In my very efficient, check-it-off-the-list, American way, I email Dr. Sastry at the Ayurvedic Ashram in Hariharipura, India telling him I want to find out about doing PanchaKarma with him in March. I want to find out the basic details, you know, like how much, how long, when there might be space and what kinds of treatments I might be in for.
After some short email exchanges in which he is somewhat vague about everything, he tells me I can come on the 18th of March and to arrange it so I stay for 3 weeks.
He mentions no deposit, makes barely any reference to money or treatments. The tone is welcoming, but short and sweet. Since I am going to have to make plane reservations, forking out a chunk of money to get to some place in India I can’t even pronounce, I notice that I want to make a deposit.
I email him again. “Are you sure I don’t need to make a deposit to reserve my spot?”
“No, no,” he writes back. “You are a friend of Dr. Scott’s. That is enough.” I imagine him saying this with an Indian accent, bobbing his head left and right.
When I read the email, my belly tightens with the first hint of fear I will have to let go of if I am to venture on this journey. This is simply the prelude.
I take a deep breath and let out a little sigh with a peep. “Well, ok then.” I say to myself. “Here we go. Welcome to your journey.”
I dial my travel agent “Debbie, I’m going to India in 2 months, can you hook me up with tickets?” Not only does she hook me up, it feels like another sign from the Universe – my tickets, with domestic travel within India, come to just over $1,000.
So, fast forward – I am sitting in the Mumbai Airport, waiting to catch the last leg of my trip to Mangalore where I will be picked up by a driver to head to the Ashram. I still can’t pronounce the name of the place and there are so many things I don’t understand about India. I’ve been here a week, and what I have observed is that in the end, everything actually does seem to work out. The more I let go and relax, the happier I am and the more magical it all feels.
As I sit, waiting, I cap down the urge to reconfirm that there WILL be a driver picking me up when I land.
Why worry? It’s just me and my suitcase. The worst that can happen is he won’t be there. And then I’ll figure out the next step!
As I walked out of the Mangalore Airport into 95 a weather, I scan the signs, hoping one of them has my name on it. And there it is: Duane Sherman. I smile and have an inner chuckle.
Off we go for the 2 1/2 hour drive on a windy road through the jungle to the Ashram.