Friday, May 13.
My second full day in India.
In my meditation this morning, I had the thought that I must not miss my daily meditations—that our journey is ultimately an interior one, as Thomas Merton, and all enlightened teachers have said—in spite of what inspiring or exciting things are happening outside.
Today, my plan is to hire a driver to show me the city. I’m in the north of Mumbai, near the airport. The “center” of town lies some 45 minutes to the south of here at the end of a peninsula, really an island. All the old great buildings and museums of the Raj (era of British rule) sit down there, along with some wonderful markets I’ve read about. I want to walk along the ocean front and see what the city looks like. The Oberoi and Taj Mahal hotels are there, the ones that were bombed by Pakistani terrorists half a decade ago.
During the period of the Raj (British rule) Mumbai, or Bombay, was the Gateway to India, as all the Westerns ships came to India from the Suez canal and down across the Arabian Sea. (I can’t believe I’m going to walk along the Arabian Sea!) There is a great arch at the port, called the “Gateway to India,” a shot of which you can see on my first post.
Last night, absent-mindedly, I starting brushing my teeth with tap water. Hopefully, that won’t be my downfall! I’m taking doxycycline for malaria, which is an antibiotic, so maybe that will absolve me from this little venial sin.