Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Waterfalls and Holy Nights

The days are starting to run together. The first week of school flew by, yet I feel like I've been here a long time. The posts are going to be short for a while as the minutiae of my day-to-day comes off a bit boring in writing, though it's fascinating and loads of learning for me so far.

The evil Ravana prior to immolation.
Wednesday night we attended Dasara. It was festive and amusing. There was an impressive fireworks display within yards of the crowd. I've never been so close to explosives. In addition, the above statue was filled with fireworks which were set off at the end of the night. He went from statue to a smoldering frame within seconds. It was loud and impressive and made me grateful that I've never seen a war because the lights and sounds and suddenness would surely trigger any latent PTSD. Regulatory bodies in the U.S. would never let this fly.
More monkey. These langurs are not as aggressive as the macaques.
Bathing ghat on the Ganges

Today, Sunday, is our off day and it was awesome! I ended up hiking a couple of miles out of town to some waterfalls with a couple of the women from my class. It felt so, so good to hike and get into nature. I'm consistently surprised by how tropical it looks and feels here. Judging from the native plants (many of which we use in landscaping in Arizona), it never gets below freezing.
Holy calves love bananas.
Hare Shiva
 Tonight, the entire class headed to the river for Ganga Aarti, which is a ceremony performed every evening at sunset. There was lots of singing and chanting as we stood before a statue of Krishna. Even though I didn't know what was going on and the fact that the gods themselves hold no meaning to me, I found myself choked up several times. I think it's just the humanity of this place and the sense of community you feel when sharing an experience that's meaningful to a majority of the participants. The divisions between individuals start to melt away a little. Oh no! India's already making me woo woo and wishy washy. In related news, I've quit shaving for the duration of my stay at the school.

Hairy Jordan


  1. Please don't stop with the posts. I know it takes a lot of time and your time seems filled with fascinating stuff, but it isn't boring to me and your journal will continue to be fascinating to anyone who reads it for years to come. I hope my comment records -- I haven't had much luck sending comments up to now. Love, Nana

  2. I went back to your commentary and it still says "0 comments" but it also says my comment was posted. Let me know if they are coming through to you.

  3. Here you have another committed supporter. I've already started catching up reading your previous posts, so I can follow you up to date.