Sunday, February 19, 2006

New Year's Missive

Greetings from Kashi,
31 Dec 2005

Perhaps, I shall begin to narrate the series of events that happened this morning. I showered and went down to the ghats ( steps running down to the river )for my morning's meditation. I usually perch myself on one of the octogonal bases on the banks of the Ganges, facing the sun rising over a misty river, wrapped in a shawl or blanket with my sketchbook next to me.
Whilst meditating, I felt a cold nose on the palm of my hand and opened my eyes to see a dog settling down peacefully by my side. When I was done, I wrapped my shawl, patted the dog and left. I headed to a fruit vendor, bought an orange and banana for my breakfast, picked up 7 samosas for Ashokji and his friends along the street. I had chai on Assi Ghat and proceeded to Ganga Mahal for our morning was then that I realised that i did not have my Ganesh Sketchbox with me.

Over the last two weeks, I had filled my sketchbox to the brim with my paintings and ponderings. how my sketchbook journal so seamlessly left my presence is baffling, but it taught me a lesson in letting go. Perhaps it was the monkeys, a stealthy visitor, my penchant for leaving things behind, or Goddess Ganga herself, who needed my sketches, I do not know, but such an encounter on the cusp of the new year made me focus on the 'now', and let go of things in the past.

1 January 2006

I woke up this morning, oiled my hair, washed my clothes, had a bath and washed my hair with equal quantities of Shikakai, amla and Ritha powders, hich works beautifully as a shampoo, finished a new year card that the chai walla downstairs wanted and headed to the ghat to give it to him and to to proceed to my usual meditation spot. When I handed him the card, he pulled out a box and asked me if it was mine. It was my DECEMBER GANESH SKETCHBOX!!!....complete with my Rotring in it! Some one had found it....way down on one of the ghats along the river(that I hadn't visited at all yesterday morning) Such has been my magical day. Lost and Found! I wish all of you a blessed and magical New year....leaving unwanted past burdens behind and focussing on 'now'. For both the past and the future reside in the present moment.

I have since then, taken and boatride to the middle of the river, dived into Ganga, cooked my lunch, and spent a lazy afternoon soaking in the sun with a vista of the river. I have been invited to a classical music concert tonight and will head there shortly.

Much love and light from Kashi (The ancient name for Varanasi, which means
concentrated cosmic light)


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