searching for a missing set of luggage padlock keys that did not show themselves, that is, not until last night, there they were in my suitcase hiding in my emergency sewing kit. My brain was on overload, and that hasn't really changed much.
Where to begin?? seriously.
it is hard to believe that it is Sunday night, and i left Sydney just yesterday morning.
Predictably, so much has unfolded in my world - including a change of time zone that means that my world is happening 5 and 1/2 hours after yours.
On the health front.... so far so good, no reactions in the tummy department, except to a feeling of excess intake, and insufficient exercise. No aquarobics classes here yet, but there is a window of opportunity early tomorrow morning in rather a stunning pool by the Bay of Bengal.
We started this day in our hotel in Chennai with a beautiful indian style breakfast, and then a wonderful lunch, indian-style served on a palm leaf, all good, better than good, but left me needing to decline the offer of dinner at this resort, even tho' it would no doubt have been amazing too. before i departed i read a line about the sensuous art of eating Indian style - 'with one's hand up to the wrist', one's right hand that is. i closely observed an Indian fellow on the plane, the way he tucked into his curry and mixed it with the yogurt etc. so i have been endeavouring to follow the practice, 'when in India do as the Indians do', and it is indeed enriching to the experience, not to mention, a challenge. Single-handed chapati manipulation...mmm.
we arrived here this afternoon at around 5.30pm after a full day of sight-seeing, and i add, factor in the olfactory component to the max. i haven't worked it our yet, but this part of the world is different in every way. i was prepared to some extent for the experience, having read the journeys and journals of others, and having taken on board words like 'contrast', India, a land of contrasts, diversity, a place that will shock. not wrong. the polarities and the paradoxes, simply extreme is all i can say after not much more than a day here. this is a country that is embroiled in the process of change. the present participle of the verb comes to mind, it is 'changing'. it is a work in progress, and i have never seen so many roadworks in progress, they are everywhere. Roads into the future, kilometres of half completed roads. and scaffolding. building things. and meanwhile all that modern mayhem right beside amazingly elaborate or intricate structures from centuries back. teeming masses, and endless mess. and permeating this great tapestry, such beautiful people, such colourful clothing, such sweet faces, such spirituality woven throughout the everyday of this crazy existence. suffice it to say, i am amazed, i am excited, i am blown away, i am moved, and i am so grateful for this opportunity to observe, to expand and deepen my knowledge and piece together the strands that connect with my yoga. in this environment i am surrounded by ganesha, shiva, parvati, brahma, indra, kali, durga, nataraja, all these deities familiar to me but poorly understood by me, now i'm having a chance to become more acquainted, and it makes for enthralling listening for an eager and excited jen.
The last few hours i have spent alone in our rather well-located and ritzy resort apartment by the sea. I've been quietly sorting out stuff, re-packing, hand-washing some clothes and generally slowing down. Having a breather from the stresses that accompany trying to keep together important bits of stuff like passports, cameras, boarding passes, money, phone, and the rest of it. and enjoying the fact that finally (!!) i have access to a power point and have been able to charge up my two dead flat camera batteries, my mobile phone, my external hard drive for downloading photos, and my mp3 player. i came to India with two power adaptors that despite their labels, did not work in out last hotel, and nor did my flatmate Karen's. now i have a borrowed one of yet a different style that works, and one of mine has found a socket in the bathroom that suits. so it's a night for recharging all round!
and on that note, i am going to wind up this brief update. perhaps tomorrow will afford me another computer opportunity, we stay here another night. after our sightseeing at the Shore Temples in the morning, three of us are taking a taxi back to Chennai, to check out ..... music stores. Sitars and veenahs, drums and bells, who knows, but i suspect that jenny will be like that 'kid in the candy store'. wishing you all well. thanks for your time, or as we say here, 'nandri', with a rolled 'rrrr'.
Lots of love,
your reporter in Tamil Nadu,