This morning, I got all my stuff together for Ludhiana well before breakfast, and spent my morning meal having a really good talk with Nanaji, coincidentally touching upon some of the topics about which I’ve been learning in The Power of Now.
Nani and I set out around 9. As was to be expected, I snoozed for the first half of the ride. When I awoke, I was mesmerized by a Mickey & Minnie plate from my childhood that Nani had brought along in the car.
I was even more mesmerized, however, when this plate was filled with green grapes and plump papaya.
Upon arriving in the town of Ludhiana, we made a stop at Nilibar, Mama’s favorite store for all sorts of fabrics. The owner, Sonu Uncle, is a great friend of hers, and so, for once, I remained unreprimanded for my fanatical photography fetish.
Sonu Uncle also introduced me to his daughter Raina, a sophomore who dreams to attend college in the United States. I doled out whatever information I could on the college application process in the time we had, and we have plans to meet again soon for the entirety of this classic “Ratna lecture.”
We arrived at 60 New Lajpat Nagar just in time to change into our salwar-kameezes and chow down on some channas before this afternoon’s prayer ceremony at our house. Love is my religion, and it was really uplifting to feel the love and goodwill emanating from around the room. I adore the atmosphere in all sorts of places of worship, and it was really unique to have our home transformed into this sort of a space.
Only after the ceremony did I learn that Dadi had organized this community prayer event in my honor -- to celebrate my time in high school and wish me continued happiness for my gap year and beyond. Well golly!
Once the guests had left, I made Neeta Bhua promise that she and I would go for a walk together every evening I am in town. For an auspicious beginning, she suggested that we waste no time and commence our stroll then and there! (Well, then and in the park.) As we walked in circles, our talk took a really interesting route -- Bhua started explaining to me some specific words of wisdom offered in the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book for Sikhs), and I found that some parts resembled the philosophy of Vipassana! Now I wish I could learn Gurmukhi and read Sikh prayers in their original form.
Nani ran into us soon and I took her to visit Bhua’s newly renovated house, which is always fun (and filling!).
Finally home, I found myself with a few spare minutes and sat for my evening meditation session. Today’s sitting was made challenging by a number of mosquito bites I had acquired during our walk -- all the better to strengthen my self control! (Not scratching them for an hour would have been a herculean task. Let it be clear that this did not happen.)
After dinner, I confirmed my suspicion that our wi-fi was down. Has anyone else noticed that this always happens to me? But perhaps this absence of internet is a blessing in disguise -- now messages from my best friends can’t keep me up all night!