Jnanamati, novice amitarya (monk) with the Amida Order, has arrived in Delhi. He paints a vivid picture (as befits an artist):
I have slept for a long time overnight and although waking at around 5.30 a.m. roused by Prakashs’ departure for work, and from then on conscious of the noises of the house and surrounding area as things come to life, I drift in and out of sleep until around 9.30. I am plagued by a sense of guilt struggling with my need to remain hidden in the warm cocoon of my bed. Eventually I am pulled from this state by Prakashs’ brother who needs to get something from the room I am sleeping in. He offers to get tea which I accept and then the motivation to rise comes. In ten minutes I have some hot tea, a couple of oily parathas and a plate of digestive biscuits. The mix fails to revive me as one might expect and I mark how I am somewhat low in spirit today.
Work has been going on all day upstairs and despite my offers to help the lack of a common language between me and Prakashs’ parents’ gets in the way, so I am left feeling idle since I have interpreted their gestures and words to mean that I will get in the way. I have also attempted to get in touch with Shiv lal the rickshaw driver we use but get no answer from ringing the number I have. In fact someone different phones me have received a missed call from the phone I am using. Between reading and working on a logo for the ‘Institute of Zen Therapy’ I venture out to go to the ATM, pleased that on the whole I receive friendly smiles and gestures from those going about their business or sitting on front door steps. The weather is pleasantly warm rather than hot.
The new flat has two multipurpose rooms to the back of the property – these are windowless, two good sized bedrooms, a balcony with a washroom at one end and the toilet at the other and, strangely, two kitchen rooms back to back. The decorating, plumbing and wiring have now been finished. Tonight and tomorrow I can start in earnest to sort things out and hopefully to the stage where I can move in. I have befriended the family dog who initially wary of me has kept a distance. This is the dog that bit me when Kaspa and I visited the house in 2010. I guess I too have been wary for this reason, but he approaches me as I sit upstairs on the newly created roof space, his manner and approach relaxed and communicating a desire for some affection. I stroke him for a while and before long he is curled up at my feet. Dogs are funny creatures. This poor thing has little hair on its back, his exposed skin is dry and flaky and he seems hopelessly anxious, barking at anything from passing pigeons to stray pieces of plastic blown across from adjacent rooftops.