Thursday, March 26, 2009

all roads lead to Goupi

hey there hi there, a spongy hello from India...no matter how many times I wring myself dry, I sweat more buckets! Woo! I should be pencil-thin by now, but nooooo no no, I have actually put on some pounds since leaving the States. In India, of all places! Too rich.

Yesterday I visited the resident massage guru, Goupi. He doesn't require payment, but he will accept donations, which you can place inside his appointment book along with a bookmark picturing the Mother's pair of eyes (yes really); in turn, the Mother bequeaths the money to Goupi. Niiiice!

Unfortunately I do not have a picture of Goupi himself, but I will present you with a short clip - walking into the waiting area, where it's shaded and cool, and there are pujas (bowls of flowers, offerings) and a table with all sorts of books and magazines and puzzles. The birds were going OFF, so I needed to capture that - hope you can hear the crazy chorus. It was great.




I didn't feel like stripping down to my nothings for a massage yesterday, so instead Goupi offered to teach me a series of Feldenkreis (I botched the spelling, I know it) exercises. Goupi firmly believes that the body is a companion with a mind and everything of its own and we need but develop a good relationship with it and it will speak to us, share with us.

Actually, he did not refer to my body as 'it', he said, 'he'. I begged his pardon and asked if when he said He, he was referring to my body, which is a She. Goupi said yes, better to call it not It, because Body has a persona, so call it he or she, sure...and he continued to call my body He, in third person. Iiiiinteresting! Weird. But, okay.

Did he keep looking at my boobs?

I got no malicious vibe from the guy at all, he's a playful sort of gent...dude. With quite a reputation. But I don't think that David, who was ahead of me in queue for a massage, took off HIS shorts for the treatment!

Did he?

Doesn't matter. I didn't feel comfortable in a variety of ways, so we did exercises, and Goupi said Ommm a lot, he does that when he talks, ends a sentence with Ommm, and interjects Italian and Tamil and French here and there, and I totally understand what he's saying.

We concluded the session an hour and a half later, me in a looser more relaxed body (She really like it!) and crossing the Mother's Eyes with a couple hundred rupees. I aim to continue these exercises.

The other day I was walking along a red-earthed, dusty baked road and saw a trio of dung bugs doing what dung bugs do:



Matt showed up today! This morning, he came sauntering in to the GuestHouse grounds. He was one of three who taught the intro to permaculture in (rural) Vellore earlier this year, where I began all this India living. The one who reminds me so much of my brother Christopher - they share the same birthday. Was so great to see him - he's tripping out, all the people, the tiles, the cleanliness! He's been out in the boondocks for three months. We met Sugar (another permy teacher) at Ganesh Bakery, they ate Dosa and we sipped chai.

Matt bought incense and since the proprietor didn't have a rupee change, offered to sell Matt a roll of mints, or 'pepp on mints', as the label proclaimed. Matt offered in turn to share them with us but I couldn't partake. He asked why and I said, "I read the ingredients". Here I should interject that Matt is a staunch vegetarian and prefers purity in all things (even his tobacco...hee hee, love ya dude).

Ingredients included: approved synthetic flavoring and coloring, and a list of other multi-syllabic dubious unpronouncables.

"Well, that's it for the pepp on mints!"



(a candid shot, done blindly and from underneath the table, of Matt)

Here are some more shots of the joint, taken blind point-and-shoot style....this first is over my shoulder. Everything looks so western! ha ha! That's because, to a large degree...it is!!



That's half a Sugar face on the left:


So then we disbanded. I sold Sugar that Ladybird bike you know? Did I blog about that? Well it has a flat. So we walked back towards Solar Kitchen from my guest house after I showed her the place and we saw:








I loved her curly horns. A bit further on:
I love the curly leaves! And the colors. I have no idea what this plant is.

Straight on to Surrender:

I guess the signage isn't too clear from where I'm standing....they're building a new road here, so not as many trees nestled up along here.

Almost to the internet cafe, a man on a bicycle passes me:

This afternoon I think I'll hop into a taxi with a few other College Guest Housians and go to Sadhana Forest. This is where I thought I would originally be in Auroville, doing some reforestation. But, after visiting briefly one sunday afternoon and seeing the place, I decided against it. REALLY super awesome people, and a great vibe, but I'm not into cramped dorm living conditions and I've either read about or heard of people being sick there. I mean, violently ill; in fact, Sugar was sick when she first arrived, for a week. And I helped out in the kitchen, cooking the evening meal, on that Sunday afternoon and the place was thick with flies. I mean I've never seen anything like it, not even in the villages, not even at the school where we did the natural build and permaculture, and they chopped food on the floor.

I'm skipping the meal at Sadhana, but I want to be a part of the official tour, to better understand and appreciate what they're doing, because I hear so many wonderful things and experiences of Sadhana Forest as well. And the movie sounds interesting, it's always something good.

I'm going to stay in Auroville for a little while longer yet, as part of my Be Here Now Plan, Phase Three Hundred and Two. Then I hope to fly over to England and help out a woman who is purchasing a home, as part of a HelpExchange (sort of like WWOOF'ing, but can include non-organic farms, and a variety of other helper outer stuff). She'll be living in Bristol. There are so many opportunities for wwoof'ing and whatnot in England, I think I shall be keeping myself occupied and enthralled for months, and then maybe on to Europe (Italy, Spain, France) for the autumnal harvest. Sounds good? I think so!

My tummy growls, I must go and feed my sweaty self.

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