Day twentysix: Freeday!

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Orga­nized by Udayan, our free day took us to the Backwaters and Varkala Beach. Highlights include some very good fried fish for din­ner on the beach and Monica’s obser­va­tion that my face glowed and eyes shone the day I was ini­ti­at­ed. A thor­ough­ly pierced and tat­tooed judge from Berlin, Monica, whose spir­i­tu­al name is Shivakami, is one hard­core, mega-seri­ous yogi­ni. In fact she’s so flex­i­ble, her mom jokes that she was born in the lotus posi­tion.

Back to the Ashram at 11 p.m. I got some Midnight’s Children fol­lowed by a nice long sleep. Om, out like a log.

Yaheli takes a sec­ond between spoon­fuls of her break­fast.

Corinne smiles and Ananda orders her fifth serv­ing.

At the Backwater pier, we had to wait a good thir­ty min­utes for our boat to arrive.

Udayan, orga­niz­er of today’s trip, is flanked by Sankaran and Janaki.

Om tat­toos are very com­mon among us Ashramites.

Corinne fits right in with her olive green top.

The com­mon lan­guage between North and South Indians is English, not Hindi.

This boat took us on our two-hour trip through the Backwaters.

Yaheli has a won­der­ful­ly devot­ed mom.

Curious Yaheli enjoys the boat ride.

A thriv­ing com­mu­ni­ty lives along the Backwaters.

Boats make sev­er­al trips to near­by towns for sup­plies.

Keralan hous­es are char­ac­ter­ized by their bright col­ors.

Any time is a good time for bathing.

Indian men tend to be more fru­gal­ly dressed than women.

The Backwaters are amaz­ing­ly scenic, pro­vid­ing infi­nite pho­to oppor­tu­ni­ties.

The weath­er was, in a word, per­fect.

Two hours long, the ride was quite leisure­ly.

I have no clue what this is, and didn’t think to ask.

Our lunch was spicy and very good.

Our bus was not air-con­di­tioned, and the fans did not work.

On the bus, it was Bollywood both on TV and in the aisle.

A beach boy los­es a bet.

It may not be Goa, but Varkala does have its fair share of tourists.

A karate dojo prac­tices on the beach.

This lit­tle guy kicked ass.

After prac­tice, the kids run into the water.

Who said real-life heroes don’t exist?

Yippee! cap­tured by Corinne.

This fish was quite dead.

Om tat sat.

The only way around is through. — Robert Frost.

This was the catch of the day.

This fried fish was deli­cious.

Lanterns line the beach­front.

Seafood is super cheap and quite good in Varkala.

Many proud shop-own­ers asked to be pho­tographed.

Even in touris­tic areas, busi­ness is not exact­ly boom­ing in South India.

I catch a quick shot of Monica as she tells me about her love for yoga.

How this Arabic orange-fla­vored gum got to a tiny shop in Varkala, I’ll nev­er know.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ronan April 20, 2010 at 1:29 am

Meedo, your photos are fantastic!

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Meedo Taha April 20, 2010 at 1:52 am

Thanks Ronan. And so are you for dropping by!

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