Bye, Rishikesh! Hello Frankfurt! I rushed out of the small town in the north of India and tumbled back to my home for the time being in Frankfurt.
Actually, the WhatsApp group of our yoga family should serve to exchange ideas about yoga, share photos, and keep in touch. Last week it became a live ticker that we used to see if and how our family members made it home. Many quickly packed their bags and got on the next taxi to Delhi hoping to get a flight there. I was therefore unable to say goodbye to some of them personally. Almost all flights that had been booked were canceled – sometimes while the yoga sisters and brothers were on their way to or at the airport. It took Rapha and Alex almost three days to get to Spain, and Ioana was stranded at the airport in Dubai because connecting flights were canceled. Kalya could no longer fly to Australia, her home of choice, because her plane would have arrived just a few hours after the deadline at which the country closed the borders. That’s why she flew to her family in the USA – and luckily arrived there without any problems. And then there was great joy when someone in the group wrote again that he or she made it home safely.
Ticket booked, airport closed, empty streets
It was an incredible excitement – not only about whether my flight would be canceled, but also for everyone else. In between there was our closing ceremony with the handover of the official certificate, which certifies that we have successfully completed our 200-hour yoga teacher training, packing my bags and mentally preparing to end my trip around the world earlier than planned.
After deciding to return home on Wednesday, booking the flight ticket and rebooking it for an earlier date, the events in India rushed: In a television speech, India’s prime minister announced that the airport in Delhi would be closed for at least a week from Sunday. There would also be a curfew, he said. At least in Rishikesh, people stay at home as I was able to follow on Facebook today. Photos show the deserted Laxman Jhula, on which crowds of pedestrians usually cross the Ganga River.
On Thursday afternoon I learned that I would leave India on Friday evening and thus end my trip around the world. My body has now arrived in Frankfurt – but my mind was only able to review my last day in Rishikesh on the plane to Abu Dhabi. There is the memory of the men who always play cards and drink chai tea on the corner opposite the small hairdresser, the Ayurvedic restaurant and the kiosk. I watched the man who always bakes fresh chapati and said goodbye to the man in the bookstore, where you can buy incredibly cheap yoga books. I walked past the booth where a man is always making chai tea in cast iron pots and at some yoga schools that wiped the dates of their drop-in courses off the boards. The birthplace of yoga without yoga classes. A novelty that seems necessary in view of the Corona crisis.
I only realized that I would miss the dogs bark at night and the papaya trees whose leaves rustle in the wind, when I was lying in the bed of my home fort he time being in Frankfurt in the evening where it was completely silent.
15 kilos of luggage became 26
Together with Oxana, who also comes from Frankfurt, I left Rishikesh in a taxi. 15 kilos of luggage on my departure turned into 26, as it turns out at the airport. After it became clear that I no longer had to carry my luggage, I escalated a little in the bookshop mentioned above. ?
The trip to Delhi was long. Every now and then we checked whether our flight was canceled, heard voice messages from Marc, who was temporarily stuck in Doha and then somehow wanted to get to Barcelona via Berlin. In the meantime, he has also made it home.
Some members of my yoga family have been stranded in Rishikesh, either wanting to stay and sit out the corona crisis, or wait for their governments to fly them out. But that can take a while. They pass the time doing yoga or music and sun on the roof terrace and let us participate with videos and photos.
And I also made it back to Frankfurt without any problems – at least physically. My mind seems to take a few days longer to return.