The Great Ashram Escape


A couple of days into the ashram I mentioned to Jaspreet that I was thinking of leaving early to explore Kerala – The rest was history. By the end of that same day we had decided to leave on the 20th September.

On the 19th, while cleaning up after dinner, Misha finds me and asks ‘ Are you guys still leaving tomorrow for Kovalam Beach?’

T – ‘sure are!’

Misha – ‘I’m coming with you’

As Jaspreet and I are in the internet room trying to book our accommodation for Kovalam Beach, Jennie pokes her head in the room,‘There you two are, book 2 rooms, I’m coming with you’ and displays her freshly mosquito bitten foot.

That night I was feeling good, satisfied with everything experienced from the ashram. It had been my birthday today and after singing me happy birthday at Satsung, the ashram kindly presented me with a gift, a yoga living book.

In my room, I see a trail of ants crawling up the walls. Instinctively, I use my new yoga book and start beating the ants, aiming and repeatedly slamming the book down with all my might, crushing and imprinting the ants against the wall.

Jennie, watching me calmly from her seat across the room, softly narrates – ‘And on the last night there was a massacre…’

By the morning of the 20th, a group of 10 had made the decision to exit the ashram early and head to Kovalam beach. Considering there were only about 50 guest to start with, this was a sizable group.

T, worried –‘I hope they don’t think I said anything bad. I actually had a good experience.’

Jaspreet – ‘I’m sure they don’t, but lets all check out at different times’

We all met at Kovalam beach, smokers smoking, meat eaters eating meat and everyone drinking beer.

Jennie, to one of the locals – ‘ We’d like to sing you a song’

Everyone starts singing the 25 verse Sivananda daily chant that we had been made to sing twice a day, every day, at the ashram.

‘Jaya Ganesha jaya ganesha jaya ganesha pahimaan. Shree ganesha shree ganesha shree ganesha rakshimaan..’

We simultaneously stop and go quiet after only the first line, of the first verse, while the little old Indian lady waits expectantly for the rest of the song.

Jennie, surprised, explains to the lady – ‘ Sorry, that’s all we’ve learnt.’

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