Thursday, 24 December 2015

Ayubowan Srilanka Part-2


Monks' residence area
My time in Na Uyana Monastery was something I longed for ages. Everything was so interesting. The way monks wearing the robes and having food and everything else...
Break Fast bell went off at 5.30 AM and to my utter surprise there were 30 people holding 30 different dishes to serve with high reverence and devotion. Felt like crying when I sat with the bowl full of food remembering how heart fully those people have served me. Could not finish the whole food and closed my eyes sought apologies from the people who have served the food and threw them in the bin.

  Went to meditation hall and sat down in one corner. It was so inspiring to sit with the people who are in orange robes. Lunch bell went off at 09.30. This time, consciously took very less food as I was not hungry in such a short time. Remembering that there won't be food for the remaining day made me to eat.

 It was so inspiring to listen to the stories of the monks. I found a monk who has worked for the same company same time I worked back in Delhi, India 8 years ago. He was dreaming to marry a Japanese girl or else to becoming a monk. Why a Japanese girl? asked I. He told me that he liked Japanese culture and music so much. He told me that he even thought of settling in Japan. How silly I was. He reflects now.

Another young monk says that he was into a 6 year long relationship and realised this is all not for him and renounced the architect job and the girl to take up the path of orange brick road. He mentioned that he found the real meaning to the life here in meditation in jungle. Every story is an inspiration.

As everything comes to an end so does my Srilankan trip. It was just a 6 days trip.


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Ayubowan Srilanka Part-1

         The long awaited trip has finally began. Visiting a country without the purpose of the job. It feels good. My seat number lead me to the middle row middle seat. Oh, I missed those oceanic scenes this time. Anyway wanted to give a try. Can I change to window seat please? I asked the flight attendant and he showed me a way to an empty window seat smilingly. Thank you. Srilankan flight took off from Male to Colombo.

      Looking down from the flight always gives me a sense of being a bird. I used to have flying dreams a lot. Air hostess, Lihini sat in front of me in preparation of landing. After a while she asked me "Are you Maldivian?" No, I'm from India said I. Then, she showed more interest in conversing.
She: What's is your job?
Me: Teaching yoga
She: Wow, I could see you being very relaxed
Me: .... thanks
Me: Are you a Buddhist?
She: Yes and my dream is to take my parents to Budh Gaya, India
Me: Very nice, do you meditate
She: No
Me: Are you a vegitarian?
She: No. But, I don't kill any living being myself.

     I feel good when ever I meet Buddhists and that feeling disappears when I come to know that they are not any different from any other religious practitioners. She gave me a nice pen and said this is for you. Got a gift.

    Exchanged some dollars into Srilankan rupees and bought a local SIM hoping that internet will assist me during my first trip to Srilanka. Met Rahula during the bus journey and Google translator helped me a lot in conversing with him as he doesn't know English well. Language isn't a barrier anymore to start a conversation with anyone.

    Reached my destination by the dusk. Nauyana Aranya Forest Monastery (www.nauyana.org), by reading the name gives a lot of satisfaction.
(Continued in Ayubowan Srilanka Part-2)


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Day Off trip to Male

Returned to Male after 58 days to spend time away from the  small island where I live and work. It always gives me a sense of lightness when I wander in unknown places. My inner voice gets more louder.

Male is around 125 Kms away from the island where I'm living.
It took around 30 mins by domestic flight. Straight away went to SBI (State Bank of India) to open an account for salary transfers. It was good to see such a prompt service in SBI. Exploration started on the streets of Male. Bought snorkeling gear to enjoy my next swim in the ocean. Converted the price into INR (Indian Rupees) and felt little bit heavy on the pocket. Though the gentleman at the shop mentioned that he gave me a discount as I look like Maldivian. People started speaking in Dhivehi (Maldivian Language) until I requested them to "Speak in English please."

Saw a restaurant and wanted to eat something as I was hungry. Saw a vegetable rice and asked him is this without fish, "Yes" said he. Without egg as well? "Not sure" said he. I said forget about it and give me Mango shake. I was safe drinking that shake rather eating something there as the previous experience is still fresh. And also, the time zone of my home island is 2hrs ahead. Felt it is too late to find something surely vegetarian.


Caught the return flight in the evening and reached back to my home island. 58 days of working in a resort after almost 3 years of gap appeared to be not so different. The super boss who has hired me has left the team abruptly and I'm sure that there are going to be hard lessons waiting for me. I'm determined to learn with dignity.

Just after getting down on the island got a message "Please drop by in Spa...to amend the schedule" from my immediate boss. It was due to my colleague's extension from his vacation. Straight away went to Office hoping that would hardly take 5 mins to amend the schedule. However, it took whole lot of time as my boss kept changing and changing the schedule. She turned a deaf ear to all the concerns I was quoting. It has always been hard when ever boss is changed. And here I'm dealing with the change on my day off around 9 PM. New bosses want to change everything up side down over night. Finally she arrived to a conclusion and I did exactly what was asked and sent the Yoga schedule to all departments while most of them are shut down for the day. Ran to canteen to only see everything is cleaned. Fine, dinner is also skipped. Didn't want to tell my boss and make her feel bad at this time. Took glass of water and reached my room. Me in my own space...

Sunday, 13 September 2015

MALDIVES

Lagoons
Yes, wait was worth. Waited for 4 months to be here. Blue Ocean, White Sand and Lagoons. The lagoon word always reminds me of the 2 movies "The Blue Lagoon" and "Return To The Blue Lagoon".

It surprises me when I look back on my previous post. Mumbai to Maldives.
It's been 10 days here. Being next to the ocean always is a special feeling. Today is my first day off and been to snorkeling. My child hood fear has arisen in me for a while when I was over the deep ocean. Once I was rescued from drowning while trying to learn swimming back in my village. It was a great feeling to witness the marine world from the top. May be somebody else also doing snorkeling on us from the top.

I was terrified with the first day experiences. Ordered vegetable rice after landing in Male and what I was served was rice with omelette. Requested him to take off the omelette and bring me the vegetable rice only. Tasted one hand full, oh no! found there is egg mixed in it. However, the restaurant guy made a failure attempt to convince me that there are vegetables too.

Reached my work place by the night by domestic flight and a speed boat. Dinner time, prepared myself to begin and found tuna (Fish) in Dal and chose pumkin soup and found fish in it too. Decided, not going to fast again and slowly started eating just the rice. In that silence, I was calculating how many days I will sustain this. Previously lost 10 kgs in one year having Dal and Rice most of the time.

To my surprise, saw chapaties, fruits and dal without any fish on next day and so on. Good, I'm going to work harder to achieve wait-listed things for quite some time.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Back to Bombay (Mumbai)

Reached back to where I've started my unknown career 4 years ago. Yeah, that is Mumbai. Surprisingly, landed up at the same location where I lived for more than a month 4 years ago. This is the place where people use common toilets. You go there at 6.30 AM, there is a queue. You go at 7.30 AM, there is a queue. You go at 11.30 AM, there is a queue. How horribly toilets have been given less privilege in this modern era. People are living in a small room which is living room cum bed room cum kitchen cum bath room cum washing room. In spite of nation being so huge and wide. Why people are jumping into metros? Is it because, here, there are more opportunities to earn money. After all, what about basic needs of the human life? Then the question arises, why am I here leaving a beautiful farm house behind? Yeah, many have reached Mumbai like me. Any way, this is not my place for sure. I'm spending my 'waiting move' here and want to earn my livelihood while I wait for a good job opportunity.

I notice, when I walk through small and narrow galis (lanes) of Behram Bhag and some other places, for many people home means a small room. That's made me feel so sad. What is ther I can do? This was the very first thought when I saw all the ugly scenes when I came across before getting down the train. How horrible! people are excreting next to the railway tracks without any shame. Pity those people who can't even afford to the privilege to have access to toilets.

How open and free our villages are. You can go and excrete under any tree in bushes and it will become humanure. You have at least good air to breath if not the food in case you can't afford. What is here? Pollution? A sense of suffocation?

Anyway, the nightmare of common toilets is going to be the thing of past for the second time as I'm moving into a room which has an attached bathroom/toilet.