Monday, September 28, 2009

Saturday Evening In Frankfurt

On Sabine's balcony

It was good catching up with Suhail this weekend. He came over on Friday afternoon and as usual a good bit of our time initially was spent in trading news and getting familiar with each other’s current situation. We were determined to stick to our Saturday evening date with the group which somehow seemed a bit different from back home because in Bombay (or rather India) our timing for the meditation is from half past ten to half past eleven whereas in Europe it is from 7 to 8 in the evening. It was a lovely evening, the sun was in the midst of setting, the sky was a lovely mixture of blue, grey and pink and suffused with a typical twilight atmosphere.

We had had kind of a hard day - most of all Suhail and my friend Sabine with whom I’m staying at the moment, who had done some hard core shopping after breakfast. The shopping was for the evening meal which was originally meant to be a surprise for Su. The surprise was that he was going to have to cook for us. In fact it was more of a shock as Su had been expecting to relax and have someone else take over the kitchen for a change. In spite of some nasty sounding rumblings from deep inside him, we ended up with the most delicious fish concoction, sprinkled with herbs and baked in the oven and an equally mindboggling dessert – ice cream with slices of fried mango.

Suhail had just spent an hour chopping and cleaning and putting things together before we settled down for the meditation. I played a CD which I had burned for him and for an hour we sat back and watched the evening sky. I realised how much this kind of simple ritual helps to bond people, to make space to integrate feelings one has been experiencing during the day, if not the entire week, space for gratitude - for everything, from your own body, (eg to the senses, which are like a window to the world,) to the presence of various friends without whom life would be like a saltless diet. The tiredness of the day miraculously slipped away and at the end of the hour we felt ready to go on with the rest of the evening which we then did, with great gusto, together with Sabine and her friend Rolf who joined us later.

Tomorrow Ayse and I take the flight to Recife in Brazil so I don’t know when I will next be able to mail. Anyway keep well all of you. And sooner or later we’ll catch up with each other.

(Incidentally while shopping Suhail bought a card reader for me which now enables me to transfer my pics to the computer so as to be able to upload them).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Greetings From The Home Of The Frankfurter

Sachsenhausen - the quarter where Sabine lives
This is really a dumb thing to do but though I remembered to bring my camera along I forgot all the connecting cables - the charger and the USB cable - which means I wont be able to post any pics until I get home. Or unless I manage to find a USB cable which suits the camera. The memory exercise they showed us to do in the acupressure class seems to have had the reverse effect. Think I was doing much better before I started to activate what they call the memory point. Oh well.

It is rather nice to be back in Frankfurt after a gap of three years. This time, since we're flying out of Frankfurt to Brazil I thought I'd spend some time with Sabine who has moved from the busy street she used to earlier live in, to a quiet neighbourhood in the same locality. In some ways the flat is much nicer. It's airy, more cheerful, and has a wonderful terrace adjoining the living room with its floor to ceiling plate glass windows from where you get a view of the sky and of a lot of shady trees through which you see the tops of the nearby buildings. The disadvantage is that it is not as close to the restaurants and shops which the other place was. There you had to just walk down to the street and within a hundred meters on either side you'd find a mix of Mexican, Italian, French or German restaurants. Now all the shopping and the eating out involves a steep climb down the hill and then some amount of walking.

As usual a lot of time has been spent in catching up with the news, and also in sampling the different cheeses spread out on the dining table at meal times, and also the variety of fruit. Talking of food, Suhail is probably already in the train from Paris, on his way to Frankfurt for the weekend, unaware of the plans which Sabine and I have, to get him to produce dinner tomorrow - just giving him an opportunity to exercise his culinary skills.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Brazil, Here I Come! (Take Two)

Beachnear Recife

The last time I set out for Brazil I ended up spending four and a half months in Germany with a broken leg, recuperating at Ariela's place. And though the experience finally turned out to be wonderful and something I would never want to miss, I hope the trip to Recife on the west coast of Brazil (where I am soon headed) will unfold, without the aid of any such excitement or dramatic incident.

The visa has come through after a lot of haggling by the Brazilian consulate who required a letter of invitation from the owner of the guest house in Brazil on his official letterhead. Willi Graber who runs a modest guest house in Japaratinga mailed back saying that as he was a really small operator he didn't have an official letterhead but that he would see if a hotelier friend of his would send us the invitation. Somehow my travel agent managed to swing a deal and the visa came through without my having to break my neck (or another leg). Now B who is also supposed to be joining the rest of the gang up in Recife is struggling to get his visa, having been asked to furnish a complete itinerary detailing his three week stay in the country. I mean, we're all going to be hanging out in Japaratinga with the local shamans.

You'd think that all Indians were scrambling over each other in their haste to leave their own country in exchange for Brazil!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Week Gone By

As I am sure my goddaughter (God-dottie) will testify, I make a lousy godmother. I am a zero at remembering birthdays, I dont remember to give people gifts (maybe I'm just stingy), I'm not the most sympathetic person on earth for a high energy teenager to turn to (oops I keep forgetting Dottie is no longer in her teens - she is entering her late twenties even if she doesn't quite look it). But one thing I'll say ... I am always happy to see God-dottie when she does bounce into view as she did last week, quite out of the blue.

Devika, studying dance therapy in the U.K. is back home on vacation and landed up here with Jyotsna and Ravi before they returned to Pune. I offered her our group to experiment on so perhaps she will take me seriously and when she is through with her studies, we can occasionally sit at her feet and get some gyan on our pscyhe through dance and movement.

Ever since Master Shambhu appeared in our lives last summer, S. my executive assistant, has become as soft brained about cats as I am. She keeps bringing strays home to feed though I insist on her taking them right back where she found them, as Shambhu doesn't like to share his territory with other felines and can get quite mean and grumpy when a visitor does occasionally saunter in. A couple of days back anyway, there was this cute as hell kitten wailing away in our compound so Saru asked the guard downstairs to bring it up, which he obligingly did. We fed it milk and some raw beef which it happily gobbled down, after which it settled down nicely in my arms, purring away so it was rather sad to have to send it on its way after a while. Luckily Master-ji happened to be gallivanting at the time so we managed to avoid high drama.