The afternoon, illustrated

Morning means practice at the shala for me, and a sleep-in for Anna. Practice is going well — the heat and humidity makes movement very easy, and I am still giddy and thrilled to be in that room with Sharath. That being said, I noticed that today, my sixth practice, felt like the third day of a zen retreat. Everything slows down in your head and you can follow your thoughts and perceptions — layers of thoughts and perceptions! — quite well. The catch is to not judge them, because as it turns out, the thoughts are crude instruments, and the perceptions are clouded by the thoughts. I won’t belabor this because it’s too abstract, but let’s just say that for the moment the equation seems to be that 9 hours of Ashtanga practice equals 48 hours of zazen retreat.

Before the month is out I will be deep into uncharted practice intensity territory.

But in the meantime, a lunch adventure! Illustrated!

Here’s me taking pictures right outside the door at Anokhi Garden as I wait for Anna to finish up a Skype call to friends back home, and for Susan to walk over from her apartment to join us on a rickshaw ride to Sandhya’s for lunch.

This is looking down the drive toward the Anohki front gate. Five days a week, yogis come through that gate after practice, heading to the Anokhi cafe for breakfast or lunch.

The cafe is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so it seemed like a good idea to check out Sandhya’s. Sandhya is said to be the best cook in Mysore. She cooked for Guruji, and now she welcomes people into her house for lunch. You just call the night before and she tells you what time to come. Anna, Susan, Angie, Kitty and I arranged to meet up over there at 1:15.

Though we did meet up a little early. Anna, Susan and I were in Appu’s rickshaw, tooling along toward Lakshmipuram, when we heard Angie’s voice! Sure enough, on the scooter just ahead, we saw Angie and Kitty. Appu recognized her right away and pulled up so we could all wave and distract… um, I mean, greet her. Is it wise to have reunions while driving around Mysore traffic circles? Probably not, but as seems to be the case here, it all worked out.

Here are Appu and Sandhya, along with Sandhya’s kitten, who amused us during our (incredible!) meal. Sandhya has a cookbook called “Mysore Style Cooking,” and I’m going to get a copy as soon as I get home, so I can make the curried tomato recipe. It was SO good.

After a leisurely lunch, we headed back to Gokulam. Susan treated me and Anna to coffee at Amruth.

Susan ordering coffee.

I don’t know how to describe the coffee, beyond YUM! I don’t sweeten my coffee at home, but this coffee was VERY sugary and also very strong and very hot — served in a little glass. Delicious.

The Ganesha temple across the street.

The rickshaw drivers, pulled up at Amruth for afternoon coffee breaks.

The coconut stand on the corner, which we passed on our way home.


6 thoughts on “The afternoon, illustrated

  1. I’m really enjoying your posts. They show life as it is really lived in Mysore. Wonderful portraits of food, restaurants, rickshaw drivers, etc…everything that people would really want to know about visiting Mysore.

    Something else that I would like to know, if you do not consider it rude: could you discuss the age range of the yogis in Mysore? I doubt whether there are any yogis close to my elderly age of 59 going on 60.

    • Hi Susan,

      Not rude at all! I will actually pay more attention so that I make sure my impression is correct, but here’s my thought: there are certainly young people here, but at least half (and I’m tempted to say the majority) are late thirties, forties and fifties. I was chatting with a woman who mentioned she is 59 just the other morning. I have definitely seen people who (I’d guess) are in their 60s. One thing I can say for sure, is that this isn’t a twenty-something crowd. Or even an early-thirties crowd.

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