The rain has stopped, leaving the air a little cooler and misty clouds drifting over the forested hills. Monkeys make their way on rooftop railings to observe their domain. Families splash in the water at the ghat (steps going down to the river) next door. Pujas sound from loudspeakers across the river and horns honk steadily from nearby roadways. A procession of locals and tourists alike walk to and fro across the Lakshman Jhula bridge. The mighty Ganga flows through all this activity, like time, waiting for no one.
And I sit on my balcony, watching it all.
I’ve been here in Rishikesh for a few days now, visiting restaurants, looking in a few shops, and going to yoga classes. I’ve developed a schedule of sorts, and in the heat of the day I’ve also been reading, sending emails (when Internet is available), napping, and otherwise killing time.
Some of this latter activity has been necessary as this body adjusts to the monsoon climate, and I’m not beating myself up over it. But take away the ability to walk for miles or to be engaged in any long-term activity, and I’m faced with….the void.
We’ve all got it. The itch to do something, anything, versus be with our own mind. That roommate that never shuts up. The yearning for more: having more, seeing more, doing more. And I’ve realized I’ve been avoiding it instead of just being with it. Taking time to just be.
It’s going to be hot and humid wherever I go. I was going to go to Shimla or Mussoorie next, but I’ve settled into a rhythm here. My room costs less than $10 a day, two yoga classes less than $7, and food less than $10. The room isn’t the greatest I’ve stayed in, has no AC, but this balcony view is priceless. The first day I got here I was ready to go, but perhaps now my clock is being reset to Rishikesh time. Eventually I’ll move on, but for right now I think Rishikesh may be as good a place as any to slow down and just be for a while.
Me and the void.