Writing and editing

Cage fight led primary was today. It was pretty low on the Yoga Spot Terror Chart, Perhaps, an Elevated Terror on the stairs, because we were a little late getting to the shala:

And a Low Terror Alert once we were in the shala and I found a great place to practice:

But like most led primary classes I have taken at the shala this trip, I am having trouble enjoying myself – or at the very least relaxing into the teaching. I spent most of my practice in the grouchiest mood. I couldn’t shake it, I was a regular grumpy goose.

This picture is relatively accurate depiction of my general countenance this morning. Actually, the bird and i have a very similar body type. I was sick of led primary and sick of being pregnant. I haven’t felt that rotten during the pregnancy – I suppose I am bound to have some grumpy days. Thankfully, Vikram and Vanessa invited us out to lunch to celebrate David’s birthday and I perked up. Vikram and Vanessa are so much fun. We were chatting so much, the waiter asked us to leave. It was a great lunch and it really turned my day around.

Today was our last Sanskrit class. I wish we could take level 2 this trip. I kept up with my Sanskrit the first year I was back from Mysore, but I lost my book and didn’t even think about it the second year. This time, I am going to make sure I keep up with my studies so that I can continue on my next Indian trip. Lakshmish is a fantastic teacher and a very sweet person.

On my first trip to Mysore, I was obsessed with Sanskrit class. At the end of class, Lakshmish told David and I that the next time we come back we should have a baby. We came back two years later with a baby-in-the-works, which I think is pretty good all things considered. But Lakshmish told us that he hoped for David’s next birthday that we would be pregnant again. Nightmare!

I will miss Lakshmish. I wish he taught in Toronto.

Saturday is chore day, sheet day and lazy day. So, we cleaned house, washed the sheets and put them out to dry in the sun and then went to the pool.

Oh glorious cold pool! David rubbed my feet with castor oil this morning to try and relieve some of the swelling. God bless him. The combination of lying around being lazy, castor oil rub and swimming in cold water really helped. By the end of the afternoon, my feet were feeling much better. Sadly, I have to admit, they still look like misshapen lumps of dough.

David: (staring at my feet with a concerned look) So, how are your feet?

Stan: Oh, I think they are a lot better – almost back to normal. Don’t you think? (pointing and twisting one foot at a crude angle to show the ghost of a foot bone)

David: (not making eye contact, still staring at the feet) Yeah….yeah….mmm….(faintly) better….

My husband is the best!

Speaking of large extremities, yesterday in Sanskrit Lakshmish was helping a student with writing her vowel symbols and consonants. Most of the time in Sanskrit the consonants are the base and the vowel that proceeds it is a symbol on top, below or beside the consonant. He looked at her writing and shook his head gently, “It is like a small person with hands that are too big. It doesn’t look right.”

I don’t know if it was the sweltering heat in the that room or my large feet or what – but I started laughing hysterically.  Once I calmed down, he started telling a bunch of good, clean jokes. Here is one for the campfire:

Once there was a young man who was studying in university. He went into the ladies hostel (read: residence) and when he came out the principal called him into the office.

Principal: Young man, do you know where you were?

Young Man: Yes, sir. I was visiting my friend.

P:  You mustn’t go in there again. I am fining you 100 rupees.

The young man paid the fine and the next day he did the same thing. He went into the ladies hostel, got caught by the principal and paid a 100 rupee fine. This happened two more times. Finally, the principal spoke up.

Principal: You have paid this fine four days in a row!

Young Man: Yes, I was wondering how much for a monthly membership?

Bwahhhaa! Brahmin approved humour! Classic!

Got any good, clean jokes?

I had a great practice today. I bound in supta kurmasana for the first time in 2 days. That asana is getting more and more elusive as my belly gets bigger.

It is totally a piece of shit pose at the best of times. I had made peace with it around the time I got pregnant. Figures. I think by next month any recognizable trace of it will be gone from my practice. Good riddance! My lower back felt very bendy today and I am looking forward to tomorrow’s practice.

We had breakfast with Laruga and David at the New Stand Up.  That isn’t actually the name of the restaurant, and we didn’t have to stand up to eat.  But at the Old Stand Up (not actually the name of the restaurant back then) you did have to stand up whilst munching on Indian breakfast. And that is the logic we labour under here in Mysore.

Breakfast was amazing and the company was fantastic. I had plain idli..

..and David had masala dosa. So delicious!

Critter Corner

There was a cute lizard in the kitchen last night. His skin was almost see through.

I think you can see his little brain in between his eyes.

Safety First:

Today in Sanskrit class, Lakshmish answered a question with this amazing little quip, “When you are learning how to drive, it is not safe to go fast.” Ok, the question had nothing to do with driving but it reminded me of the Safety First! Speed Second! sign I wrote about in an earlier post.

This picture is for the Safety First files – Architecture Editiion. I have no idea how they do it, but houses here are built without cranes or scaffolding. Just large pieces of wood to prop up the concrete as it dries.

It is really quite incredible. Everyone just stands on it like it is no big deal. This man laughed at us when we took his picture. Safety First toughies!

Yesterday was Shivarantri, the festival for Lord Shiva. It was business as usual in the morning, and in the evening I was instructed by my Sanskrit teacher, Lakshmish, to go to temple. That really just consisted of me following (a very kind and patient) Vikram around a temple like a lost idiot with some jasmine, dumping water on my head.

Lakshmish told me that pregnant women are supposed to concern themselves with spiritual matters, because there are two people growing – a baby and a mother. And after the baby is born? “You can just go back to doing whatever.”

On Shivarantri, every time you chant Shiva’s mantra, Aum Namah Shivaya, it carries the weight of 1000 repetitions. I said it once, which might make up for a very heathen pregnancy so far.

Oh – but I did have a spiritual experience eating Rava Idli with Vanessa, Vikram and David after pooja. Rava Idli are steamed rice flour patties with vegetables and comes with a lovely veggie stew and coconut chutney for dipping.

Today is the day of darkness. It seemed inauspicious to go up the steps, but we needed to distract ourselves from feeling really sad about Dolly, so this little piggy went downtown to the market.

The market was busy, hot and crowded. I am so easily overwhelmed inside, but I love the smells (jasmine mixed with vegetables and spicy cooking oil) and the colours. It is totally obnoxious, but I also appreciate (for a short time) the people that follow you down the aisles trying to guess what country you are from to sell you a baby anklet.

“BonnJourr – France!…..Choooww! Italy!….New Zealand! Alllo! … Canada! English part? French part?”

What has been interesting this trip are the looks of shock and horror when people see my belly. I have yet to set eyes on one Indian pregnant woman. Lots of babies. No pregnancy. I must get some pictures of the look. So far this is the only one I found on the interweb that sums it up.

Maybe minus the skeleton hands.

Anyway, this is me at the entrance to the market (you can provide your own look of shock and horror from home!).

Here is the standard tourist photo from an Indian market. Pigment. I always want some. What would I do with it? I wouldn’t mind just letting it sit there in a neat pile that I can poke occasionally with my finger.

I am mesmerized by pigment and David is bewitched by the cotton shopping bags. They are so beautiful.

David needs a pair of sunglasses. These were so rad, but they didn’t have any glass in them. The guy offered to fix them, but I kinda like them empty.

The flower stall area was off the hook and everyone there was pretty manic. I think because it was the day after a festival.

I would like to bring this home and use it as a stool.

And then we tuk tuked all the way home.