Sunday, March 23, 2014

Delhi to Rishikesh & wrap up

"I'm sittin' in a railway station, got a ticket for my destination... Mmm, mmm"

Actually, it's the 5th floor of Terminal 3 at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, and this lounge is the only place I can pay for WiFi. I've got my ticket in hand to London and after 20 hours there, I'll be on a flight back to Los Angeles. Probably won't have a lot of time or access so I thought I'd write a little before I got home. 
3 days ago, I spent a furiously hot day in Delhi and after landing from Kolkata, I took a train to another train to the Yamuna Bank Metro Station, where I walked under the bridge and found Mr. Sharma and his school under the bridge. The kids remembered me and later I found out they've been asking about me. I played some more songs and sang for them and threw the frisbee around.  Nitish, a 23 year old college student and also teacher there said that many kids come to this school because it's the one safe place they can learn without being beaten. One kid said, he didn't mind being beaten, but he at least wanted to learn and at the regular schools, teachers often won't even show up to teach, and when they do, teach very little. So, with the help of some donors, I was able to make a large cash contribution to the school so the kids, all 97 of then, can have their own backpacks, and also t-shirts they can wear in the summer when the weather is hottest.  I think they were even gonna have a special logo printed on them of the school. I was going to get them school supplies but they had enough. They needed backpacks and clothes and I was happy to help. They have a plan to sprout more supplemental schools in other poor areas but it takes time and money. Maybe in the future.
The next day was a bumpy 7 hour drive on bad roads to Rishikesh.  I'm talking bad bad roads. Good thing we left at 5am otherwise I think we might still be on them! I arrived in Rishikesh with  full day ahead of me. I immediately wanted to see the Beatles ashram. It was interesting to see the run down place. Lots of Beatles graffiti everywhere and I kept hunting for locations based on old photos the Beatles might have been in. I think I found some. There were some great old egg looking domes on the rooftops and you climb a 25ft tall ladder and down into the top and there was a small chamber with the most crystal clear acoustics. I chanted out some Om's and it echoed and after a few you could've sworn I  was in there with a half dozen people. I can imagine this place in its day. I saw the sun set against the hills and over the Ganges and retired early. In the morning, I set out to find a man named Mooji. I didn't know who he was but a man from my small town in Hawaii that was in Rishikesh, told me to see him. Jamaican born and raised in London, Mooji is a guru of great reknown. I sat 4th row center on a flat pillow and he took questions from the over 400 people there. Questions about love, freedom, time, peace, etc. I couldn't sum up his words to do them justice but I found it highly illuminating and very entertaining.
Oops, just looking at the time, I have to rush to catch my plane. Consider this chapter 1 of the end.

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