Aug 25, 2009

Of Naturopathy, Swine Flu, and the couple who got married thrice.

I don’t think I have blogged so much about myself in a long time. But experiences make it hard to hold back. Sometimes we concentrate so hard on what we want that we tend to look over what we have. Other times we expect so much out of people/situations that we forget to accept the reality. But at all times, all we need is a state of calmness and composition in our mind. The balance is hard to strike, but once you got it, every other thing is just a cakewalk.

Before I drift off anymore, let me get to the point. I visited the ‘Nisargopchar Gramsudhar Trust’ located in a small Taluka called Uruli Kanchan, some 40 km east of Pune. This Ashram was founded by Mr. M K Gandhi, and they follow his principles at the ashram till date. I went to this place to get myself some change. Life was getting too monotonous. Besides, there is this constant quest of weight loss with people like me, so I could actually use this change for my benefit instead of getting wasted and putting on a few extra pounds. I had high hopes, since this was my second visit and I had managed to lose 7 good kilos in 15 days flat, the first time I had been there. And this time I had planned to stay for a month.

So what this place is basically about is to live as simply as you can, and spend some time with yourself. It is a very good place for people who are looking for a spa/detox treatment within a budget. It is like the mecca for people who want to lose weight. A normal day at the ashram begins at 5 AM in the morning, where you wake up and after your morning chores they hold classes for yoga as per the age group of people. Usually people below 50 years of age get to go to the 6:15 AM batch, so they can sleep for some more time :P After yoga, everyone is given a special herbal concoction which consists of herbs like Tulsi, Neem, Mulethi etc etc. mixed with jaggery and hot milk [It tastes exactly like Bournvita], after which the treatments follow.

The treatment starts with an Enema, where they cleanse your stomach by putting a small pipe in your ‘behind’ and adding saline water. It completely cleans your intestines and digestive system and makes you feel light. This is done twice a week. Then follows a massage, the masseurs/masseuses’ are specially trained to give you a nice body toning massage. Then there is steam treatment and Kati treatment, where you have to immerse half of your body in hot/cold water. This is a great way to increase circulation of blood in the lower body and it is a great way to cure all the diseases/disorders of the lower body. They also provide a mud pack for the body every day. After all this, we need to take a bath and then follows lunch [without masala/salt] in fixed quantity at 10:30 AM. After lunch, they provide a mud eye pack, which we need to keep on our eyes and have a nap of about 3 hours.

At 3 PM they repeat the herbal tea again, after which people go out for walks/exercises, and dinner follows at 5:30PM. Mostly people are asked to stay on fruits for dinner. After a few hours of recreation, there is silence after 9:30 PM when you’re required to sleep.

Life is not an airplane, where you have to plan everything ahead of time and be prepared for any kind of malfunction/mishap. Even airplanes fail to follow this principle when life decides to show its importance, just like the recent AF447 incident where even the latest new gen aircraft could not withstand saving the lives of all the people aboard. And I made this huge mistake of planning things ahead of time. I was unwell. Please don’t ask me what happened, but I was really very weak. Of the whole routine I mentioned above, all I did was to take the mud eye pack every day for a month. My health was so bad that I was advised complete bed rest and I could not even walk. I ate well, twice a day, and I lost some kilos, but still, I was next to immobile. I would feel very weak if I even walked.

As a result of all this, I had a lot of time to kill. I had promised myself that I would remain off internet, so I made some new acquaintances [Even though I am a very reserved person. I have very few friends and I hardly talk]. Some of them turned into friends, others into foes. I feel very proud to say that my friend circle consists of people from all age groups. From 15 to 78. I met my eldest friends here at the Ashram. I got to learn a lot from people here. The main thing was, how could such a simple thing called ‘being overweight’ affect people adversely in ways we can never even imagine. I met overweight people who were so troubled inside, and I also met people who knew that overweight people feel somewhat deprived inside and therefore they are easy to take advantage of. It’s very sad. I met people from different cultures, different professions, right from students to people right at the top. And I must admit that somewhere I grew wiser than I was before. Atleast something good came out of my one month at the ashram :P

After a taste of the good and bad, I moved to Pune to experience the ugly. I had some simulator flying to do, and I was so much into the ashram zone that I was in some la la land. I needed a reality check. I needed to get back to my cockpit thinking. I kept telling myself, ‘come on, think fast, faster.. You got to be ahead of that plane!’ After a week of bombarding from my tutor, I finally got back to my cockpit zone, but sadly my classes got over. Every day when I went to my classes from my apartment, a couple on this hoarding mocked at me. They were sitting in front of agni in the picture. All decked up and getting married. The hoarding was of Mayfair Banquets, and it said, ‘Believe it or not, now a wedding package including everything for 200 people in 2.99 lakhs only! No conditions apply’ And I don’t know why but that couple would keep mocking at me every single day with the most plastic smile on this planet.

Pune is a good city, but when something goes wrong, it has to go wrong all the way for me. Which means, if I have a bad time at my simulator, I cannot even go out shopping, coz’ there’s a Swine Flu outbreak in the city! Arrghh.. “Oh, so now I have to wear an overpriced mask and look all mysterious to everyone else around me, take medicines for precaution, and stay away from restaurants [after a month of salt-less and masala-less food] and away from malls [after a month of seclusion and a daily dose of ‘Beta, you’re doping again, come on, pay attention!!!’]” That was it, I was going crazy. And when I go crazy, I start looking at the upside of every ‘shituation’. So the upside here was that due to high alerts in Pune city to stay away from crowd, every one stayed at home so all malls were empty. Even better was the happiness sale on all brands in Central Mall. 51% off. It was a steal! I went to the mall with my friend, and we had such an amazing time shopping… It lifted our spirits completely! Thanks to Swine Flu no one went shopping, and I got lucky!

Just when I started to have fun in Pune, I had to return to Mumbai, and we decided to come by road. And just when we reached Bandra, there stood the same couple, in the same pose, mocking at me again, asking me to be prepared for another bombarding, but this time the hoarding said ‘”Life Insurance Corporation of India”. I started preparing mentally for something bad to happen. And then followed all the comments and complaints of me not losing weight at all in a month.. ‘Oh my, you still look the same!’…’You are useless, what’s the use of spending so much on you?’…’ Oh you look like you have put on some more weight’… ‘So did you actually go to the ashram or you went out to meet someone else?’…. ‘You lost weight? How much? It’s not visible at all!’… were some of the most common comments I had to bear. Everyone at my house had flu. I was the only one who was perfectly in the mint of my health. Not for long…

Just a couple of days in Mumbai, and now I am in Goa, spending time with my family. After we landed in Goa, we had to take a 3 hour drive down south to reach my place. And no points for guessing whom I met on the way – The same couple! Another warning… This time the hoarding read ‘Tanishq, we make memories’. Now what?... Well, the flu has struck me too! Sore throat, fever, cold, cough, weakness, and swelling. So while everyone else is out there enjoying themselves, I am sitting in a room and blogging about my bad health at a speed half of my normal speed since I am busy coughing every minute. I hope I get well soon! I know this was long, but I am glad I spat it all out!

Aug 23, 2009

Jibber Jabber

Hello Everyone,

So finally, I am back, after a break longer than anticipated. I do not know whether I should be happy or sad about the fact that I did not miss blogging at all. But now that I am back, I wish I was blogging for all this time when I was away.

I had been to this Nature Cure Ashram in the outskirts of Pune city. I have been there before, but this time around I went there for some peace and quiet, away from the city, closer to nature and exploring myself.

The outing was good, but I have started to believe more strongly in the ‘Never plan anything’ story. The new location was a welcome change, but everything else went unplanned. Bad health [in a nature ‘cure’ center] and worse company kept my mind ticking and all I could do was think and think some more. There went my ‘peace and quiet’ down the drain!

After a hectic month of bed rest, I moved to Pune for a couple of weeks. And in those 14 days I realized that my mind and body are completely not in sync with each other. When I need peace and quiet, I think all day and stay on bed rest. And when I need to exercise my mind and think at the spur of the moment, I just go blank. But I have all the stamina in this world for some more shopping and some more roaming around. All I did was meaningless Jibber Jabber where I was supposed to stay attentive while studying.

All in all, it was a fun time I had. I learnt many new things. But this is just a little comeback post, just to let all of you know what I have been upto. Please refrain from reading my blog if you’re looking for some sensible and solved pieces. Coz’ all that’s coming up is some more Jibber Jabber!