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uptown rishikesh

after spending time
in the crowded quarter of rishikesh
decided to move up to mountain
to the bandhari swiss cottage

breathtaking view
the clouds sometimes
lower than the mountain peaks
waterfalls everywhere

went wild
took fancy room
with big double bed
red carpet
private toilet and shower
even with hot water
balcony overlooking the ganga river
and the mountains across
feeling like the rich uncle from america
willing to pay the expensive rate
of four and a half dollars per night

my india world war II scooter is very usefull
allows me to keep visiting
the city of rishikesh
and the new friends i have there

living in the swiss mountains
in the early mornings
gigantic clouds cover
the middle two thirds of the mountains
across from my balcony

at night the moon rises
between the peaks of two mountains
full moon now

practicing yoga each morning
with a teacher or on my own
on a rooftop
overlooking view of temples
and the ganga
which is way below in the valley
sometimes driving to take a yoga class
in a different part of the city
where i can hear music from the nearby ashram
while doing my asana practice

at sunset
going to the ganga
kirtan every evening
live music and singing
sitting among the brhaman kids
all dressed the same
orange clothing
shaved heads
only small group of hair
sticking from the top back of their heads
some songs are familiar to me
it’s doing krishna das
but on the ganga

many indians stop me
asking to take photo with me
with their cameras
sometimes they each have a camera
having me stand there with them
for eight or more shoots
making me realize how the indians feel
being the target of my camera

while driving to a nearby city
passed a huge statue of the monkey god hanuman
it was the neem karoli baba ashram
the master of krishna das
bhagavan das
ram das
and many other dasses
my scooter just happened to bring me there

we drove few friends along the river
one scooter broke down
25 kilometers away from rishikesh
we had to ride back three on one scooter
on a curvy road
up and down mountains
some parts of the road flooded
some parts of the road
taken away by the strong nightly storms

big family of monkeys
trying to cross the road
getting angry at us
the mothers holding their babies
the big males attacking us
trying to grab our legs from the scooters
furious, powerful, and beautiful

next day drove with the scooter’s owner
back to the broken scooter
drove the curvy 25 kilometers again
pulling the other scooter behind me
with a rope
up and down the mountains
did it very carefully
few scary moments
it was meditation

driving on the roads
the climate keeps changing constantly
up the mountain hot and sunny
down below along the river good breeze
inside the jungles moist and cool
all it takes is a couple of minutes
to move from one climate to another

© 2000. All Rights Reserved.
Zemach Zohar Wilson, Rishikesh India, August 2000.

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