Not quite getting up

by Gabriella Sonabend

This morning I had planned to go to Sarnath (where the Buddha gave his first teachings) with some of the other residents and Jessie’s mother who had flown into Varanasi for the exhibition, which opens on Thursday night; but shortly after waking up I realised that my body was in a state of mild shock (probably from the 10+ course meal we had eaten last night) and that, coupled with fully saturated mental overload, left me in a state of utter uselessness.

A concerned P sent me back to my room and brought me some homeopathic pills, prescribing rest and a break from the mania outside the residency walls. I spent the day with my Kindle and a slowly accumulating pile of books beside me, trying not to worry about wasting time and how was I logistically going to get anything done here! By 2pm I had given up on the idea of doing anything useful and fallen asleep on my daybed finally succumbing to what my mind desperately needed.

I ate dinner with the other residents and made optimistic plans for tomorrow. Navneet told us stories about his grandfather entertaining Gandhi in the big house behind the residency and Terry talked of the wild beasts of Australia and the day he had been bitten by a circus monkey. Navneet is sure he deserves a title as his grandfather was knighted by the Queen of England and so for now we have taken to calling him ‘His Honourable Navneet’ whilst he calls Terry ‘The Professor’ and Phyllis has made up her own names for everyone else. I finally discovered that Smiling Mamma is actually called Piret – but I think as names are flying around so freely I will stick with Smiling Mamma for now.

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