Just a short update. I just arrived in Pondicherry again for a couple of days. Now that I have some bearings it is a lot easier to come here. I knew a good cheap quiet clean guest house to go to. I got the local bus for 3 rupees instead of walking or paying 40/50 rupees for an auto-rickshaw (both at the Tiru end and this end). Later when I'm hungry I know a good place to go and eat. Also I just found an extremely cheap a/c internet cafe (10rps/hr) and all I need now is to find a good cheap bicycle hire shop - last time they wanted to stuff me for twice the price I pay in Tiruvannamalai.
Being a Scotsman, and probably past lives as a meditating monk, then frugality comes naturally to me which is also necessary since there is a good chance I will stay in India until next March so I've got to make that money stretch. I'm meeting a friend I know from Tiru maybe tommorrow and I have an appointment to meditate in the cosmic golden golf ball on wednesday morning.
Back in Tiru life is going on nicely. I've been playing chess regularly with Batelvalsaram and I'm generally kicking butt although he did beat me for the first time in 18 games the other night. He's not a push over so I have to concentrate and he seems determined to keep at it. I've also been going to see Aum Amma regularly and like her very much. She adds a whole dimension of sweetness and joy to what can sometimes be a dry path. Meditation is proceeding well and insights continue to accrue (I'll save that for another posting).
My investigations into the case of the student who asked for help are coming to a conclusion with my meeting the college vice-principal on Thursday. Some generous offers of help have already come in from family and friends to the extent that about $80US of the $220US required for college fees has already been pledged. There are some additional expenses of about twenty something dollars for exam fees and bits n bobs which I am covering myself.
I will report on the outcome of my meeting soon. Menaka (the student) is a very bright young woman (14) from a very modest economic background. She has been promoted ahead 2 years in school and so has a head start on her college education which is a Diploma in Electronic and Communications Engineering. She has been giving me a few Tamil lessons and so I'm getting to know her family a little as well as the regional language.
So that's it for now. Happy Easter.