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from the beach to the asylum.....Amma the new Jesus Christ??!!...Im not so sure!

INDIA | Sunday, 5 February 2012 | Views [1266]

So after the others left, Vicky and I decided to stay a few more days in Varkala...Mike had another party planned at Blue Marine and we didnt want to miss it!! On the night of the party, Mike had gathered a large group of people together and we all sat happily drinking and chatting enticing passers by with our good humour...

What I love about Varkala and India in general is the eclectic group of people it attracts. Round the table we had a mixture of all age groups/nationalitys all very very different people with very different stories to tell...but all getting on like a house on fire. I was particulary intrigued by a guy named Rodney who came from America...he must have been in his 60s and had been travelling most of his life....he was UBER tanned and UBER friendly. He was so pozzy about everything, and chilled out.....its refreshing to be around people who have not a care in the world!! It eases my worrying nature!!

Anyway as the drinks and conversation flowed, more and more people came to join the party and after a while we moved the tables and chairs to create a dancefloor as people started to feel the urge to move!!! The indians working at Blue Marine requested to have their own music on this night, and it was only fair to let them....although some of it was horrendus and their mixing skills were pretty poor!! But nevermind!! As the night drew on, I have very little recollection of what actually happened...met some hilarious people including another FRODO BAGGINS lookalike who had no feeling in his nipples...literally we all had a good chew on them and NOTHING!! His mate also a JUSTIN LEE COLLINS lookalike provided us with a lot of banter...especially when he slapped this sleeping indian's belly, who then jumped up and proceeded to launch in to JLC...until he HAD to leave!! OOps....funny though!!

The following day, Vicky and I had planned to leave but could not find the strength to do so, nursing seriousley bad hangovers!! I had also managed to somehow do my back in (probably by showing off at how low i could go on limbo!!)....so we stayed one more day!! Mike also had a 10am train to Goa to catch, which he had overslept and MISSED!! So we were all as bad as each other in the end.......we spent the day doing bugger all, eating and feeling sorry for ourselves!!

The next day we decided we really must go. I had been pondering on visiting an Ashram and Vicky said she'd try and give it a go too. We went to lunch before catching the train, and bumped into a guy we had been hanging out with called Leon-he decided to join us on our spiritual journey! Eventually early evening we left.....the train journey was only 3 hours long but was completely jam packed!!Each station we stopped out, no-one got off and more people got on. I was relieved when we finally arrived at our stop as I dont think I could have coped with any more people on that train. However as we were trying to leave, the people on the platform proceeded to try and get on and I ended up sandwiched between about 100 people unable to move and barely able to breath. One woman had her whole face and body squashed against the wall of the train, and she started shrieking!! I began to worry that we would be crushed to death....but with a lot of pushing and shoving we eventually made it off. We were one of the lucky ones though...

We then got a taxi to the ashram and travelled in silence all pondering what an earth this ashram was going to do to us. Was it going to enlighten us??!!....Were we about to embark on a spiritual journey?!...or were we about to enter the realms of a brainwashing mental asylum!!

We arrived and all nervousley made our way to the reception. Everyone was wearing white and seemed to either be deep in thought or muttering to themselves in manner of a madman.  We then made our way to our rooms....Vicky and I saw we were sharing with some-one else who had a stuffed Amma doll next to her bed (Amma is the Guru which the ahsram is centred around!!)....Vicky mentioned how she thought the stuffed doll looked like a bit of shit wrapped in toilet roll, and I was begining to wonder whether we would fit in here after all!! After setting up our beds for the night, we went to the main eating area to have dinner...

Breakfast, lunch and dinner in the ashram involved grabbing a tin plate from a large bucket type thing, queing up and having rice/dhaal/chickpeas thrown onto it....when you have finished your grub you have to wash it up and put it back in the bucket!! After this, we decided to head back to our room...there was really nothing else to do. On our way back we met an american guy who said he had turned up at the ashram 6 years ago and never left. I started to panic that this might happen to me!!

When we got back to our room, the lady we were sharing with was there. She was an older lady from Sweden and Vicky and I were on our best behaviour trying not to swear and be as polite as possible. She told us a little bit about what to expect, and seemed nice in general yet she still had that rather glazed expression in her eyes which seemed common amongst the people of the ashram.

Anyway this night I had the most terrible nights sleep!! The beds were squeaky, the old dear was snoring and my back was absolutely caning!! I awoke grumpy and wishing wholely that I was not in this bloody ashram.....it was already making me feel miserable. We made our way to breakfast, followed by a trip to the ashram quack to see if i could get some strong pain killers for my back. In the end they booked me in for physio which I had to attend later on that afternoon! The rest of the day we spent outside of the ashram smoking cigarettes in a local cafe/playing shithead and drinking chai. We decided after a while that we really should partake in some of the activities, so we went to one of the meditation sessions on the beach...

This involved us just sitting on the rocks, watching the sun set over the ocean. One of my favourite things to do and I really had no problem meditating here!! At 6 I had to attend my physio....the woman doing the physio was a volunteer and had been in the ashram for 10 years or something ridiculous. She seemed very normal but continued to tell me how she thought Amma the guru was the new Jesus Christ. I was very intrigued by this point...She said that before I left I simpy most go and receive DHARSAN from Amma. This basically entails queing up for hours to get a hug from her, she is known as the Hugging Saint!!

So I went to inform the others, and we decided to receive dharsan the next day prior to leaving!! We awoke to find a note on our door requesting that we visit the office ASAP as we had "forgotten" to sign up for our voluntary cleaning service which everyone who stays in the ashram is supposed to do. OOPs! As we were leaving anyway we decided to give this a miss. We grabbed our tokens for Dharsan, then headed out to our safe haven cafe to smoke and play shithead....whilst we were there a "clown" from America made us some apples out of balloons and started to preach to us about Amma and all her wonderful ways. I was intent on listening until he began to rant on about some monkey God he also worshiped!! It was then that I switched off...and my thoughts started to wander along the lines of "is this a  mental institution?!"

Heading back to the ashram to receive our hug from Amma, we got stuck behind a bunch of cows being led by her followers. There was a chinese girl following closely behind skipping and playing the tamborine and chanting in some weird foreign language at which point me and Vicky looked at each other and thought....we need to get out of here!!!

We joined the que for our hug and waited with nervous anticipation as to what might happen!! Everyone spoke of it being a life changing experience, and I had an open mind to this. There was literally hundreds of people queing up to receive this miraculous hug, and a thousand other people chanting in hindi "amma is amazing" "amma has hair like the sky" "amma is a god".......and i was thinking, god this guru must really LOVE herself!! As we got closer and closer, Vicky and I were sweating profusely, what was this amma going to do to me?!!

Well after my hug from her I have to say I was thoroughly disappointed!! She literally grabbed my head and thrust it into her bosoms, whilst chatting and laughing with all her "disciples" and paying me no attention whatsoever...she then whispered some babble into my ear which was completely incomprehensible, gave me a sweet and sent me on my way!! Vicky and Leon had the same experience, and we could not wait to escape!! We departed with an immediate sense of relief and headed to Kochi where we would spend a night before making the long ole' trip back to Goa...

to be continued

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