Sunday, February 8, 2009

journal entry: june 22, 2008

Today was pretty amazing.  We started yoga with the new instructor from Rishikesh.  While he was no Bidyut, he did offer adequate yoga instruction.  Not awful, but honestly, so far, not spectacular or unique.  The routine was standard, basic but not as much flow as our previous practice. 

While I felt amazing after stretching and getting my lazy butt moving, I didn't have the same mental clarity I'd previously had after instruction with Bidyut.  I'm definitely going to order one of his DVDs when I get back to the states.  

The tailor came today to fit us for our traditional, handmade Indian garb.  I picked something I could use as a kurta here and perhaps a dress at home.  I got the cloth in Derha Dun at the home spun fabric depot in the market.  I'm quite tickled with it actually and I feel as though I've made a well informed consumer purchase.

After the tailor measuring etc, we, by we I mean the women of the group, got henna done on our hands or feet.  Interesting experience to say the least.  I'd never done it before, which is odd seeing as I'd been to many a festival back at home.  It smelled great, and looks pretty awesome, but I can't help but thinking I've got something on my hand and I need to get it off.  I enjoyed chatting with the crew, but wished I knew Hindi so I could talk to the women doing the hennas.  Communication is so difficult and frustrating.  I wish I was better with languages and could pick them up like I do bad habits.  I would like to feel less like an intruder, even if still an outsider.  Overall, I'd say I'm doing a fairly good job at not acting like a "dip-shit" traveler.  Occasionally I stumble, since after all I am American and thus slightly arrogant.  I suppose the most important part is that I'm aware of the fact and making honest efforts to remedy any errors.

Later we had a brief meeting and discussed possible paper topics.  I had a moment of clarity and stated thinking about doing one large paper (as opposed to two separate; one for each course) around the politics and activism of water in India.  Taking a look at the personal and religious transformative properties while focusing/engaging the societal and gender dimensions of the privatization of water.

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