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Still Catching Up....Pushkar

USA | Saturday, 7 March 2009 | Views [580]

I can’t Believe that I am back in the US!!!! I worry that soon my memories will start to slip away so I am going to try to spend my first few days back writing a bit...next stop Pushkar...wait...a few quick notes about Bundi, a little on the rougher side, I saw some of the saddest things animal wise and human wise. I won’t go into detail but feel free to ask me some time. Also, there was an afternoon that Gara and I spent on a grassy hill by the cafe and lake. A group of girls came over ranging from 8 - 14 years old and they spoke English. We talked for a long time about countries, cultures, movies and movie stars (they call them heroes) and music. The girls sang songs, I danced, and we all laughed together a lot. As Gara and I started to leave all the girls came running up and asked for our autograph...we signed our names on at least 10 pieces of paper...hilarious! I knew I would be famous someday...and in India when you are a blonde girl from America you are instantly a movie star/or a goddess:) ok, next stop...Pushkar Gara and I took a 6-hour bus ride to Pushkar, which consisted of some standing, some squishing, and some pushing. I was glad to have made a friend with a 17 year-old Indian girl who was learning English, which worked in my advantage. On the flip side, of course I was fancied by a few men whom I had to tell to stop staring after a while...3 hours was my edge point! The ride was beautiful and coming into different areas was great. filled with exotic food, exotic people, pockets of chaos and of course your typical Indian farm zoo scene: cows, dogs, monkeys, goats, pigs and birds all hanging out together in piles of trash or in the middle of the road. We were told a lot of negative things about Pushkar...but as we all know its better to see things for yourself. We got scooped up on the bus with this couple (who we kept running into in Bundi) and were placed at a nice lodge with a "swimming pool". Its funny, people from the lodges get on the bus a few stops before the last, chat with you and then show you photos of their lodge. This one looked like a five star with balcony, marble floors, pool, etc. We checked it out and decided to stay but lets just say it was a 3 star...and the pool was dried up. After settling we wondered our way down to the holy lake that the town surrounds itself with. Temples and ghats encircle the lake and then around the outside are endless shops and restaurants and more temples. There was a remarkable peaceful feeling as we walked down to the lake, was taken by the architecture of all the white buildings, and stood in silence as pilgrims came down to pray and bathe in the waters. It was very quiet and welcoming and instantly we were glad we decided to come to Pushkar. The next 1/2 hour or so we took some time for silence, I soaked my feet in the water, and once again prayed for all the people in my life that I love, all those who are suffering, all the animals, the trees, living things, the earth, and the children of the earth. The rest of the day we wondered around the lake and found ourselves welcomed into a temple for sunset. On one side of the lake construction was taking place where the goal is to expand the river and allow for clean water to enter which will help to save the fish. We were amazed at the hard working women, once again, who were carrying gigantic bowls of cement and rocks and water on their head or down an assembly line. We continued our way around and I’m not sure if it was the wind, a spirit, or just the nature of curiosity that exists in me but the next thing you know we found ourselves inside a temple and I was being guided around by a man who called himself a yogi guru. He was a little bit taller than me, had long brown dread locks, a HUGE smile where you could see his heart shining through, and the most gently presence to him. If I was ten years younger I probably would have fallen in love with him and moved into his temple:) Anyway he showed me around to the gardens, the mediation rooms, the alters and shrines, the spectacular view, and shared some amazing jellied fruit that was bright green, mouth watering, perfectly sweet treat. I was suppose to come back and get a jar to bring home but it never happen:( Well this peaceful place which housed a few men was a great place to enjoy the sunset and the settling of another day in India. The next day at sunrise I took a hike up to a temple near by. The name of the temple was translated into the meaning "to erase time" the purpose or vision or goal of the temple and its' God was that your body will ultimately fill up with light in the future and that all material things do not matter. In simple words that is what a man explained to me on the way down. The temple was a favorite spot of mine to do a sunrise hike to, sit, mediate, listen to the chanting, do some yoga, and embrace all the spirit of Pushkar. Later that day after pulling ourselves out of the shops we rented some bikes again. We took a long HARD bike ride where the landscape was beautiful...of course. It reminded me a bit of Arizona/new Mexico. On the way the road was being paved - Indian style - which means by hand, by women, bucket by bucket, stone by stone, rake by rake. We found our way to a small village where we sat and had Chai with a man that had 2 teeth spread out and sticking out, wore sunglasses, and broken down turban, a leathered face and a huge smile. This man has traveled all over the world, speaks many languages, and lives a happy life full of abundance and w/o any money. Next to him, sitting in white, with a red turban, wearing a skinny face with two little balls on his cheekbones and a perfectly round button nose was another man. He was just as dirty sitting in a small shack on the side of the road, sipping the same chai and was one of India’s millionaires. You would have no idea...interesting huh? There is a whole chapter that could be written just about that! After out bike ride we headed back and stopped at a Shiva temple. Once again, my heart was tugged by a guru with a huge smile and a huge heart. We took many photos together, shared lots of smiles, and swapped emails and addresses. Gara was glad that I was older and wiser (and engaged) otherwise by this point I may have surrendered all my belongings and my life to one of this fascinating, heart breaking, joyful, bright, and endearing men that for a moment I shared in the celebration of the world, spirit and universal love. Gara was great for researching and exploring around to find great places to eat. We loved the honey and spice as it had a menu with salads, tofu, brown rice, a variety of veggies including mushrooms and sauces made of figs and soy sauce. We ate slowly and carefully meals here and was also ecstatic to find a little old lady selling slices of fresh baked pies...our favorite, apple crumble! Other days in Pushkar consisted of visiting some temples (the serenity and pureness of some have been altered because of shops and cafes) and I took a traditional dance class. The class made me realized how much I missed dancing, how important it is to me and the next time I travel I will take more dance classes - and also in the near future. The flip side of Pushkar is that it is an absolute paradise for shopping and eating. As I knew my trip was ending I splurged and embraced all the dazzling silver, clothing, fabrics and more. Even perhaps found a great accessory that I think the folks back in the US will like to buy...especially festival goers!!!! Pushkar was my last stop in Rajisthan and also the place where Gara and I went our separate ways. It was so great to travel with a woman who helped me stay present, listened to all my thoughts and emotions, shared LOTS of laughs with, and who I could offer listening and support to as well. A dear friend that I know I will stay in touch with as she is just starting her travels and I am finishing them up...and we both have great exciting futures ahead of us!

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