I was going to make it to the ashram at Neyyardam today, come what may. I headed back to the Kyvalya for breakfast and had scrambled eggs and puttu. Puttu is freshly grated coconut and a soft mashed rice mix that is rolled into a an inch and a half think roll, and from what I could taste steamed. It was quite dry and without the coconut would have been rather tasteless, but it was a welcome change from my staple train diet of biscuits!
After booking my three night stay in Mumbai I went back to the hotel to get my things together and make my way to the bus station. Today felt less hurried than yesterday as I was closer to my goal. It was safe to say that Lucky had been half right in his prediction that the trousers wouldn't sweat. As I got on to the bus I was again soaked to the skin. The combination of carrying my bag and the unforgiving heat was making me sweat like a whore in church.
We passed through many small villages on the way to Neyyardam but the closer we got, the greener, leafier and more tranquil the surroundings got. I arrived at 3.45pm and began my climb up the steep hill to the ashram. I had considered taking a tuc tuc but as I got higher was glad I hadn't, the views were breathtaking!
As I was checking in everyone was in the main temple doing yoga practice and chanting...I thought I had walked into a cult. I was shown to my dorm and started to unpack the essentials and make my bed. I met Hugh, a guy from Melbourne, who was out of class due to a back problem. He talked me through the routine and it didn't sound that bad. I had paid for three days upfront and was certainly going to stick it out that long!
The next meeting time was the evening meal at six o'clock. I headed up to the dinning room with Hugh and David, a fellow Englishman from Manchester. We ate in silence from large round compartmented plates, sipping warm Ayurvedic water. Tonight was a non-Satsang (group mediation and chanting) night as it was Saturday, but instead there was a talent show. It occurred to me that although I knew what the date was I had no idea which day of the week it was!
I lay in bed and turned the lights out. It was 10.30pm and I couldn't recall the last time I'd gone to sleep this early. My body was glad of it though after almost two solid days of public transport behind me.
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