26 Mar 2011

Celebrating Holi Festival

We celebrated Holi just a couple of days before I left Omkareshwar. It was a nice way to spend the day with the kids and say goodbye before I see them again next year hopefully. The celebrations started the day before, the 20th of March. We all gathered on the banks of the river in the morning and cleaned as far as we could go to. All kids were there, the school principal, Gurusharan and most foreigners in the ashram. The task was to pick up all plastic and paper from the the ground to then use to burn it in the night.
Baba was in Omkar too, which was even more special for everyone. The atmosphere built up during the day and I got a sweet unexpected visit from lovely Kanchan from Indore (she is the girl who initiated me into Indian clothes and to whom I was teaching yoga in Indore). She came with her mum and siter in law. It was really nice to see her and we spent the afternoon in town, where we bumped into Tripti and Joyti (two more girls I met when I was in indore). So all in all it was a good goodbye as I got to see most people.
Then at night we all gathered on the banks of the river again and a huge fire was set along with nice kirtan and songs in Hebrew played by Shay. The fire was amazing and even more with the full moon at the back, which happened to be the biggest full moon in 25 years. : )
The next morning we started at 9am by covering up all walls and room doors on my side of the ashram. They told me Holi is very wild and full of colours so they had to make sure the walls would be protected.... I wasn't sure what to expect but I saw very soon. Baba came out and after a few nice songs sung by Gurusharan we started the Holi celebrations...and oh wow! Big pots of naturally coloured water were available, from which we could fill up big water rifles and then spray on each other. There were also powder colours and water balloons, which the kids absolutely loved. It was so much fun. The whole floor was covered in water in the end and everyone was on the floor trying to swim in it. Everyone covered in colours from head to toe and completely soaked in coloured water. What a cool festival!!!
Very nice food followed of course.... yummi!!! I ate too much as usual so by the time we started walking to the other ashrams to celebrate my tummy was in pain again. Too full but too good to resist.
the celebrations ended in going for a nice swim all together into the river and having more water fights of course! Sooooooooo nice. Again, just simple but true celebrations. I love it and will miss it all when back in Europe I am sure. I just love the simplicity and spontaneity and of course being surrounded by nature helps a lot as I don't really see this happening on the Thames or any other city river. Below are some pictures, enjoy.

Follow this link to learn more about Holi

25 Mar 2011

Indian wedding

I left Mysore and went up to Ellora, Ajanta and Shirdi (separate post to follow on this) and then came back to Omkareshwar for Agustina and Ashutosh's wedding in Narmada Shankar Ashram. They are a very very very sweet couple from Argentina who are here for a year living with their guru. They decided to get married in Indian style and all I can say is that it was a colourful wedding! Amazing from start to end. Every small detail amazed me.
And the food.... oh wow. As a food lover I was in heaven. Spiced up to the right point we ate very yummi pakora, vegetable rice, beautiful curried vegetables and paneer (indian cheese). Sadly I completely forgot to take pictures of the food itself as I was too concentrated on eating! In India you don't eat just one serving of each dish like we do in the west, they keep on serving you until your belly explodes and if you are like me then you end up in pain all the time because you eat with your eyes! But it's worth it, totally!!!

Below are some pictures of lovely Agu and Ashutosh. Enjoy!

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