Crash Landing

Jaipur, Rajasthan 10:37 p.m

Ouch. Days like this are hard, especially on the road. Yesterday afternoon’s woozy aches and slight tickle in the throat became today’s total crash and burn. I never even thought about leaving my room today. Sampling various medicines that I’m now especially happy made the journey with me from the States, I spent the day juggling zinc throat spray, ginger lemon tea and Cold-eze lozenges, washing it all down with some Robitussin for good measure. A suitable cocktail for a truly craptacular day. Hopefully the worst is over, though it’s pretty hard to say from my current achy perch.

Thankfully, Sara is now better enough that she is able to function normally—even eating a real meal (her first in several days) and making her first solo foray into the madness this afternoon. She managed to take a little ride on an elephant on her way to finding where Sri Amma ji is giving darshan tonight as part of a Global Peace Initiative of Women gathering being held here in Jaipur this week. My friend Sharada (the former Mrs. Krishna Das) was invited here to offer some kirtan chanting for the gathering, and we’ll connect soon I hope here in Jaipur. As ridiculous as it seems to be so close to, and yet miss, receiving Amma ji darshan here in India, I just feel too lousy to be waiting in line for hours in a large crowd—I’m barely making it through a day of lying in bed, much less hours of full-on Indian-style chaos.

Until I feel better, it’s real hard to imagine beginning my rounds here in the Pink City. There’s not a lot of down time built into these trips for me, but being sick has a way of trumping all else, no matter what my calendar says. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll feel better enough to take Sara to Jaipur’s famous lassiwala, visit my friend Raju and make a pilgrimage to Govin devji, one of my favorite Indian temples, nestled near the several hundred year old Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory within the pink-walled palace complex.

Meanwhile, I’m now deeply into The Places in Between, Rory Stewart’s book about his 2002 walk across Afghanistan, following Babur’s historical journey from Herat near the Iranian border across the inhospitable mountains of central Afghanistan and down into Kabul. Stewart’s Turquoise Mountain Foundation is the group I plan to visit with in Kabul next month, on the invitation of my friend Jenny Hartley who is living there until May. It’s probably crazy to travel to a place like Afghanistan without being much more steeped in its history and culture than I am—but time is short and all I have is a couple of books between now and then…


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