Please read part five here.

Sri Badrika Ashram

We arrived at the Ashram at lunchtime. Our very dear Namita Ji and Basudev Ji were at the office to greet us. This was my first time meeting them. I just wanted to hug everyone, but I thought that might not be acceptable per Ashram rules, so I avoided it (plus Covid was still playing its Peek-A-Boo game). They asked us if we would like to upgrade our room, and we immediately accepted. We bought a few water bottles. I also requested them to add Shub’s name for the personal meeting, and they said they would try to arrange it. I knew she would be with me at the meeting. But for some odd reason, I won’t meet Swami Ji without her if it doesn’t work out. The decision was made from my side.

Our luggage was delivered to the room swiftly. We both were surprised and pleasantly shocked to see the space. It was exceptionally well planned, and everything was immaculately done. One could see the precision of Guruji’s planning. It was no less than a luxury resort for me, with a breathtaking view of Giri and the mountains of the Himalayas.

We both were so tired; I had not slept for more than 40 hours by now, and my body was ready to crash. But my mind was so excited and refused to rest. I opened our balcony door and was thrilled to see the same view of the vision while meditating in Dallas. But in that vision, I was not standing on a balcony. Crazy me, I just brushed my thought and closed the balcony door.

After a couple of minutes, we realized the lights were not working in the room. I couldn’t turn the fan on. I tried to find the switches, but no luck. I thought there must be the main switch outside; I just had to turn that on; I did some research but had no chance. Right then, I saw one lady in a white sari walking up the stairs. I thought she might know something. She looked like an Ashram person. I rushed to her; I asked if she knew how to turn the lights on in the room or to get the electricity in the room. Maybe she has a knowledge of some switch that we are not aware of? Plus, there is no manual in the room either with Wi-Fi code and how to turn the TV on etc. Well, there was no TV in the room.

Very politely she said “There is no electricity”. In my mind, I am thinking “There is no electricity??? I understand this is a spiritual place and this is an Ashram, but come on! There is an A/C unit and fan in the room, how come there is no connection for electricity in the building? What is the use of A/C unit then? So, I asked her again, “I don’t understand why there is no electricity in the room?” She looked at me in a puzzled face, and very calming again, said “There is No electricity”. Same answer again! Shubs heard our conversation and literally dragged me inside the room thanking that kind lady for her help. I could barely say thank you to her for her attention.

Shubs was annoyed with me but at the same time she was laughing so hard. I was fully confused now. What is so funny, and why is she annoyed simultaneously? What about electricity? Should we change the room? Maybe a different building? I knew there were no hotels close by, as when we drove here, there was nothing but lush nature around us. But living without electricity for three days may be challenging.

She made me sit on the bed and said, “Sona, sometimes in India, there is a shortage of electricity, so we don’t get electricity for a few hours or a day sometimes.” Oh, My God! Yes… yes. I remembered. But that was when I was little (In the black-and-white era?). Do they still do that in India? Gosh! I felt like I was the most illiterate person on earth. I was so embarrassed by my ignorance, but we both laughed.

“Welcome to India,” said Shubs.

By now, we were hungry, so we started heading toward lunch. We both had the most delicious meal that day. It was fun washing our dishes and spoon. Everyone was so friendly and said “Jai Sri Hari” to each other. I didn’t know what to say in reply, so I started saying, “Jai Krishna Hari, Jai Jai Ram, Rama Krishna Har.”. I would say whatever was popping up in my head at that time. They would look at me with an amiable smile, nod, and move on. But I knew I was saying something wrong. Later I saw “Jai Sri Hari” written all over the dining all. Aha! I am supposed to say “Jai Sri Hari” back to them. I got it! Who is this, Sri Hari? Why are we saying Jai to him? Oh well! If everyone said it, why not? I was happily ready to accept and soak up every experience at the Ashram.

We met a few four-legged friends on day one. They enjoyed sharing our chapati and some sweets we were carrying. They were so cute and so starving. It was our most joyous time, playing with them and feeding them. They were our 1st group of friends at the Ashram.

Please click here for part seven.