Well, no posting or tweeting for a week now.
Everyone we know is OK from the blast, except for a friend of Vasant R’s, who is also here in Pune doing a meditation retreat out by the Osho Ashram near the German Bakery. Her friend Nadya, who was part of the intimate meditation group she is in, was the Italian who died. I spoke with Vasant the day after the blast. She had been visiting the hospitals and spoke stunned of the disaster and mess she saw there of bodies and injuiries. The thing was, although the German Bakery is an international spot, it was mostly young Indian kids who got hurt. College kids on their Saturday night out. The really horrible thing is that the bag was under a table, so most of these kids are burned very badly on their legs, or worse yet, had to have them amputated because the were so destroyed by the blast. 11 dead now. Over 50 injured. But rest of Pune goes on like nothing happened, only with slightly heightened security at sensitive areas like movie theatres. At the colleges there are candlelight memorial services for the kids who died. We at the Institute are instructed not to congregate by the coconut wala, (the man who sells coconuts from his cart) where we ususally hang out after class drinking coconut water and eating the tender malai (insides)…. lest the Institute itself becomes a “soft” target. But, it won’t, it’s “off the radar” in most guide books. The German Bakery is a famous spot, the blast was just to create a scene. Who knows who really did it and why. It’s India. All sorts of things are going on. Today’s report is that the bag was probably remotely detonated and there are 2 suspicious men spotted on the security cameras from the hotel across the street. Someone will get arrested, someone will take blame or credit, and probably nothing will change. The Bakery will rebuild, just like the Taj and Leopold’s in Mumbai.
Me, after Saturday’s disaster, I got a cold on Monday night. I hate getting sick in India. Because even the smallest illness hits me hard. Real hard. Today (Friday) is the first day I’ve been out of the room. And I’m only down one floor in our hotel where there is somewhat intermittent internet service. Being sick in India, whether it is stomach or sinus or chest is a drag. It’s hot(ish)- is it fever, hot flash, or the heat? Flipping through Hindi movies on tv w/o subtitles, endless news accounts about the blast and the Naxal (communist) violence in the North Eastern states (456 died since 2009 from terrorism, 1012 died from Naxals), and movie ads. No good movies on. Trying to sleep, feeling horrible physically, feeling horrible mentally about missing classes… etc. etc. etc.
I’ll try to make it to the Institute this evening for the Friday night class. But not sure. Do I go in the back and do the “sickie” sequence? (After a week of already doing the mensturation sequence last week, oh so boring) or sit on the stairs and watch? and what about the swine flu warning? Am I non-contagious enough to even be there? Cheryl got my cold already from either Sunday’s or Monday’s brief hello. Darn. I don’t want to give it to the Iyengars prior to the wedding party next week.
And then about the classes!! (At least the ones I have attended). They have been a combination of amazing and disappointing. Amazing in all the teaching, still disappointing in how angry Geeta is and all the shouting. Such a bummer. I mean, she has reason to be angry: retiring and still seeing the same stupid mistakes from people. How frustrating that must be. The teaching has been about working more intellingently in the asana, more than do this and do that. Which is good. And Guruji: still amazing.
OK, I need to lie down and rest. I’m hot. It’s just heat and illness flush, not fever. But still need to be horizontal. I’ll post more soon. Thanks to all for your email concerns, but connection is too slow to email you all back individually. I love you all.
For some really nice detailed updates about classes and things going on here, go to the New York Iyengar Teachers Pune Blog. Mostly written by Richard Jonas and Bobby Clennell.