Ahhhh....that is the sound of me taking a hot shower after 26 hours on a train, after 18 hours in Raxaul, Bihar border; after 1 hour on a bus, after 2 hours on a different bus to see the Buddha Boy, after 1 hour on a bus to his village, after a very turbulent 30 minute plane ride over jagged mountains in a toy 20-seater to get to the nearest airport to his village, after a thrilling half-hour taxi ride to the airport just in time to be told the plane was delayed by 1.5 hours.
And, as you can see, I'm a bit behind on emails....
Welcome, Caroline! You have 1603 unread messages: Inbox(87), But I must say it's very comforting to arrive to a mailbox full of friends.
The foreign traveler's ghetto in Delhi is Paharganj, where some of the October 29 bombs exploded, which indicated to many people intention to target foreigners. Upon arrival at the Delhi station I opened the local paper to see there had been recent threats on the American Center and the US Embassy and that these locations were given extra security. This made it seem prudent to choose lodging elsewhere, so I came to theTibetan colony of Majnu Ka Tilla - not centrally located, about 30Rs rickshaw ride from Old Delhi station, but it's very peaceful and clean, a sound choice. The hotel Wongdhen House is extremely well-maintained; for $4.50 a night I get a room with an adjoining terrace and view of the Yamuna River (this is the river that runs past the Taj Mahal - although at this time of year, it's sadly reduced to a rivulet). Tonight will be primarily resting, eating, catching up on email. reading the Dalai Lama's autobiography as well as Taking the Kalachakra Initiation by Alexander Berzin, a little background research on the Andhra event in January.
The trip to see Buddha Boy was awesome, more for the process involved in getting there than the actual viewing (about 3 minutes), but I'm glad I went. As so often happens to foreigners here, just by my arrival in the tiny whistle-stop village, I became an attraction myself, momentarily rivalling the meditating saint.Right now, it is time for veg momos (Tibetan steamed dumpling) and tea. More later here! and hopefully in personal email.
Sirensongs: Indologist At Large
Somewhere between Kangra, Kashmir and Kumbakonam, India
Sirensongs moved to India in 2002 to complete her six years' study of the ancient temple dance, Bharatanatyam. Apprenticing with a revered master in Madras, she learned a great deal; however, most of it was not about dance.
Disillusionment and childhood memories of "Tintin In Tibet" have led her to adventures as a spiritual investigative reporter throughout India, Nepal and Sri Lanka; as documented on this blogsite, her Flickr photo portfolio and various newsmedia (see sidebar).
She holds a certificate in Spoken Sanskrit from Rashtriya Samskrta Samsthan (deemed university, New Delhi) and is a lifetime member of ABHAI (Assoc. of Bharatanatyam Artists of India). Sirensongs is inordinately proud of her ability to read street signs and argue (successfully) with taxi drivers in Malayalam, Hindi, French and Nepali languages.
Her Tibetan, however, is still a total disgrace. She's working on it.
Quote: "Why do people go to India to find themselves? India is where you go to LOSE yourself."
Unless otherwise noted, every word and photograph on this website, including the phrases "Spiritual Investigative Reporter" and "Indologist at Large," is original and copyright from 2005 into perpetuity by Sirensongs (yes, I have a real name I use for legal purposes). It is not public domain. It is not there for the borrowing. If you would like to use it, write and ask nicely. Karma is a bitch. Thank you.