So I got out of Jaipur and after less than 24 hours in Jodhpur, I moved towards Chandigarh, which is 18 hours north of there.
Although enjoying Jaipur, it’s where I think I reached my limit – or at least some limit. Feeling exhausted from meeting new people, finding my way around new places – and always dealing with all the people trying to make some extra money.
I think what was the final straw was meeting a supposedly guru in Jaipur. It wasn’t something I’d planned, it was an offer and at the time it seemed like fun. Nothing serious, more like “yea sure, let’s go see this guru guy”. Big mistake. Or maybe not. Without going into too much detail, within five minutes I was sobbing and that continued for the next couple of hours. Mr. guru definitely had some kind of gift but unfortunately he has chosen to use it in a rather opportunistic way. Ah well.. For a second I was actually seriously considering that of course I should join his ashram and more importantly I should buy the gems that he told me I really couldn’t live without.. But then, in the middle of all the sobbing and chaos, something inside woke up and made me go “Hey, wait just a minute! This is not how it’s supposed to go”. So I cancelled the rest of the day and went back to my hotel and contemplated this strange path I’m on.
I think, being exhausted and everything, my defenses were low and I was an easy target. So of course it was easy for guru guy to take advantage of that and I might have ended up in some desert ashram. But instead he had managed to push me so hard that he kind of pushed me back into balance and all the inner strength mobilized. I’m not sure that was his goal – but then again, maybe he was a guru who worked a little backwards.
Now realizing that maybe I needed to slow down a little and allow both body and soul to catch up, I decided that maybe I should change plans and head towards the mountains. There were no direct trains from Jaipur and I really didn’t want to go to Delhi – but then a woman I met (who actually had met the guru a few years back and hated him) told me about Chandigarh and I found out that from there I could get a direct bus to Dharamsala.
So I changed my plans, gathered my fragile self and hopped on a train to Jodhpur. It turned out to be a really nice place with a much more relaxed feeling and definitely somewhere I’d consider coming back to. I arrived late afternoon, found a hotel and went out for a walk to see the city before it got completely dark and also pick up some more books. Then dinner at a great restaurant and then another night in a very hard bed. I don’t know what Indians has against soft mattresses.. And then the next morning boarded the train for another 18 hour train ride to Chandigarh.
Just one tiny thing went wrong – when I woke up and got ready to get off the train, the train guy looked a little distressed and said “Chandigarh gone”. Yes I missed my stop and so I ended up in Kalka and had to catch a train back. Always something with the train.
My Chandigarh host was Soniya from Iran, living there to study – I finally arrived at her place, veeery tired and she cooked me breakfast before I collapsed in my bed.
I will upload pictures and more videos (yes, I’ve been putting videos on several of the earlier posts in case you haven’t noticed yet) as soon as I have a more stable internet connection.