Friday, 15 January 2010

Kerala beach - Varkalla

After having met my friends in the ashram, we departed all together southwards to the location of our massage course: Varkalla. This is considered as one of the most beautiful beaches of India, probably that`s why it is packed with Western tourists. It reminds me to the Hungarian Balaton-lake with a lot of shops, restaurants and bored half-naked tourists who just walk around from one shop to the other during the long days. It is quite a big contrast to see the Indian women going to a water spring at the beach to do their laundry and wash themselves in their big saris (taking shower in clothes, strictly on separate days from the men) and the Western people in their bikini`s walking around in town.
The Tibetan market I found something different, where traders from the North are selling their clothes from November till April, than return to Dharamsala. These calm, warm-hearted people are a peaceful island in this hectic coastline. In all the shops you see the picture of the Dalai Lama, and in the back of it you find the residence of the Tibetans: a 10m2 little space with their kitchen, beds and living room in one. Often they stay here with 3-4 people.

Life in Varkalla is very slow, quiet, we don`t do much in a day. It is also too hot to make big efforts. We wake up early, start with yoga at the roof of our homestay , than we slowly walk to the ocean and swim in the warm, salty water. After breakfast we start massaging and keep on doing it till the end of the day. I might write more about this course later. Than we sleep early, and the day after it just starts again. Food is basic but very good. We eat every day at Rani`s place, a beautiful, smiling, shiny Indian woman who cooks for us in front of her house, on fire and banana leaves. It is already a happiness to receive our meal from this ever-laughing woman. We eat all day thali, and thali and thali, typical Indian food of rice and different vegetables, dhal and chutneys served on banana leaves. A very important thing in thali is that you eat it with your hands, and that they keep on refilling your banana-plate till you don`t stop them... The whole thing feels like being stuffed by our parents at Christmastime, because Rani and all her family is busy making us happy while we stay with them.
And basically this is all what is happening in Varkalla: thali, massage, swimming and yoga. Today we had a full solar eclipse, to bring some extra excitement in our life.

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