La Vie Boheme: Day 4

Reached home to read Fifty Shades, the party was getting a bit exhausting. No sooner did I reach than I passed out like an irritable infant, and was out for hours. Woken up by knocking at the door, had to check out groggy and unclean.

Headed to Anjuna to get my tickets to Mumbai. I’ve contacted my friend Prateek there, arranged to meet him for the day before I leave for Rajasthan.

Much of my route planning was done today. Now the serious travelling begins.

I am taking an overnight bus to Mumbai, where I will spend the day before heading on a train to New Delhi. Having spent a couple of days there at my Uncle’s house, I will leave for Jaipur, where I will look for a bus to Pushkar, where I am to meet Wim. Still figuring out how to reach Nepal!

Unpleasant encounter with the unusually hostile Paolo travels guy at Mapusa bus stand, he was quite rude for no reason. Don’t plan to be using their buses for a while until Paolo sits up, takes notice, and rectifies the behaviour of their staff.

This distasteful experience was set into balance again, when I met Antonio, an amusingly deluded mineral water salesman, who told me amazing stories of his dogs that he trained to ride motorcycles and guard him in his sleep. The rucksack gets heavier and heavier by the minute as I suppress yawns and smile at his incredible saga.

At the bus stop, things got better!

Standing with my heavy rucksack, swatting the ever persistent mosquitoes, and sweating profusely, I looked out of the corner of my eye, and saw the sweetest girl looking at me, equally confused as to when the bus planned to show up. She approached me, and it turned out that we had the same destination, Navi Mumbai. She told me her name was Ekaterina (Kate), and that she was heading to Mumbai for a Vipassana retreat. We stood there, talking to each other, frantically searching for our bus as many others went by, and when the Paolo bus came, I let her board first, being the gentleman!

vipassana

 

Dhamma Pattana Vipassana Centre, Mumbai

As it turned out, this gentleman’s bus did not correspond with the lady’s! The forlorn gentleman stood dejected waiting for his bus which was still late, but when the conductor of buses strolled past, his grievance was addressed, and his ticket upgraded to the former bus!

As it turns out, this is where the climax and turning-point of my journey takes place. In conversation with Ekaterina and her charming friend of few English words, Al├źna, I gather that these girls are heading to Mumbai for a ten day course in Vipassana Meditation at the Dhamma Vipula Ashram in Navi Mumbai. I am intrigued, and they tell me of the Karmic balance that must be in order, for a person to be cosmically permitted to do the course, and to learn the Noble path of Enlightenment as put down by Gautama the Buddha, Twenty Five centuries ago. All the symbology starts kicking in now, registering in my understanding like highway signals looming up large in the dark. I realise that my purpose in this trip was to seek out my teacher, one that would explain something of myself to me.

 

I cancelled my plans to head to Rajasthan, apologized to Wim, assuring him I’d see him in Nepal sooner, and determined myself to go through a ten day meditation course involving a vow of silence and hardcore meditation, no smoking, drugs or even meat, and living the life of a simple Buddhist monk. The homunculus that jumpeth and goeth ape shit from time to time within my subconscious was now doing the sombre monkey in an austere, temple toon kind of way.

As the bus journey to Mumbai progressed, I found myself becoming closer to these lovely girls, and we became a quite tight group, a lot of laughter and good times.

Mumbai_night_skyline

 

Mumbai Ahoy!

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