Confession: I have had Vitamin C’s “Graduation Song” stuck in my head all afternoon. (But somehow, in the two minutes since writing that, LFO’s “Summer Girls” is now in my head. Who knows.)
Today was our last full day in Mysore. Sad but happy. Full of perfect little moments that reminded me why I must come back here.
Of course, the day started with yoga. We brought flowers to Saraswathi after that five foot woman with superhuman strength kicked my butt in led class.
Had chai at the coconut stand.
Enjoyed a dosa at my favorite place with Michael, whom I have officially dubbed my Mysore angel and street food guru.
And, after napping just because I could, headed off to the Green Hotel for a goodbye dinner with Mariel and the little Mysore family we’ve accumulated over the past month.
Tomorrow, Mariel and I head south to Kerala. We leave sunny little Mysore, our host family, and all of our dear friends. We leave early morning wake-up calls for yoga and our beloved teacher Saraswathi whom I love with all of my heart. We leave a place where the rickshaw drivers know our names and we sleep in separate rooms. We leave what has become our home. Tomorrow, we start traveling.
I’m ready for it, for sure. I’m ready for new sights, new places, exploring the rest of the country. I’m ready to be on the move, to be able to sleep in, to allow myself to eat spicy food past 3 PM. I’m ready to see the ocean and the desert and the Taj Mahal in the span of a month.
But damn I’m going to miss this place. I feel like I’m graduating college again, saying goodbye to the friends who have become family, walking through campus and stopping to soak in the sight of my favorite buildings one last time. Only this time, the Old Well is a coconut stand, and the Alpha Chi house is owned by a lovely Indian family. I know I’ll come back but I also know it will be different next time; new faces, new routines, new stories. I am so grateful for our month here, the time we have had to study Ashtanga at its source. The time we allowed ourselves to adapt to India. The time to be somewhere, to slow down, to stop and smell the
burning garbage flowers. To meet people who would become our big brothers and big sisters and show us the ropes and teach us more about life than they’ll ever know. Mysore is truly a magical place. And you never forget your first time.
After dinner, Mariel, Michael, Clare and I walked through the main street of town and went bakery hopping. We tried every sweet that looked tasty and shared and oohed and ahhed and made very well-informed decisions regarding which combinations of ghee, eggs and sugar were the best, and which were simply sub-par. It was totally giggly and spontaneous and I definitely have a stomach-ache. And it was my favorite kind of travel experience. Random and fun and silly and maybe a bit educational? As we waked through the bright streets that stood out against the dark, dark air, I could only hope that the rest of our trip will be filled with more of these precious moments, these beautiful friends, and the gratitude that’s been overflowing in me today.
From now on, there’s a little section of my heart where Mysore will always be. It smells like cooking sugar, it’s full of wise and flexible people, and if you listen closely, you can hear Prasad on the corner whacking open a coconut with a skillful hand and a sharp, old machete.
Until next time, friends.