The journey from Chennai to Hyderabad was probably the best I’ve had so far.
It was a 13 hour train ride, I left the station at 04.45pm and arrived at 06.30am this morning. I was so happy yesterday and I sat with an inner smile the whole way. I wasn’t counting down the hours till arriving. I was reading a book most of the way, had some yummy dinner, watched the sunset and felt such a relief to be out of the bustling city - the fact that I was on my way to another city, didn’t really come to mind. I then thought this country to be even more beautiful than I already felt it to be. Even I was witnessing the country life. The harshness of it rushed past the windows. There were people living in slums, living in shacks, living in sheds and working till sundown in the 40degree heat. I’ve seen worse “homes” in the city, where 1000s don’t even have a roof to call home, instead it’s piece of pavement just to “store” their possessions and to lay their frails bodies to rest preferably 24hours a day as they don‘t have the energy or nutrition to be able to do anything else. But to see it outside the city was different somehow. It probably just made me realize that the poverty really is everywhere and that living in slums, be it in the city or the country, can make even some people out as being the “lucky ones”. Country poverty could seem like a richness to the city poverty. What a contrast.
This was rushing past the window and still I was smiling. Regardless of these cords being struck within me, India is still beautiful and inspiring. Be it because of the gorgeous mountains I could see with the orange sky in the background, or the people of this land who were working so hard and for whom I have utmost respect due to their strength and ability to be happy, by just merely surviving. Both reasons filled me with awe.
I was in and out of my book, which is the “biography of a yogi” (how very appropriate for me be reading this..!!), which is set in India. I felt so lucky to be reading it and to be in the very same country as to where the author had his roots. The man sitting across from me didn’t even make me feel paranoid, uneasy or annoyed by the stares he gave me for 4 hours straight. Every move I made, he gave me a dirty look. Every mouthful of water, caught his attention. Every page I turned, he gave me the evil eye. I gave him some in return and to “apologize” for my lack of self-restraint I then was happy to give him my lower-bed and I took his upper-bed (because he had a knee problem, for what I could make out). Actually I just told a little white lie. Because his stares did occasionally annoy me and my sense of “not caring what others do, say, think around me” was being put to the test. But I think I coped well. I know many others who would have been inclined to ask him “what’s your problem, DUDE?”..in the most sarcastic or obnoxious way possible. I was tempted, but chose to let it pass me by.
I had the best sleep ever. It was so soothing to listen to the engine, to the tracks, to the wind. I was sleeping and journeying. I was moving to another place, not only in space and time, but also I was moving in my general direction in life. I felt so calm, so happy and didn’t want the train journey to end. And suddenly it did. I arrived at Hyderabad and felt pretty fresh. The driver was there waiting for me. He brought me to the house where the yoga teachers live, it‘s where I‘ll also be staying for 2 weeks or so. I got the first impressions of the city and it’s only natural that I’ll compare it to Chennai.. Hyderabad is smaller, it’s cleaner, it’s greener and the pace of life seems slower. It’s got a really nice feel to it. Maybe it was just the hour of the morning that made the city seem to be of this kind. The driver (sounds so snobbish almost, talking about “the driver”. But I don’t know what other name to give him..) is from the city so of course he was going to talk about this place being a beautiful one. Either way, it doesn’t matter. First impressions were very good!!
I’m in the house now, I have my own space again. It’s really nice. There’s around 10 others staying here too. It feels pretty peaceful. I’ve met a few others and they are all lovely. This evening I’ll be starting the training. Can’t quite believe it. I don’t know how this is going to go. I’m not going to stress it too much. I’ll see what happens, I’ll go with the flow and I’ll be sure to let you know!