A note on my three blogs


A note on my blogs

(1) vio; in love with india - this one is the main blog about my Indian adventures, which started in 2005. I don't write much on this blog these days because I prefer to write privately in the confidential blog. But check out the categories and the index to figure out your way. I have kept some older posts not about India but which I still find interesting or relevant in Old words. Also check out my new, fun category Only in India in which I post photos of funny, unique, Indian situations...

(2) vio; sounds of india - this is my blog of sounds, because India wouldn't be as incredible if it was not so vibrant and just so full of incredible sounds!

(3) vio; confidential - this an extension of my main blog in which I post entries I do not want to reveal to the entire webspace for privacy or sensitivity reasons. You must receive an invitation from me and then accept the invitation to be able to read it. You may email me if you are interested in receiving an invitation.

Enjoy!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Routine and conjunctivitis

Again it has been ages since I wrote on this blog. I guess routine has started and therefore there is less to say. Quoique... Every time I set up to write I am surprised at how rarely I feel compelled to write (and read), compared to how often I had done up until two years ago. I suppose I don't write so much also because I have fewer questions about my life here. I am, just. I may repeat myself a lot, but it feels nice to express it: all there is is love; that is why I do what I do and I am where I am. Love inhibits the questioning mind; it stops it from wandering, questioning, judging.

So routine has started again, what seems like ages ago. GettinAgain it has been ages since I wrote on this blog. I guess routine has started and therefore there is less to say. Quoique... Every time I set up to write I am surprised at how rarely I feel compelled to write (and read), compared to how often I had done up until two years ago. I suppose I don't write so much also because I have fewer questions about my life here. I am, just. I may repeat myself a lot, but it feels nice to express it: all there is is love; that is why I do what I do and I am where I am. Love inhibits the questioning mind; it stops it from wandering, questioning, judging.

So routine has started again, what seems like ages ago. Getting up round seven, practising yoga and cleaning my room (releasing caught mice and brooming gecko poo...), shower, breakfast. Going to violin or Hindi class, then for my daily plate (thali) of same-y but nutritious and delicious food in the very homely cafe round the corner from my house. This will also be my socialising time with other non-Indians – mostly music students or volunteer workers, all with beautiful life stories. Or while I wait for my thali I'll decide to be anti-social and check my emails on my computer, as this second home of mine even offers wifi service. After that I'll go home for violin practice/ Hindi homework. Evening time I'll go down the street for some daily food shopping to be cooked for dinner, perhaps stopping by for a glass of chai with a randomly-met friend or a well-known shopkeeper. And after dinner I'll practise some more violin or do some more homework, or perhaps there will be a classical music concert to go to, or I may allow myself to watch a film on my computer.

My routine is not so strict since Nahoko has arrived though. Nahoko was my occasional neighbour last year. She comes from Japan to study Kathak dance between Varanasi and Rishikesh, but this year she will probably be more settled in Varanasi, which is great news from me as she has clearly been my best girlfriend since I have been living in India. It's just good to have her company under the same roof, and it means we can also cook together. I have three other neighbours now. The Thai monk, who has been keeping to his room for over a month since I told him off for being dubiously over-friendly before classes started, and two older men. One nice guy from Australia who will be staying for six weeks only, and a massively tall and broad fifty-something man from Germany who listens to a lot of seventies' and eighties' rock/hard rock music and er, also smells and pisses outside of the toilet hole. Gulp. He is a friendly man, but a little creepy, and rock music just feels out-of-place amongst the temple bells and Sanskrit chants of Holy Varanasi! When his door is open, mine is closed... Oh, and I forgot the landlords' daughter-in-law who married their son last June; although she spends most of her days downstairs with the family so she doesn't really feel like a “floor-mate”. She is very friendly though, and with her I connect a little more with the landlords, which is nice.

Vijay came to visit me three weeks ago. As usual, he stayed for a week during which I didn't do any violin nor any Hindi except going to classes. I am fully competent in chapati-making now though, I am very pleased to say! There is something very exciting in eating my very own chapatis; a simple pleasure of life, which India seems to make even more enjoyable. I think it rained everyday while Vijay was here; a very late monsoon until mid-September this year, but a pretty good monsoon indeed. The rain seems to be over for good now, and I am very happy the Ganges is high and we've had plenty of water! After Vijay left I caught a cold. The weather is changing and temperatures are slowly decreasing - slowly - but it has been odd, up and down and up and down. When I had this cold I often felt cold despite the sweat. Many people have had a cold, and another interesting bacteria has spread: conjunctivitis!

I had never had conjunctivitis before. One morning last week during violin class I started feeling strange, mostly bizarre and weak. At the end of the class I realised I had pain in my right eyelid. It felt a little like pressure on my eye, and I couldn't see clearly because some foreign body was wandering round and on my pupil. I cycled back home as quickly as possible to check my eye in the mirror. Ha! Sticky yellow pus it was! Disgusting. I quickly went to the eye hospital very near my home, which I had wanted to check out. Another thing I have learnt in India, is to take illnesses and other health-related bothers as experience, and to find them interesting! I was happy to finally check out this (good) eye hospital. The (female) doctor told me I had conjunctivitis and gave me some antibiotic eye drops. I was (happily) surprised she didn't prescribe any antibiotic tablets, but I prescribed myself a boosting cure of magical magnesium chloride (pour les francais, du chlorure de magnesium). I just love this magical powder, which poured in water becomes an effective antiseptic and a natural antibiotic (it also cures polio!) When I told Vijay about my conjunctivitis he told me many people had it in Khajuraho, and then I realised that many people had it in Varanasi too! The following morning I saw my neighbour the monk, to whom I hadn't spoken for over a month. When I saw his eyes I burst out laughing. “Hello conjunctivitis friend!” We've been friendly again since then. Thank you conjunctivitis! The landlady and her daughter-in-law have had it as well, so that's four people in the house! My eyes got better quickly, more quickly than most it seems – I am convinced it is the magnesium chloride. On the way to school one morning I tried to look at people in the eyes. But conjunctivitis-affected Indians wear sunglasses, because the superstitious Indian is adamant that you can catch conjunctivitis just by looking at the eyes of affected people. You'll say hello to an Indian friend and he'll turn his head and ask you to wear sunglasses. Of course, Nahoko to whom I showed my yucky swollen eyes a lot, didn't catch conjunctivitis.

Talking of the magical magnesium chloride, I discovered another miraculous little gem lately: honey! I had known for a while that honey had antiseptic properties and helped with healing, but I had never tried it for myself. Recently, in the strange weather of Sweatyland, I've had weird little wounds that wouldn't heal. One on my toe which is history by now, and a mysterious yellow scab underneath my nose that just won't go. (I was rather beautiful a few days ago with that and swollen red eyes!) So I tried applying honey on the affected areas; on my toe I had to cover the wound in a bandage to keep it away from dust – and the honey to keep it away from ants and flies! Well, the honey works.

The last two weeks were odd to say the least. Feeling weird and weak from the cold, conjunctivitis – and the Ayodhya court case! Ayodhya is a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh. According to the Ramayana (the “Bible” of India) it is where Lord Rama was born and, after his fourteen-year exile in the jungle, where he lived and reigned. I don't understand much of it, but a court case went on for twenty years to decide whether the area round a Hindu temple in Ayodhya originally belonged to the Hindus or the Muslims. The court case is twenty-years old but the whole issue is 350 years old. The verdict would be published first on 24th September and Hindu-Muslim violence was expected all over India, so people were told to stay home that day. Then the date was postponed to the 28th or the 29th I wasn't sure as different people said different things. So when should we stay in and when could we go out? Everyone was talking about it and I was anxious too. Finally the verdict was to be released on Thursday 30th September at 15:30. I could go to university in the morning but everyone had to stay home after noon, there would be police everywhere. In the end the verdict was published, but it has been a peaceful one. Now that's over and nothing has changed in the streets of Varanasi...
g up round seven, practising yoga and cleaning my room (releasing caught mice and brooming gecko poo...), shower, breakfast. Going to violin or Hindi class, then for my daily plate (thali) of same-y but nutritious and delicious food in the very homely cafe round the corner from my house. This will also be my socialising time with other non-Indians – mostly music students or volunteer workers, all with beautiful life stories. Or while I wait for my thali I'll decide to be anti-social and check my emails on my computer, as this second home of mine even offers wifi service. After that I'll go home for violin practice/ Hindi homework. Evening time I'll go down the street for some daily food shopping to be cooked for dinner, perhaps stopping by for a glass of chai with a randomly-met friend or a well-known shopkeeper. And after dinner I'll practise some more violin or do some more homework, or perhaps there will be a classical music concert to go to, or I may allow myself to watch a film on my computer.

My routine is not so strict since Nahoko has arrived though. Nahoko was my occasional neighbour last year. She comes from Japan to study Kathak dance between Varanasi and Rishikesh, but this year she will probably be more settled in Varanasi, which is great news from me as she has clearly been my best girlfriend since I have been living in India. It's just good to have her company under the same roof, and it means we can also cook together. I have three other neighbours now. The Thai monk, who has been keeping to his room for over a month since I told him off for being dubiously over-friendly before classes started, and two older men. One nice guy from Australia who will be staying for six weeks only, and a massively tall and broad fifty-something man from Germany who listens to a lot of seventies' and eighties' rock/hard rock music and er, also smells and pisses outside of the toilet hole. Gulp. He is a friendly man, but a little creepy, and rock music just feels out-of-place amongst the temple bells and Sanskrit chants of Holy Varanasi! When his door is open, mine is closed... Oh, and I forgot the landlords' daughter-in-law who married their son last June; although she spends most of her days downstairs with the family so she doesn't really feel like a “floor-mate”. She is very friendly though, and with her I connect a little more with the landlords, which is nice.

Vijay came to visit me three weeks ago. As usual, he stayed for a week during which I didn't do any violin nor any Hindi except going to classes. I am fully competent in chapati-making now though, I am very pleased to say! There is something very exciting in eating my very own chapatis; a simple pleasure of life, which India seems to make even more enjoyable. I think it rained everyday while Vijay was here; a very late monsoon until mid-September this year, but a pretty good monsoon indeed. The rain seems to be over for good now, and I am very happy the Ganges is high and we've had plenty of water! After Vijay left I caught a cold. The weather is changing and temperatures are slowly decreasing - slowly - but it has been odd, up and down and up and down. When I had this cold I often felt cold despite the sweat. Many people have had a cold, and another interesting bacteria has spread: conjunctivitis!

I had never had conjunctivitis before. One morning last week during violin class I started feeling strange, mostly bizarre and weak. At the end of the class I realised I had pain in my right eyelid. It felt a little like pressure on my eye, and I couldn't see clearly because some foreign body was wandering round and on my pupil. I cycled back home as quickly as possible to check my eye in the mirror. Ha! Sticky yellow pus it was! Disgusting. I quickly went to the eye hospital very near my home, which I had wanted to check out. Another thing I have learnt in India, is to take illnesses and other health-related bothers as experience, and to find them interesting! I was happy to finally check out this (good) eye hospital. The (female) doctor told me I had conjunctivitis and gave me some antibiotic eye drops. I was (happily) surprised she didn't prescribe any antibiotic tablets, but I prescribed myself a boosting cure of magical magnesium chloride (pour les francais, du chlorure de magnesium). I just love this magical powder, which poured in water becomes an effective antiseptic and a natural antibiotic (it also cures polio!) When I told Vijay about my conjunctivitis he told me many people had it in Khajuraho, and then I realised that many people had it in Varanasi too! The following morning I saw my neighbour the monk, to whom I hadn't spoken for over a month. When I saw his eyes I burst out laughing. “Hello conjunctivitis friend!” We've been friendly again since then. Thank you conjunctivitis! The landlady and her daughter-in-law have had it as well, so that's four people in the house! My eyes got better quickly, more quickly than most it seems – I am convinced it is the magnesium chloride. On the way to school one morning I tried to look at people in the eyes. But conjunctivitis-affected Indians wear sunglasses, because the superstitious Indian is adamant that you can catch conjunctivitis just by looking at the eyes of affected people. You'll say hello to an Indian friend and he'll turn his head and ask you to wear sunglasses. Of course, Nahoko to whom I showed my yucky swollen eyes a lot, didn't catch conjunctivitis.

Talking of the magical magnesium chloride, I discovered another miraculous little gem lately: honey! I had known for a while that honey had antiseptic properties and helped with healing, but I had never tried it for myself. Recently, in the strange weather of Sweatyland, I've had weird little wounds that wouldn't heal. One on my toe which is history by now, and a mysterious yellow scab underneath my nose that just won't go. (I was rather beautiful a few days ago with that and swollen red eyes!) So I tried applying honey on the affected areas; on my toe I had to cover the wound in a bandage to keep it away from dust – and the honey to keep it away from ants and flies! Well, the honey works.

The last two weeks were odd to say the least. Feeling weird and weak from the cold, conjunctivitis – and the Ayodhya court case! Ayodhya is a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh. According to the Ramayana (the “Bible” of India) it is where Lord Rama was born and, after his fourteen-year exile in the jungle, where he lived and reigned. I don't understand much of it, but a court case went on for twenty years to decide whether the area round a Hindu temple in Ayodhya originally belonged to the Hindus or the Muslims. The court case is twenty-years old but the whole issue is 350 years old. The verdict would be published first on 24th September and Hindu-Muslim violence was expected all over India, so people were told to stay home that day. Then the date was postponed to the 28th or the 29th I wasn't sure as different people said different things. So when should we stay in and when could we go out? Everyone was talking about it and I was anxious too. Finally the verdict was to be released on Thursday 30th September at 15:30. I could go to university in the morning but everyone had to stay home after noon, there would be police everywhere. In the end the verdict was published, but it has been a peaceful one. Now that's over and nothing has changed in the streets of Varanasi...