Day 129 – eating carbs alone

Over breakfast chai, I am reading the paper one last time with the girls. I am feeling nervous about setting off on my own for the next few days. I have been pushing this niggling feeling away all morning. Of course, The Times of India have an article called the Speaking Tree and today it is about self-love. Talking about loving and respecting the self, first, the writer says, ‘Ask: Could you live with yourself on a deserted island?’ Beside it, in the Sacred Space column are quotes by various Gurus about being Free of Fear. One of them is Swami Rama. What are the chances? It says ‘All your fears should be examined so that you can remain fearless as long as you live.’ India always seems to have a message for me when I need it the most.

Sadly, I hug my friends one more time as they leave for Uddaipur. I am at the Janpath Guesthouse in the Sodala area. Mr Tyagi, the owner of the guesthouse, is like grandpa and even though he speaks perfect English, he is a little hard of hearing so I have to slow down my usual rapid stream-of-consciousness and speak a little louder. His wife speaks no English, but he tells me that she likes my tattoo of wings on the back of my neck. I need to change money so I am taken in the car with one of their assistants as he submits my details to the local police and runs some other errands. After Sumatra, Bali, Rishikesh and Agra, the heat of Rhajasthan seems normal. I am sweating out of my shirt but I barely notice anymore. I would always prefer to be hot than cold.

Back at the guesthouse, it is already 1.30pm when I call Mr Prabhaker who tells me to just relax and settle in and we can start tomorrow. My over-active Vata energy wants to just get started but I know I need to rest. I have been going without stopping for the past five days and I can’t remember the last time I had an afternoon to just be alone and read a book. I also have some clothes that need to be washed. I should go and get online but I need to eat something so I take the short walk to a sandwich shop across the road. I get a Veg Burger that is mostly bread, a packet of corn chips that pretend to be jalapeno flavoured and a large bar of Silk Cadbury Roasted Almond. Alone in my room, I sit down on the edge of the bed and eat. It suddenly occurs to me that although I came to India alone, I haven’t actually been alone at all. I was immediately thrown into the family of the STP program at the ashram, then I went trekking with Yon and ended up trekking with a small group of blokes, then met Pri and had a bit of a girls’ trip… Now I am finally alone and the first thing I do is overload on carbs and eat a single person’s meal. It. Is. AWESOME. I munch happily at the chips, though they are not spicy at all and then finish with three pieces of chocolate. The packet says it should be stored below 26 degrees. I know it is going to be well over that in here when I don’t have the fan on. I briefly consider finishing the whole thing right now but I don’t feel like having a tummy ache.

In my solitude I am struck with the possibility of doing so much. I write, I read, I roll out the yoga mat and then I lie down on the bed for a moment and fall asleep. When I wake up it is late afternoon. I feel like I have wasted all my solitude! I think I slept for at least two hours, which will probably interrupt my sleep tonight. I slowly roll out of bed and find my way to my poor, forgotten yoga mat. I have been running on the treadmill at the gym of the hotel the past couple of days so my legs are tight and sore. I need to stretch. Afterwards, in savasana, I start to dream about what it will be like to get back to Sydney, seeing my friends and family for the first time and getting a real soy mocha. I gently pull myself back to the yoga mat I am lying on. Be here now, Liz. When it is over, you will be dreaming about India again so just be present and enjoy the final week and a half of cows in the streets, real chai and chapatti. As of tomorrow, I get to offer back some of my gratitude to this beautiful country for the gifts it has given me. This will be the best part.

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