<<  Varkala, 25-Jan-2013  >>

Ocean side days continue

More beach, more ocean, more nothing-doing, more seclusion

What I did last few days: nothing, coughing, blowing my nose, playing Colonization, strolling along the beach and the cliffs, and planning how to get back to north India.

Varkala is a place somewhere between summer resort on Jalta and classical Asian backpacker hangout place. One third of visitors are Russians close to retirement, one third are hippie-style backpackers and one third all the rest. Shortly before and after the sunset, the atmosphere at the beach is very Asian-backpacker-like: half of the beach practices yoga or meditates, some people practice various fire arts or martial arts, one girl drums every evening, some people smoke weed.
There is not much to do here other than relax, and thatís, well, relaxing.

Have you ever tried to lie on the ground and stare at the full moon for 5 minutes, without taking your eyes from the moon for a moment, when someoneís drumming close to you? When you do it, itís easy to connect to animist/pagan beliefs consider the moon as the godÖ

Solitude and loneliness start to kick in. Apart from discussion rounds in the ashram and those 2,5 weeks in Sri Lanka wit Samo, Janka and Jirka I hardly spoken to anyone since I left Slovakia. And the isolation starts to make its move on me. Itís easier to be ďalone among thousands of Hindu pilgrims, like in Madurai and Rameshwaram, than here, among all the European tourists, who remind you of your home. Despite the seclusion, which starts to hang heavy on my mind, I did nothing to really get in contact with anyone around. Actually I almost avoid the other travelers. On my last night in Varkala I joint one group of travelers making fire at the beach (and drinking beer and smoking grass). It was nice to sit there and one nice guy gave me a beer, but one-time backpacker discussions are inevitably shallow, only about The Backpacker Topic: where have you been to?, where are you going?, how long have been here/will be here? Maybe thatís why Iíve been avoiding the other travelers so far, shallow discussion is more depressing than none discussion. And somehow I havenít really seen someone whom I like to talk about deeper things than ďwhere and how longĒ. Or more probably I simple wasnít in mood. The best (and the only meaningful) discussion I had here with the strangers were talks with Armin, a yoga assistant in the ashram, when I wanted to know, if he was not afraid that by gaining that yogic peace of mind and universal love and stillness, one loses something truly humane within himself, hmm, maybe passion. Here, on my own, I miss the conversation with someone I can relate to. When I was younger I always wanted to be Robinson Crusoe. Not any moreÖ

Kerala is pretty weird mixture. Hindu state with many Christian villages and Muslim villages, itís one of the most prosperous states of India (highest literacy, lowest mortality rate, life expectancy 10 years longer than the Indian average) and all of this happens under its communist government Lonely Planet says, that Kerala was the first territory in the world to freely elect communist government, without any revolution or Soviet power games). Motto of Kerala is ďGodís own countryĒ, itís written on every sign. Who said that communism and religion donít go together? :-)

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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak