I.S.T. (Indian Standard Time)

Ahh another week has already passed and I have that strange deja vu feeling as I am sat in the same spot in the internet cafe rambling on about another week’s travels/adventures. Actually in the scheme of things it has been relatively quiet this week, which translated means I will probably end up writing the longest post yet to compensate.

I have the feeling like I have been here for ages and yet I have reached the beginning of the fourth week in what seems like a second. Its a strange thing to be away from home when there are bombs oing off at the nearest mainline station to us but hey. It is so sad but if we acquiesce to terrorists we are pretty much confirming what they think ie. violence is a means to an (political) end.

Well at the weekend I went to a place called Korageon Park which isĀ  famous for a thing called the Osho Commune. We had heard a lot about it and were curious to see what it was all about.

When we turned up there, a whole bunch of white people you never see anywhere else seemed to mysteriously surface. There were some odd types like an odd he-she person I was trying not to stare at whilst I tried to guage whether male or female. Oh and a few pensioners sporting dreadlocks and the kind of hippy clothes found in seventies catalogues.

We had been recommended a place called the German Bakery, so we went there and had afternoon “English Tea” and cakes. It sounds like a cop out but the area has quite a western feel for the frequency of westerners. The cake was good but the tea was pretty mediocre – chai with a tetley teabag dipped in for good measure haha.

Anyway, there are swathes of people walzing around serenely and graciously in maroon coloured robes. You have to have a maroon robe and maroon swimwear if you even want to be admitted to the commune. Basically it teaches a new form of yoga and meditation that advocates sexual exploration as the path to enlightenment. Well pardon me but isn’t that just legitimised promiscuity? Well no perhaps even prostitution cos you have to pay several hundred dollars for the privelege, mind. Err call me skeptical but you can do the mathematics.

A volunteer called Tim was making me laugh as he described a video he saw when he went on a tour of the place out of curiousity. The whole place is manmade with water pools and vines and mystical…stuff. I dunno. People come here to experience India get shuttled back and forth in a limousine and go away thinking India is a peaceful place conducive to meditation. Hmm, yeah… You could meditate in your own home haha. I reckon any investment banker working 9-5 in the city wouldn’t hesitate to agree that surrounded by fountains and a crowd of maroon-ness was relatively calmer than the daily grind.

Of course I think it is dubious. In fact I think it is totally laughable and it reminds me of an episode from the Man from U.N.C.L.E or whatever that weird sci-fi programme was we used to watch. Well thats enough about my sentiments on that haha.

For the rest of the day we explored the lovely jewellery shops at Korageon. We walked in and for some reason the guy looked Kashmiri (ohh yeah I’m getting good at this) and so I asked him whether he was. Anyway he was and his face lit up the same way the twins did when you got them a new Thomas the tank engine aged 4 and he started saying all this “I give you good price” and bringing out the kashmiri tea tray.

Not that I mind. Not only are kashmiris far more stunning in the looks department, they make good tea too. Mmmm… Well, we ended up parting with a few more bucks than we’d planned. We were like kids in a sweet shop. Saying that, we were bargaining hard (tough women that we are haha) and I got 2 lovely pieces for less than a fiver. Woohoo me. Jenna spent so much we almost had to have cheese on toast for dinner and that’s it. Wow I didn’t realise till that moment how much I miss cheese. Mmmm, its the simple things!

This week we have been at City of Child which is sort of a pseudo orphanage stroke boarding school. It is really rural but a welcome break from pune pollution. The kids are quite crazy, and I am not overestimating that point. They lack discipline and have recently set fire to a dormitory and smashed a few windows etc etc. When we were there (as observers) they were climbing trees and breakin off branches. Well, theres a new Sir and he’s more strict (and loving at the same time) than the last time. Also the volunteers in the past have been way too soft and tactile with the kids bordering on impropriety. Oh well they are about to experience the wrath of the Jenna and Anila machine hahaha. As Kiran would say The Boss. This is where all the elder sister training works miracles. We ain’t gon take no crap haha! They can be lovely kids, and in fact are really disciplined at meal times and at prayer. Its actually astounding to witness so all is not lost šŸ™‚

I can’t be bothered to scroll down so I might be reiterating this, but…we are about to embark on quite a challenge of a project. Structure and stability are the most imortant things for the kids so we will be trying to schedule a new programme to ensure best practice when we leave. They have lots of faith in us so pray that we can realise that!

The kids this week have proved that they are intelligent and willing to learn so we embark on this in hope and trepidation! It was funny, no one has thought I was indian up till now but several of the kids have been sayng you have indian face or you have indian name and what is your dads name to work out the mix!

Well I should get going in a second I told you it’d be a long’un again. Just canna help it haha. Back to the cultural centre for chapati and rice. Mmm yum yum. Honestly, our bodies are apparently made of 80% water or something. Right now I’d hazard a guess the extra twenty per cent is chapati. No rush though, I’m getting used to this indian standard time where minutes are like London Underground minutes. Just add 5 hours to the ETA šŸ™‚ thats the formula…

Back to the bugs too. We have a small audience of mice/moths/mosquitoes/cockroaches/unidentifiable bugs with big antennae that accompany us most bedtimes. We have devised a method of entrapment using glasses and then we put them outside when we have mustered up the courage which is directly proportional to the bug’s size. When I say we, I mean Jenna, anyone who knows me knows my hostility to animals smaller than my hand (or moths bigger than my hand). I have labelled her the homicidal insect killer but I guess I am accessory to her crimes. We did try to release some only to find that one was dead and then the other promptly died when we accidently drowned it on its liberation into a puddle. Apologies to insect lovers worldwide.

Please address complaints to don_juanila@hotmail.com with Maniacal Moth Murderer in the subject line and I’ll forward them to Jen.

Alternatively, you can email me with “No, I’m your bestest friend” in the subject line and tell me how your summer isn’t the same without me around *sob, sob* If you include your address, I might even send you a postcard! Tara for now. Keep those comments a-comin’!

One thought on “I.S.T. (Indian Standard Time)

  1. Hey Nila! Must just say I disagree! The Man from U.N.C.L.E is great!!! However, seems like you’ve been having a great week!

    Personally, I am with you (I think? I didnt quite grasp whether you condoned the murder of insects or not, or it’s just Jenna?) on the insect front. I recall being constantly molested by rampant and hostile insect life in Bali! Much as it could be considered friendly to have three large cockroaches share your shower, when they suddenly leap out at you, death is usually the only thing on my mind (in a kind of ‘it’s either me or them’-type reaction, which I know is stupid and irrational, like something the size of my toe could hurt me, but anyway…)- Believe you me, I did try the ‘let’s trap it in a glass’ option, but the demented beastie would usually make a Kamikaze leap from whatever implement I had trapped it with and scurry under my bed (urgh!), to where it would never be found again! Obviously cockroaches knew a secret entrance to Narnia was under there!).

    With mosquitos, it was the constant torture tactics they apply, which gave me the most problems in trying to ignore them and be kind to them. You would be lying on your bed, and one would suddenly zoom past one ear (emitting a high pitched whine). My reaction would be to slap at the offending ear. It would then wait, just long enough for me to get comfortable again and then do exactly the same again but with the other ear, and so on. Now that, my friend, is just plain spite!

    Don’t even get me started on ants…

    Anyway, that’s enough to cure any bouts of insomnia you might be suffering from. Take care, and keep up the lovely reaction you seem to have to all you encounter this summer- it’s great for all us moaning myrtles back in England!

    God Bless,



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