Saturday, October 14, 2006

My feeding by Manu, a Veerni nurse, on Friday--followed by feedings by Santosh, Vimlesh and Jaspal. I need to go for an ashram-slimming but instead I'm holed up at the ITC Hotel & Towers outside Mumbai international airport. My flight to New York via Heathrow, London, takes off at 2:15am so I'm spending my time wandering around the super-santicized environs here--this hideously tacky hotel is under the Sheraton management. It's doing my head in. Purely to kill time--one workout is not going to make a dent in my chipatti flab--I did a stint on the fitness center's Eliptical trainer, reading Indian "Cosmopolitan" (a series of Bollywood fashion spreads but mostly imported copy from Cosmo UK, including features on the dangers of drinking games and friends-with-benefits hookups). The plastic machines and flat screen TVs made me wanted to cry so I ducked into a yoga class which made me cough a lot. Jodhpur crud coming out? To prevent my lungs from adjusting to filtered air--too soon, too soon!--I ran outside gasping for some life. Luckily, it was on offer outside the Sheraton's 15-foot white and gold gates. Just on the other side was a sewage canal running into a slum fronted by merry little shops proffering fried bread, barbering, moterbike tuneups, live chickens, dead chickens, and phone calls. Inside the latter shop, shouting onto the phone to block out the firecrackers, horns and street banter. I was saying, I don't want to leave.


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