…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menory Lane - a mini series Part 1

Hari OM - well, l have decided to take a wee break from 'current' writing, and butcher some of the old ANLs to recycle, thus serving the dual purpose of giving a few more insights to life on the ashram as well as saving me writing time!!... Kind of like a repost except it was never posted in the first place.  'AllNewsLetters' (ANLs) were the PDF circulars which preceded the blog and were sent out in order to let kith and kin know I was still kicking! 

Time to share some of the better snippets with the world at large. (Some minor editing in order to make the extracts 'flow')

From ANL1 - Sept.2011...IN THE BEGINNING...

From the minute I landed 2 weeks ago, until today, it has rained pretty much continuously. Today however, there has merely been one very light shower, so the monsoon is closing – though am sure there will be more to come.

My room is on the first floor of Chinmaya Vihar and looks over the boundary wall to the Hotel. There are acacias, coconut palms, mango trees, peepals, morning glory, jasmine, starflower, hibiscus, frangipani and lots I can't name yet. The area is very green and lush and walking up to the Mandir is like a forest path. This pic is half-way up the road looking back at my building through the trees.

Walking from the gate to the far end of the crescent shaped land is a little over half a km so four returns is two km and therefore good for after-dinner perambulation. Provided it isn't chucking buckets at us of course!

The rooms have all that is required; firm futon-like mattress which suits me well, wet-room style shower with hanging line for washing – won't scare you with the tale of having to get up on high stool to get the cloths up there...), ceiling fan, mosquito net, wardrobe, desk, two chairs and bed table.

Breakfasts are my favourite, with things like idlis (savoury rice cakes) and pongal/kitcheree (rice and lentil porridge) – and we get hot milk. Yum. Lunch and dinner consist of buttermilk (slurp), rotis, rice, sambhar dahl, a veg curry of some sort and occasionally a sweet like suji halva. The other day there was a wedding here and we all got to share in the incredible feast and then today was Onam so we were stuffed to the gunnels with all of Samvit-ji's beautiful banquet. Am going to have to start saying "NO" at dinner time I think!

Sometimes, I sneak a roti each for Krishna Dog and Kaneya Dog. Krishna is old, multicoloured and the senior round here. Kaneya is a lovely red (Jade-like) dog, slightly shaggy round the ears and armpits. He likes a head rub and I purchased a scrubbing brush, which he found is great fun because it gets down to the itchy skin!  Krishna wasn't so sure of the brush, but enjoys a massage. Both Krishna and Kaneya like to sleep on the steps of the Main Hall, but there are two other dogs, (a female black and white and and another Jade-like, but more timid and less meaty, male dog, very young) who tend to hang around also.

That third male – not named here as far as I know – I am calling Sakhi (friend), because he needs one. He is the one who likes to try and sit inside the door of the hall to listen to lectures and gets chased for his troubles.

The early rising has so far been okay – having to iron the sari and dress it is the challenge in the time available... Although rising at four, we of course have to practice all our morning prayers, which takes a good half hour, then there's bathing etc... so usually have to do the iron and dress bit in about 15 minutes. So far so good.

...ah yes, early days filled with enthusiasm and energy.  The keen readers amongst you will have discovered that at My Take Too the Canine Chronicles have begun.  If you are interested in a fictional report on the ashram dogs, hop on over!

YAM xx `


  1. What a super scene-setting post, Yam. It will help me visualise the context for your posts in future. That sari suits you. :-)

  2. Hari OM
    Mahal - &> xx

    Perpetua - You are welcome - do enjoy the following few days of 'backstory' then! (I LOVE the sari, was wearing before I came here, but now with daily use, I feel naked when not wearing it!) YAM xx


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