American Gods

Alright I guess it’s time to give an up date of the past week.

Well, it’s been pretty uneventful. On Tuesday, I went to Yoga in the morning, we held each position for about thirty breaths, I’ve been getting pretty flexible and it feels so good to stretch so much. I make a point to go deeper into the pose ever few breaths and direct my breaths to my muscles to allow me to go farther. I can touch my hands pretty much completely flat on the floor during the forward bend and all the other poses I get pretty well after a few breaths. We did a long meditation on the universe this time and for a bit I did feel my sense of self dissolving, which is what you want. Then after class went back and relaxed for a few hours, then off to Ayurveda. Today we learned about various things. One of which is that you really shouldn’t take vitamin supplements. Your body already gets most of the nutrition it needs from the food that you eat, and when you have excess vitamins and minerals in your system, in particular A, B, and E you body stores them in the liver. This isn’t a problem, but if you take them every day your body never gets a chance to use the ones that are stored in the liver, and it keeps storing more there and it can eventually lead to liver problems. She also talked about how Ayurveda can manage and even cure depression and other hormonal disorders by giving herbs that stimulate the pituitary gland and also, depending on the disease, deal with some of the other problems associated with them. For example, for  hypothyroidism, she talked about how they would give drugs that stimulate the pituitary, which helps control the thyroid, as well as stimulating the metabolism and prescribing more exercise for the individual. She is against synthetic hormones, one because they are not natural, and two because when you take them the body stops producing them itself to a large extent and therefore it becomes dependent on those drugs and the disease is only managed, not cured(if that is even an option (which can be done in some systems of medicine and not others)). For depression she mentioned a similar treatment, though, this one focused more on making sure the patient got enough sleep, but not too much. Along with herbs, exercise and counseling are recommended and a lot of patience because these types of treatments take much longer to see results that western medicine. I personally am not a fan of western medicine. I really do believe that the natural forms are much safer and more reliable than western medicine and I try to avoid it if I can.

Tiny little toad I found

Our professor talks about how in western medicine they take the active healing principle of the herb and use it for their medicine. The problem with that is that it creates a lot of side effects because the herb is whole in and of itself and when you take the active healing principle out of it, certain harmful effects of the ingredient come out which are naturally counteracted by the herb in its entirety. After class we had a mandatory meeting of all SIP kids as a half-way through the semester kind of follow-up thing. They just talked about being safe, random searches the police sometimes do, missing class, and making sure to get out exit permit. It’s pretty inconvenient. They made us register with the police when we got here if our visas were over 90 days or so, and in order to leave the country we have to check out with the police as well. The problem is we have to check out with the Hyderabadi police and it has to be two days before we leave the country. So many of us are traveling at the end of our stay it doesn’t make sense to come back to Hyderabad before we leave. But they might not let us leave the country if we don’t have it. It is so ridiculous, not really sure how I can get around it yet but I will probably have to.

Wednesday I had Kuchipudi and we learned a few more moves. We also payed for our bells which we should be getting some time next week! So excited. Then I went back and read for a while, then on to Hindi.

Thursday I went to yoga in the morning. We focused a lot on breathing this time. We sat and just counted our breaths and meditated on the sun for the second part of it after doing quick sun salutations of an inhale or an exhale in each pose. Ayurveda was very interesting today as well, we learned about proper diet. In ancient India, when Ayurveda first came about they only ate two meals a day. Ayurveda says that we should never fill up our stomach all the way, 1/3 should be of food, 1/3 of water, and 1/3 empty. This is because too much food can lead to toxicity and you want to make sure your previously meal is completely digested before you eat again. We learned about the importance of ginger, gooseberry and other herbs for maintaining overall health, next class we will learn more about specific herbs I think.

A big toad I found

After class I came home and relaxed for a bit, ate dinner and then went out with Xandra and Meghan for ladies night. It was suuper fun like always. We started out, as always, the only ones on the dance floor, then more and more people joined us. There was a large group of Indians that dressed like the two guys I was describing at the end of my last post. We ran into a guy we had met our first night there and who had been really goofy and fun and who had joined our dance circle. He joined us again, he’s pretty cool and really nice. After awhile the music switched to house (my favorite) and Xandra and Meghan and our new friend LN went outside for a bit. I continued dancing up a storm. A group of guys were dancing near me and kind of with me. You see I dance pretty crazy, flinging my arms and body around, jumping and swishing my hair all over the place. Kind of like someone possessed. Anyway I could tell they wanted to dance with me, so as long as they dance their own crazy dance it’s fine but if they try and get close I just flail my arms even more wildly. Well the group of guys that was kind of trying to dance with me noticed and they said I was going to start scaring people. I just laughed and said that’s the point. A bunch of girls danced with me for a bit too, Indian girls are pretty adorable and love to hold hands and stuff while we dance. Anyway I spent most of the time dancing by myself in my own crazy way, until LN came to get me and bring my outside so that my friends could make sure I was okay. I assured them I was, got a water, and went back inside to continue dancing. They joined me shortly. Poor Meghan always gets guys trying to grind up on her, its part of the reason she went outside in the first place so I try and take it upon myself to be her, and any other girl who looks in need’s, protector. So I made Meghan get closer to me and danced wildly with my arms on either side of her,  flailing my arms in the faces of guys approaching her from both sides. I was literally pushing them while I danced. But I find it pretty hilarious because they always give me this look like “what are you doing? can’t you see I’m trying to dance with this girl?” and I just smile and laugh and keep at it until they go away. Well once again (this happened last week too, I don’t think I mentioned it in my post) we danced until the lights came on and even after that until the music stopped (Last week we were at a smaller bar, and I was left to dance alone (the only one on the dance floor) for awhile and then Xandra came back and we took up the entire dance floor with our moves until after the lights came on and they closed the bar). We left and that group that dressed different invited us to an after party (turns out they’re from South Africa), we declined, and another person (an Indian from England) talked to us for awhile and invited us to go bar hopping with him, we declined again. LN walked us to our taxi, turns out he knows our driver, and bade us farewell. He’s a very nice guy, he bought Xandra and Meghan fries, and he bought me water. He’s from Hyderabad but spend several years in England and he also tried to protect Meghan from the many guys trying to dance with her by dancing with her himself. Anyway we went back to campus and Meghan brought her mattress into our room and we had girl talk (Karissa joined us) and she spent the night.

Friday we had cooking class for Hindi again. Before the meet up time Xandra, Meghan and I went to go get our ingredients. We took a rickshaw to a grocery store and got our things (I had to get beets). Our rickshaw driver wanted to be the one to drive us back so we took his number and called him when we got out and waited for him to come back. In the mean time we got chai, it was some of the best chai I’ve ever had. Well the rickshaw walla was taking to long so we just got another one. Well he apparently did not know where south gate was and so took us to main gate…forcing us to get another rickshaw inside. It’s kind of annoying when that happens.

We're all hard at work

Anyway we got back just in time to follow our teacher Bhavani’s rickshaw to the apartment. Once we got there she put everyone to work chopping, cutting, and grating food. I got beets, and they are SO fun to grate, mostly because they make your hands red.  We made beet patties, made with onions, garlic, beets (obviously), chick pea flour, and cilatro, not sure what else was in there. Then they were made into patties and put on a skillet. They were really yummy. We also made doshas. They were a bit different this time, they were pretty much just pancakes, but you dip them in chutney. We made two different kinds of chutney: a peanut green chilli one, and a mint red chilli one. Most people liked the red one more. So yummy. We cleaned up, I got to sweep, which is really fun because the brooms here are different than back home and really a lot easier to use I think. You only need one hand.


Bhanvani also made a dal with this vegetable called a drumstick, but we didn’t get to eat it because it took to long to make :(. After we were all done we walked back to campus and took a looong nap/went into a food coma. After dinner we didn’t do much, just hung out and watched gossip girl.

Saturday: Woke up and relaxed, read a lot of my book American Gods–suuuuch a good book. Then a little after lunch Meghan, Emila, and I left to go to our art class. It was at this girls house, so we had a little trouble figuring out how to get there, but we did. It was an okay class, there was a guy there, who was good at astrology so we talked for a bit. I guessed his sign but he couldn’t guess mine. In India astrology is a little different, their dates for signs are different from ours and such. I asked him before he left if he knew anywhere we could get our charts read, he said he could do it for me right then. So he did. In Vedic Astrology I am a Scorpio, with a Virgo moon. Doesn’t seem like me, but he proceeded to read my chart. It wasn’t very good. Said I’m lucky, and artistic, and traditional. It also said I’d have a bad marriage, a domineering husband, and trouble having kids, though the ones I do have will be very lucky. He said I’d get a lot of gain out of my marriage though when it ended. We’ll, naturally, I want a second opinion. I don’t follow Vedic Astrology anyway so I’m really not too worried about what he said, I do want to get my chart read again before I leave here though. The art class is okay. I really don’t like the teacher very much. She’s really spiritual, and very good at art, but she is so specific about what she expects of us. She orders us around getting all of her spiritual rituals out of the way. I like the rituals but not the way she makes us d them and she’s very impatient about getting them done. Then with all of the learning exercises she has do she goes into them with an exact idea of what she wants us to say.

Art Workshop

IT just doesn’t seem right. In art and spirituality you have to take your time and figure things out on your own, and more than that but I don’t think there is a right answer. For example she does these things called “lexigrams” which are anagrams but they are supposed to reveal the higher spiritual meaning of the word. We do them, writing down all the words that come out of the word she gave us. We tell her our words and shes like no those aren’t right it is this word. And we’re like, okay, how do you know that’s the higher meaning of the word? I don’t know shes just so impatient and so hardset and narrow in what she wants from us. I really don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way for any of the things we are trying to do. I don’t know its just really frustraiting. Like we had a discussion on communication and what is communication. I said it was expressing ideas, something we brought up earlier in the discussion. She was just like “No, that’s not it, to express ideas you communicate but what is communication to you?” I kept trying to tell her that to me communication is expressing my ideas. But she wouldn’t except that. It made me really upset because communication is something that is not easy for me. People normally have no idea of what I am really trying to say, I just don’t know how to get my ideas across to other people, so to hear her tell me I was wrong just made me really frustrated. To me that is the most important part of communication. But anyway, I really enjoyed drawing. That was nice. At the end she took one girl’s drawing and just completely reworked it trying to show us how to create more visual appeal. I felt really bad for the girl, though it did look really good when she finished with it. It wasn’t all bad, I think we all learned about how to make things work in a portrait and visual appeal when she did that but still it did totally rework the girl’s painting. I do really like the workshop because we get to meet a lot of really nice Indian girls. I also am totally in love with the painting I did. We’re going to go back to the workshop at least one more time, but we all agreed we really don’t like the teacher and her methods, we’ll just do work on our own. We went back to Tagore, ate dinner, and then Emila, Xandra, and a group of people went out to meet a guy Xandra had met a few weeks back. Meghan and I stayed in and watched Gossip Girl.

..It makes me happy

Sunday: I procrastinated all day. My ADHD is getting pretty bad right now. I have no motivation. I spent the whole day reading American Gods until I finished it. SO great. I recommend it to everyone, it’s very creative and interesting and rich. Then after that I finished my painting from the day before, and hung it and my other ones up on my wall. Then Xandra and I watched Gossip Girl. Ate dinner watched more Gossip Girl. Pretended to do homework for an hour or so, looked up what I will be writing about, opened my hindi text book, then Xandra came back and we finished the Gossip Girl season and went to bed..

Monday, hasn’t been much better so far. I went to Kuchipudi in the morning, the teacher came just long enough to give us our bells. They are really cool looking. They are four inch strips of stuffed red velvet, covered in bells! Then we went back home and I napped, ate lunch and blogged, to avoid doing homework…heehee…. Well I hope to go to the tailor after class today, I have about five outfits there. I really need to get them because I am completely out of clothes and really don’t want to do laundry. I also need to stop by the health center soon because I am out of malaria meds… Well it turns out the tailor won’t be ready until Friday…It’s been over a month since we dropped off our clothes, she’s been having a lot of family problems lately but still, I don’t want to do laundry yet!

Also, on a side note, my little dog friend Pow Pow knows his name now. He has a lot of names but he always responds when I call out Pow Pow to him, he runs over and loves on me. Pics coming soon, I know you guys have been waiting patiently for them…lol… Also I recently fell in love with the website I cannot stop laughing. I’m obsessed, so funny. All for now.


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