…..'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 5

Continuing the extracts from pre-blog newsletters from Sandeepany Sadhanalaya.


Now if I tell you the first two weeks of June seemed to 'have it in fer me' it is because anything and everything that could turn itself upside down did just that. First there was the finally caving in and going for an eye test (current prescription not up to the stress); sure enough reading strength had to go up a couple of notches and – lo! - am also now into bifocals (for class only) and it is amazing to be able to read the whiteboard...! Replacement lens' in current frames plus a new set altogether for the bi's cost in total (incl. Checkup)  ₨3625. That's something like $70/£45ish. Bargain. Will be getting retested and buying more before I leave Mumbai!! Anyway, that was yet another signal that age is becoming a firm companion.

Next slightly less minor disturbance came at the end of the first week when it was realised that I was overdue for renewal of Indian Residence Permit; small panic when Arun also found his, plus his visa, were about to expire. The pair of us were bundled into a car early the very next morning (Friday 8th) and off down to City Mumbai. 

Early signs of monsoon were there but it came to nothing in the end. We went down the coastal route and across a fantastic bridge – pretty new and toll charge. I was super impressed as it reminded of the Anzac bridge but is about 4x longer and sweeps in a huge loop; it may even have been a complete semicircle. Got to see the sea, beaches, ships. Woo hoo. We arrived at just about the right time and were taken in almost immediately to the FRRO and even Arun's visa presented no trouble. We were out by midday. 

As we had the car until 4pm we went a bit rogue and headed down to see the Gateway to India. This backfired somewhat – intending to be only an hour (taking in lunch), the driver disappeared and it took until 3pm to reach him (via lots of sweet-talking other cabbies to use their cellphones to go round via head office.......sigh). Arun was a bit agitated, but I stood on the corner, taking in the sight of the monument and all the crowds coming and going. Got a 'tan' too. Always wanted to be a Red Indian...  (oooh sorry!)

Pre-monsoon mango glut was on also – the pickers finally turned up; this was "yer good ol' fashun" slicker up the tree with a basket on a rope kind of lark! About 7 or 8 men took it in turns to be the 'monkey' or the 'gatherer' and in one day they pretty much had the bulk of the crop. They did leave a fair bit though... thank the Lord, 'cos here's a confession. 

Hello everyone, my name is Yamini and I am a Mangoholic... it's tragic. Every time I was out on the am/pm walks, I carried the take-away bag and pounced on every available mango within reach; even took to standing beneath one particular tree knowing that roughly every five minutes at least two more would drop at my feet. How to explain the exquisiteness of fresh-from-tree-fruit? At left you see a picture of the necessary equipment for mango addiction. That is only a quarter of the stock of fruit from my window ledge. I am an expert at nick and strip to get quickly into the flesh to milk it into the bowl. To keep my energy up spicy namkeen and strong black tea were needed. Was beginning to think I would have major withdrawal at end of season – but actually, as suddenly as the mangos finished, so did my need for them. But am already looking forward to next year.

Okay, so a few weeks back questions were arising as to my central motivation in life; study work was piling down on me; then I was at risk of being deported, going blind and discovered a mango vasana... health not the best, partly due to the stress I suppose...

THEN - Archaya-ji got into full swing by the beginning of June and laid down a heap of written work for us to have completed by the end of month; also we had to prepare talks on verses of Bhaja Govindam... I had fun bringing in mention of the drongo in mine. (You had to be there.) Of course sanskrit didn't let up and Samvid-ji kept the homework piled up at his end. So you may take from this paragraph that academically one has been under pressure.

Just to complete the dreadful month of June, sanskrit exam was announced for 21 July. 

Oh give me a powder someone!
YAM xx `
It is interesting to read this again a year later - nothing much has changed - except of course the knowledge level.  All the same pains though!!!

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