brahma blessings from the shiva man

Morning GranolaBreakfast is by far the most important meal of the day. With a good breakfast inside you can go on into the day to achieve anything; scale unreachable heights, conquer unconquerable deeds, well, you get the picture. My friends in Bundi had told me that a morning meal of home-made muesli was a must in the Rainbow Restaurant on the lake in Pushkar. So yesterday, at the rather slovenly hour of 11am, I went in search of the granola holy grail. I was not disappointed, all other muesli pales into paltry comparison to this. Home-made, sun-baked, wonderfully raisin-light, and mixed in with fresh banana, pineapple, papaya, apple and covered in pomegranate seeds, thick curd and a dash of coconut sprinklings. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!

SHiva ManAs I have said many times before, it is often easier to go with the flow in this country rather than try and fight against the current. Thus it was that I got nabbed on my way up to the Brahma temple (one of the few that exist, the godly Brahma apparently angered his first wife who decreed that he would not have any temples built in his name, even in the realms of the omniverse it pays to keep your spouse happy!) This was a supposed “Brahmin priest” although I’m not sure how spiritual the aviator sunglasses were. Anyway I suffered to be lead around the temple, collect lotus flowers and sweets for the offering and then up to the balcony where there was a lot of chanting involved and various blessings. They we went down to sit on a long mat in front of the ghats and washed our hands in the river, threw in the petals and sweets, more chanting and the tieing of red and yellow thread around my wrist (I was trying very hard not to laugh at this point especially as my guide, Shiva, was taking things very seriously!) Then we Morning at the ghatsnegotiated a donation to the temple of 100 rupees for the safe guarding of my immediate family members, this I gave to the man at a desk and was dutifully written a  receipt. Shiva seemed a little disappointed that the well being of my nearest and dearest wasn’t worth a little more money, but I explained in great length the necessities of budgeting for a long trip and he seemed satisfied. I did feel slightly guilty when an hour later I spent four times the amount on an Indian painting. My karma is in for some serious buffeting!

In the afternoon I got deliberatly lost around the charming, and tourist free backstreets of the town, dodging the cows and getting plagued by small boys after the five brightly coloured brand spanking new kites I was carrying. Sadly, it turns out I do not have a  natural apptitude for kite flying. Enlisting the help of the guys in the guest house to get my kites airbourne, I managed to break one kite, lose one over the roof, another to a rival kite and one in the spiky tree. It is so much fun to try though and incredibly skilful. You need to tug the line at the point the nose is facing the way you want to travel, fast tugs gain you altitude inbetween feeding out more line and fast sideways moves allow you to go in for the kill on somebody elses kite! At 3 rupees each I can afford a little more practising!

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