May 13 India part 3 So many of you saw the update. Cousin Jake got here and…
Shared publicly — 2015–05–13
India part 3
So many of you saw the update. Cousin Jake got here and it was so great to see him. They stayed for several nights and after too much of the city for Jake, we decided to go to Rishikesh. We woke up on the morning of the 8th and headed out to the train station for a 645 departure to Haridwar. We made it on the train with no problem, however, the train numbering is difficult to follow, there is 1AC, 2AC, 1st AC, 2nd tier AC, 3rd tier AC on down the line. To top it off, the coaches all have designators like a number or letter, HA1, HJ2, etc etc. After finding the right coach, we quickly found our seats and shortly after the journey began. We got a small breakfast and some tea which was very nice. We met a guy named John who was going to Rishikesh for 4 days and then coming back to Delhi to meet his daughter and then go back to Rishikesh. He was very nice, in his 50’s and very easy to talk to so it made the time on the train fly by.
After arriving in Haridwar, we were going to get a taxi to Rishikesh, however John had suggested to his driver that we all pile in and pay the driver extra which we did. It is about an hour ride from Haridwar train to Rishikesh city. The driver had to stop on the way and pick up a few beers and then we resumed travels. Upon getting into Rishikesh, we saw the suspension bridge over the Ganges, at which point Jake wanted to get out and go swim. We ate first at a local restaurant (chain) called Chotiwala, which was really good before heading out for our dip in the Ganges.
Upon arriving at the ganges, it was pretty magical. There were tons of people swimming and putting their feet in to experience the healing waters of this sacred place. Jake jumped in right away, and I followed shortly. It was very cold, but very refreshing on such a hot day. Lana, sat on the edge and put her feet in. After swimming for about an hour, we headed north on the east side of the river and found a yogi who walked us to an amazing campsite along the Ganges. It was beautiful and serene. We set up camp and bathed in the Ganges, ate soup and called it a night. I didn’t sleep a wink. The tent was hot all night and felt like there was no breeze. I was sweating like a convict who had just stolen a pack of gum and was under suspicion. Every time I looked at the clock thinking it was closer to morning, it was not. Fifteen minutes here, an hour there. Finally at 3:30 I dozed off for an hour or so and woke up at 5 am. Unrested and low on water, i brushed my teeth, washed my face and began to pack up my tent. We wrapped up by 7:30 and made our way back into town. My back was killing me as well as my neck from the added weight of the tent and supplies.
We found a wonderful restaurant called Flavors and jake and I got fresh pressed coffee and lana got some kind of chocolate chilled deliciousness. I ordered a banana pancake and Nutella which was my favorite. Lana had a banana pancake with ice cream and Jake had the Muesli. They were all delicious and the guy there liked us and wouldn’t stop talking about the USA and the beetles. Apparently he worked there when they first came through. After a scrumptious breakie, he gave us directions to a shop that sold supplies and groceries. We shopped for goods and food and it was at this moment that I realized, that camping is NOT my forte. We bought food for a few nights and headed out. After walking down the trail a bit, I decided that my journey through the forests of India were over ( I know Im a baby) but camping isn’t my love as it is for jake. He loves to be in the middle of nowhere, and I like to be around people. While Lana was sending an email to her mom, I told jake I was heading back to Delhi. He was bummed but he totally understood. I can’t lie, I fell in love with Delhi and her energy and the noise and chaos. I found a train back at 3 in the afternoon and got a 2nd tier AC to Delhi. Train time was 7 hours. I made it back at 10:30 and arrived at the hostel at 11. I was happy to get a shower and sleep in a freezing room. Call me spoiled but it just had to be.
I spent yesterday recuperating from being sore. Maybe I should have given it a better chance? I think not for the universe had different plans for me. Utkarsh, my friend I met at the very first hostel happened to be at Stops and had some errands to run. He was so excited to let me know that he passed his English exams and his next stop in July would be London. I was happy for him and we shared some lunch at Connaught place. After that he bought a new case for his iPhone. We tried to see if we could sell my iPhone 6 plus in the black market, but to my surprise, no one wanted it. Seems like android is king. iPhone 6 has some demand, but not that much. So we came back to the hostel and then went to the ballet ( I know…Yes i have taste and culture). It was about Shree Durga and how she defeated Mahishasur. It was great interpretive dance and I must say, Delhi didn’t seem to impressed. People were flashing their phones, texting and just not paying attention. I appreciated the show and afterwards we went Thugs and had a great beer that is brewed in Kolkata. Kaylani Black Label and it is very refreshing. We shared numerous laughs and after the beers we decided on Moti Mahal Butter Chicken. It is the best (like heroin but worse :-) )
In the morning I woke up at 8 and met a very cute German girl in the breakfast area. She was holding 5 cups and coming down from her room. Her eyes were magical and we talked for a bit. Pankaj recommended I take her shopping since I know the area. I was grateful and she was so appreciative to have me with her. We spent a magical day in the city going to the spice market getting teas and spices. We then walked towards the hostel and encountered a dust storm and then rain. We went to the black market and purchased a blue tooth speaker for her. From there we walked to the main bazaar where she had seen a belt/pouch she wanted the day before. Luckily we found the store and she was so excited. Her name is Maya Rafael Lakshmi and when she told me, I found it to be angelic. We had tea up on the third floor of a hotel overlooking the bazaar. It was brilliant, and like nothing I have experienced. Lesson 2, as much as I run from it, I desire love. A reciprocal but impossible love that can only exist in my mind. Her companionship was effortless free and as big as her smile. On the way back to the hostel, I kissed her. India made me do it In a place with 1.2 billion people the only way people can keep from fighting is to outwardly and passively love all those around.
India, specifically Delhi, is magical, mysterious and has somehow grabbed a piece of my heart, while taking a small piece with her. What will happen next? I have no idea. Hopefully a 3 day train to Chennai (Tamil Nadu) to visit my cousin Cullen and see Pondicherry, will sort my head out. This is life and as much as I keep waiting for it to happen as a vision in my mind, it never will. It unfolds as it is supposed to and such as the Ganges passes by at racing speeds, such is my life, racing by and never attaching to anything.
Until next time…
Originally published at plus.google.com.