2/18/12 “Quick! quick!” the driver says to me and hurls my
bag into the bus I run along side and grab hold of the door as I
jump aboard. My perfect Indian exit to this tranquil sector of my
trip. The buses and cars weave through trees, mountains, unmarked
streets, and surprisingly arrive at your destination. India is just
like that- there are times where I think, “oh man, I’ve been had”
this is not possibly the way to where I am going and low and
behold- it is. Trust. India is a lot about trust and a lot about
haggling. If you know the true fair price then everyone is an
honest man and that is what you will pay. If you trust that you can
get from one place to another- then surely you will arrive. Street
signs are practically non existent, landmarks repeat themselves or
disappear completely. Dirt roads, foot prints, stars, the sun. . .
Trust. . . they will get you by. Indian people are also quite
helpful. It is common for even the taxi drivers to ask anyone on
the street “Galgibaga?” or wherever you are going and the locals
will give you precise hand gestures for your next few moves. If a
place (bus, restaurant,etc) is crowded the ladies always make space
for me and one another. The women here are gentle and kind. Often
if sitting alone I am quickly joined by mothers and children. My
dance program was AMAZING. I took extensive classes in Odissi dance
for the past 14 days straight 5-7 hours a day with Chantelle of My teacher is a beautiful dancer as well as
a great teacher and created a wonderful curriculum for me while I
was here. Exercises, form, music and rhythmn theory, mudras, and
choreography were taught and practiced and polished as possible for
our short amount of time. I learned so much from this experience
about myself, discipline, and dancing for the divine. It was great
that it was in unison with a tantric yoga teacher training as well.
In my down time I got to participate in excellent yoga classes. A
much needed release for my hours of dancing, pujas, meditations and
it includes lectures on the history of all yoga throughout the
world. Each day as I sweat and pounded the floor with my feet in
the sculpturesque form odissi is based on I felt myself move deeper
and deeper into The dance. Even on days when I was tired, by a 1/4
way into my exercises I was reinvigorated with life and light and
power. Each day you pray to the Lord Jagganath and thank the earth
for letting you stomp upon her- before and after the dance. So, it
was really moving for me to put this kind of devotion into
something. To genuinely put forth the devotion and then complete
each and every step as it is intended to be portrayed, as an
offering for lord jagganth, subhadra, and Bramhamiem. I have
arrived to Margao with a few hours to spare to pick up yet another
saree ( which is so beautiful but adding another 6 meters of fabric
to my luggage is not so ideal) before catching my train. I have
quickly become family at this house of intricate threads and beads.
I have come back several times and the ladies get so excited I am
here and instantaneously begin dressing me up in all if their
delights. They do my hair and hold my hand and bust in on me in the
dressing room to intricately fold my saree into the “new style.”
and they are just so darned sweet and cute. They bring me tea, they
let me leave my bags, they make sure everything I buy is tailored
just right- this is by far my favorite saree shop I have
encountered in all of India. And trust me- I have been to A LOT of
saree shops in my short time here. There is no website but if you
are interested in coming here please send me an email and I will
give you explicit directions. I’m excited to catch my train and
cuddle up in my sleeper car and be sung to sleep by the sweet call
of the chai guy announcing his goods through the train. I look
forward to the next steps of this amazing adventure as I make my
way to Mahasivaratri.