Damn those coconuts

The other day, thanks to the seasoned wisdom of some some friends who’ve been coming here for years, I solved Mysore’s greatest mystery. Since we arrived, I’ve been finding dirty brown splodges over my clothes after they’ve dried on the line. I’ve already had to admit defeat on two t-shirts, including my favourite blue vest, which now looks like something Rab C Nesbitt might wear (target audience). So loath was I to banish it to rag status that I tried wearing it out once, with its huge dribble splat of brown on the chest, but it didn’t last long – it seems there’s nothing more mortifying than imagining people are thinking you’ve spilled your dinner down your front and that you just don’t care.

P1020459 Exhibits A and B

P1020486There is no reason for this photo, except to serve as a juxtaposition of clean versus dirty and also because neatly folded piles of brightly-coloured fresh laundry make me strangely very happy… 🙂

The mystery surrounding the source of these stains has been bugging me intensely. At first I put it down to spilled chai – the stains appeared on both mine and Chris’s clothes, but definitely more so on mine, which figured, as I can sometimes be a bit exuberant, shall we say, when eating and drinking. However, some of these stains were so big that I would have surely noticed such dramatic spillage at the time, and definitely hadn’t. So then I wondered if it was rust from the pegs, dirt blowing up from the ground, even chipmunk poo, as they do occasionally tightrope walk across the washing line. But none of these really added up and the mystery was beginning to needle me somewhat…

Anyway, the answer finally came when a group of us were standing at the coconut stand, waiting for the machete man to do his magic. Our wise friends stood a little way back but I naively stood close, and felt a slight shower of coconut water droplets rain down on me as the machete split the coconut, as I often do – it’s actually quite refreshing.

“Ooh, that’s going to stain,” they said.

I looked down at the spots of water on my top in confusion – they looked just like water. Surely they would dry clear, just like water? Suddenly it dawned on me – of course! Everything made sense – the coconut sellers shirts are always filthy black, the stains had massively increased from spray spots to huge great splodges since I decided to try and act like the locals and drink straight from the coconut without a straw, usually tipping half of it down my front. I grinned like a loon at having cracked the mystery, and took a big step backwards. And, yes, following corroboration from my faithful detective friend (google), it indeed turns out that clear coconut water turns brown on drying and is a nigh impossible stain to remove once dry. Lesson learnt – I feel like an absolute Mysore nube, and have been accepting the straw of shame again since then.

(Aside, I realise I would make a terrible mystery writer, having already given away the answer to the mystery in the title!)

In other news, my meditation and writing plans are going well. I am grappling with my monkey brain, which is definitely becoming ever so slightly more tame each day – I’m now doing two 40 min meditations per day, as well as reiki and yin meditations, and am aiming to increase this to one hour each over the next few weeks. I’m also just trying to approach all aspects of my life in a more meditative way than my default unthinking, puppy-like enthusiasm. My mind is definitely more calm and focused already, and I’ve almost finished my first writing project – an article on Thai massage that I promised to write for someone last summer – better late than never?!

Oh, and, interestingly, since my focus has shifted from asana to meditation, my body suddenly seems to have massively opened up, my back pain is much reduced and my asana practice feels amazing. Masterji had me doing all kinds of crazy stuff this morning, including my first ever attempt at the scorpion handstand, and it just felt light-hearted and fun. Even kapotasana with knees together is starting to almost feel good?! This surely can’t be a coincidence – when the mind relaxes and stops grasping for things, the body follows and suddenly those things are much more attainable. Funny old world… 😉

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